We often talk about doing a thorough cleaning of our house when Spring rolls around. It just feels so good to clear out any clutter and cobwebs so that you can have a fresh start. You enjoy the time spent inside your house more since there is nothing around to bug you. You feel more inclined to invite your friends over for a barbeque and are proud so show off your super organized space! And most importantly, once everything is clean and organized, you will have more free time in your schedule to get outside to enjoy all that Spring has to offer!
So if we are putting more effort into our living areas to feel clean and healthy, why not also do the same with our bodies? Then when we do venture outside to play or have company over, we will feel our best and be able to experience more!
To get your body feeling better, it’s a good idea to do a gentle detox from time to time. I do not recommend doing anything drastic such as the “master cleanse” or juice fasting, unless your doctor has recommend it. What I find best is to slowly take out certain foods and behaviors that hurt us and start to incorporate better foods and lifestyle choices back in. When things move too fast, people often experience unpleasant withdraw side effects and end up quitting. More gradual changes will allow you to start feeling better, with much less side effects so that you are likely to keep going to reach your full cleansing potential. And really, with this kind of detox, it can be on-going. It’s a healthy way of living that you can and should practice forever! Once you start feeling more energy and see some of your body complaints decreasing, you won’t ever want to go back to your old way of living!
1. Before you begin, start a health journal. Write down any health concerns you have with specific details- this way you can monitor how they change while you are detoxing. For example- if you get migraines, write down the frequency, duration, and severity of them in addition to triggers for them. As these things come up during your detox- pay attention to see if they are related to any foods or activities.
2. Remove alcohol from the diet to help lessen the liver’s workload.
3. Wean yourself off of caffeine by gradually reducing the amount of coffee, soda, black tea, and chocolate you consume each day. If you have a lot of caffeine in your diet and you cut it all out “cold turkey” you will most likely experience withdraw symptoms like headaches and irritability. Try switching to green, white, or oolong teas, which have very minimal or no caffeine.
4. Reduce consumption of starchy and refined carbohydrates. Try not to have more than one serving a day of things like bread and pasta. Bread, pasta, and refined grains act no differently than table sugar in your body!
5. Minimize dairy (especially products made from cow’s milk) as it is hard for the body to process.
6. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruits (more veggies than fruits). Apples, bananas, berries, pineapple, and pears are good choices, and can help digestion. Do your best to get good quality organic and local produce to minimize exposure to pesticides and genetic modifications, which have been known to cause health problems.
7. Drink lots of water. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces per day. Try squeezing a wedge of lemon into a glass of warm water every morning to boost the liver’s detoxing abilities first thing in day. Avoid drinking out of plastic bottles, as there are chemicals in plastic that can leech into the water.
8. Make sure you are eating every 3-4 hours or right when you are hungry so your blood sugar doesn’t drop and cause cravings. Only eat until you are satisfied- not stuffed!
9. Keep a food journal to keep track of what you are eating for each meal every day- make notes of how you feel after you eat each food as well- are you bloated or tired? Energized?
10. Stock your kitchen with good healthy foods and throw out the tempting junk foods so you can stay on track throughout your detox.
11. Exercise at least 3 times per week. Walking quickly, yoga, and weight lifting are great choices.
12. Use a skin brush daily to help your body increase circulation and promote detoxification. Brush up arms, legs, back, and torso in the direction towards your heart.
13. If you smoke, work on gradually quitting. Find a support group to help you through it!
14. Practice deep breathing and/or meditations daily to help your mind relax and detox too.
15. Get plenty of rest. Your body needs 7-8 hours of sleep even if you don’t think you do!
16. Find an accountability partner to detox with you, whether it’s your spouse, child, or friend, it can really help you both to stay motivated.
17. Treat yourself to massages or acupuncture treatments to increase circulation and promote detoxification. You can focus on other specific health concerns with these modalities too!
** It is very important that you do not stop taking any medications you are currently on unless advised by your physician.
** If you are concerned about any specific health issues in relation to detoxing, please talk to your physician before you begin a detox.
~Yours in Health,