Over the winter and over the years, toxins can build up and Qi and blood can get sluggish. Cleansing can help get the Qi and blood coursing through the body. Exercise is also important. Eating lighter and hydrating can refreshen the blood. Even if we eat well and don’t smoke or drink, a gentle cleanse can be beneficial for most people. If in doubt about if a cleanse is right for you, contact a health care provider knowledgeable about cleansing.


A cleanse does not have to be a fast or just vegetable juice. Eating mostly fresh vegetables – cooked and raw – some fruit, grains, legumes and a little meat, fish and nuts is very cleansing. The goal is to be healthier and perhaps to trade in some habits for ones you feel better about.

Each person needs to find the plan that works for them. Maybe your friend finds it easy to eat only raw veggies and fruit for weeks on end, but for you the idea of one day without cheese is hard to imagine. You need to make a plan that you can stick to – something that won’t leave you bingeing like crazy when your cleanse is over. Your cleanse might be shorter and include a wider range of foods than your friend. Listen to your body, yet challenge yourself at the same time.


Spring is a great time to cleanse and renew the body. Passover and Lent are cleanses of a sort. Post-winter is also a naturally lean time – stocks are low before the growing season.

This spring in Vermont has not particularly warm (until today), so if you are cleansing now, it is beneficial to eat more cooked and warm foods than raw and cold ones.

Summer is a nice time to cleanse because the hot weather supports eating lightly and including more raw foods.


A three week cleanse is perfect. Although, the last thing you want is to feel so deprived that you binge on everything you haven’t been eating as soon as you end your cleanse. So pick something reasonable for you. 3 days, 10 days, how much do you want to challenge yourself? Next time round you can choose to take it up a notch. Once a year for a big cleanse is generally enough. Otherwise, a series of short cleanses may be the right choice. Sometimes I like to do a 3 day mini-cleanse a month before my bigger cleanse. Other years I have done no sugar for a month while trying to eat as healthy as possible.

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