All About Cleansing – Our First of Four 10-day Cleanses 2

Day 7 of Juice Feasting Cleanse

Day 7 of Juice Feasting Cleanse

This year we are doing four 10-day cleanses, each timed with an equinox or solstice.

I’ve heard it’s good to cleanse 1 day for every year you have lived, and this year I will have gone around the sun 40 times.  Woo hoo!  In celebration I am honoring my body (and mind) with some self-designed cleanses … so of course I’m going to share them with you. 🙂

My mate Dan is choosing to go on this journey with me because, as he says, “I like to do what you do.”  Also, since I’m the primary creator of delicious eats in our house, it’s easy for him to drink what I drink and it’s also easier for me to make juice for two than for one.  I love how things have that way of working out wonderfully for us.

We are starting with the vernal (spring) equinox for our first cleanse.  With the change of the seasons from winter into spring it’s natural to feel inspired to do a little spring cleaning – inside and outside of your body.  I love what my friend Rick The Health Sleuth says about equinox cleansing:

“Equinoxes represent renewal as the seasons change; and the body’s internal clock recognizes them and proceeds to undertake its natural cleansing and detoxification processes during that time.  The vernal equinox is an excellent time to do an herbal cleanse, juice feast, water fast, juice fast, kidney flush, liver and gallbladder flush, or whatever other detoxification process that one feels called to try.”

To help you intuit and decide what to incorporate into your next cleanse, I’ve described below (in this now quite long post/article!) what I think about some of the cleansing options I’m aware of, followed by the guidelines I used for our “2012 Vernal Equinox Cleanse

Elimination Systems To Cleanse

Your body has 5 major systems for eliminating the “stuff” (toxins included) that it doesn’t have use for:

  • Digestive tract
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Lymph
  • Skin

Ideally you’ll cleanse all of these systems so that you don’t overload one while cleansing another.  Sometimes one of these systems may be a bit more clogged up though and therefore require it’s own special cleanse …


Salt Flush For Digestive Tract and Cellular Cleanse

Every day we use our digestive tract to remove the stuff we don’t require.  It’s called pooping. 🙂

If you’re constipated or have any other difficulties with your small intestine and colon then your body is not easily getting all the nutrients it requires to function and it’s more work to let go of the toxins and stuff you might release on a cleanse.

SunFire Salt

SunFire Salt

For maintenance, eating raw fruits, vegetables and seeds (especially chia seeds in a gel form and hemp seeds) helps to keep your colon clear and functioning well.  Adding in probiotics (we like Salivarius) that help to break down the foods is also great for your colon.

And for a digestive tract cleanse, I really like the Salt Flush.  It’s simple, requires maybe half a day (if that) of staying near the bathroom, and gives a good flush to your entire digestive tract: stomach, intestines and colon.  Here’s the post where I describe in detail how to do the Salt Flush.

You can also get things moving in your colon with enemas.  I’ll talk more about that later as part of the “All Systems Cleanses” because when you’re cleansing all the systems you may want to double-check and be sure everything’s out of there. 🙂



Liver / Gallbladder Cleansing

In 2009 I did a series of Liver Cleanses based on the guidance in Andreas Moritz’s awesome book [amazon-product text=”The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse” type=”text”]1569756066[/amazon-product].  I got a lot of gallstones out and was complete after 5 months of doing the cleanses on a monthly basis.  I did the liver/gallbladder cleanse once again last year because I felt inspired and called to do it.  I didn’t have much come out which was confirmation for me that my liver is doing great.

I HIGHLY recommend the liver cleanse as one of the first cleanses you do.  Your liver is the major filter for toxins in your body, and if it’s clogged, then other cleanses can get a little complicated because the liver has to work harder to process the toxins you are likely to release in a cleanse.  Not cleansing your liver is kind of like driving your car around without ever cleaning the fuel filter.

[amazon-product image=”″ tracking_id=”lovingsuperfoods-20″ type=”image”]1569756066[/amazon-product]When you get the book [amazon-product text=”The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse” type=”text”]1569756066[/amazon-product], you’ll be amazed to read about the many health conditions (like allergies, asthma, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, sore muscles, skin disorders, cancer, MS, Alzheimers, and more!) that may be indicators of excessive gallstones clogging up the liver.  Yes, gallstones are formed in the liver and then some make their way to the gallbladder.

