Friday, September 6, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: Cleansing from Within

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The latest health craze is surprisingly not about which diet is the best (which is a departure from the norm); instead, the latest rage has been all about cleansing and detoxing. 

There are certain things that we should eliminate from our diets (like sugar), but doing a 100% juice cleanse for three days is probably not the best idea unless you can just sit and relax for three days. 

If you are a busy woman on the go, I truly believe that drinking juice alone for three days this is not the best idea. You may notice a decrease in your energy levels (or more mood swings) - the complete opposite of what you are hoping for.

As a Holistic Health Coach, I support busy women so they can balance their bodies with foods to help improve mood, energy levels and hormones. I believe that restricting our bodies is just another way to torment ourselves, the same way diets torment us!

Most of us are not getting the proper amount of vitamins and minerals from our daily diet. By making modifications to your diet, you can provide your body with the right amount of nutrients through real whole foods.

I know that doesn’t sound as glamorous as the latest juice cleanse, but by balancing your body with real whole foods you will be able to maintain this healthy lifestyle for more than a few days, perhaps even for the rest of your life.

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Signs That Your Body Might Need A Jumpstart
Before you decide to balance your body, take a moment to tune in and see what your body is trying to tell you. Ask yourself if you have felt one or many of these feelings in the past 30 days...

1.  Cravings - you are either craving sugar or salt - nothing seems to satisfy this strong craving
2.  You Feel Exhausted - even though you are getting at least 7 to 8 hours a sleep a night
3.  Increased Body Aches - you keep getting headaches and feel light-headed
4.  Mood Swings - your mood changes more than usual

If you have felt all of these body signs, no worries! That is exactly why I am sharing some healthy tips with you today.

Before we start to cleanse the body, we need to dive a little bit deeper and see what might be causing us to feel this way. There is always a root cause of why we are craving sugar or feeling exhausted and it might not have anything to do with food. By looking at your life through a holistic lense, you can begin to see that maybe you are reaching for that candy bar because you are stressed at work, lonely or tired vs. being solely addicted to sugar.

I always encourage the women I support to use the following questions as a way to check in with their inner emotions and feelings...

·         Do I need to spend more time with my loved ones and less time at work?
·         Have I been able to move my body enough these past few weeks? 
·         Can I limit the amount of stress in my life?
·         Have I been sleeping enough?
·         What foods am I addicted to?

Tuning in to where you are right now is the best way for you to move forward on your health and wellness journey! After all, to complete a journey, we must first know where to begin.

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Why Cleanse The Body?
Depending on your daily diet, you may be consuming more added sugars, gluten, dairy and caffeine than you may realize. Too much of these types of foods can lead to a lack of energy, headaches, bloating and sugar or salt cravings. When we are not feeling our best, we tend to not take as much time for movement, relationships and healthy eating.

When we decide to move forward with a healthy makeover, we should look at more than just the foods that we are eating. A health makeover should encourage you to take a closer look at what is working for you, and what might be working against your body in all areas of your life.

What To Add In
Many of the foods available to us today no longer exist in their natural state. There are so many processed foods, gluten free foods, no fat/low fat foods that are all supposedly healthier for us, but they are missing the essential building blocks needed for our bodies to thrive, like healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

The first step to balancing your body is by consuming real, whole foods. Cleansing should be about adding in the healthiest foods you possibly can to help your body with digestion and to improve your energy levels.

Aim for eating greens at least twice a day, if not more. Adding in a fresh green juice or smoothie would be ideal to get tons of greens into your body. Drink water with lemon throughout the day, add in fresh fruit and veggies, eat whole grains like quinoa and be careful about the meat and seafood you consume. Hormone- free, organic, grass-fed and wild-caught is the best.

Adding in healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil and walnuts is another way to help balance your hormones , not to mention these foods stop your body from craving the unhealthy foods.

What To Take Out
Foods that have sugar, gluten, caffeine and dairy can wreak havoc on your digestive system, zap your body of energy and become very addictive over time. I encourage you to take a close look at your diet, snacks included, to see what you are eating most often or in large quantities. You will probably notice that what you are addicted to are the foods containing sugar, gluten, caffeine or dairy.

When you add in the healthiest food for your body, you end up crowding out the unhealthy foods. It takes about 30 days for your taste buds to change, but you may notice that every day into your journey, you start to crave the sweets less and the greens more.

You will also notice an improvement in your energy levels and digestion by eating real, whole foods and letting go of the sugar, caffeine and dairy. An added benefit is that your skin will have a beautiful healthy glow!

Water Is Key
About 34% of Americans only drink the recommended amount of water during the day - 8 glasses - even though most of us are drinking about 6 glasses of caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda.

Our body is made up of 70% water, and water plays a critical role in every bodily function. Not getting enough water leads to dehydration, and being dehydrated is one of the main reasons we crave sugar.

Dehydration can also cause fatigue, dry skin, and over time, digestive issues.

I encourage you to drink as much water as possible. We all need to drink more water, but some of us might need even more than the recommended amount depending on activity level and climate.

As soon as you get up in the morning, drink a warm cup of water with sliced lemons and continue to drink water throughout the day, drinking the most in the morning and early afternoon. Staying hydrated can help you cleanse the body, improve your energy levels, get rid of toxins and cleanse the skin. 

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Keep A Journal
When you are starting to balance your body, it is important to keep track of how you are feeling. Are you craving certain foods? Are you experiencing food withdrawals in the form of headaches? Are your stress levels lowering? Do you need more support to reach your health goals?

By writing down how you are feeling as you change your diet, you will start to notice what you really need on a daily basis to nourish your body.

If you would like more support balancing your body and cleansing it from the inside out with real, whole foods then check out my Balance Your Body in 28 Days program.

I created this step-by-step nutrition and wellness program for the busy woman on the go, who wants to be healthy but needs support getting there.

This program has simple, delicious recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, allowing you to cook once and eat twice. I provide you with a daily journal, daily motivational emails delivered to your inbox, a "Busy Woman Must-Have Checklist" AND I support you in being healthier at work (plus so many more tools to help you become your healthiest self!).

For more information click here and just for Strictly Nutritious readers, I'm offering 20% off using coupon code Balance13.

Katie Bressack left the corporate world to follow her passion to support busy women through nutrition and lifestyle counseling. Katie works to help implement simple, healthy choices that make a big impact on women’s health. With Katie’s support, the women she coaches lose weight, de-stress, increase their energy levels and reach personal and professional goals in a fun, loving and supportive space.

Katie is a Certified Health and Wellness Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Board Certified by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners (AADP). She  also has a certificate from the Institute of The Psychology of Eating, is trained in The Hormone Cure with Dr. Sara Gottfried and is a Registered Yoga Instructor.

Check out for your free healthy breakfast recipe book and to schedule your complimentary health discovery session. Follow Katie on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @KatieBressack!

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