By far the most common question that I have been receiving lately is "what should I do to detox my body?" It seems that everyone is in need of a little tune up around this time of year. Detoxing is really all about removing impurities from the body. This basically means getting rid of all of the bad stuff and inputting only the good stuff, and with your body's assistance, you should be feeling better in no time.
So how do you start?
1. Stop eating junk and lighten up your toxic load.
Your body can only handle so much. Your liver is constantly working to filter out impurities in your body and it can get overwhelmed and warn out, so give it a break. Cut out the "toxic seven" which are dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, corn, soy and wheat.
2. Bring in the good stuff.
Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, with more vegetables than fruits, healthy fats and lean proteins into your diet. The majority of your food should consist of cleansing vegetables. Then add in healthy fats, proteins and fruits more so as supplements to your vegetable based meals.
3. Watch your portions.
All of the foods mentioned above are delightfully beneficial for your body, however sometimes it is good to give your digestive system a little rest. This doesn't mean stop eating. This means eat until you are about 75% full. After a few days this will become easier and easier. Your body will be working to digest your food and utilize it for fuel much more efficiently without the excess baggage.
4. Watch your salt.
I believe that salt is beneficial and necessary to most diets, but chances are you get much more than you think. Every once in a while, your body can benefit from having reduced sodium levels. You will lose bloat and puffiness from drastically cutting your sodium intake.
5. Drink water!
Water will keep everything well lubricated and moving along well. Water also helps energize muscles, keeps your skin looking fresh, assists your kidneys and much more. It can also be very helpful by curbing hunger pangs!
6. Supplement with herbs.
Cleansing herbs include milk thistle, dandelion root and burdock root. All of these can be found in pill form or in delicious tea blends. These herbs help clean out the liver, which is what we want.
7. Try having 1-2 liquid meals per day.
By blending your meals into a smoothie or blended soup you are allowing your digestive system to put less effort forth to digest the food that you are eating. The first part of the digestive process, which is chewing, is virtually taken out of the equation. When your digestive system doesn't have to work as hard, the other systems in your body, like your immune system, can kick in more and work more effectively.
A general detox day:
Warm lemon water and green or herbal tea upon waking.
Breakfast: A smoothie with a leafy green, mixed berries a non-dairy milk and a healthy fat (coconut oil, almond butter, avocado, etc).
Snack: Raw carrots, celery and cucumber with 1 tablespoon of nut butter or 2 tablespoons of homemade hummus.
Lunch: A salad with leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, spring mix, etc.), a variety of vegetables (bell pepper, cucumber, carrots, celery, cabbage, tomato, mushrooms, etc) and 1/4 of an avocado. Make your own dressing using a combination of a few of the following ingredients: lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, red wine vinegar, tahini, cumin, ginger, garlic, cayenne, rosemary, oregano.
Dinner: Assorted steamed vegetables with a portion of lean protein (baked fish, grilled chicken or turkey, 1-2 eggs). OR A vegetable and bean/quinoa stir-fry. OR A blended vegetable soup.
At least 10 glasses of water throughout the day.
*Another snack could include mixed berries, an apple, a pear or some more raw vegetables, all paired with a handful of raw, preferably sprouted, nuts.
I hope this helps everyone! Incorporate these few elements and without a doubt you will be feeling better in a matter of days.
To health and happiness,