Possibly. The Bestow Cleanse is not designed to result in rapid weight loss, which generally requires massive calorie restriction. Research has shown that this approach often works against us, setting us up to gain more weight when we inevitably return to a more sustainable level of calories. Restricting food intake can also stress our nervous systems which adds an extra burden to our cleansing process and compounds the problem of nutrient deficiencies which we are endeavouring to address.
Our Bestow Cleanse philosophy is to weed out the foods and drinks that undermine our health and replaces them with nutrient dense foods that support the body’s natural cleansing processes. After the first few days you are unlikely to feel hungry on the Bestow Cleanse because your body is feasting on an abundance of health-promoting nutrients. Over time, if you continue to follow the Bestow way of eating, your body will naturally shift to a healthier weight range.
A lot! Like all journeys worth taking, the Bestow 7-Day Cleanse will require time, energy and dedication. Plan ahead and choose a week where you have the time and headspace to do the shopping, planning and food preparation required. On each day of the cleanse you will cook your meals and prepare meals or elements for the days ahead. Keeping up with all of this will take some time and focus.
Think of the Bestow Cleanse as a mini-retreat that you do at home. Expect to spend more time than usual in the kitchen as you learn new recipes that nourish and cleanse your body and skin. You could think of it as a healthy cooking school!
Beyond the immediate cleanse benefits, the long-term reward for this time investment is that you will develop a range of amazing meals you will return to again and again. You will establish the Bestow philosophy of ‘cook once, eat twice’ as a natural habit in your meal planning.
Kathryn Overall said, “I spent a lot more time in the kitchen than I normally do, but the pay-off has been that I have acquired a whole new repertoire of delicious recipes which I have been making regularly ever since. My skin is looking the best it’s been in ages and I’m so inspired to keep living this way.”
It depends. On what? On whether you already have a well-stocked healthy pantry or are at the beginning of that journey. If you have healthy basics like coconut oil, cacao, tahini and sauerkraut already on hand then your shopping bill will be smaller than if you don’t.
If you had to buy every single item on the Shopping List your grocery bill will likely be between $300 and $350 (that will reduce significantly if you have some of the healthy pantry staples already on hand). We recognise this is pricey and you may need to delay your cleanse start date so you have time to save up. Bear in mind that you are basically re-setting your pantry and that the healthy pantry staples you buy will support you in your cooking choices in life beyond the cleanse.
Like all wellness journey worth undertaking, the Bestow Cleanse is an investment – of time, money and headspace. Think of it, not just as another week, but as a mini-retreat you do at home to nourish your body, mind and soul.
A Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI), sometimes referred to as Recommended Daily Intake, is the average daily intake level of a particular nutrient that is needed to meet the nutrient requirements of most healthy individuals.
These levels are generally considered to be the minimum amount required to avoid a deficiency disease, not necessarily the amount we need for optimum health. In fact, micronutrient deficiency is starting to show up as a major contributor in the development of many modern diseases. This is not surprising when you consider our Western diet is full of processed foods and refined carbohydrate which fill us up with empty nutrition. This means we pile up the calories but starve on nutrients.
There are some very scary statistics showing just how likely we are to be deficient in one or more of these vital nutrients. One study that looked at the food intake of over 16,000 people found the following:
70% of the population don’t consume enough vitamin D
60% didn’t consume enough vitamin E
45% didn’t consume enough magnesium
38% didn’t consume enough calcium
34% didn’t consume enough vitamin A
25% didn’t consume enough vitamin C
Other nutrients at risk of deficiency were zinc, phosphorous, iron, copper, selenium and most of the B vitamin family.
Clearly we need to increase our intake of these important micronutrients for optimum health and your Bestow skin-nutrition boosters and the nutrient-rich Bestow Cleanse both support you in this. We worked hard to balance the Bestow Cleanse 7 Day Meal Planner, and with just a little sunshine each day to top up your vitamin D, we’re proud to say you will reach 100% RDI of all of the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients during your cleanse week.
One of the main challenges we have in our modern world is getting the nutrients that we need for optimal health. Animal-based foods provide us with an easy source of many nutrients that can be harder to get if we are eating plant foods only. That’s not to say being vegetarian is not good for you, just that if you are happy to eat fish, eggs and meat you will find it easier to meet your Recommended Daily Intake of the following nutrients: Vitamin B12, Heme iron, zinc, selenium, complete proteins, creatine, taurine, carnitine, pre-formed vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K2, DHA (docosahexanoic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).
To put it simply, there are nutrients we can get only from plants and nutrients we can only get from animal foods. We have included both in order to meet the full Recommended Daily Intake of all key nutrients which is a core commitment and feature of the Bestow Cleanse.
However, we have provided plant-protein alternatives for each cleanse recipe so it is possible to do the Bestow Cleanse if you are vegetarian. We have also provided some vegan-friendly alternatives, although this is a little more tricky. See Q&A below for more details.
