With Spring almost here and swimsuit season fast approaching it’s the perfect time for some “Spring cleaning” of your body. You have probably heard the buzz about detox diets and their plethora of supposed benefits. Maybe you have even considered doing one yourself. Before jumping on the bandwagon of crazy concoctions or week long fasting, there are a few things you should know about detoxing. What is a detox anyways? The thought of detoxing our bodies has been around for centuries, dating back to the time of the Egyptians when Cleopatra would bathe herself in milk in order to purify her skin. We have come a long way in medicine since those days; however our lifestyles are more toxic today than ever before in history. Our bodies are exposed to pollution by car fumes, highly toxic chemicals, and pesticide-laden processed foods on a daily basis. The thought behind a detox is to rid your body of all the built up toxins in your system and help reverse the damage done. Is it helpful or a hoax? Some people will claim that that detoxification is not necessary because your body has the capability to rid your body of toxins without outside support. It is true, the human body is a miraculous warrior against toxins; it fights off pathogens, and heals itself everyday. However, our bodies were not designed for the 21st century fast-food lifestyle; and with the overload of junk we put in our body the systems can get backed up and do not work properly. Using systems that help your body eliminate toxins can help a number of ailments such as mind clarity, skin complexion, relief from headaches etc. While detoxification programs can help, be careful not to be deceived by false fads. As American’s living in our express lane world, we expect “microwave” results for everything. We want outcomes here and now, even when it comes to reversing the years and years of damage we have caused our bodies. Sorry to burst your misleading media bubble, but the trendy word of “detox” to cleanse you of your sins is not the quick fix they proclaim. It will take more time than one simple treatment at a day spa or a week of drinking a foul tasting potion in order to see true results. A lifestyle change needs to be made in order to bring your body back to a state where it can start healing itself. Do I need to detox?
- Do you suffer from headaches or migranes?
- Is your skin spotty or hair dull?
- Do you suffer from joint or muscle aches and pains?
- Do you suffer from sinus problems?
- Do you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, or bloating?
- Are you constantly tired or have difficulty maintaining concentration?
- Do you have problems sleeping?
- Do you have cellulite
This is a list full of symptoms that may be caused by a number of issues and detoxing alone may not cure the problem. However, if you have several of these complications, I would recommend taking action. This can be done through a number of ways of which you can implement into your lifestyle. Detox Lifestyle Try a few of these easy-to-do ideas to help eliminate the toxins in your life and to live a “detox lifestyle” without eliminating whole food groups all together or shocking your system with a fast. Epsom Salt Baths Using 2 cups salt per gallon of water, soak for 20 minutes. This will help draw out impurities through your skin. Skin Brushing This should be done before bathing or showering to exfoliate your skin, to improve circulation and lymph drainage. Use a bristle brush starting at your toes working our way up brushing in long strokes toward your heart. Breathing Techniques It is important to breath properly in order to eliminate toxins and to fill our cells with life-giving oxygen. Take a few minutes every day to breath in deeply through your nose filling your lungs, holding for 4-6 seconds and then exhaling again through your nose, all the air from your lungs. Foods to Avoid Non organic meats and fish are filled with growth promoting chemicals. High sodium content foods can cause high blood pressure and water retention in kidneys. Butter, margarine and other dairy products can slow down the lymphatic systems. Foods to Eat All your food choices should be organic and as minimally processed as possible. Your meats and eggs should be free range and your fish should be wild, not farmed. Aloe vera juice 3oz 1-3 times daily to heal the digestive track and maintain pH balance. Warm water and lemon juice in the morning to wake up your digestive system. Fruits: apples, pears, grapes, oranges, grapefruits, lemons, melons, and pineapples. Vegetables: onions, carrots, cabbages, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, beetroot, and cucumber. Oils: coconut, flaxseed, rapeseed, extra virgin olive, and sunflower. Beans, whole grains and a small amount of raw, unsalted nuts should also be eaten every day. Herbal Teas Teas have been used for centuries to draw out impurities from the body. Ginger lemon tea is one of my favorites for helping with the digestive tract. I hope this shines some light on the mystery of detoxing and helps you understand the ongoing necessity of eliminating the toxins in your life. Happy Spring and Happy Detoxing! Lauren McBride