IT’S NEW YEAR, NEW YOU SEASON AND WITH THAT SPIRIT, I’VE LISTED THE TOP TEN RULES I ABIDE BY EVERYDAY TO LEAD A DETOXIFYING LIFESTYLE. The principles, though small and easy to follow have a huge impact on my well-being, body and spirit. Read on to get your detox on…
(Photo by Sasha Israel)
Love Your Gut –
One of the easiest ways to detox is adding more probiotics into your system. They not only support gut health by helping food move through your system, they also combat inflammation. We love Dr. Ohira‘s probiotics or Healthforce Naturals. Or you can always go the whole foods route and add more kimchi and sauerkraut to your meals for good bacteria kick.
Start Combining Correctly –
Chances are you’ve experienced the dreaded food coma or post-meal bloat even after a “healthy” meal. Why? Because our bodies thrive best when eating either a protein or a starch, but not both. So choose your meals wisely. If you’re going to do a baked fish, pair it with a non-starchy vegetable like broccoli, baked beets or spinach. If you’re doing a whole grain or rice pasta omit any cheese or meatballs. Your digestive system will thank you. For more on how to detox through food combining, see here.
Just Add Lemon –
Though lemon is an acidic fruit, when digested in our bodies, it has an alkaline affect. Translation? Improved digestion and less inflammation. When you are looking to detox, simply adding a mug of warm water with lemon in the water or after meals will combat bloat and help move heavier foods along. I also happen to notice an immediate improvement in my complexion when I add this to my morning routine.
Go Raw, Kind Of –
No you don’t have to go fully David Wolfe on us or go on an all-juice detox. But sticking to mostly if not all raw vegetable juices and fruit for the beginning part of your day will ensure you have tons of live enzymes in your system to help breakdown heavier cooked foods, will improve the alkalinity in your blood and set the stage right for having a healthful day. Even if you become cheat-y at night, at least you’ve prepped your body early on to address the damage while you sleep. An easy first step is always having a fresh green juice followed by fresh fruit first thing in the morning. Then for lunch a big raw salad. The lighter our bodies are during the day, the more energy we have and the more we thrive.
One of the best ways to detox is through sweat. Our bodies are meant to perspire so any way you can get it, whether it’s hitting your local gym, jumping into an infrared sauna or regular sauna, hopping into a hot Epsom salts bath for at least twenty minutes. A deep sweat will rid your body of toxins, excess salt and bloating.
We’re sure you’ve heard that your skin is the largest organ in our body. So circulation is a must for any detox regimen. In Asia, they rely on Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Tui Na massage to help blood and energy circulate through the meridian points. All these are great options but going for a simple massage, exfoliating or dry-brushing every morning will do the trick.
Hold The Oil –
The fat-free trend has come and gone (Snackwells, anyone?) That said, we do believe the “good fats” tend to get a bit overused. No meal should include more than a couple tablespoons of oil and be wary of combining fats in one meal. (IE: nuts and oil or avocado and butter.) It’s simply too heavy for our body to digest and heated oils/fats run the risk of turning rancid, which can wreak havoc on your digestive system. So brighten up salads with lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and tamari sauce. You’ll be surprised how little oil you need. For sautéing vegetables, you can add a drop of oil, ghee or grass-fed butter and use water for the rest. Simple, light and still delicious.
Go Ina –
The formula is simple. The more you cook at home, the healthier you’ll be. Aim to have at least two meals cooked at home a week and if you want bump that up to three or four. Planning your meals in advance helps. I find if I have a stocked pantry of healthy grains, rice and legumes, potatoes or root vegetable, at least one fresh vegetable and leafy greens in the fridge, I’m set.
Go Green –
We thrive on chlorophyll-rich foods. Remember Brooke Shield’s enviable glow in Blue Lagoon? It’s attainable. The next best thing to living on an island is eating your greens, which absorb the sunlight and are essentially True Blood to the human body. Make sure you have a raw salad before every meal, which will arm your body with the alkaline power to digest cooked foods.
Above all, listen to your intuition. No plan is right for everyone. Feeling deprived whether it’s emotionally or physically is the root of all binging. If you listen to what your body is craving (maybe it’s rest, maybe it’s a night out with friends, maybe it’s peace, or maybe it’s pizza) and satisfy them first and foremost, that will lead you to make healthier decisions rather than binge on unhealthy foods after a stint of feeling deprived. Our bodies are sacred and intuitively right all the time. It’s when our ego gets in the way do we begin to mistrust our bodies and feel we need to impose control. When we remember to trust our bodies and listen to what they want, that is when true balance and wellness begins.