If you’ve never done a liver cleanse, you’ve eaten processed foods, or you have some dis-ease symptoms that are bothering you, I highly recommend starting with a liver cleanse.


Kidney Cleanse

I usually incorporate kidney cleansing into my “All Systems Cleanses” because I’ve never had any challenges with my kidneys.  If you experience urinary infections, kidney stones, lower back pain (where your kidneys live), or you are often dehydrated, then you may feel called to do a kidney-specific cleanse.

Most kidney cleanses use herbs.  Andreas Moritz describes in his [amazon-product text=”The Liver and Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse” type=”text”]1569756066[/amazon-product] book a 20-day kidney cleanse that uses a specific list of herbs and how to brew and take them.

[amazon-product image=”″ tracking_id=”lovingsuperfoods-20″ type=”image” ]B000EJPDGS[/amazon-product]You can often find kidney cleanse teas in natural grocery stores (look in the tea section for Traditional Medicinals brand as one option).  And you may find Uva Ursi herb in capsule form.

You can also make an infusion of nettle leaf and horsetail herbs – great diuretics that gently cleanse the kidney without losing electrolytes.  The horsetail is a bit bitter, so the nettle leaf helps to balance it.  I get all my herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs.  To make an infusion of leafy herbs put 1 Cup of the herbs (1/2 cup each) in a quart size glass jar with a lid.  Fill the jar up with boiling water, close the lid and cover the jar with a towel to keep in the warmth as it sits for about 4 hours or overnight.  Strain the liquid (compost the leaves) and you’ve got infusion!  Drink it throughout the day.  Kept in the fridge it will last for about 2 days.  You can also drink this infusion as an ongoing maintenance for your body.


Lymph Cleanse

Your lymph system is a really neato combination of channels of clear fluid and lymph nodes that helps to clean your blood.  Challenges with your adrenal glands (stressed out, trouble sleeping, waking up in the middle of the night) often indicate a blockage in your lymph system.

I once had a more severe blockage in my lymph system, created from a massage that rubbed my lymph the wrong way – go figure!  I experienced tenderness around some of my major lymph nodes (arm pits and groin) and my skin was super sensitive – almost like I had a sunburn and clothing hurt to touch my skin, but I had no redness or sunburn.

If you feel called to focus on a lymph cleanse there are several things you can do – or all of them!


Vitalize Herbal Cleanser

VitalizeThe Vitalize Herbal Lymph Cleanser is especially helpful if you are experiencing interrupted sleep.  When the valves in your lymph system are clogged it’s very difficult for them to re-open and let the lymph flow since the valves open into the flow of the lymph channel.  Essentially the clogged valve is exacerbated as the lymph fluid is attempting to flow.

When your lymph fluid isn’t flowing, your adrenals kick in and inspire your body to move around (since that’s usually what causes your lymph fluid to flow).  So, you go to sleep and then after a few hours, your body notices that the lymph fluid isn’t flowing on its own and your adrenals wake you up in an attempt to get you to move around.  Not that moving will help at this point, because the valve is clogged. Ugh.

The herbs in the Vitalize capsules dissolve the crud that clogged the lymph valves in the first place, allowing the fluid to flow freely and you to sleep through the night.  I often take Vitalize while I’m doing other cleanses to give my lymph a little extra support since most of the toxins I’m releasing are likely to be floating around in my blood stream looking for a way out.



