Author: Cara Clark & Allison Long
We are exposed to toxins on a daily basis (air/water pollution, food additives, pesticides, alcohol, cigarette smoke, etc) that over time can build up in our bodies and affect many of our bodilysystems including our neurological, immune, endocrine, and digestive systems. When large amounts of these toxins are allowed to build up over time, health issues may arise.
By following the Thrive Cleanse, you can help your body eliminate those toxins, reducing your toxic load and enabling the body to function more efficiently and optimally. Benefits to the Thrive Cleanse include:
- elimination of toxins in your body
- overcoming cravings for sugar and salty foods/other processed foods
- learning to listen to your body
- restoration of gut health (connected to the health of the rest of your body)
- reduction of inflammation
- weight loss if needed
- increase in energy and vitality
You are what you eat
We have all heard it before. But what many people do not realize is just how true the statement is. Our bodies are constantly turning over cells. There is a constant cycle of cell death and replacement occurring every second of every day, while we are awake or asleep.
Here are a few facts to take in:
-the lining of the stomach is replaced every 5 days
-the outer layer of skin is replaced every 30 days
-new brain cells and tissues are generated every 60 days
-the lungs replace themselves every 2-3 weeks
-if you were to consider the turnover of old cells and replacement with new over the entirety of the human body, the entire body is replaced every 5-7 years
New cells are created from macro and micronutrients absorbed through the intestinal tract from the food we eat. So, when you get down to it, we are literally made up of the food we eat. This is why it is so important to supply your body with the proper nutrients in order to build a healthier you!
Foods to include:
Fresh vegetables: asparagus, artichokes, avocado, bell peppers, broccoli, beets, onions, leeks, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini, lettuces and other greens, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc
Fresh fruit: apples, berries, citrus fruits, peaches, pears, plums, pineapple, kiwi, mango, etc
Nuts & seeds: all unsalted-almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, etc. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia, flax, hemp seeds, natural nut/seed butters
Gluten-free whole grains: gluten-free oats, brown rice, wild rice, millet, & quinoa
Legumes: black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas
Protein: wild caught fish & shellfish, organic free-range poultry, organic free-range eggs
Beverages: water!, unsweetened teas (green, white, rooibos, herbal, oolong, & mate), unsweetened almond, coconut, and rice milks
Extras: sea salt, pepper, herbs, spices, healthy plant-based oils (extra virgin olive oil, organic raw coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, nut oils, grape seed oil, flax seed oil), apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, honey, stevia, tahini
Foods to avoid:
Processed foods: canned, packaged foods, chips, breakfast cereals
Refined foods: white rice, white breads, biscuits, cakes, pastries, baked goods
Grains containing Gluten: wheat products (bread, pasta, etc), rye, barley, bulgur, spelt, couscous
Dairy: cow’s milk, yogurt, hard & soft cheeses, cottage cheese, butter
Soy: tofu, tempeh, soy lecithin, soy-based meat replacers
Added Sugars: table sugar, sweets, candies, chocolate
Beverages: alcohol, coffee, soda/soft drinks, sweet tea, commercially packaged juices
Extras: table salt, margarine, commercial dressings & sauces, artificial colors, flavors, additives, preservatives, hydrogenated fats
What to expect
In doing the Thrive Cleanse, you will be reducing your caffeine and sugar intake, eating whole, unprocessed foods high in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, as well as giving your system a break from some of the “usual” junk. During the first week your body should start releasing some of those built up toxins from your cells and tissues. You may experience symptoms of detox (and you may experience some but not all).
Symptoms of detox include:
-muscle & joint pain
-change in bathroom habits
-strange taste in mouth/ bad breath/ change in body odor
The fatigue, irritability, and headaches are often symptomatic of sugar and caffeine withdrawl in addition to the body releasing toxins—this will often subside within a few days. Muscle & joint pain, flu-like symptoms, and a slight “run down” feeling is a result of the toxin release from your cells and tissues. While your body is releasing these toxins, it is important that you do your part to eliminate them from the body. There are a few methods which we can eliminate toxins from our bodies: through our sweat, lungs, kidneys, and colon.
