Apologies for the lack of posts in the past week. I thought for the next post I would share my recap on my Liver Cleanse. For those of you who follow me on my instagram page, you may have seen my insta stories chugging a liter of Apple Juice each day or maybe you caught me with the epsom salt and olive oil/lemon combo! Either way, you were probably thinking “what in the WORLD is she doing and WHY would she put herself through that?!” Well, I’m here to tell you why first and foremost and secondly, would I do it again?
I first learned about this holistic liver cleanse while on my yoga teacher training in Spain from my teacher, Maria. To begin, WHY is it even necessary to flush your liver and gallbladder? Up until my yoga training, I had never even heard or thought about the idea of naturally cleaning these organs. This liver cleanse has been done for centuries in both the Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine practices – both holistic approaches. Some of the main reasons for doing a liver cleanse can be to help aid in weight loss, eliminate liver stones, detox your body, increase your energy, and look and FEEL 5 years younger! I found these points on the Global Healing Center’s site and they go into even more details behind these benefits. At a high level, David (Avocado) Wolfe describes the benefits as such:
“Gallstones severely disrupt the performance of the liver, which has over 500 functions —which is why doing a flush is one of the most important things you could ever do for your health. Cleaning your liver can add years to your life, reverse or slow down the aging process and heal your body on a deeper level than you ever thought possible. Many people who have done a series of these flushes see remarkable changes in all areas of their health, some even being healed of stubborn illnesses that they lived with for years!”
These benefits were enough of a reason for me AND my mom, her boyfriend, and my sister to all give it a try! Plus, I’m pretty good at convincing and let’s be honest, it’s way easier to do one of these cleanses when you know you’re not suffering alone! So if you’re interested in doing the liver cleanse yourself, you’ll need to follow ALL of the instructions exactly as described. It’s very important that you do all of the necessary requirements over the 6 day prep for the day 7 cleanse in order for it to work properly. You can follow all steps on David Wolfe’s page.
As you can see from the instructions, the 6-day prep really wasn’t too bad and definitely not a big change for me seeing as my diet is primarily vegan/plant-based. They HIGHLY recommend to maintain an all vegan diet during this cleanse. In addition to eating vegan for the 6-day prep, it also requires you to drink a liter of organic apple juice a day as the malic acid found in apples softens the gallstones, making it easier to pass – so don’t miss this step! Also, they suggest you clean your colon via an enema prior to the cleanse. We didn’t do this initially, however, we ended up doing it the night prior to the cleanse and I do believe it made a difference. If you’re like me and my family, you’ll probably want to avoid this unpleasant step, but I’m telling you it is HIGHLY recommended and it’s really not as bad as it seems 🙂 Also, I’ve shared a few meal ideas below if you’re in search of some tasty vegan meals to keep you satisfied throughout the week!
Okay – so let’s talk about day 7 – the actual day of the cleanse. Breakfast consisted of plain oats and lunch consisted of straight up veggies – no added oils, fats, etc. These steps are CRITICAL. After lunch, you’re fasting for the rest of the day. You’ll be drinking 2 epsom salt concoctions before bed. This taste I did not enjoy, I’ll be honest haha but we chased it down with a drop of fresh lemon juice. The last step is the DELICIOUS olive oil & fresh lemon juice mixture. If you couldn’t tell from above, I’m being completely sarcastic. I did not enjoy this mixture, but I did my best to chug it in one sitting and then lay in bed while following the rest of the instructions. Though I was not a fan of the fresh lemon juice with olive oil, I’ve heard from my fellow yoga teacher training friends that they didn’t mind the olive oil with freshly squeezed grapefruit – so I plan on giving that a try the next time around!
Personally, I had a little bit of trouble falling asleep after drinking the olive oil/lemon juice mixture. My stomach was making ALL kinds of rumblings and felt on and off nauseous for about an hour. After a somewhat rough night of sleep, I woke up to my 6AM alarm where I then had to chug my third mix of epsom salt & water. Following that, it’s advised you wait 2 hours before drinking the LAST epsom salt mix (thank goodness)! Now here’s where it may get a little TMI – so I’m giving you a FAIR warning! It was a little after that last epsom salt drink where all four of us began having LOVELY bowel movements HAHA and we began seeing the little green “stones”. They were pretty light in the morning and early afternoon. However, it happened to be around 5PM – 7PM where I saw the majority of my stones pass through. None of this process was painful and I was eating my usual size meal by the end of the day. The next morning, I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel TOO different, but definitely felt like I had a little more pep in my step and the brain fog was not existent. Because this was my FIRST time doing this cleanse, they suggest you flush a few more times in order to truly and fully clean your liver and gallbladder!
Overall, day 1 – day 6 were easy and painless. I definitely did not enjoy day 7. However, when you look at this cleanse compared to say a 6-day juice cleanse, I would take the liver cleanse over that ANY DAY because hey, you at least get to eat and you’re only fasting for half a day. My mom, her boyfriend, and my sister all survived (although my sister ended up throwing up Saturday night …she also didn’t do the enema* so this is why I advise you clean your colon!) We’re planning on doing it again in March and are totally welcoming “SPRING CLEANING” in with open arms! Anyone else want to join along?!