Light movement is how your lymph fluid flows and flow is good for keeping those toxins moving out of your body.  Rebounding means light jumping on a trampoline or seated bouncing on an exercise ball.  This gentle movement keeps the lymph fluid pumping.  This is a great maintenance practice to do daily or when you think of it. 🙂


Dry Skin Brushing

You can support your lymph system’s flow by doing dry skin brushing.  Before you take a shower, use a [amazon-product text=”stiff bristled skin brush” type=”text”]B0006433MM[/amazon-product] and lightly brush your skin from your toes towards your groin (where major lymph nodes live), from your belly button down to your groin, and from your belly button up towards your arm pits (where other major lymph nodes live).  This is another great maintenance practice to do daily or when you think of it. 🙂


Lymphatic Massage

When I had that weird “sunburn without a sunburn” effect and a sore lymph node in my groin I finally turned to lymphatic massage to clear it.  Lymphatic massage is a specialty (find a specialist!) that helps to get the lymph fluid moving and in the right directions.  My friend Doran Rhoads is such a specialist and just one session with her was all I required to feel better again.  She says that sometimes people feel awesome afterwards (like I did) or they feel like they’ve got a cold or flu for a day or two as the lymph movement is busy clearing out the toxins.  Either way, if you’ve got lymph challenges going on, lymphatic massage really sets things right.


Skin Cleansing

king spa

King Spa Yellow Clay Soil Room

Do you sweat?  If not, then find a way to sweat.  It’s your skin’s way of eliminating toxins and clogged pores, dehydration, or other skin challenges can block this vital elimination process.  Eczema, acne and other skin ailments can also be a sign that your skin and other elimination systems are over-taxed and need some cleansing, not to mention improved ongoing support (eat raw superfoods!!).

I cleanse my skin with dry skin brushing mentioned above – it’s good for the lymphatic system and it gently exfoliates the dead skin cells.  I also use only natural products on my skin: coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil and natural makeups (which I rarely apply).

I’m also a huge fan of saunas, steam rooms and Korean spas.  Look for a Korean spa near you – they are a real treat for your skin and your whole body.  They have heated rooms of many flavors that definitely get you to sweat.  In Dallas, I use King Spa about once a month or once a quarter at the minimum.


All Systems Cleanses

If you don’t have any particular elimination system that seems to be causing you trouble and you want a more general cleanse that addresses your whole body and all its systems, here are some options we’ve explored with my notes on what I liked and didn’t like.  Lastly is what we did for our 2012 Vernal Equinox Cleanse – an all systems cleanse.


Master Cleanse

You may have heard of this as the lemonade cleanse.  It’s essentially drinking this mixture of lemon juice, warm water, molasses and cayenne.  And that’s it.  No other foods but water.  You drink the lemonade whenever you’re hungry – ideally at least 5-6 times a day and probably more.

The idea is that by giving your body the bare minimum nutrients to survive your body will do it’s job of cleansing, while you can still go about your daily activities.

It works.  And it’s a very intense and tough cleanse to do.  I don’t recommend it for newbies and frankly, I doubt I’ll do one again.  Dan and I did this 10 day Master Cleanse in 2010 and I was so tired of the taste of lemons by the end of it, I was really ready for other foods.  The results were good; the process was just more challenging than I care to repeat.

Here’s the blog post where we talk more in depth about our experience on the Master Cleanse (with some great tips and recipes on ways to support yourself while cleansing and additional thoughts for how to come out of a cleanse).


Juice Fast / Juice Feast

I prefer to call a juice fast a juice feast, because I prefer to focus on the awesomeness of drinking juiced fruits and veggies whenever I want (feasting) rather than the not-eating-food idea (fasting).

A juice feast gives your colon a break by not consuming any fiber.  This is especially great if you have hemorrhoids or any other colon challenges.  Giving your colon a break can allow your body to do repair work.

Juicing lots of fruits and veggies reboots your body with a large dose of micro-nutrients (all those vitamins and minerals your body maintains and repairs itself with).  I consider this an upgrade to the Master Cleanse idea because you get a good variety of nutrients (not the bare minimum) and you can change the flavors of what you drink (YAY!).

[amazon-product image=”″ type=”image”]B004O63TX6[/amazon-product]You can do a juice feast for one day to 10 days.  Some people have done it even longer (with supervision) as a way to cure diseases and lose a lot of weight.  A great documentary to inspire and inform you about juice feasting is [amazon-product text=”Fat Sick & Nearly Dead” type=”text”]B004O63TX6[/amazon-product] that follows Joe Cross on his 60 day juice feast and others he inspires to juice feast along the way.

