Thinking of detoxing?
You sweep your house, you clean your room, you change the oil in your car- what have you done to clean your body lately? There are many benefits of detoxing your body, and with beach season just starting, itâ€™s the perfect time! Why do I need to detox exactly? Think about it - the human body is extremely heart pumping, fat burning, quick thinking machine, but that doesnâ€™t mean it doesnâ€™t get a little too clogged once in a while. Detoxing is a way to clean out all the collected waste matter, environmental pollutants and residue that are trapped in our bodies.
Ever wonder why winter is normally dubbed the â€˜cold and flu season?â€™ It is natural for the body to create a certain amount of mucus production in the winter, but too many mucus producing foods create a perfect breeding ground for yeast, bad bacteria and parasites. This makes it perfect for a detox in the spring to get rid of all the excess mucus in the system or the â€˜cold and flu seasonâ€™ will extend well into the lighter, hotter months. In general, people often report improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased concentration and clarity.
Follow this quick, 7-day cleanse to clean out your pipes and get your body running as smooth as possible.
Foods to Enjoy
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables
- Rice and other grains
- Nuts and Seeds
- Herbal Tea
- Other Beverages
All fresh fruit and vegetables are great for detoxifying. Great detox foods include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts, onions, garlic, artichokes, beets, red and green vegetables.
Brown or basmati rice, rice cakes, rice crackers and rice pasta. Quinoa, amaranth, millet, and buckwheat can be used instead of rice. They can be purchased at a health food store.
Split yellow and green peas and lentils are easiest to digest and require the least soaking time. Other acceptable legumes include kidney beans, pinto beans, mung beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and adzuki beans.
Unsalted nuts, seeds and nut butters can be sprinkled over any meal. Includes flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews and walnuts. Avoid peanuts.
Extra-virgin olive oil
Vegetable salt, sea salt, vinegar, naturally fermented soy sauce or tamari, any culinary herbs or spices, limited amounts of honey.
Herbal non-caffeinated teas, green tea.
Water, lemon water, 100% natural fruit and vegetable juices, rice milk
Foods to Avoid
- Dairy Products
- Other Foods to Avoid
Refined sugar and mixtures containing refined sugar, including sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup, brown sugar, turbinado. Avoid artificial sweeteners.
Milk, butter and other dairy products.
Wheat and products containing wheat.
All gluten-containing grains, including barley, rye, spelt and kamut. Some people are sensitive to gluten, a protein fragment in these grains.
Coffee, both regular and decaffeinated, black tea, and other drinks containing caffeine should be reduced. Green tea is a great substitute to regular coffee.
Food additives and preservatives
Daily Detox Essentials
- Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day, warm or room temperature. Water is the best thing to clear out your intestines. We often mistake hunger for thirst- so drink up!
- Do not drink liquids around mealtime.
- Dilute fruit juice (must be 100% fruit juice) with 50% water.
- Take the time to chew food well, especially grains.
Detox Additional Exercises
There are a few additional exercises that you can do while detoxing that will aide the toxins releasing from your body, the first is skin brushing, before you go to bed brush your skin -- make sure it's dry so brush before a bath. Skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system and encourages the expulsion of toxins.
- Brush your feet, toes and soles and then the front and back of your legs (use long, smooth strokes). Always brush upwards and towards the groin.
- Brush your buttocks and lower back (as well as you can) using upward strokes.
- Brush your hands and arms towards your armpits.
- Brush across your shoulders and down the chest towards the heart (avoid your nipples).
- Using a circular, clockwise motion, brush your abdominal and stomach area.
- Now have a bath to which you have added two drops of rosemary oil. Gradually add cool water until, over a period of about half an hour, the water is quite cold. This further stimulates the lymph.
Because your body will be going through changes and withdrawals, Detox Meditation is a great way to alleviate stress and continue to focus on the benefits from the body.
Repeat the detox breathing this afternoon and then spend some time in meditation.
- Sit either on a straight-backed chair or on the floor.
- Check your body to ensure you aren't holding on to tension, especially jaws, shoulders, legs and buttocks.
- Now focus on your breath. Don't try to change it -- just be aware of it. Notice how you breathe in and how you hold the breath for a moment before exhaling. Then another pause before you inhale. It's a four-step process.
- Follow your breath like this and if your mind starts to wander, don't be angry -- just gently bring it back.
- Imagine you're exhaling toxic thoughts and emotions from your body and mind and inhaling new, exciting energy and possibilities.
- When you feel ready, return your focus to the breath.
- Now become aware of your body -- of your buttocks sitting on the floor or chair; of your head balancing on your neck; of your shoulders relaxed and heavy.
- Now become aware of the world around you: the sounds, the temperature. Slowly and gently open your eyes and return to normal consciousness.
- Sit for a few minutes. Drink water before getting up.
Because they didnâ€™t feel so great going in, theyâ€™re not going to feel that great coming outâ€¦ here are some of the side effects to expect during the detox;
- A headache
- More, or smellier, sweat
- Feeling unusual emotions
- Spots, pimples or rashes
- Bad breath
Other side effects can include fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, weight loss, hunger, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney problems. If these side effects occur, there is a worsening of symptoms, or new symptoms appear, the fast should be discontinued and it should prompt an immediate visit to a qualified health professional.
A possible side effect is diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte loss.
You can follow this detox for as long as you like, a day, three days, a week, a month etc Any amount of time will help clean out your body of all the unnatural residues itâ€™s collected over the past year. Start this summer out right!