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New Year’s Cleanse

After all the holiday indulgences, doing a cleanse is a nice way to get back on track for the new year.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have more specific questions related to your particular health condition, schedule an appointment with your doctor and we can help you get on your way.

What is the best cleanse to do? This depends on what your goals are. If you just want to get back to a healthy diet, a whole foods diet like a Paleo or Whole 30 works just fine. If you have more specific health goals, starting with an elimination diet, anti-inflammatory diet, or other targeted diet helps to get you moving forward.

Do I have to give up coffee? If coffee is the deal breaker – meaning that you’ll skip the cleanse if it means skipping your coffee, then allow yourself 1 cup daily (a cup of coffee is 6oz.) If your adrenals are worn out from all the celebrating, it is best to avoid coffee and drink green tea if you really must have caffeine.

Should I give up gluten? Yes you absolutely should. You may not notice immediate changes when you take gluten out of your diet, because it can take 6 to 8 weeks for the inflammation and irritation that gluten causes in your intestines to heal. In my opinion, the most important thing to keep in mind is that most gluten-free substitutes like crackers and breads have more starch (to help them stick together) and therefore are more likely to mess up your blood sugar. Stick with whole (not milled) grains, such as brown rice, gluten-free oats, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.

What else can I do to support my cleanse?

  • Drink plenty of water — at least two liters/day is a good amount for most people. This is most important!

  • Add fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, miso, yogurt, keifer to your diet. About 1 TBSP every day will help support a healthy digestive tract.

  • Exercise daily. Start gradually and build up to at least 30 minutes daily. Walking is a great way to exercise and you don’t have to buy new gear to do it.

  • Do breathing exercises/meditation/prayer/journaling to support your adrenals and calm down your stress response.

  • Take an epsom salt bath. Besides being a nice way to relax and reward yourself at the end of the day, it can also can relieve muscle aches that sometimes occur during a cleanse.

— Dr. Melissa Minoff

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