Lole Workshop: An Introduction to Cleansing and Supportive Self-Care

Are you intimidated by the concept of "cleansing"? Perhaps you associate the word "detox" with thoughts of excessive amounts of green juice, and that's not exactly something that floats your boat.

What type of cleanse is right for you, how do you set it up, and which act of kindness will you support yourself with throughout this time?

The following post will highlight the questions & answers that came up at the Lole workshop I hosted last night, alongside Energy healer and studying holistic nutritionist, Kristina Baresic. 

Here's a run-down on the topics we covered:

  • What is "cleansing"?
  • Adding supplements
  • Lifestyle "detoxing"
  • Juice cleanses
  • Raw food diets
  • Intermittent Fasting (IF)
  • Self Care! Featuring Kristina's glorious Moringa Face Mask recipe.

"Cleansing"?

That sounds scary and hard… but Kristina described various ways in which we can incorporate gentle practices that will allow for sustainable detoxification of the body and mind.

She focused on reminding us that our bodies are permanently in a state of detox, the problem is that they cannot keep up with our over-toxic environments. Detoxing CAN be sustainable and gentle. That's actually why I loveeeee the cleanse program Kristina put together in the Holistic Health Toolkit - it's got REAL tasty food, and provides comprehensive instruction (including the meal plan to follow) for nourishing your body from the inside out.

Here's an example of one of the glorious recipes...

Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup

Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup

Now that you've let go of the common misconception that detoxing has to be INTENSE, remember that regardless - it is SO PERSONAL! Throughout the workshop Kristina reiterated that we all have a different starting point and it’s so important to be honest, patient and compassionate with ourselves. Some examples she shared were:

  • Quitting smoking, drinking, fast food, etc.
  • Incorporating healthier foods (fruits, veggies, more homemade meals and less take-out)
  • Cutting down/out caffeine
  • Cutting down/out animal products (to decrease the acidity in your body, and thus bring about more alkalinity).

Kristina also shared some of her favourite supplements to add while cleansing:

  • Aloe; heals gut lining & hydrates intestines
  • Ground flaxseeds; adding fibre to your diet helps to support elimination
  • Chorophyll; supports blood detoxification, hormone balance and even has naturally deodorizing effects! 
  • Moringa: Often referred to as a “miracle tree”, moringa provides all vitamins and minerals necessary for our bodies, is a powerful antioxidant and contains pure plant protein and iron. 
  • Triphala tea; "3 flowers" - pulls energy downward and is an intense colon tonic (flushing out build up)

Also remember that cleansing your body isn't complete without also considering the mind. Kristina’s background in energy healing gives her a holistic perspective to cleansing we often forget. It’s not just about guzzling down green juices and counting down the days until its over. It’s essential to rid ourselves of toxic environments, people and thought patterns too! More positivity is key. While it's easier to said than done, Kristina encourages you to try your best to incorporate moments of mindfulness throughout the day to appreciate and send love back to yourself. An example of a practice that's worked for her is waking up each morning and before checking her phone or jumping up to the sound of her alarm, taking a moment of gratitude and lovingly "hugging" herself and being consciously appreciative of the body she is in. Sounds simple. And it is. 

Another great way of incorporating moments of mindfulness is to take a moment before meals to say thank you for the nourishment we are about to receive and really savouring the food we eat. Not only does this quiet the mind but it helps the digestive process so much, often relieving symptoms of bloating or indigestion due to stress or rushed eating. 

Next up comes the more "impact detoxing" methods discussed by yours truly - here's the high-level overview:

JUICING

  • A great way to quickly and efficiently access digestive enzymes from fruits and veggies that are otherwise locked away in the fiber matrix of the whole food version.
  • YES and NO to the argument: "there's no such thing as detoxing". YES our bodies are in a constant state of "detox", BUT there ARE foods (e.g. like cruciferous vegetables) that speed up and help to support these processes.
  • I recommend a cleanse with predominantly GREEN juices (for Toronto folks, there's Live Raw Organic Food Bar and Greenhouse Juices, which both provide impeccable quality cleanses!)

RAW FOOD DIETS

My learnings on this particular topic are attributed to Karen Gilman from Nutrilicious, another RHN & contributor to the Holistic Health Toolkit. Here's what she has to say on the matter...

The raw food diet is based on the belief that the most healthful food for the body is uncooked. Although most food is eaten raw, heating food is acceptable as long as the temperature stays between 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit (the cutoff temperature varies among those in the raw food community).

The potential benefits of a raw food diet include:
• Lowers inflammation
• Increases fibre intake
• Maintains heart health
• Manages cholesterol levels

Trust me, follow her 2-week meal plan in the kit, and you'll discover these & many more benefits for yourself - plus you'll have an excuse to make her raw vegan chili recipe (*pro tip: YOU NEED THIS IN YOUR LIFE!).

INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF)

Ohhhh my personal favourite! Inspired by my lovely friends in California (shout out to Amina Cordano of WholeHearted Juice Co. and Sandra Augustin of SASS Fitness!), this is a new way of eating (and timely NOT eating) that I've become obsessed with. Essentially, it's about designing your eating patterns to ensure that you healthily transition from a fed to a fasted state, so that you can get your body in "burn fat" (rather than "store fat") mode. Sound interesting? Watch this to learn more. Dr. Pamela Fergusson also has some great resources on this diet lifestyle - she's my personal favourite advocate of it because she takes a plant-based approach - yay!

Regardless of how "hardcore" you want to go, it's essential to provide yourself with some TLC during this time (or all the time, that works too).

On that note & without further ado...the green face mask for that #nofilterneeded look:

How do you "cleanse"? Hit me up and share your thoughts here.