Dan did a 7 day juice feast that involved drinking 4 quarts of mostly dark green veggie juices a day.  He enjoyed the juices (especially when he added a little Thai chili pepper to the juice) and was very ready to have some “chew food” by the end of it.  He lost some weight, healed some stuff that was going on with his colon at the time, and felt really good afterwards.

If you do a juice feast for more than 1 day, I highly recommend getting past the 3 day mark at a minimum, 7-10 days being ideal.  The first 2-4 days are often when your body does the most detoxifying (and you feel the worst).  Once past that hurdle, you get to experience amazing energy and clarity of thought on a juice feast.  See below for juice recipes and how we combined juice feasting and other micro-nutrient superfoods into our 2012 Vernal Equinox Cleanse.


Raw Food Cleanse

If you’re new to cleansing, a raw food cleanse is a gentler way to get started on a 7-10 day cleanse.  You’ll still drink plenty of juices, but you can add to that things like green smoothies (have fiber in them) and other raw foods like flax crackers, chia pudding, and even some fats like coconut oil and avocado and nuts (go sparingly!).

Chocolate BlissWe accidentally did a raw food cleanse when we discovered Chocolate Bliss and the SunFire Super Foods line of raw foods.  We were new to the whole idea of raw foods and had been so inspired by David Favor (the creator of SunFire Super Foods) and the taste of Chocolate Bliss that we bought one of everything.  In the process of trying stuff out, we kind of forgot about cooked food and ate only raw superfoods for about 5 days.  We both noticed that we had a lot more focused energy available, especially in contrast to the brain fog and sluggishness we felt when we ate some chicken wings at the end of the week.  🙂

You can find LOTS of raw food recipes on our blog.  I suggest you limit or avoid the desserts as they tend to have a lot more heavy fats in them which aren’t as cleansing to your body.  It’s OK to have a few, and anything raw you eat is going to be a huge improvement over eating processed cooked foods.

Since a raw food cleanse is gentler, you’re less likely to experience the “3-day detox effect” that seems so common with juice feasting and other cleanses.  And if you do, see below for my tips on overcoming some of the challenges of cleansing.


Our 2012 Vernal Equinox Cleanse

Finally, with all the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from eating our raw superfoods and cleansing in different ways, here’s what we did for our 10 day Vernal (Spring) Equinox Cleanse:



We’ve been around the block, so I didn’t feel the need to have strict rules for our cleanse – just guidelines of mostly juicing with some added fiber and protein sources thrown in when our bodies indicated a craving in that direction.

I believe that one of the hugest benefits of eating raw superfoods and cleansing is your ability to get more in touch with your own body’s wisdom and intuition.  Admittedly, when you’re new to the journey you may desire some guidelines to keep you on track and away from those old habitual cravings for cooked processed foods.  And it’s also OK for it to be a gentle, gradual transition, upgrading where you can as you go.


To further inspire you, here’s the list of what we ate with links to recipes as available:


Juices & Smoothies

Here’s the list of what I made.  I didn’t always describe the amounts because juicing feels to me more like an art than a science.

If you’re new to the art, try juicing one each of your ingredients, stir and taste it to determine how much more of anything to add. Also, lemon and lime juices are great for balancing flavors, especially dark greens.


  • Orange carrot ginger bee pollen hemp juice / smoothie for breakfast. Sunshine in a glass! (aka Orange Creamsicle)

    Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

    Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

  • Carrot cucumber garlic juice with a little Blue-Green Algae stirred in
  • Apple cucumber bok choy lemon.
  • Breakfast: grapefruit followed by green smoothie of coconut water mango banana swiss chard and pine pollen
  • Celery cucumber bok choy apple lemon swiss chard kitchen sink juice. Oh I left out the kitchen sink 🙂
  • Breakfast: orange pineapple ginger juice. Zing!!!
  • Carrot bok choy garlic and lime
    Not Dan’s favorite, but I liked it. I juiced half a clove of garlic and that was still a bit too much. Having just tasted Whole Food’s super-smooth juices they make fresh daily in their produce department, I think this one would have been even awesomer if I had strained it … I had a bit of carrot pulp at the bottom of the glass.  I do LOVE bok choy in juices – makes them taste really smooth and savory-like.
  • Extra zingy breakfast of pineapple orange ginger juice with extra ginger. Oh yeah baby! Day 4 of the feast cleanse is here!
  • Watermelon Mint Juice

