It’s a sad fact that most People will give up on their New Year’s Resolutions within the first two weeks, and cleanses have a higher rate of failure than diets. Dry January, though a new concept, has an even lower success rate so far.
As a Nutraceutical Consultant, I have been advising friends and clients on cleansing, detoxing, and offsetting the damages of drinking for years.
My Advice is “Plan For Pain”
If you know what to expect and have tools and knowledge beforehand, you will be happier and have a higher chance of success.
Here are my tips to make it through:
1. Support Your Liver. The liver and kidneys are the filters of your body. Once those are done – you are too. The liver has two phases to break down everything you consume, intentionally (food) or not (toxins). This process requires amino acids (protein), vitamins, and fats.
My recommendation – take liver support supplements such as Milk Thistle, Glutathione, B vitamins and be sure to get clean protein. This alone may be the most important part of your Dry January.
2. Keep Your Blood Sugar Up & Stay Hydrated. One of the reasons we crave a drink can actually be fluctuating blood sugar levels and dehydration. I suggest drinking ½ soda water and ½ juice throughout the day for the first week at least. Be prepared to crave sugar more than usual.
Also consider adding Glutamine, an amino acid with many benefits including blood sugar support.
3. Prepare for Grumpy days. Without grabbing the usual quick pick me ups at the five o’clock happy hour – you may be tired and grumpy. Alcohol raises our GABA, cortisol, and dopamine levels. These are calming, energizing and happy neurotransmitters and hormone.
Do some research on amino acids. For example Gaba is calming, Tyrosine is energizing and Glutamine stabilizes blood sugar and gives you a lift. Take your amino acids away from protein and have them on hand at all time. This can be the difference between success and failure for your Dry January, because when every cell in your body is screaming in pain, while swimming in a pool of irritability and depression, you’ll want some help.
4. Make Sleep a Priority and lighten your schedule if possible. You cannot cleanse/detox without adequate sleep. Period. Plan ahead to be a little low energy and out of sorts. Don’t commit to anything more than you have to, especially in the first two weeks. Protect your sleep.
5. Exercise, but not too much. Do not push your self in exercise. Do what feels right and be prepared to quit your normal exercise routine early or go lighter. If you don’t exercise at all, add walking to you schedule. The lungs are one of the major pathways of excretion.
6. Take Cleansing/Detox Baths. Sweating in the bath has been a long honored tradition for cleansing and even burning off an upcoming flu. Even if you don’t sweat, it is relaxing and alkalizing. Simply add Epsom Salts to your bath and/or Himalayan Pink Salts.
7. Support your Adrenals. Adrenal Fatigue is very common in our society. Some of the common symptoms we take for granted are: gaining weight around the waist, craving salty foods, afternoon fatigue…are these sounding familiar? Try a simple Adrenal Support formula with ingredients like Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Pantothenic Acid to support your adrenals. Do your research and get tested if you believe you may have more than just common fatigue.
8. Support your colon & elimination. The gut is actually called the second brain. A large portion of your neurotransmitters and immune system are in you gut. Needless to say, when on a cleanse, the toxins need to get out, so be sure to pay attention to this area and eliminate daily. The ideal goal is three times a day while cleansing. Always take a high quality probiotic.
9. Practice deep breathing, meditation and mindfulness.
A cleanse is a great time to start researching mindfulness and add some meditation into your routine. There are many different forms of meditation including walking meditation for those too rushed to sit.
10.Know thyself & create your own cleanse. Cleansing is hard enough but sticking to what works for someone else – may not work for you.
Cutting out all all alcohol cold turkey can send you into a downward spiral by the third day and even be dangerous.
Create a system that will work for you, cutting back the first week and then going into elimination phase may be better if you have more than a few drinks a day.
Always check with your doctor before starting a new cleanse, diet or supplement program
CHEERS & TO YOUR HEALTH!