It’s that time of year again. Time to clean out old winter clothes I haven’t worn in a year, organize and throw away papers saved for tax season, and time to look toward my favorite time of year – spring and summer. It is spring cleansing time. Just this past week I decided to kick off the new season with a “mini cleanse”, one of many different cleanses I try to do a few times each year. Cleanses have been something of a trend in Hollywood and thanks to magazines like Us and People, we get to read all about how Beyonce lost 20 lbs doing the Cayenne Pepper cleanse or how grapefruit juice cleanses are all the rage; so we all know just how effective they can be.

I began doing juice cleanses about five years ago as a way to “clean out” my system, and at times, to jump-start losing a few pounds here and there. The real reason I love cleansing is because of the way it makes me feel and the way it re-focuses me to take the best care of my body by only putting pure fuel in it.  There are so many different cleanses out there for everyone, and some that may not even feel like you are cleansing! For example, the one I did last week was really easy – I had to cut out animal products for just a couple of days but otherwise I was able to enjoy most foods I already eat, drink the Japanese tea that I love, and I felt full throughout the entire week. There are other cleanses you can do that are a bit more intense and last for longer periods of time – juicing (only drinking juices) for 7+ days is a bit more challenging than cutting out coffee and gluten for a week, however, you may feel greater results!

As I am not a nutritionist, I can’t prescribe a safe and effective cleanse for you to do but encourage you to try one out this spring*! First, ask yourself what sounds like something you can do – do you need to start with something simple like cutting out coffee, sugar, and alcohol only for 5-7 days? Or are you ready to have nothing but juices for 3-5 days or even longer? What sounds manageable with your schedule? Do you have time to eat a very specific way with a hectic schedule or do you need to order your cleanse from someone else who would make it easier for you? How about a colonic? Does that sound like an appealing way to cleanse your system? Colonics are another popular way people cleanse their system, and you don’t have to change your diet at all. However, it may not have boost your motivation to change certain eating/drinking habits in the same way as diet cleanses, if that is what you are looking to do. (I‘ve never tried a colonic but will definitely let you know what I think when I try one out soon!

If you are local to the Westside of LA, I can give you a few names of places to get great cleanses that are a great place to start, but if you are not in my area, start by asking your healthcare professional (nutritionist, doctor, acupuncturist,  personal trainer, etc…) if they know of any cleanse, or a company that can steer you in the right direction.

–       My long time clinical nutritionist and her chiropractor husband own a wellness center where they offer an excellent and incredibly effective starter cleanse through a company called, ClearVite. Clearvite provides powder for your daily smoothies and the guidelines for what to eat and drink on which days (click here for example of cleanse schedule). If you opt for a cleanse like this, you have to get Clearvite through your healthcare professional. If you would like to see my nutritionist, here is her info: Delson Institute for Wellness

–       If a juice cleanse sounds more up your alley, and you live in the West LA area, Pressed Juicery is a fantastic place where you can try out your first cleanse for three to five days. They will help you figure out which cleanse is best for you based on how you normally eat, drink, exercise, etc…and the best part is – they deliver everything to your door so it makes it really easy!

–       My very close friend, Jill Latham, is in her last semester of receiving her masters in nutrition and becoming a Registered Dietitian, and has generously offered to help answer any questions about cleansing for you if you would like more info. She is the queen of juicing and knows all about why juicing is so beneficial to our health.

Please feel free to email her with any questions or consulting and check out her blog:

Nutrition Concierge

So, as the season of rebirth and cleansing has started, and holidays like Lent and Passover encourage us to give something up for a period of time, why not take this opportunity to give up some of your favorite things (sugar, alcohol, gluten, etc) for a short period of time and find out why celebrities are going goo goo for cleansing? What you gain in your wellness will be worth it!

*IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT YOU SHOULD SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL BEFORE STARTING A CLEANSE. Vital nutrients can be lost in certain cleanses, making them more harmful than helpful, so please don’t cleanse without the approval of your doctor or other healthcare professional.