cleanse Bethenny Frankel

Let’s Talk About Cleansing

Occasionally what you ate and drank yesterday or for the last few weeks will have you feeling draggy and heavy. A lack of sleep can also make you feel low on energy. Maybe it’s time for a cleanse.

There are many misconceptions about cleansing out there, and there are ways to do it that aren’t safe, but in general, it should be a gentle way to reboot your system and purify you after you’ve been overindulging. A cleanse is an opportunity to let your body rest from rigors of intense digestion, so it can focus instead on removing toxins. It’s not about weight loss. It’s really more about cleaning everything out so your body can work better.

There are plenty of reasons to cleanse:

If you ate a lot the day before. Eating heavy foods like meat in particular taxes your digestion. The machine is straining. A cleanse is like giving the machine of digestion a rest so your body can focus on other things, like healing and repair.

If you’re sick. People are naturally less hungry when they are sick because their bodies know they need to focus on healing instead of digestion, so on those sick days when you have a cough or a cold, support your body with nutrient-rich but easily digestible cleaning foods, especially green juices.

If you’ve been living it up on vacation. You might want to cleanse for a few days to get back on track.

If you’ve got an event coming up, like a wedding or a class reunion or just a first date. You might want to cleanse so you feel good and look good.

If you are tired. You might just be feeling more tired and low on energy than usual. A cleanse can invigorate you.

When I cleanse, I eat foods that are comforting but healthy and I eliminate all animal products. I focus on diuretic foods that flush out water if I feel bloated (like cucumber, asparagus, and melon) and I drink a lot of lemon water with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to help speed up the release of toxins. I also concentrate on gentle foods like oatmeal, fruit smoothies, vegetable soup, and brown rice. Some days, I might even do a juice cleanse with green juices sweetened with just a little bit of fruit every meal, or with light food like brown rice, vegetable soup, or raw veggies.

This is an excerpt from Skinnygirl Solutions by Bethenny Frankel, available on