Absolutely, there are plant-based protein substitutes offered for any meals that contain animal-based protein. Refer to the Recipe Notes and Protein Swap column on the left side of relevant recipes. Please bear in mind that these substitutes will have an impact on your nutrient RDI’s and will likely mean you will not meet 100% of the RDI for every nutrient each day. However, you will get close and your body will still benefit from the increased level of cleanse-supporting nutrients.
It would be difficult for you to do the Bestow Cleanse if you are vegan, however if you are prepared to get creative and work out some of your own substitutes then we think you would still find the Bestow Cleanse beneficial. We provide plant-based protein alternatives to animal proteins in the Protein Swap section of relevant recipes.
However, quite a few of the cleanse recipes do contain eggs. We experimented with using egg alternatives (flax, chia and so on) in those recipes, but many of them didn’t work out very well. We recommend you replace recipes containing eggs with another vegan-friendly meal from the Bestow 7-Day Meal Plan.
Meeting the Recommended Daily Intake for each major nutrient is a core commitment and feature of the Bestow Cleanse. Our cleanse philosophy is to withdraw the toxic strain of alcohol, caffeine and processed food from the body and to instead flood it with an abundance of nutrients to support the body’s natural cleansing process. Eggs and some animal protein are incorporated into the Bestow Cleanse in order to meet RDI’s efficiently. Substituting eggs and animal protein will have an impact on your nutrient RDI’s and will likely mean you will not meet 100% of the RDI for every nutrient each day. However, you will get close and your body will still benefit from the increased level of cleanse-supporting nutrients.
The Bestow Cleanse includes limited grains (buckwheat groats, quinoa puffs and brown rice) most days.
Because of this, it will be difficult for you to do the Bestow Cleanse if you follow a paleo way of eating. However if you are prepared to get creative and work out some of your own substitutes and replacement meals then we think you would still find the Bestow Cleanse beneficial. There are paleo-friendly meals throughout the 7 Day Meal Plan which you could repeat in place of meals featuring grains.
Meeting the Recommended Daily Intake for each major nutrient is a core commitment and feature of the Bestow Cleanse. Our cleanse philosophy is to withdraw the toxic strain of alcohol, caffeine and processed food from the body and to instead flood it with an abundance of nutrients to support the body’s natural cleansing process.
Grains are incorporated into the Bestow Cleanse in order to meet RDI’s efficiently. Eliminating these will have an impact on your nutrient RDI’s and will likely mean you will not meet 100% of the RDI for every nutrient each day. However, you will get close and your body will still benefit from the increased level of cleanse-supporting nutrients.
Dairy can be difficult for some people to process and can be a contributor to some skin disorders such as acne and eczema. Some dairy products are more problematic than others. For example cheese and cream are more likely to cause skin problems than a little bit of milk or yoghurt. Giving your body a break from dairy for seven days will enable you to gauge if your body is better with or without it. If your skin is prone to congestion, you may notice that your skin is clearer by the end of the week as a result of removing dairy products like cheese and cream from your diet.
Grains containing gluten are hard for some people to digest. Gluten intolerance can cause bloating, malnutrition, stomach-cramps and irregular elimination. This reaction to gluten puts a strain on the body and interferes with natural detoxification and cleansing processes. By removing gluten, you make the digestive process more efficient and optimise nutrient absorption. You may notice that you feel less bloated and experience less flatulence as the cleanse week goes on.
Most of us are aware that refined sugars such as corn syrup, white, brown and raw sugar (which are all high in fructose) are bad news for our health. The liver is the only organ in the body that can metabolise fructose. When a big sugar hit make its way to the liver, often the liver cannot keep up with the demand and the unprocessed fructose is converted into fat.
Furthermore, excess sugar can have a detrimental effect on the quality of our collagen, resulting in wrinkles and premature ageing of the skin.
On the Bestow Cleanse we substitute refined sugars with small amounts rice malt syrup and black-strap molasses. While refined sugars are essentially empty nutrition, these alternatives supply vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for skin health. The sugar substitutes we use in Bestow recipes are also generally lower in fructose than refined sugar options.
It’s important to note however, that non-refined alternatives are still sugar and are subject to the same liver processing limitations. That is why it is important to eat refined-sugar alternatives only in moderation and why we have kept all sugars to a minimum during the Bestow Cleanse.
We know this can be a hard one to let go of! But there’s no getting around it – coffee taxes the liver and in doing so inhibits the liver’s ability to be truly effective in detoxing. Because of the powerful effect it has on the body, we recommend removing coffee from your diet during a pre-cleanse week so you get any potential caffeine withdrawal symptoms out of the way. It is often helpful to move to decaf while you work on changing the habit and then remove it altogether. Green tea is also a good alternative as it offers an abundance of antioxidants and contains a small amount of caffeine for a natural pick-me-up.
Alcohol comes to the liver marked ‘urgent’, jumping to the front of the cue ahead of all other toxins wasting to be processed. This puts pressure on the liver and often means that the traffic jam of waiting toxins are absorbed back into the blood stream. By removing alcohol during your cleanse week, you free up your liver to be able to effectively process other toxins and wastes in the body, resulting in many skin and wellbeing benefits.