Committing to a cleanse

Over the past 7 days my partner and I have been cleansing.

Aimed at ridding the body of toxins, to be truthful, cleanses can be hard work and require some commitment and working through all of the daily triggers that see us having another coffee, chocolate bar, hamburger or glass of wine.

There's many versions of a cleanse but our selection is 9 days long and designed by Anthony Williams, aka the Medical Medium ( If you are interested in knowing that your insides are getting a great detox flush out, breaking some less than healthy eating habits and dropping 5kg at the same time, maybe a cleanse is for you. If you haven't done a cleanse though, there are all types online ranging from 1 day to 1 month or longer.

Here's 5 important things I have learnt from my second cleanse if you are interested in taking your bodies insides through the equivalent of a car wash.

  1. Partner up with someone - best if its someone in your household but can be a friend or family member outside your home but having the same daily experiences. This will keep you more accountable, more inspired and its good to be able to share your ups and downs from day to day, or hour to hour.

  2. Clear all temptation from the fridge - every time we saw a grilled cheese sandwich on TV or our soon cooked up some poached eggs on avocado we would groan with loss. Get all junk food out of the house, get your non-participating house mates to avoid a couple of tempting foods for the period and take your beer and champagne out of the fridge so its warm and make room for the voluminous incoming fruit and veg.

  3. Follow a menu plan - we've found it best to follow a cleanse where there's no wriggle room. Our cleanse has exactly what meals to prepare for each and the excellent Anthony Williams books have comprehensive recipes which are simple to prepare. It includes snack items allowed. In our case, apples and dates are sanity savers.

  4. Prepare your shopping - it is critical you have the necessary ingredients in the fridge or pantry as you need to prepare meals. Before you start, look at the menu items, make a shopping list and organise your ingredients for the first few days. Then, as most cleanse items are fresh fruit and vegetables, top up your supplies every few days so you never run out.

  5. Be ready for the mental rollercoaster - as you can imagine, if you stop drinking coffee, eating carbs and fats and protein and avoid the alcohol, your head may spin. It will certainly experience periods of headache and you may also feel lethargic or nauseous but only at times. We found day 2 and 3 of the 9 to be the worst.

  6. Avoid the triggers - if you drink coffee in the morning on your way to work, plan to replace the coffee with tea or a juice. Or if you have dessert, plan to replace that with an apple and date. If you're at home, keeping the fridge company, make sure you schedule work or play activities so you're not circling the kitchen like a vulture ready to swoop at the wrong prey.

  7. Keep the end result in mind - for me, I love the idea of dropping 5kg and knowing my insides have been flushed out. This alone often knocks over any idea of bowing out of the cleanse early as humans have stronger needs to avoid losing things than gaining so imagine losing the weight loss or health benefit when the food challenges are heavy.

  8. Come in for a soft landing - on the day after, plan to come back to food heaven in a moderate way. Don't go to the burger shop at 9am. Treat yourself a little but don't go overboard. The idea is to try to maintain some of the eating habits from the cleanse into your everyday meals, snacks and hydrating.

One surprise for me was how much energy I am maintaining during the cleanse. I thought that the drop in carbs would see a drop in energy but not so. Well designed cleanses feed you with energy at the right time of the day, such as fruits in the morning. I was able to exercise, do work around the house and stay mentally alert even though I thought I was being deprived of what I thought were the foods I needed for energy.

Good luck if you try. Cleanses are great for ailments, weight loss or general healthy detox. There's no doubt that they challenge your spirit but a great sense of achievement waits at the end.

Here's some possibilities for inspiration:

1 day easy cleanse (bottom of page)

1 day harder core cleanse (juice and nuts)

3 day cleanse

9 day cleanse - if you're this committed, check out the Medical Medium's book for a complete and easy process to follow with easy, medium and hard options!

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