Ahh, a new week. Are you all feeling nice and refreshed? As I mentioned on Friday, the highlight of my Saturday was some lovely spa pampering time. Massages are by far one of my favourite ways to relax, unwind, and rejuvenate my mind, body, and spirit. Anyone else feel the same?
Speaking of relaxing and rejuvenating, today I want to chat about natural detoxification. January is often a time when people declare their commitment to new diets, fitness regimes, and detox plans. As far as detoxes go, the programs out there range from reasonable to all-out crazy. I absolutely adore my green smoothies and green juice, but I’m sorry, an all-liquid diet for even one day would turn me into Miss Crankypants, let alone an entire week or two!
While I’m definitely not a fan of extreme detox programs, I do believe there are easy ways to detox naturally and still enjoy solid, delicious food! Our bodies are pretty clever when it comes to cleaning up and taking out the garbage, but why not help things along a little?
And the best bit: These little tips won’t turn you into a hangry, irritable, fire-breathing, steam-coming-out-of-your-ears, get-out-of-my-way-NOW monster. They’re manageable, easy to do, and I’m willing to bet that they’ll make you feel great!
1. Start your day with a glass of lemon water
Simply squeeze a lemon wedge into a glass of water and slurp it up before anything else hits your stomach. While lemon is acidic outside of the body, it becomes alkaline inside. We want our bodies to be slightly alkaline because too much acidity can lead to a whole host of problems from silent inflammation to cancer. Lemon helps to rev the liver up to perform its daily digestive and cleansing duties, and also provides you with a little punch of vitamin C to boost your immune system.
2. Consider chlorella tablets
Chlorella are an incredibly alkalizing algae that contain chlorella, the pigment that plants use in conjunction with sunlight for photosynthesis. It is believed that when consumed, chlorella tablets can help to create a more alkaline environment in our bodies. A word of caution though – If you’re used to eating a lot of very acidic foods (think greasy burgers and fries, processed items, sugar and alcohol), you may experience headaches during the first couple of chlorella doses you take. This is known as a detox symptom and is expected. Take it as a sign that the detoxification process is working and your bod is becoming nice and squeaky clean on the inside. Be sure to look for the words ‘cracked cell wall’ on the bottle, which is a requirement for our bodies to be able to digest the supplement properly. And as always, check with your doc before starting any sort of new nutritional supplements.
3. Go crazy for greens
Following on from the tip above, all dark leafy green veggies we eat. If you don’t want to fork over cash for the tablets, you can easily get chlorella by eating lots of dark leafy greens. If you’re bored of spinach and romaine, try kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, and beet greens. Some are much more bitter than others, but experiment and find a few that you like. Ideally it’s best to eat organic greens to ensure that you’re not ingesting nasties from the pesticides sprayed on conventional produce, but if you ask me, more green veggies is better than none at all!
4. Buy an organic ‘Dirty Dozen’
The Dirty Dozen are fruits and vegetables that contain the highest level of contaminants, according to the Environmental Working Group. These include pesticides and other chemicals that our bodies just shouldn’t come in contact with. These are generally the produce items that have an edible skin, like apples, strawberries, and peaches. You can find the complete list here.
5. Get yo’ green juice!
Are you noticing a colour trend here? Green is great, but really, it could be any freshly squeezed veggie juice. You guys are going to be hearing a heck of a lot more from me in February about green juicing, but for now, just know that this is one of the most powerful things you can do for your health. Juicing removes the fiber from produce, leaving you with the vitamin and mineral-rich juices. Due to the missing fiber (which, don’t get me wrong, still plays a very important role in our bodies), we’re able to absorb the goodies into our bloodstreams faster and with less effort, leaving your bod with more energy to repair and rejuvenate itself. I like to ADD a few green juices and smoothies into my veggie-rich diet (because as I said earlier, a pure liquid-only cleanse and I would likely not get along very well!)
6. Get sweaty!
Physical movement helps to increase blood circulation and heat created within the body. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, this can lead to some intense sweat sessions! Sweat is the body’s natural way of detoxifying, and not only does activity help to cleanse nasties from our system, but it makes us feel great as well. Need some ideas? Get started with one of these workouts.
7. Get bendy
By that I mean do some yoga. As a running junkie, I often need to remind myself to balance my exercise regime with plenty of stretching and strengthening, and yoga totally checks both boxes. Not only can yoga be exceptionally challenging mentally and physically, but certain poses are rockstar detoxifiers. Ones that incorporate twists help to ‘wring out’ our internal organs (yep, just like a sponge!) including our liver which has the job of processing toxins once they enter our system. Twisty poses can also help digestion, ease an upset stomach, and relieve a bloated belly. Need some examples? Check out these how-to guides from YogaJournal.com.
That’s right – close your laptop, turn off the TV, put away the iPad, and leave your phone in another room. Allow yourself to mentally decompress without the noises and non-natural light that comes beaming out of your electronic devices. You might be thinking, “What will I do?” Well, for starters, you could talk to your friends and family face to face. Or you could read a real book – yes, the old fashioned kind with pages!
9. De-clutter your space
The insides of your body aren’t the only places that accumulate junk. De-cluttering your desk, office, car, purse, gym bag, inbox, bedroom, or any other place that you spend time in can help you to relax and think with a more calm, clear mind. An added bonus: Since one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, you may be able to give possessions you no longer want to someone who needs them. They feel great because they’ve got what they were looking for, and you feel great for doing a good deed!
10. Drink some water, then drink some more!
You’ve been told repeatedly that you should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, and water is absolutely essential in the body’s detoxification process. I have several Klean Kanteen bottles that I keep in all the places I spend the most time – my car, my desk at work, and my gym bag. They’re BPA-free and they come in super bright colours, so not only will you be hydrated but you’ll also be lookin’ trendy! (Or you can just drink out of a regular glass – that’s fine too!)
So friends, tell me…
- Do you do any of these things already? Any other quick tips that I missed?
- Have you ever tried a more structured or restrictive detox program? What was your experience like?