So maybe you’ve had a weekend — okay, a week — of overindulgence, and you’re not feeling like your best self. Or, perhaps you’ve realized that you’re a tad more addicted to those fruit leather snacks for kids than you’d like to admit (not that we’re speaking from experience at aSL HQ or anything). Whatever has happened, one thing’s for sure: you want to give your body a reset through a cleanse.
In the past, you’ve probably heard “cleanse” and immediately imagined drinking only green juices or lemon water with cayenne and maple syrup for a few days, snapping angrily at friends and family who insist on chewing in your presence, and having… unusual digestion issues. While it’s true that a juice cleanse has its fair share of health benefits, it’s not the only way to give your system a fresh start. Try one of these options the next time you’re looking for a few days of detoxing (and yes, eating real food is encouraged throughout all of these options).
Cut Out Alcohol
Dry January doesn’t have to happen only once a year. Cutting out alcohol for a weekend, a week, or even a month at a time does wonders for your body, like improving your skin’s appearance, lowering your blood sugar, and decreasing your risk of getting certain kinds of cancer. You’ll also sleep better at night, and you’re likely to lose a few pounds, if that’s what you’re looking for out of a cleanse.
Even more interestingly, according to an NPR report, is that going cold turkey on alcohol for a month usually leads to you drinking less over the next six months (rather than throwing yourself a “welcome back to alcohol” party like you might have expected). That’s probably because you realize that maybe alcohol isn’t essential to social situations, or you genuinely enjoy that sparkling water that replaced your red wine in the evening. You also probably understand how much better you feel when you cut out even the occasional drink with dinner. Either way, an alcohol detox is a win-win when you’re looking for a quick cleanse.
Say Goodbye to Added Sugar
Not to get dramatic over here, but it’s been said that sugar (and processed foods) is the new smoking. Added sugar and overly processed foods are dangerous (and addictive), often leading to diabetes, liver failure, heart disease, and more when consumed in excess.
A sugar-free week accomplishes a few things, health-wise: first, it stabilizes your blood sugar and avoid the dreaded crash-and-burn after sugary snacks. You’ll ideally replace processed foods filled with sugar with those high in healthy fats and protein that provide long-lasting energy.
But aside from how going sugar-free affects your body, it’s also a great mental reminder of just how much shit is added to foods. You can find added sugar in just about anything — marinara sauce, salad dressing, even bread. Taking a week to really read ingredient labels and understand what you’re putting in your body is a perk that’ll last much longer than your sugar-free week.
Enjoy a Digital Detox
Turn off your notifications, block your phone from accessing social media over data, and enjoy a life free of the beeps and boops and pings that keep us tied to our phones all day. A digital detox — even if it’s only for a few hours — allows you to be present in the current moment, with current company.
Use this opportunity to pay attention to what you’re doing, how your body is feeling, and most importantly, how you mental health responds to a few hours (or even a weekend) sans phone. Once you realize the world still spins when your phone is off, we bet you’ll make it a more regular practice.
Give Your Skin a Break from Makeup
Hey, a cleanse doesn’t have to be only about what you put in your body — what you put on your body counts, too. We’re all aboard the cruelty-free and toxic-free beauty life, but there’s something to be said for ditching all makeup for a week. Your skin will enjoy the breather, and you might even look a little younger without foundation and primer falling into the (tiny, fine, almost unnoticeable we SWEAR) lines on your face.
Don’t worry, though — you can keep up your skincare routine during this time. And we have a dare for you that goes along with this “cleanse”: take a selfie every day of your makeup-free face, and try to spend a few minutes finding things you like about yourself. We bet this cleanse will turn into a confidence-booster in no time.
Psst… it’s Week 1 of our #SweatWorkEatPre challenge with PRE Brands, and this week’s focus is on cleansing. Join the free challenge here to get 10% off your EatPre.com order of $150 or more. Together, we’ll learn more about fueling your body for endurance activities, and you’ll also get access to workouts and recipes to help you reach your goals.