    Watermelon Mint Juice

    Watermelon mint juice. Yep, rind included
    This is a really simple one: cut the watermelon into slices that fit into the juicer. Do not remove the rind – it will juice too. Add about a handful of mint to the juicer between slices of watermelon. Enjoy!
    Other variations we really like are watermelon-basil and watermelon-basil-thai pepper for a little extra kick!

  • Cucumber, bok choy, onion, celery, apple, pear, lemon. Strained.
  • Orange mango lemon juice with 1 kent mango and 1 champagne mango.
    Champagne mangos are smaller with yellow skin and taste just a little bit bubbly in your mouth 🙂
  • Orange, carrot, orange bell pepper, mixed salad greens juice blended with hemp seeds and bee pollen and salivarius probiotic. Another yumm!
  • Zucchini, celery, apple, pear, ginger, mint juice. Mmmmmmm
  • Orange, carrot, apple and lots of ginger. Zowie!!
    3 oranges, 1 small apple, 4 big carrots and about 2″ ginger
  • Cucumber Aloe Juice

    Cucumber Apple Aloe Greens Juice

    Cucumber, apple, mint, kale and swiss chard greens and a little bit of the inside of an aloe leaf. oh yeah baby!

  • Cantaloupe juice: 1 cantaloupe = 2 glasses of juice
    Didn’t repeat this one – it was really sweet and I prefer to eat my cantaloupe whole
  • Orange ginger juice blended with banana blueberry and bee pollen
  • Beet tops, carrot, celery, cilantro, apple, lime. Strained.
  • Orange, yellow bell pepper, cilantro and mixed salad greens.
  • Orange mango peach bee pollen smoothie.
  • Watermelon straight up. Yumm!
  • Beet, orange, carrot, cabbage. It’s very beet. Next time do less beet and more orange
  • Zucchini, celery, apple, pear, ginger, mint juice

    Zucchini, celery, apple, pear, ginger, mint juice

    Apple, celery, cucumber, cabbage, cilantro, ginger, lemon

  • Green smoothie breakfast: coconut water, bananas, peaches, blueberries, and mixed salad greens including cilantro and arugula. Yummy!
  • Apple, celery, cabbage, fennel, beet stems and a dash of lime. Strained. The lime totally makes it awesome!
  • Pink smoothie: orange pineapple juice blended with banana and strawberries (with their green leafy tops).
  • Orange carrot beet juice. Strained. Got my proportions just right this time: 3 oranges, 8 medium sized carrots, 1 small beet. Super tasty and smooth!
  • Pineapple, champagne mango, cilantro juice. Zowie!



  • When juicing oranges, cut the outside orange rind off, but leave the white pith as much as possible. If they were organic, I might consider using the peel a little bit too, but that adds quite a bitter taste.
  • Orange Carrot Beet Juice

    Orange Carrot Beet Juice

    When juicing beets, keep in mind that they can detox your liver FAST which may mean headache, nausea and even throwing up (I learned that the hard way – ugh).  Start slow.  If it’s a medium or large beet, try just juicing a quarter of it.  Remember that the beet tops can be juiced too, and those stems are just as powerful as the root.  Also, beet is really fibrous so you’ll probably want to strain it.

  • Cilantro is great for chelating (extracting and trapping and ushering out) metals from your body.  If you have metal fillings (mercury) in your teeth get them replaced by an experienced dentist and then start consuming lots of cilantro.  I had mine replaced way back when and I still include cilantro in my cleanses to great effect.
  • From my friend Courtney who was cleansing at the same time as me:  Chickweed is an AWESOME springtime green smoothie green! You can load it up and it still tastes great, unlike many wild greens!
  • And here’s another juice recommended by a Facebook friend who was following my journey: a dark green and a light green such as a bunch of spinach or kale and a bunch of romaine, about 6 carrots, 6 celery stalks, ginger, garlic, lemon, and beet. It’s spicy and savory and the lemon is a MUST – cuts the green taste but adds that zip!




