Cleansing Stigma

by Kristie LeVangie

It’s spring, and to me, that means more than home spring cleaning.  Since high school actually, I’ve been setting one week aside for fasting up until last year when an Advocare rep turned me on to “the cleanse”.   It hasn’t been due to religion or medical issues, it just makes me feel better.

I don’t set aside a specific time of the year, but I let my body dictate.  You can tell, once you start to listen, when you are feeling bloated, not excited about food, and non-energetic.  A week or so of “this” feeling, and I’m ready to reset my engine.

There are many cultures around the world that engage in fasting and cleansing regularly, yet every year I seem to run into the haters, the non-understanders, and the die-hard cynics.

 “You’re doing WHAT?  Why?”

“Good luck with that.”


“How can you go a whole week of not eating?”

Commentation often becomes more colorful as the week progresses.

 “Are you ready for cake?”

“I bet you are dying for a cheeseburger.  Huh?”

“I don’t know how you can drink that stuff.”

“Is it REALLY worth it?”

YES!  Yes, it is.

I’m in agreement with Gwyneth Paltrow, who also endorses cleansing for everyone.  And there are so many reasons why:

  1. Clear your body of toxins.  Processed foods and pesticide residues on grocery available food just don’t just disappear once consumed.  These chemicals actually attach to fat cells and hibernate in our bodies until those fat cells are burned up.  Thinking about how some of us pack weight around the mid-section, this should be alarming.
  2. Reset your metabolic clock.  It not only forces your body to rebalance your blood sugar, it also reduces cravings and crashes.
  3. Improved vitality.  Many experts agree that a gentle cleanse can provide mental clarity, emotional stability, and renewed sense of life and fitness.

There are many options available now, but do some research first.  You’ll need to find a method or product that will work best for you, and it doesn’t hurt to get some weigh-in from your family doctor.  Just be safe.

There are options for water only, DIY juice concoctions, shakes and supplements, and some that include actual food items.

Last year’s Advocare cleanse was remarkable.  Besides the horrible experience I had with the consistency of the citrus-flavored product, the taste of the Peaches and Cream version and the overall results were quite pleasing.

This year due to convenience, I opted for the GNC 7-day Total Lean program.  (There’s a GNC close to the house.)  Happy to report that on Day 2, I’m down over 3 pounds and hunger is starting to dissipate.

For GNC’s version, some food is allowed—mostly whole grain products, fruits, lean meats, and veggies.  These minimal portions are supplemented with shakes, and it includes a supplement pack in the morning and a cleanse drink at the end of each day.

Cleanses aren’t fun.  They aren’t meant to be.  Upsetting routine is always….well, upsetting.  That’s kinda the point.   But anything worth having…right?

There’s a certain give-and-take to the Universe, an equal-and-opposite reaction if you will.  And to pay for a year of indulgence, a week is certainly a small price to pay to maintain my overall health.

If you are a cleansing advocate, which system or product do you use?  Why do you do it?  Share your experiences and some of your favorite recipes below.



  1. I tried advocare. A friend of mine lost alot of weight on it. Me… I just got sick. The spark drinks were good and helped also the fiber drink helped. The only thinkg that made me sick I think were the pills. It is funny because I was thinking about a clense this morning. I will have to try the GNC one you are using.

    1. I will try at week’s end to post my thoughts/review on this GNC one. I know that I’m certainly liking the price tag. We happened to find it on sale and compared to the Advocare one that we spent a little over $100 on last year, this one was only around $30. Of course, you also should buy the recommended foods for the week program which came in around $100, but we had to buy food with the Advocare one too. I’ll take that extra $70.

      If you try the GNC one, come back and tell me what you think. 🙂

      1. Is this a solo effort, or do you usually cleanse with other(s)? I’m guessing it’s been both over the years . . . which way has been more effective?

      2. It’s often been a solo effort actually. I’m not a big fan of imposing my position on others, so even when I was involved before, it wasn’t practiced by my boy toys. In fact, often I wouldn’t even let them know.

        The past 2 cleanses however have been with my current boyfriend. He actually likes it as well. So when I told him I was doing it this time, he was on board immediately.

        That said, I’m not sure that doing it “with” someone is easier.

        For instance, this time around we actually involved my daughter as well. She’s almost 16. While she was gung-ho on the idea before we started, last night she was ready to cave. If the other party or parties doing it with you aren’t fully “into” it, it could serve to undermine your commitment. Of course, we told her she could quit at any time, but she seems to be staying strong for now.

        Of course, it’s only Day 2. lol

        I, however, cannot be deterred. It’s my strength and my Achilles heel. Once I commit to something, I will make it happen. I’m in it for the week– solo or not.

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