I’m excited to be introducing a new regular nutrition column penned by Jameela Ali! When I met Jameela, I noticed right away she was an encyclopedia of health and nutrition facts. She has strong passion for holistic nutrition as a result of her own journey to wellness that began eight years ago. Jameela has a master’s degree in Public Health and a number of wellness courses under her belt. “I want to share my passion with others and help improve their overall quality of life.” To kick things off, here are some of her thoughts on the “C” word (cleanses, people).
By Jameela Ali
Cleanse. Detox. These words are interchangeably purged out of countless mouths, every day, everywhere I go. I can’t even walk into a grocery store without overhearing sweaty twenty-something-year-old women clad in yoga pants ridicule their bodies and punish themselves to a weeklong juice cleanse. A week of daily juice consumption, alternating naturally high-sugar drinks with ones that taste like grass. Not to mention, the exclusion of solid foods. No, thank you.
Detox diets and cleanses are on the rise with celebrity advocates like Salma Hayek and Gwyneth Paltrow purporting benefits of weight loss, increased energy, enhanced mental clarity and clear baby-like skin. The weight loss is not of the fat kind but of the water kind we naturally carry around as women that fluctuates with our salt and water intake. Bite into a “low sodium” soy-drenched piece of sashimi with your bowl of miso soup and the bulk will unfortunately make a comeback your thighs will hate.
The increased energy and vast improvements in mental clarity? That’s just your body going into fight-or-flight mode. Depending on the regimen, you’ve likely decided to starve yourself. When this happens, your body is on a high-alert system, holding onto whatever fat it possibly can. Meanwhile, adrenaline decides to unleash itself and stick around until the famine is over.
Clearer skin? You’re probably cutting out dairy and wheat, both of which exacerbate skin conditions like redness and acne due to inflammatory substances found in non-organic and genetically modified varieties. Once you go back to consuming poor quality dairy and wheat products, redness and acne will reappear.
I’m not here to offer a miracle plan chock full of expensive supplements and herbs handpicked from the Amazon Rainforest. I can, however, offer you a sustainable plan that will not only support your body’s natural cleansing abilities but also help achieve your wellness goals. Every one of us was beautifully crafted to handle even the most heinous ingestion of toxins, so let’s rest easy knowing our amazing bodies are doing most of the hard work for us. In upcoming posts, I will share many tried and true tips to help you naturally and effortlessly cleanse your way into summer.
In the meantime, let’s be kind to ourselves and accept who we are today, right now. Look yourself in the mirror and tell your beautiful body—no matter how big or round, jiggly or dimply—why you love her. Promise your body you’ll be kind from now on. No more celery sticks and colonics. No more convincing yourself that lemons, maple syrup and cayenne pepper belong together in liquid form. It does not taste good nor will it ever taste good—you know it, I know it and Beyoncé knows it.
Is there anything specific about cleanses or nutrition that you’re interested in learning more about? Let me know so I can incorporate it in my posts!