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Are you doing a cleanse for the right reasons?

Cleanses, the idea of giving your digestive track a break for a few days while just consuming prescribed juices and foods, are all the rage in NYC. It’s hard to go to a cocktail party without noticing someone sipping a kale concoction from Cooler or BluePrint Cleanse instead of Sancerre.

But as cleanses become fashionable, are people embarking on them for the right reasons? And is cleansing to drop a few pounds one of them?

In an attempt to know more about when and why to cleanse, we canvassed the city’s cleanse-ascenti for their advice.

Kickstart, a vegan cleansing program with juice and food.

“A cleanse should really be treated as a lifestyle tool, or a re-set button, as we like to call it. But not as a crash diet,” say BluePrint Cleanse founders Erica Huss and Zoe Sakoutis. Others like Yvette Rose, the founder of the KickStart Food Cleanse, agree.  Cleanses backfire as a weight loss plan because you’re losing water weight, not fat. “As soon you resume your regular diet with its sodium and sugar, the weight will come right back on.” Huss and Sakoutis emphasize that a cleanse will won’t give you results unless you adjust your diet  “to maintain the results and benefits of a few days of juicing.”

So what are the right reasons for doing a cleanse? Our panel proposes the following three pretty pure reasons:

1. Spiritual/Investigative
Rose suggests that spirituality plays a role in a successful cleanse. “Cleanses allow you to take a moment to breathe. Yogis cleanse during the change of season and during times of intense mediation and practice.” The reasons can also be practical too—“people often feel they’re eating foods that aren’t sitting well with their digestive system and a cleanse can help the identify the culprit.”

2. Start healthier, conscious eating habits and renewed vitality
Eric Helms, the Cooler Cleanse founder along with Salma Hayek,  says that a “short juice cleanse can be a great way to kick-start healthier eating habits.” Once you’ve spent three days carefully considering every drop of liquid that passes your lips, you’re a lot less likely to scarf down a cookie at 4:00. And because cleanses reduce your sugar and salt cravings, energy levels often skyrocket after a cleanse, says Helms.

3. Inner beauty/outer beauty
And our final good reason—vanity. “The nutrients from fresh juices are great for your skin, nails and hair,” says Helms —Alexia Brue

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6 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. August 13th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    This is such an important post. I get so many questions about cleansing since I’ve done it 4 times now, and so many people are in it for the wrong reasons. Some of the cleanse companies websites even promote less than healthy reasoning. I’m glad you put this post together — cleansing is so effective for giving your body a break, kickstarting a healthier lifestyle and learning to listen to your body. It is not a quick weight loss tool because the weight comes right back as soon as you eat solid food! People need to understand the big picture here. Thanks!

  2. August 18th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I think it’s important to enter into a cleansing lifestyle, and not just assume that a short-term cleanse will fix all your problems. Individuals who are seeking this lifestyle, should go into it, with the knowledge of what a cleanse really is, and the importance of having all the information and support needed to really benefit from this healing tool. As a health counselor, I caution people about the need to ease into this change, and make it a permanent one, rather than just a brief fad dietary attempt. If anyone is looking for information, or assistance with this, please feel free to contact me!
    http://www.rishalondonnathan.com
    [email protected]

  3. August 25th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I would appreciate knowing where I can get cleansing juices for cheaper than $100 a day, or whatever price those delivery services are going for these days. Perhaps someone could offer directions on how a city girl on the go could do a juice cleanse herself for cheap. I have a natural juice store near my work, so that could make it easier.

  4. September 9th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Cleansing is part of a Holistic Lifestyle. Over the course of 12 months of changing my eating and becoming conscious of cleansing my body. I follow the path of the seasons and begin each season with a cleanse since each season we usually change our eating habits. I eat a lot of green leafy veggies. Embracing this new lifestyle has allowed me to reduce 4 dress sizes in 12 months and maintain my optimum body size.

    I assist other busy entrepreneurs with embracing a holistic lifestyle, for more information or simply to connect…http://www.holisticlifestyling.info[email protected]

  5. March 14th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

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  6. March 29th, 2012 at 6:30 am

    [...] up juice. In part, because it's meant to last forever Cleanses are usually meant to give your body a break from less-than-ideal eating habits. A few days and you’re done. But Urban Detox Club, a new [...]

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