The basics for making a raw soup are to blend savory veggies together, like how you create a green smoothie, and then chop a few veggies on top.  Once the soup is blended, all the flavors combine – which makes a great soup base, but is really boring if you don’t add some textured flavors into it.

Interestingly the combination of tart apple slices and sweet baby tomatoes halved worked really great in each of these soups:



Herbal Infusions & Decoctions

I’ve been learning and playing with super herbs for the past 6 months or so and I enjoyed incorporating these into my cleanse and into my raw soups.

Here are a few of the variations I was sipping on throughout my cleanse:

  • Nettle Leaf Infusion
  • Nettle Leaf & Oat Straw Infusion
  • Nettle Leaf, Oat Straw & Horsetail Infusion (bitter, but good for kidneys)
  • Fo Ti Decoction (tastes a bit like miso soup, especially when munching on Dulse Seaweed at the same time)
  • Astragalus Decoction
  • Astragalus, Shatavari Decoction
  • Astragalus, Cat’s Claw, Pau D’Arco, Licorice Root & Ginger Root decoction


Nettle Infusion

Nettle Infusion

I get all my herbs online from Mountain Rose Herbs.

To make an Infusion of leafy herbs put 1 Cup of the herbs in a quart size glass jar with a lid.  Fill the jar up with boiling water, close the lid and cover the jar with a towel to keep in the warmth as it sits for about 4 hours or overnight.  Strain the liquid (compost the leaves) and you’ve got infusion!  Drink it throughout the day.  Kept in the fridge it will last for about 2 days.

To make a Decoction of root or bark herbs put a total of 2 large handfuls worth of the herbs into a large pot with about 2-3 quarts of pure water.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 3-4 hours or until the water is about 3/4ths of what you started with.  Strain out the herbs and save them for a second batch (roots and barks are easily brewed twice).  You can drink a decoction warmed or cool.  Kept in the fridge it will last for about 6 days.


Overcoming Challenges of Cleansing

As I mentioned, the first 3 days of a cleanse are often when the most of your detox symptoms are going to show.  I’ve experienced things like mild headaches, low energy, requiring more sleep, mood swings, body aches and pains, and foul smelling poo.

While detox symptoms can be unpleasant to experience, they’re also a great sign that it’s working!  Here’s what I do to ease the process:


  • Give myself more time to rest and soothe myself for the first 3 days of the cleanse.  As one of my Facebook friends said, “next time I’ll start the cleanse over the weekend!” 🙂
  • Drink plenty of water to help the toxins flush out
  • Take [amazon-product text=”Epsom Salts” type=”text”]B0064GBCL0[/amazon-product] baths to ease sore muscles and help my skin detox
  • Drink peppermint tea and put lavender essential oil on my temples to address headaches
  • Watch movies: inspiring documentaries like [amazon-product text=”Fat Sick & Nearly Dead” type=”text”]B004O63TX6[/amazon-product]Primal Digest Enzymes, uplifting movies and movies that make me laugh.  All help to distract, soothe and inspire.
  • Sleep
  • Be easy with myself, love myself, and ask for and receive hugs.
  • Receive some body work: massage, energy work, visit the Korean spa
  • Increase my doses of Primal Digest Enzymes, Vitalize, MSM and Vitamin C to help my body process the toxins out quickly.
  • Add a little fiber in to help my body move things out through my colon
  • Get some sunshine for increasing my mood and my vitamin D
  • Do a Thymus Pump to boost and reset my immune system.  Rhythmically tap your chest with both hands about 2 inches below your collar bone while looking up and smiling and thinking happy thoughts.  This is a great daily maintenance practice too.


Baking Soda Enemas

enema bag

enema kit

If you’re cool with trying an enema, I highly suggest using them to ease your detox symptoms and help your body cleanse.  Enemas clean out your colon where a lot of toxins are simply waiting to exit.  Getting them out sooner can ease a lot of the aches and sore muscles that often comes with cleansing.