Exercise is one of the best methods to help our bodies increase toxin elimination because it increases sweat production and breathing rate(releasing toxins through exhalation). Exercises like yoga that involve deep breathing techniques may be especially helpful. The physical movement of exercise boosts blood and lymphatic circulation, which also aids in toxin elimination. Bottom line: aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least 4 times per week (more is even better!).
Expect changes in bathroom habits
Because of the increased amount of fruits and vegetables, whole grain, etc your body will adjust to the change in fiber intake. You may notice some uncomfortable bloating and gas at first while your body adjusts.
Make sure to drink plenty of water (approximately half your body weight, in ounces –for example, a 150 lb person would need 70 ounces of water not considering for exercise), which will help decrease these symptoms. Water intake is incredibly important not just for general health and digestive system regularity, but also as a part of toxin elimination as it helps flush these compounds out of the body through the kidneys and urinary tract.
More frequent trips to the bathroom— As a result of increased fiber intake and release of toxins, you may need to use the bathroom more often. Again, be sure to drink plenty of water to help move everything along smoothly. With adequate water intake, you should expect to urinate approximately once every hour. In addition to increased frequency, your bowel movements may be easier to pass and larger. Bowel movements and urination are your body’s way of “taking out the trash” or eliminating waste and built up toxins. Not everyone will have a bowel movement every day, but eventually this will change as your body adjusts. You may have more than one bowel movement per day, this is normal and just a sign of your body detoxifying and eliminating those toxins.
Changes in your skin
Temporary increase in skin eruptions/acne—For some individuals, one symptom of the detoxification process includes a temporary increase in skin eruptions or acne. Toxins harbored in the deeper layers of the skin begin to come to the surface and can result in blemishes. This occurrence is usually temporary and clears with continued adherence to the cleanse.
Clearing of the skin— The skin is the body’s largest organ, one of the first lines of defense for the immune system, and a physical barrier against environmental toxins. Just like the rest of our cells and tissues, toxins can build up in our skin as well. We eliminate some of those toxins through our skin by sweating, so in addition to getting enough exercise, a trip to the sauna may help aid in elimination as well. As the body detoxifies, the skin will begin to appear more clear, even toned, and supple. Increase in hydration from drinking plenty of water as well as getting optimal amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, results in an improved appearance of the skin. Many individuals report a “glowing skin” result with the cleanse.
Strange tastes & smells
Many individuals report a strange taste in their mouth, bad or strange smell on breath, and changes in body odor. These are also symptoms of toxin release in the body and adjustment to eating the proper ratios of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, and fat). Again, drinking plenty of water can decrease some of these symptoms, and they most often subside within a few to several days.
On the Thrive Cleanse, you will be eating plenty of fresh, whole, nutrient dense foods that will supply your body with what it needs to function optimally and… The combination of eating properly, drinking plenty of water, and exercising will likely result in weight loss. This will vary for each individual because every person’s body is different. The amount of weight loss, the rate at which weight loss occurs, and changes in body composition will be different for everyone. If you are looking to lose weight, do not step on the scale every day—our bodies are constantly changing (especially while on the cleanse), and weight can fluctuate on a daily basis for a number of reasons. It is best to weigh yourself no more than once per week. In addition, it is a good idea to also take consistent measurements (waist, hips, arm, and thigh). This will help you to track body composition changes (increased muscle mass, decreased fat mass). For the same surface area, muscle weighs more than fat, so sometimes there will be greater changes in measurements in comparison to the scale. If you have access, it’s a great idea to get your body composition measured—one of the most accurate and inexpensive methods is bioelectrical impedence, which is available at many fitness clubs and doctor’s offices.