How to do a #healthynotperfect five-day day gentle cleanse

Founder of The Beauty Chef, Carla Oates shares her tips for a no nonsense, but gentle cleanse. 

Our 5-Day Cleanse & Reset has been created to show you how in less than a week you can begin to transform your health and wellbeing and support your body’s natural detoxification processes by making a few simple diet and lifestyle tweaks.

Whether you’ve enjoyed a little too much fun and frivolity over the weekend and are looking to kickstart your week on a clean and green foot—or you’re simply keen to start incorporating some healthier diet and lifestyle practices into your everyday routine, we’ve got you covered.

Every tip below, curated by The Beauty Chef, is grounded in science and will help to support your body’s natural cleansing processes—from the inside and out. Give these tips a try for 5 days and we promise, you’ll be feeling lean, clean and green in no time!

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1. Boost your hydration

We already know that drinking plenty of filtered water each day is essential for good health—but staying well-hydrated is also vital for healthy digestion. Helping to support regular bowel motions and assist the passage of food through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, drinking plenty of water helps your body cleanse itself and eliminate waste and toxins.

When you’re feeling fatigued, sluggish and bloated, there’s a good chance your body is retaining these excess waste products— putting extra burden on your detoxification systems, as well as your skin. Try to aim for around 3 litres of water each day.

2. Load up on fibre

More than any other food group, fibre helps to nourish your digestive system and support healthy cleansing. While our bodies have three stages of detoxification, it’s during the final stages that fibre plays a key role—binding to toxins in the bile and gut, assisting with elimination.

Eating an abundance of fibre also ensures that we are producing enough short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)—anti-inflammatory compounds which proliferate when dietary fibre ferments in the colon. These nourishing compounds not only ensure our gut lining remains robust and healthy, but they also support our immune system— which is vital as 70% of our immune system resides in our gut.

3. Ditch gut-compromising foods

While it’s essential to focus on what you can enjoy, rather than what you should avoid during a cleanse—it’s also important to give your body the best possible opportunity to do its job effectively. Both gluten and dairy can contribute to irritation and inflammation in the gut—which is why we recommend removing both from your diet during your 5-Day Cleanse & Reset.

Gluten and lectins found in wheat are linked to increased gut permeability and leaky gut—while dairy contains lactose and casein, which can both contribute to digestive and skin issues, in some people³. It’s also important to steer clear of refined sugars, alcohol and caffeine (if possible!) for the duration of your Reset so that your body’s elimination organs have the opportunity to rest, repair and focus on effective detoxification.

4. Favour fermented foods

Probiotic-rich fermented foods are not only essential for a healthy gut—helping to encourage microbial diversity and combat inflammation—but they also help to support our body’s natural detoxification pathways by neutralising certain chemicals and toxins so that they don’t have to then be processed by the liver.

Fermented foods—such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt and miso—are also naturally high in digestive enzymes which further support digestion, helping to break down nutrients so that they are more easily assimilated by the body.

5. Dry body brush

Dry body brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic system—a key part of the body’s immune and detoxification systems—which assists in the transport and removal of wastes from the cells. When we’re sick, run down or exposed to lots of chemicals and toxins, our lymph system can slow down— leaving us even more vulnerable to fatigue and infection.

But by helping to keep this system flowing effectively, you can help to support effective detoxification and boost your body’s ability to fend off pathogens.

6. Move mindfully

Just as dry body brushing can assist with stimulating your lymphatic system—so too can regular exercise! But don’t worry, you don’t have to don your joggers and pound the pavement to feel the benefits. Gentle practices such as yoga, Pilates and walking are all great ways to practise mindful movement and help to stimulate lymphatic flow.

7. Eat the rainbow

We all know that fruits and vegetables are an important part of any healthy, balanced diet—but to really reap the rewards, it’s essential to consciously eat as many colourful varieties as possible. Where possible, opt for dark blue, purple or red fruits and veggies—including purple carrots, sweet potato, beetroot and berries—as these are richer in antioxidants.

As our body detoxes, our liver produces free radicals— which can damage cells and contribute to ageing—which is why anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich foods play such a key role in supporting our body’s natural cleansing processes as they scavenge and mop up these potentially damaging molecules.

8. Go Green

Every day we come into contact with countless chemicals and toxins in our environment that are either ingested or absorbed through our skin—which all contribute to our “toxic load”. While our body works hard to help eliminate and detoxify from these harmful substances, it can easily become overloaded.

One of the easiest ways to help reduce our toxic load however, is by turning to clean and green cleaning products in our home. By swapping harsh, chemical-laden products for plant-derived, natural products, we can ease the burden on our body’s natural cleansing processes even further. If you’re unsure where to start, it’s best to avoid anything that contains: phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), parabens and synthetic colours or fragrances.

9. Detox your beauty cabinet

Just as cleaning products contribute to our “toxic load”, so too do the beauty products that we choose to use. In fact, many chemicals used in skincare and makeup products are considered dangerous in high concentrations and can not only overload our body’s natural detoxification processes, but also disrupt our delicate endocrine system⁵.

By making the switch to green, Certified Organic and natural products however, you can ease the burden on your hardworking elimination organs and also reduce your risk of skin irritations and allergic reactions.

10. Focus on sleep

Getting enough high-quality shut-eye does more than leave us feeling rested and recharged—good sleep actually supports our body’s ability to detox itself, too, helping to remove any toxic substances and wastes that may have accumulated during the day.

If we find ourselves feeling sleep deprived, however, this natural process can be disrupted and toxins and wastes that would otherwise be eliminated, can build up in our system. To help boost your ability to snooze well, focus on creating an environment that helps to induce sleep.

Aim to keep your bedroom dark, quiet and cool, avoid stimulating melatonin-blocking blue light from your devices in the evenings and ensure you don’t eat or exercise too close to bedtime.

Carla Oates is the founder of The Beauty Chef which has just launched their new product, Cleanse Supercharged. Designed to be enjoyed daily, CLEANSE is a bio-fermented super-greens powder to help the body realign and support your body’s natural cleansing processes. Containing nutrient dense wholefoods, fibre from green banana starch and Jerusalem artichoke, choline to aid liver function and fat metabolism, as well as digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy belly—CLEANSE is a supercharged dose of green goodness.