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We’re all about treating yourself during the holidays, but there often comes a time where a bit of a detox is necessary.

This year, when we heard that our favorite Holistic Health Coach, Meghan Swidler (known on IG as @thatplantbasedgal), was in the process of writing a book on cleansing and detoxification, we knew we had to tap her for her tips. Read on to see what Meghan had to say.

Question 01

Why is cleansing necessary and important? What does it do for the body?

In short, because the life that we currently live today, especially in the United States, is not the life that nature intended for us.

  • We are eating highly processed and refined foods, refined sugars, and inflammatory seed oils instead of eating single-ingredient, unprocessed whole foods. Nearly 60% of the calories consumed by Americans come from ultra-processed foods, and 86% of products from the top 25 food manufacturers in the US are classified as ultra-processed. Unfortunately, the foods that are the worst for us are also the most easily accessible to us.
  • We don’t drink enough water and consume way too much caffeine and alcohol.
  • We stay indoors way too long, and do not get enough natural sunlight. The average American only spends approximately 6% of their total time outside.

And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Focusing on cleansing and detoxification can really accelerate your path to healing and ultimately allow you to feel like your most vibrant, radiant self from the inside out.

Question 02

What are the foundational pillars of a healthy lifestyle when you’re not cleansing?

Start by focusing on the fundamentals of your food and lifestyle habits.

  • Consume a diet that is rich in plant-based whole foods – organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Limit consumption of processed and highly processed foods, added refined sugars, inflammatory seed oils, and saturated and trans fats.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and establish a regular sleep-wake schedule. Avoid electronics and stimulating activities before bed, and wind down with relaxing activities such as reading or taking a bath.
  • Practice stress management techniques such as breathwork, meditation, yoga, or any other self-care modalities that put you into a relaxed state.
  • Engage in regular physical activity such as walking, running, hiking, or strength training, and spend more time doing it outdoors in nature. Find physical activities that you enjoy and can maintain long-term.

These are foundational pillars for a healthier lifestyle that I recommend following on a daily basis. Incorporating cleansing modalities into your life, however, can really take your health to the next level.

Question 03

How can people fit a cleanse into their lifestyle without being overly restrictive?

I want to be clear here: cleansing is not about deprivation! It’s about giving your body the nutrients it truly needs.

The deeper you get into your cleanse, the more your taste buds, desires, and cravings will change. You will start to look forward to and deeply appreciate the water-rich, fiber-rich, alkaline-rich fruits and vegetables that nourish you and your body.

Question 04

For someone who isn't ready to do a full cleanse, are there any small tips they can incorporate into their day that you recommend?

Yes! Here are a few tips to get started.

  1. Drink cold-pressed vegetable/green juice. By juicing instead of eating mounds and mounds of whole fruits and vegetables, you can ingest the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients very quickly without expending digestive energy to break down the fiber, which has been stripped away through the juicing process.
  2. Consume an abundance of quick-exit foods. These foods – like fresh fruits, fresh raw vegetables, and cooked non- or low-starchy vegetables – are easy for your body to digest. They deeply nourish the body, delivering vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to the body. Lastly, they have fiber that feeds the gut microbiome and acts as an “intestinal broom” to awaken toxic accumulated waste, carrying it out of the body.
  3. Sweat! Sweating helps regulate body temperature and also eliminates certain waste products and toxins through the skin. So, try to sweat every day if you can. You can also explore deep sweating (or hyperthermic conditioning) by way of steam rooms, dry heat saunas, infrared saunas, or epsom or magnesium salt baths. As with anything else, always consult with your primary care physician and/or any healthcare practitioner to determine the most appropriate modality or technique for your needs.

Question 05

For someone that doesn't want to "cleanse”, but is looking to generally reset their health, what resources do you recommend?

I highly recommend my first book – From Within. It’s really a bible to achieve optimal health and will help you adopt a plant-forward food routine, increase your energy and vitality, reduce digestive distress, lose excess weight, and regain your confidence. Also, stay tuned for the launch of my second book focused specifically on cleansing and detoxification in January 2024!

Want more from Meghan? Follow @thatplantbasedgal to get the latest updates on the launch of her next book. If you liked what you read, be sure to share it on social media using #casadesuna.

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