In the past I’ve done Coffee Enemas (see our Master Cleanse post for how to do these) and I really like them for supporting my liver and completely erasing all the aches and pains.  They also give you LOTS of energy because of the caffeine in your colon, so do them earlier in the day. 🙂

The baking soda enema is also awesome for removing aches and pains.  I had some lower back / tailbone pains this cleanse that were gone once I did the baking soda enema.

The other cool thing about baking soda is that it creates an alkaline environment, so when the acidic toxins are released they are way less likely to burn your rear (another good one for those of you with hemorrhoids).


Here’s the recipe:

1 Tbsp Baking Soda dissolved in 2 Quarts warm water (aim for 103 degrees)

Pour the liquid into your [amazon-product text=”enema bag” type=”text”]B001F5XFDI[/amazon-product] (available at most drug stores) and put a little coconut oil on the tip for easy insertion.

Place the bag about a foot to 18 inches above you.

Once the bag is emptied into you, hold it for 10 minutes before releasing into the toilet.


Enema Tips:

We usually do our enemas on our large bathroom floor.  We lay a plastic sheet and towel on the floor (just in case) and have a timer on the floor to count the “holding” minutes.

For the baking soda enema, lie mostly on your tummy with one leg pulled up and your rear slightly elevated into the air (maintaining about 18 inches between your rear and the bottom of the enema bag for ideal flow rate).  It’s a little more awkward than lying on your right side (for the coffee enema), but that little bit of angle from your but being higher than your chest seems to help the enema.

During an enema you are going to experience periods of discomfort as your body does it’s natural peristalsis action on the water in there and air bubbles move around.  Breathe through it – it’s temporary and part of the process.

My friend Courtney told me that after doing a series of enemas, which can flush out the beneficial probiotics in your colon, you can also do a probiotic “implant” after you’re done with all the flushing, by taking in (rectally) 4-8 ounces of water with probiotics dissolved in it … then just letting it stay in there.  I’ll probably try this on my next cleanse and report back. J


Coming Off A Cleanse

Cantaloupe For Dinner

Cantaloupe For Dinner

What you eat coming off a cleanse can be just as important as what you ate while you were on it.  Continue to eat lightly for at least a couple of days.  Remember all the lifestyle changes you were inspired to make during your cleanse and start to implement them now as you are creating your new “after-cleanse” diet.

After Cleanse Salad

After Cleanse Salad

For us, we started eating whole fruit on the afternoon of the 10th day of our cleanse: half a cantaloupe for dinner, then a bowl of pineapple mango and raspberries.  The following day we had juice for breakfast (because it felt good) and then a salad for lunch: bed of mixed greens, tomatoes, mangos, hemp seeds, sunflower sprouts and topped with sweet potatoes sliced and sautéed in coconut oil and ginger.  I added some walnuts to my salad because that’s how I would normally eat it, but one bite of them and my body was telling me they were too heavy to eat just yet – they literally felt heavy tasting in my mouth.

We are continuing to have about one juice a day because we’re used to it now and my body still craves that liquid ultra-nourishment.  And we’ve of course added our daily Chocolate Bliss back into our routine.  I was more than willing to drink it as part of my cleanse (and did a couple of times at the beginning of the cleanse), but it started to taste heavy to me with all the lighter fruit and veggie juices we were consuming.

Fridge Packed Full of Fruits & Veggies

Fridge Packed Full of Fruits & Veggies

Whew! I know I just served you up a LOT of information to digest, but I wanted to convey what I’ve learned in my “tour around the block” on this subject to make your cleansing journeys that much easier.

I encourage you to trust your body’s wisdom and follow your heart toward whatever cleansing practice feels the most inspiring and good to you in the moment.  Every body is different, and while there is a wealth of information available for how to bring bodies generally into good health, you are always your own best health care practitioner.  So trust what your body has to say, listen to how it communicates to you in its cravings and reactions, and soothe yourself as you travel your cleansing path toward vibrant health.

Happy Cleansing!



