inner engine fitness

building a better body

A Fresh Fall

Now that the weather has turned to crisp days and cold nights, it is time to spend some time thinking about your health goals. The summer gave you the ability to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies (I hope!), but the fall has its own pleasures and bounty. With the cooler weather, you tend to spend more time indoors and should use this time to contemplate how you are going to make some positive changes to your dietary routine.
To give your body a chance to step forward with the right foot, consider integrating some cleansing habits. Fall is a great time to jumpstart your system and get ready for the holidays. (Yes, they are just around the corner.) It may take a little time and effort to determine what type of cleanse is right for you, but I will give you a few tips on how to pick the best option for your body and mind.
First of all, look for something that gives your body the break it needs. For instance, if you eat out frequently, spending extra time home cooking could be just what’s in order for you. You may be unaware of how many added calories, hidden fat and salt is awaiting you at most restaurants. Another example would be for you to try cutting out meat while increasing the fresh produce you’re consuming for a while. Meat takes longer for your body to break down than fruits and vegetables (think days rather than hours), so choosing meatless options for a few meals a week or more could give your body more energy and get things moving in the right direction. The key is to think about the foods that have become your crutch and to pick a fun, healthy way to kick them to the curb.
Another thing to consider is the time you can devote to a little extra work. Some cleanses are just liquid, so as long as you are able to make the juice or liquid and save it for a day or two, it could cut back on your time in the kitchen. Think of all the preparation time in the kitchen you will save and can then use for other activities. Other cleanses have you making everything from scratch, so if you have a lot of time and want to hone your culinary skills, they would be a good choice for you. Preparation time is a big factor in sticking with a cleanse, so choose mindfully. (As a side note, I would check with your doctor before starting a liquid diet, as they are not meant for all individuals. They are also not the best option for weight loss. I do not personally recommend them, but I wanted to mention them as some people do experience benefits from participating in them.)
Cost is also a factor to consider. It is great to read about the amazing results that someone gets from their chosen cleanse, but think about if you can afford or want to spend the same amount of money they have spent at the grocery store. Most cleanses will tell you that organic is always preferable to non-organic produce. Sometimes that can mean a much larger food bill, so if you are participating in a cleanse with your significant other or housemate, you could really spend a lot more than you are used to. In this case, I would suggest staying as clean or organic with your choices as you can and then just wrapping it up after 3 or 4 days.
That brings me to the next deciding factor. Time is important, so choose a cleanse that will not be too much of a hardship to complete. It always feels best when you reach your goal, so pick a period of time that is short, but effective. Maybe you are new to this idea, so a 24-hour cleanse could be as long as you want to endure. If you have done a cleanse before, you may just want to challenge yourself with a three or five day cleanse. Remember, you can always add days if you’re feeling great and want to continue.
One of the amazing things about cleansing your body is that it helps you to pay more attention to what you put in your body and how it responds to those choices. It is a perfect time to pay more attention to how food makes you feel. Journal or take notes. That way you have a record of your thoughts and feelings the next time you embark on a change of diet. Choose something that will be a bit of a challenge for you, but won’t totally deprive you of everything you like about food. The idea is to give your body a rest, not throw yourself into shock!
Now, go make some healthy changes. Some will probably stick and others won’t, but consider this time of year a good time to pay attention to the choices you make and how they affect your well-being. Health and wellness comes from truly knowing what works for your body! Here’s to happy cleansing!

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