What if we told you that there was a simpler approach to your annual reboot? An approach that gets great results, and dare we say it, may even be enjoyable!
Although detoxing may seem like a relatively new fad, ancient cultures have been performing cleanses for centuries. Simply put, the aim of a detoxis to give your body an opportunity to reset.
It’s a chance for eliminatory organs such as your liver and kidneys to get on top of the task of clearing out all that accumulated junk (you’d be surprised.... environmental toxins, cellular debris, the build up of food waste in your intestines......) Doing a detox is a bit like when the rubbish truck finally comes to take away all the trash after the holiday season; when it’s all gone, you’re left with a clean and tidy house.
Of course, your body is continually taking out rubbish and working hard to keep your system clean, but there are occasions when it can get overwhelmed (for example if you’ve overindulged, or are under a lot of stress.) It’s times like these when your body needs a helping hand to get things moving.
Type the word detox into your search engine and you get approximately 17,800,000 results. There’s so much overwhelming advice around, it can seem impossible to know where to begin. But detoxing really is as easy (or complicated) as you want to make it. Although there’s a lot of advice, and a huge range of programmes and products to choose from, the fact is this;
No detox will work if you’re unable to stick to it.
Setting unachievable goals that make you feel tired and bored is simply not going to work, so we’ve come up with a no nonsense guide that literally anyone can follow. A few simple changes are all you need for great results.
• Make a list and shop for what you need beforehand to avoid the
temptation to binge on unhealthy food.
• Start cutting down on stimulants such as coffee and alcohol a couple of days before you plan to detox. This way it won’t be such a shock to your body, and you’ll be in the right frame of mind to begin. Likewise, it’s best not to jump straight back into your regular routine as soon as the detox is finished. Making gradual changes is always the best way to get results.
• Choose a time when you have no social commitments for the best chance of success.
• Keep a food diarywhile you detox. This is a fantastic way to stay motivated as you can see at a glance the progress you’ve achieved. Writing down what you eat will also help you stay on track. Get creative! You can even stick in photos and recipes of the food you’ve prepared if it helps you work towards your goal.
When shopping for food, make sure to choose things you enjoy. Most people
fail to stick to a detox plan as they either starve themselves, or buy
foods they think are healthy, but they don’t necessarily enjoy.
If you’re stuck for ideas or simply don’t have the time to get creative, try Pinterest for a huge variety of inspiring recipes for homemade soups and stews, salads and one pots (trust me you’ll never look back!) Creating a food planner (or Pinterest board) for the meals you’ll be eating is another great motivator, and by trying new ideas you won’t be left feeling like you’re stuck in a rut.
If you’re hungry, then eat! The point of a detox is to cleanse rather than lose weight (although this can often be a welcome side effect!) By going hungry, you’re much less likely to stick to your goal. To help beat sugar cravings try eating raisins and sultanas or other dried fruits.
There are a huge variety of herbs, spices and vegetables known for their detoxifying properties. Try cooking up spicy vegetable curries with chillies and garlic, or raw salads with blood purifying beetrootand carrots. If you’re feeling brave, you could even try juicing celery, lemon, beetroot, apple and ginger for a powerful morning liver boost.
Include dry skin brushing as part of your regular morning routine. Not only does it get your blood moving and encourage your lymphatic system remove metabolic waste, it also helps banish cellulite (no gym required!) Natural bristles are best, and brushescan be purchased relatively cheaply from most health shops or online.
During a detox it’s important to drink around 1 – 2 litres of water every day. This is because your blood (made up of 90% water) needs it to carry nutrients and vitamins to every part of your body. In addition, water bulks out the fibre in your food so it can be eliminated via your intestines. It’s important not to become dehydrated if you want to avoid constipation.
If you dislike water, try adding a squeeze of lemon or a few sprigs of mint. Alternatively try a detoxifying herbal teafor variety. If you simply can’t give up regular coffee and tea for a few days, you may want to try using chicory or dandelion coffee substitute, or rooibus tea.
As we already mentioned, fibre is important for regular bowel movements. Whole grains such as brown riceare particularly good at promoting elimination.
Fresh air and gentle exercise are a great way to give yourself a boost during a detox. Taking a brisk walk outdoors not only improves your mood, but gets oxygen into your bloodstream which helps move rubbish out of your system much more quickly.
During a detox your liver and kidneys will be under extra pressure to flush out toxins. You can give them a helping hand with products like herbal bitters and Napier’s Detox Formula which contain herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion and burdock, which are known for their cleansing and supporting properties. Another useful trick is to add a few handfuls of Epsom salts to your bath. Sweating out toxins via the skin is a good way to reduce the burden on the other eliminatory organs.
Remember, the point of detoxing is to rejuvenate and revitalise your system. If you listen to your body and set yourself realistic goals, then there’s no reason to suppose that a few days of healthy eating should be difficult to manage. Some people like to do a one day detox every month, for others, three days to a week works well; at the end of the day it’s really down to you.
Just a final word of caution; if you’re nursing or pregnant we advise
consulting with your healthcare practitioner before starting a detox plan.
Similarly it isn’t advisable for small children or chronically ill patients
to detox without medical supervision.