Did you know that a cleanse is the best way to prepare yourself for autumn? As we grow older, we must limit the challenges that naturally come with any change, including that of the seasons.

As a nutrition and lifestyle specialist, I’ve learned that our body is constantly adjusting to our environment, and the more help we give it, the easier the transition should be.

For instance, in the Northern hemisphere we enjoy 22 hours of light in June, which shift to a mere 12 hours of light at the Autumnal Equinox on September 23. With this slow but steady shift from abundant to dwindling daylight hours, your body is adjusting to the degree of light it is exposed to.

This causes a subtle shift in your absorption of natural Vitamin D, a nutrient known for its role in immunity, cancer prevention, calcium absorption, and even mood stability.

Also, for those of you who struggle with fall allergies, you know ragweed and other allergens make their appearance as the length of daylight diminishes and a climate friendly to mold and mildew takes hold, further stressing your body.

You may also find yourself in contact with new germs and seasonal viruses at this time of year. In this very unique period on the planet, concern about social contact and the coronavirus can make one feel especially vulnerable and wanting the best protection and vibrant health possible,

This is where cleansing plays a vital role in preparing for the challenges that come with the change of seasons.

What Is a Cleanse?

A healthy philosophy around cleansing is to look at it not as a fast or a time of deprivation, but as a time for taking gentle good care of yourself and getting yourself in sync with Nature’s fluctuations. Its major focus is on food, but attention to skin, stretching, and sleep should be included in an autumn cleanse.

A cleanse may be loosely defined as a prescribed way of eating for a specific length of time. Beyond that, there are many variations, ranging from liquids only, seasonal, local whole foods with restrictions, bland food with multiple supplements, or colon cleansing and fasting.

I believe your body is highly efficient in its ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste when it is given a proper diet of seasonal local whole foods in a carefully designed menu. That is why I recommend you follow a seasonal local whole foods approach should you choose to do a fall cleanse.

How Is a Seasonal Local Whole Foods Diet Different from an Everyday Good Diet?

In a seasonal cleanse all the food you eat is local and fresh, and the menu is quite limited. It consists of the fruits and vegetables that are local to you and grown organically. It is augmented with whole grains, nuts, seeds, and herbs.

Even if you describe yourself as a nutritious eater, you may already notice the absence of several foods that may be a part of your everyday diet: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, occasional refined sugar, dairy, caffeine, and alcohol.

For this reason, we look at a cleanse as a fairly restrictive diet, one that is designed to load your system with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to boost your immune defenses, and fiber to aid in healthy elimination.

But when you are not cleansing, you may want to expand your food choices and enjoy the variety that comes with a more inclusive diet. Food, after all, should also be for pleasure.

Do You Want to Give Cleansing a Try?

I invite you to read more about cleansing and have your questions answered. In my Wellness and You practice, cleanses are offered seasonally, and you’ll find information about the timing and purpose of each offering.

Mary Beth, a long-time subscriber to our cleanses, recently shared, “I was particularly interested in achieving two things: 1) reduction in the sensation of constant bloating, and 2) losing a bit of weight. What I didn’t anticipate was a complete transformation in the way I feel, and continue to feel, weeks after the official end of the cleanse.”

As noted, there are many types of cleanses, but I think Mary Beth’s experience supports the notion that your body is responsive to the good care you give it through a dedicated seasonal local foods cleanse.

How about you? Have you done a cleanse in the past? What was it like going through it and were there lasting effects? Please join the conversation.

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