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Choosing a Cleanse for Your Health

As we begin a new year, some people turn to cleansing to jump-start themselves into a healthier lifestyle, rid their bodies of toxic buildup and shed a few pounds. Many turn to programs that are based on eating refined powders, drinking only shakes and/or taking pills. There are natural alternatives available, however, which involve eating whole foods that are recognizable in the produce aisle. These whole-foods programs give you equal results, with the added benefit of an easy transition into a new way of eating that supports continued nourishment and weight management. When selecting a cleansing program, choose one that promotes the following:

• Real food – focuses on eating mostly plants, especially on whole fruits and vegetables deep in color and rich in micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals antioxidants and enzymes; suggests eliminating caffeine, alcohol, added sugars and salts, gluten, red meat, dairy.

• Gentle exercise -encourages light exercise, such as walking or gentle yoga.

• Hydration – suggests drinking at least a liter of water a day, along with herbal teas, to help your liver and kidneys flush out toxins.

• Slowing down – advocates clearing extra appointments off the calendar and getting eight to 10 hours of sleep a night and incorporates such tools as breath work and meditation to reduce stress.

• Individual support – provides flexibility to accommodate specific needs, such as allergies, and offers between-meeting contact via phone or email for additional support.

Angela Stanford is a food and nutrition advisor and owner of Vital Nutrition and Wellness, in Danville. She offers personal consultation and classes on wellness and environmental awareness. For more information, call Vital Nutrition and Wellness at 925-389-7107 or visit VitalAndWell.com.

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