Everything You Need to Know About Cleansing

If you're feeling less than anxious to throw on that bikini and head to the beach and anything like my friends you've definitely toyed with the idea of doing a cleanse. Sure, healthy dieting and exercising are an absolute must, but sometimes you just need a little jump-start.  Since juicing and cleansing seem to be the new “black” this year, I turned to Nutritionist Heather Bauer, and Founder of to get 411 on cleansing (the true benefits) and most honest tips for beginners.

What type of cleanses would you recommend for a first time "cleanser?"

If you're nervous about trying a cleanse I would recommend trying Organic Avenue. This cleanse gives you 3 - 4 juices throughout the day and then an actual meal for dinner - this way you are not going cold turkey. But if you're ready to go full force, the BluePrintCleanse is a great option. It's very easy to find (sold in Whole Foods) and they are sold separately so you can customize it according to which you like best.

What are the benefits of doing a cleanse?

Cleansing gets rid of all the unhealthy cravings that people have by eliminating caffeine, salt, white refined processed sugars etc. You lose a lot of water weight with a cleanse which makes people feel good and want to continue to eat healthy. It’s a great jump start to a healthier lifestyle.

Who are the right candidates for cleanses?

First and foremost, always check with your doctor first. Generally, a good candidate is someone who is busy and doesn't have time to cook and prepare lots of food. It's someone who feels unhealthy because they haven't been eating properly and is looking for a jump start to lose a good amount of weight.

 What are the common side effects?  Will I feel tired, hungry...?

All of the above. Modify the cleanse if it feels too aggressive. Try it on a weekend so it doesn't affect your current lifestyle. If you're an avid coffee drinker, incorporate a cup of green tea so it's not as difficult of a transition. 

What's are some key ingredients in cleanses and how do they help?

Lettuce, celery, cucumber, kale, parsley, green apple, spinach, cashews, agave nectar and cinnamon are some common ingredients found in a lot of cleanses. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals, nutrients, anti-oxidants, flavanoids, and enzymes that will gently rid your body of impurities, regain an alkaline balance and normalize digestion and metabolism.

How often can you do a cleanse?

This is where people go wrong because they do them too frequently. I wouldn't recommend doing a cleanse more than 2-3 times a year because you wont get optimal results.

Is there anything else I can do to achieve optimal results?

Don't overdo cleanses! Use the cleanse as a segue into healthier eating and an overall healthier lifestyle. Once you're done cleansing, concentrate on eating LESS caffeine, salt and white refined processed sugar and MORE lean proteins, fruits and veggies and healthy grains!


Eat to Be Skinny: The Perfect Salad Formula

You've either heard this statement before or it may surprise you and come off as obnoxious. Either way, it's important to understand because it's true.

Eat to be skinny.  Workout to be fit.

In America, 68% of the population is overweight and while being super skinny isn't attractive, being healthy is.  I met with Nutritionist, Dara Godfrey, to chat about a healthy eating outlook and the truth behind how to properly eat a salad (yes, there's a formula).

When it comes to eating healthy you need to make sure you're getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs to keep your energy levels up and systems in check.  Believe it or not, the perfect salad has fat in it!

"In order for your body to absorb the vitamins and minerals from your salad you need to add a source of fat," comments Godfrey.  "Otherwise, you may be eating lots of veggies, but they're not  being absorbed properly."

For the perfect salad combo, she recommends:

  • dark leafy greens
  • 1 lean protein
  • 3 veggies
  • good fat source

The fat can be anything like a hint of cheese or walnuts to avocado.  Don't let the term "fat" scare you.  It's good fat.

Advice from a Top Nutritionist

Last week I met with nutritionist, Dara Godfrey, and got to pick her brain.  I'm a huge foodie, but am also obsessed with working out and wellness.  It was great to sit down with Dara and get some advice not only on what to eat, but more importantly on how to eat it.  Allow me to share: "If you eat every three to four hours throughout the day it will prevent you from over eating," stated Dara.  "Unless of course, you're not hungry."

Try having three meals and two snacks in between per day. Depending on your needs (every one's different), meals can be between 350-500 calories each and snacks can be almost 200. Dara's not huge on counting calories and believes you should enjoy your food, but know your portions.  (That's why I love her!)

We're all guilty of going for a walk to get out of the office and grabbing a cup of coffee around 4pm when our bodies and minds begin to crash.  Instead, opt for an apple with peanut butter and make it your afternoon snack. The protein and carbs will wake you up and satisfy you longer.

During meals, look at your portion size.  Restaurants always over serve, so watch what you eat.  You should have no more than a fist worth of carbs and your protein should be about 3-6 ounces.  That's about the size of two Blackberries stacked on top of one another.  It's not easy to do when the smallest filet on the menu is about 9 oz.  As far as veggies go, eat away!  Just make sure they're grilled or broiled.

I felt super refreshed and recharged after our session and strongly advise anyone to visit a nutritionist every once in a while to get on track and make sure you stay on track.  If you're in the NYC area, I highly recommend Dara.  You can reach her directly at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @daragodfrey for nutritional advice and great restaurant recommendations.

Cleanse Right

I've done two cleanses in my life. One five day from Organic Avenue where I was able to eat raw food and the other was from Whole Foods that was two weeks, where I had to take about eleven huge pills everyday (let's just say I didn't last the full two weeks). With so many different types of cleanses I was curious to find out the benefits of the different types.

Thinking about trying a cleanse?  I got the scoop from celeb nutritionist, Paula Simpson, on the most appropriate ways to cleanse and what you should expect while you're toughing it out.

"Quick fix cleanses tend to be more harsh on the system and do very little in neutralizing toxins by products and supporting the key eliminative pathways including the skin, liver, kidneys, digestion and lungs," remarked Simpson.

Ideally cleanses should be about ten days long, but if you're doing an eliminative diet or detox program it should last anywhere from two weeks to one month.  These are best if done about three to four times per year. Throughout the first few days of a cleanse you may feel tired, have mild headaches and gastric disturbances.

"Watch out for outrageous claims in weight loss and programs not recommended by credible health professionals," Simpson warned.  Programs should be antioxidant rich with natural ingredients and not too restrictive on eating.  When working with her clients, Simpson encourages both a nutrition and supplement program that work to promote the healthy functioning of the digestive system, liver and support healthy immunity.

A good one to try recommended by Simpson: Glisodin Skin Nutrients Advanced Detoxification Program, because it's very easy to incorporate into your daily routine as it's only two drinks per day for 15 days.