Topics » In The Kitchen » Continual Cleansing for Optimal Health and Vitality
T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

Do you have difficulty waking up in the morning and find that you have low energy all day long? Are you unable to concentrate at work, feel sluggish and depressed? Do you suffer from poor digestion, bloating or constipation? If so, you could be a good candidate for a cleanse. Cleansing your body of accumulated toxins may help you gain energy and improve overall health. Many people report more clarity, greater alertness, over-whelming joy, and incredible insight after a cleanse.

A simple test you can do to determine whether you would benefit from a cleanse is to eat a few leaves of a dark leafy green vegetable such as kale or down a couple of shots of fresh wheat grass juice. If you can get it down without cringing, then chances are your system is already alkaline. If however, these foods taste horribly bitter and nearly cause a gag reflex, you will certainly benefit from a cleanse.

There are many excellent articles and books dedicated to cleansing so I won’t get too much into the details in this article. What is interesting to note, however, is that all of them prescribe complete abstinence from animal based foods and focus solely on plant-based nutrition during the cleansing process. My take on this is that if you feel so good after a cleanse, then why not adopt a continual cleansing type diet? That’s what I call The Thrive Diet, a common-sense, simple approach to eating that is based on plant-based whole foods.

Once you have completed the cleanse of your choice, you will likely feel much better and you won’t want that great feeling to go away. So how to you extend and expand upon these cleansing benefits for long term optimal health and vitality? Start by consuming lots of raw, alkaline forming fruits and vegetables. Eaten on a regular basis, these foods will start the natural transition process away from processed foods that cause the body to become acidic.

At first, however, the body will not naturally crave green foods when it is accustomed to processed and refined foods. You have to simply begin adding more raw natural plant-based foods to your diet. In the beginning, add the green foods but don’t subtract anything. Over time, you will naturally and painlessly have less interest in eating processed foods. At this point you can simply fill up on more foods that you desire. I know this sounds overly simplistic but it is a scientific fact that when the body has all its nutritional needs fulfilled, cravings will dramatically decline.

To get to the point where you no longer have to restrain yourself from eating unhealthy food is a great feeling and a telltale sign that your body is cleansing itself and making a smooth transition to a much healthier lifestyle that takes considerably less willpower than you could possibly imagine. Constantly fighting cravings is not a mentally healthy way to live so changing the perception of what your body desires is fundamental to breaking cravings permanently.

A good way to get more fruit and vegetables into your diet is by making smoothies at home and drinking them as snacks or meals. Beginning your day with a smoothie made with alkaline forming, plant-based whole food ingredients is one of the best ways to get the body going, providing clean burning, easy to use fuel to jumpstart your day.

Smoothies are easy and convenient to prepare and can pack a lot of nutrition into a glass – plus their great taste appeals to almost all palates. It is important to note that though there are umpteen yummy smoothie recipes out there, some are much healthier than others. Whereas many smoothies contain mostly carbohydrates, I like my smoothies to contain all the elements of a complete meal including protein and EFAs.

Try following my basic guidelines for an ideal smoothie

  1. Ensure only plant-based ingredients are used to benefit from continual cleansing
  2. Use ripe whole fruit and fruit juices for flavour and sweetness rather than adding sugar or artificial sweeteners
  3. Incorporate multiple sources of protein for a balanced amino acid profile
  4. Add source of Omega-3 & 6 EFAs for their countless health benefits
  5. Try adding some green foods to pack in extra servings of vegetables

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