One of the best ways to start the year off on a healthy note is a cleanse. And while you may think spring or summer is the best time for a cleanse — hello, bathing suit season!
New Year, New Motivation
If you’re like most people I know, you’ve spent the last few months being a little more sedentary, eating fewer greens, and consuming significantly more alcohol, sugar, and bread than you did in the first three quarters of the year. And that’s okay! As I wrote in my November and December blogs, allowing yourself a little flexibility and indulgence during the holiday season is a good thing to avoid feeling deprived. You want to enjoy yourself and take advantage of all the laughter, family time, and joy that time of year has to offer, without going overboard.
That said, many of us enter January feeling a little bloated, sluggish, and with our favorite outfits feeling a little too tight for comfort. That’s the bad news. The good news is that almost everyone else is also feeling this way. This time of year, you’re surrounded with other people starting cleanses, new exercise routines, or meditation or self-care challenges. There’s a health-focused momentum pickup in January, which makes it easier for you to simply ride the wave of healthy choices and invest in your well-being.
“January is a great time to hit the reboot button on your health.”
January is the month to Regroup, Refocus and Reprioritize your goals and intentions for the coming year. It’s also one of the best months to cleanse and reboot your body after the celebrations and libations of the holiday season AND a very challenging year for many. Even if the holidays weren’t about excess for you.
If you’re on the fence about starting a cleanse, this blog is here to show you that now is as good a time as any to do one. So whether you’re a pro cleanser or newbie, here are 4 reasons why NOW is the best month to cleanse:
4 Reasons Why January is the Best Month to Cleanse
1. The Holiday Ten
Most people gain about 5 to 10 pounds over the holidays, most of it between Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, thanks to the hot chocolates, cocktails, comfort foods, and dairy-rich meals and desserts. And while I do feel it’s important to enjoy the holidays fully and give yourself some leeway to eat foods you love, it’s equally important to recover properly as soon as the New Year hits so that you’re not packing on an extra 10 pounds year and year. Luckily, a cleanse is the perfect way to shed those holiday pounds as well as reset your gut health, which may be struggling after holiday meals and stress, especially this year.
2. The Post-Holiday Let-Down
Anxiety and depression have been connected to alterations in gut bacteria and poor diet choices, like too much sugar and alcohol consumption. The root cause of your symptoms may not solely be Seasonal Affective Disorder; it might actually be Diet Affective Disorder — in which the diet affects how you feel mentally and emotionally. If there’s one unexpected benefit of cleansing that my patients report over and over and over again, it’s that they feel lighter, happier, and calmer. The most important takeaway here is that a cleanse can be the perfect way to reboot your “blah” or down mood and turn that frown upside down, so you can focus on what’s important in your life.
3. Fueling New Year’s Goals
Many of us start January off with lofty goals for how we’re going to transform our lives, health, and bodies. Well, all these require one thing — and that’s energy. Energy in body language means ATP — your body’s energy currency. If you want more energy, you need to make more ATP. And In order to make more ATP, you need healthy mitochondria. In order to have healthy, robust mitochondria, your body needs to be free of any toxic burden. That’s where a cleanse comes in.
And, let’s face it… Without the proper body energy to pursue your dreams, you won’t get even halfway there. A cleanse is a great way to boost your energy, because it rids your body of the gut irritants and toxins that rob your body of vitality and short-circuit the tiny energy factories inside each and every one of your cells — the mitochondria. When you cleanse, you remove the barriers to optimum function and fuel your body properly so you can accomplish everything you set out to do and more. (By the way, it’s not too late to set new year’s goals worth keeping!)
4. “The Cornerstone Effect”
If you’ve never heard of a cornerstone, it’s essentially what inaugurates the construction of any important structure. The cornerstone is the first stone laid down in a building foundation, and since all the other stones will be set in relation to this stone, it determines how the building will be constructed. In essence, it provides the impetus and motivation for building such a structure, and it is “the single most important part to any construction project that is to withstand the test of time.” That is why cornerstones are memorialized with a plaque. In the same way, the cornerstone of your health is your gut, and thus, fortifying your gut is what I call “The Cornerstone Effect.”
By strengthening your gut, you are laying the cornerstone upon which to build a solid foundation for your health and wellness. That is why it is so important to focus on gut health when doing any cleansing program. By starting with the gut, you can not only beat the bloat and put an end to an “irritated stomach,” but you can also balance your hormones, boost energy, improve mental clarity, uplift your mood, reduce allergies and asthma, resolve many skin rashes, and even reverse or slow down the progress of chronic disease.
“Cleansing is the way to fortify the cornerstone of your health — your gut — so you can build a solid foundation for your well-being.”
How to Choose the Right Cleanse
By now I’ve hopefully convinced you that right now — January — is the best time to start a cleanse. The question is: What TYPE of cleanse should you do? As “America’s Gut Doctor,” I think you can see how passionate I feel about supporting the gut as the foundation to any cleanse program, so it should come as no surprise to you that my answer to this question is a gut-centered cleanse. Why? Because as I mentioned before, your gut health is the cornerstone of your entire wellness. So, when you do a cleanse that focuses on the gut, supporting all three pillars of detoxification (your liver, the gut, and the gut microbiome) you improve your health at its very core. When you heal the gut, it’s not just your digestion that improves — your energy levels, metabolism, body composition, mental health, productivity, and sleep will also improve.
So how do you do it right? Using the Happy Gut® ‘Blueprint’ — the very same blueprint I used to heal my gut and reboot my health after over two decades of battling with irritable bowel, fatigue, and mental fog — the HAPPY GUT