Starting the summer with a cleanse

For the next 14 days, I will be documenting my experience on my very first cleanse. If you would like to follow it, you can see the whole thing in my women’s wellness group, the Nourish Me Tribe. I will be keeping my daily journal in the group for all to see, plus popping on with documentary-style live videos, and even a live chat with my friend, fellow IIN health coach, and cleanse partner Meredith.

I’ve always been skeptical of cleanses. I mean, the body is really great about cleansing itself. There are whole organs whose job it is to detoxify the blood–and therefore the body. So why should we expend the extra time and effort, not to mention the expense, to do what our body does rather well on its own? Plus, most of the over the counter cleanses I have come across involve herbal laxatives, extreme calorie restriction, and no community support. How healthy does that sound?

I have been in the market for something to kick-start my summer feeling great. Although I have lost some weight, have a good handle on my food sensitivities, and exercise regularly, I still have trouble with bloating and fatigue. I want to perform to my full potential so I can be the fun mom who is up for any adventure that comes our way this summer. Picture me, the kind of mom who makes hiking fun, does crafts and chemistry projects, organizes a morning of kayaking, and hangs at the pool in the afternoon. Not the mom who is tired, grumpy, and can’t handle going to the park after mini golf or hiking in the morning and horseback riding all afternoon. I want the energy to have fun with my kid, not have to convince her that nap time is a good idea.

I first heard about Dr. Frank Lipman’s cleanse program when two of his health coaches lectured at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. They mentioned that all of their clients complete a cleanse program before starting any other protocol at their clinic. This eliminates possibly problematic foods, gives the organs of detoxification a break, and supports said organs so they can work more efficiently. It’s like a spa treatment for your insides.

I had also read about the benefits of cleansing before weight loss from the perspective of cleaning and supporting the liver in anticipation of toxins stored in fat being released. Fat not only stores energy, it also stores toxins that your body can’t deal with at the time. Your liver has to deal with these toxins when they are released from the fat during weight loss, which may be a significant toxin load in a rather short time. If more of these toxins are released than the liver can deal with, the toxins recirculate and can make us sick before they are stored again in more fat. It’s a vicious cycle, and one of the reasons weight loss is difficult. In addition, our bodies deal with an extreme amount of toxins every day from the food we eat, cosmetics, skin care products, environmental pollution, and the chemicals in our furniture, carpets, and cars to name a few. Our detoxification organs can use some support.

After hearing the cleanse program explained by Dr. Lipman’s health coaches, cleansing didn’t seem like B.S. to me any longer. It seemed like something every smart wellness plan should have. Their plan wasn’t based on laxatives and fasting to essentially clean the body out, it was meant to support the organs of detoxification so the body’s own built-in cleansing system can work more efficiently. This made a lot of sense to me. So I visited their website at There, I learned more about the different cleanse programs they offered and what each would look like for me.

As it turned out, in awesome synchronicity, they were running a promotion for their spring group cleanse that included health coaching support via a closed Facebook group. Included in the program was the entire 14 or 28 day cleanse, weekly check-ins with Dr. Lipman, and continual support from these phenomenal health coaches. Not only did I get a program with support, but I could also observe some of the best coaches in the business work first hand. Sold!

To follow my journey, join the Nourish Me Tribe where I will be documenting my cleanse for 14 days. Sometimes cleanses get real, so this could potentially be entertaining!

The program consists of a fairly strict elimination diet, daily shakes, and customized supplements. Drinking lots of water, getting adequate rest, and regular low-key exercise is vital. The diet itself isn’t much different than the way I eat every day. I already eat lots of veggies, healthy fats, no industrial oils, and no grains. The additional requirements that might be difficult will be limited caffeine (eek!), grass-fed butter only once per day, no eggs, no nightshades, and no dairy. It is only 14 days, though. Plus, I do still struggle with fatigue to a pretty severe degree and some bloating and IBS symptoms, so maybe eliminating these staples will help me identify my lingering kryptonite.

In addition to the dietary plan and supplemental regimen, the Be Well cleanse recommends mental detox, including meditation and journaling, and physical detoxes like yoga and massage. The body is one unit. All of its pieces and parts work together in synchronicity. What affects one part affects all of the other parts. When doing a cleanse, it is essential to support the whole body, mind, and spirit. You don’t want your spirit in a black cloud while your body is shining bright, you won’t feel well. So, getting good sleep, self-care practices, exercise, and meditation are important components of any balanced wellness program.

This is my first real cleanse, and I’m pretty excited to share my experience with you. Be sure to join me at the Nourish Me Tribe to follow my journey to a healthy, happy summer!

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Dona's Spring Cleanse

Published by donawinger

As a certified holistic health coach, my purpose is to inspire others to make mindful​ choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life with real food and a growth mindset.

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