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2 thoughts on “All About Cleansing – Our First of Four 10-day Cleanses

  • Courtney Clay

    Excellent post, Melissa!! I am so enthused about cleansing right now. I’ll go ahead and share some things about my own spring equinox juice cleanse!

    I did a 10-day modified juice cleanse… on most days, that meant about 75% fresh raw veggie juices, and the other 25% was usually green smoothies (with wild greens like chickweed and violet, and fruit), a couple savory blended raw soups (tomato, greens, a little oil and salt, etc), and my usual coconut-hemp-cacao-zeolite superfood elixirs. The super elixirs were really helpful for me to include this time (on most days), as I am still breastfeeding my 2.5yo many times daily, and these drinks were supportive for me in that while still being supportive of the lighter energy of my cleanse. I’m guessing they will be too heavy for me on future cleanses (post-breastfeeding), and this time they were just right! I also drank nettle infusions daily, for minerals and kidney & blood cleansing support.

    2 of the 10 days, I drank exclusively juices all day. I also took digestive enzymes multiple times daily to support my cleanse, as well as probiotics & zeolites (in my elixirs), and occasionally gentle herbal laxatives. I rested as often as I was able, and later in the cleanse felt the desire to do more yoga and stretching, which I did. I also did dry skin brushing often, jumped on a mini-trampoline, and received an amazing full-body massage from my amazing massage therapist friend! It was the most blissful massage ever, since I was extra sensitive and receptive from cleansing. I drank LOTS of water every day, and took a couple cleansing sea salt baths.

    It was such a WONDERFUL reset after the chilly winter months, and I am so ready for springtime now! I’ve found that we tend to accumulate “heat” in our bodies during the winter (which obviously serves us during that time), and then when our environment starts to heat up in the springtime, this heat wants to come OUT of our bodies… and if we continue eating the dense foods we ate through the winter, the heat (which we aren’t allowing to leave our bodies by eating dense foods) can feel unbearably uncomfortable! This is the time when most people turn on their AC’s 😉 This is the time of the year when biologically, cleansing is MOST appropriate and can bring the most enjoyable results. So that’s my perspective on “spring cleaning”!

    I have a few more comments on your post, Melissa…

    In addition to the 5 elimination systems you listed, there’s another big one… our LUNGS! I’ve heard that 70% of toxins exit through our lungs, through breathing. This can be accelerated by exercising (which causes us to breathe more deeply and heavily), and a variety of deep breathing practices (like pranayama, yoga of the breath). It’s also really important to breathe fresh air as often as possible, even (especially) in the winter. We open our windows when we sleep, year round! The winter air is especially oxygenating and cleansing, so take advantage of this!

    Another excellent way to clean your lymph system: alternating hot/cold showers! (or jumping back and forth between hot springs and cold rivers, haha) … when you first start this practice, just take your normal warm shower, but end with about a minute of cold water all over your body. When you get used to this, try alternating hot and cold at least 3 times – hot/cold/hot/cold/hot/cold (always end on cold). Make sure the water washes over your whole body. I love it! I’m doing it every day right now, since I’m on a cleansing kick at the moment 😉

    All your recipes sound amazing, Melissa! 😀

    • Melissa Cantrelle Post author

      Wow! Thanks Courtney for sharing some of your cleanse experiences and wisdom! I really enjoyed being on the journey with you – feeling that kinship of cleansing at the same time even when we didn’t compare notes on a daily basis.

      I’m glad you mentioned the LUNGS as another elimination system. After I posted, I thought of that elimination system a couple of times and I’m grateful for your ability to put the concepts into words and practical action.

      Your thoughts inspire in me one more aspect of breathing I’d like to mention: the power of cleansing your emotions/beliefs/thoughts with deep breaths. Many people start to feel an uncomfortable emotion and then hold their breath in resistance. Breathing deeply through any discomforts (physical and mental and emotional) helps that stuckness to keep moving and eventually move on out!

      As my hang gliding instructor said before we ran off the side of the cliff, “No matter what, just keep breathing. Because if you aren’t breathing, you’re dead.” 🙂

      I’m already looking forward to our next cleanse at the Summer Solstice and what new adventures we co-discover on our complementary journeys. Woo hoo!