Cleanses used to improve physical and mental health

Meghan Dincler | Staff Writer

Junior Isabel Mattern said she was interested in improving her health, and decided to try a juice cleanse after seeing multiple videos and posts about their many health benefits. Mattern said she wanted to try a juice cleanse after enjoying some unhealthy food during Thanksgiving. 

“I was finding all these posts saying [a juice cleanse] helps clean your body of all the toxins and helps with digestion, and I was intrigued,” Mattern said. “I found the information mostly through Youtube and Pinterest. I looked it up and there was tons of stuff.”

The cleanse is usually about 4 days to a week. Over the course of this time, Mattern doesn’t eat or drink anything but water and juice. Though she said she gets a little hungry during the first few days, her body adapts to it after a while. She testified that the detox, which she does monthly at the most, has had a multitude of beneficial effects on her health and on how she feels.

I normally feel more energized… and feel really good afterwards.

Isabel Mattern , Junior

“I can even see that my skin will clear up just because all the gross food isn’t in my body anymore,” Mattern said. “You also lose dead water weight and feel really good afterwards.”

Curt Bly, an English teacher at Mason High School, has been participating in a version of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge annually for the past few years. He said he enjoys the chance to be able to take some time to focus on healthy eating, especially after the holidays. 

“I do some version of [the 24 Day Challenger] every year,” Bly said, “It’s good to just get off my coffee for a while, reorganize my diet, and get myself feeling better. It’s a cleanse, an opportunity to recalibrate my diet a little bit.”

As someone who is typically health-conscious, doing the cleanse for a few weeks at the start of a new year helps Bly get back on track. It allows him the freedom he wants to eat sweets and other foods that aren’t as healthy, but he said it refines his diet and keeps him feeling the way he wants to.

“I like having periods in the year where I just want to clean out my system,” Bly said, “I enjoy sweets, but having periods of time where you are more disciplined allows me to stay feeling the way I want and stay within the weight range I want to be in.” 

These detoxes and cleanses are not made to be done year-round, though. As a member of the color guard, Mattern tries to make sure that she is prepared for the physical activity they do at practices, and avoids detoxing during time periods where she is working out heavily.

“Since you’re only drinking juice, you really want to do it at a time where you’re not doing much else because you don’t want to work out with very little calories,” Mattern said. “You’re not eating that many calories, so I try to do it when I’m not doing color guard so that way I’m not dying during workouts.”

Despite the challenges, both Mattern and Bly said they believe in the benefits of cleanses like the ones that they’ve done. Mattern said that it has made her feel much better, and she encourages people to try it if they’re interested in improving their health.

“I think juicing is definitely for the health nuts,” Mattern said. “It’s just one of those things that are unique and fun to do sometimes. It’s a lot of work, but if you’re interested I think you should definitely try it. It makes you feel good.”

Photo by Meghan Dincler, graphic by Aadrija Biswas.