Becoming healthy is the most common New Year’s Resolution for a good reason. It is one of the core resolutions which all other resolutions depend on. Without vibrant health and wellness, how can we begin to really enjoy life to its fullest? However, I want to make it clear that detoxing is NOT about deprivation – subsisting only on green juice or lemon water and spending your time in the bathroom doing endless coffee colonics. Instead, I want you to think of a detox simply as a way to reset your body and give it a chance to get back to its homeostatic (or balanced) state. Cleansing is about incorporating more whole, fresh produce into your diet – such eating more salads, drinking green smoothies, and enjoying warming soups – while also removing the sugary, processed foods that cause toxicity in the body.
Of course if you want to do a 1-3 day juice fast to jump start the detox process, then by all means go for it! But it’s not necessary. In fact, you can reap a lot of benefits from simple daily changes that will greatly impact your health not only this year, but for all the years ahead. Here are my favourite detox tips to get you (and your health) to the best start possible this year:
Sip a Cleansing Morning Elixir of Lemon Water with Cayenne
Don’t worry – this is absolutely NOT me promoting a crazy cleanse where all you drink is lemon and cayenne pepper water for a week in order to achieve drastic weight loss. But there are amazing benefits to starting your day with this easy-to-make cleansing drink.
First, Lemon is a natural detoxifier as it’s full of vitamin C, which transforms toxins into digestible material that you can then eliminate. Lemons are also packed with the antioxidants potassium, calcium and magnesium, which combat disease causing free radicals in the body. It’s also known to stimulate the liver’s natural enzymes by helping to oxygenate the body. The cayenne pepper stimulates the circulatory system by opening the capillaries, aids digestion, and helps regulate blood sugar. Furthermore, it increases the temperature of your body and kick-starts your metabolism, which, yes, can help you to lose weight. Be sure to always buy non-irradiated cayenne pepper (and all spices) since irradiation negates the health benefits of spices. Tip: drink the mixture right after making it as letting it sit will cause the pepper to diffuse, resulting in very spicy water!
Morning cardio, or fasted cardio as it’s known in the fitness word since you do it on an empty stomach, is something I advise all my clients to try and incorporate 1-2 times per week. Why? Doing cardio in a fasted state can increase fat burning from targeted stubborn areas, helping you to see faster results. Another benefit that comes with doing your exercise first thing in the morning is that it gets your metabolism revved for the day. Plus – doing your workout first thing helps you start the day with a positive feeling of accomplishment while decreasing the likeliness of you skipping your workout entirely (which can happen after a busy day).
Fiber and digestive enzymes with meals
You’ve probably heard it time and time again that you need to be eating more fiber in your diet. Not only is this part of a healthy diet that will contribute to weight loss, but it’s also an essential way of cleansing the body in its most natural form. Our bodies, particularly our digestive tracts, tend to hold onto substances that enter over time. This may be toxins, preservatives from foods that we eat, or just waste that is not being properly eliminated by the body. Whatever the cause, the end result is that you may feel bloated, weighed down, unusually tired, and sick. Fiber helps to keep the digestive tract working properly. This means that all toxins, excessive waste, and anything else that has built up in the digestive tract will move through rapidly. You feel healthier and your digestive process works in the way that it is intended to. Just make sure to start slowly to avoid adverse effects!
Digestive enzymes in supplement form are also a great way to improve digestion, elimination and ensure we are absorbing all the vitamins and minerals from our food. Taking digestive enzyme supplements for a period of time can also help our bodies engage in on-going detoxification and remove the old, diseased cells and tissue before they build and cause problems for us. Taking one capsule with each meal usually does wonders for my clients!
I know you’ve heard this before, but sugar really is poison for our bodies. But perhaps what you didn’t know is that sugar is also sneaky, creeping into our foods under a variety of names, including glucose, fructose (as in fruit sugar), lactose (as in milk), sucrose (as in table sugar), maltose or malts (as in rice malt), jam (contains concentrated juice, which is high in fruit sugar), maple syrup, corn syrup, palm sugar (traditionally used in macrobiotic cooking), and the very deceiving organic brown sugar, which is not all that different from white sugar. Even alcohol is a sugar. All of these sugars are problematic in many different ways – from systemic inflammation, weight-gain, chronic fatigue, acne, mood disorders and too many others to count! But here comes the good news: we do not have to give up the sweetness of sugar in order to be healthy; we just need to replace it with the whole, natural alternative – fruit! During a detox, try and stick with fruits with a low glycemic load (which means lower in sugar) such as fresh berries or apples, and eliminate all other sugars, even natural options like honey, to help your taste buds and cravings reset post-holiday sugar binge!
Milk – does it really do a body good? In my opinion, no. Our bodies were designed to be weaned off milk as children and as a result many of us are lactose intolerant as adults (about 65 percent of the human population has some level of lactose intolerance after infancy). Even if you are not lactose intolerant, digesting dairy products places a heavy burden on our body’s detoxification system, which is why it’s crucial to eliminate them during a cleanse (if not forever!). Another major issue with dairy consumption is the antibiotics you get in your daily glass of 2%. Antibiotics are given in mass quantities to dairy cows to help prevent infection, but great concern has been raised over the consumption of these antibiotics through the milk supply, which greatly impacts the microbe balance in your gut, causing issues like parasites, candida and dysbiosis which wreak havoc on your digestion and your health. Instead try homemade or organic store-bought nut or coconuts milks.
Most forms of vigorous exercise stimulate all three systems of elimination to some extent, thereby helping the body in its quest to cleanse and detox. But yoga, with its focus on systematically stretching and compressing every part of the body, is particularly well-suited to keeping the waste-removal departments of the body functioning well. Even the Yogic breathing plays an important role in promoting detoxification by helping to clear out carbon dioxide from the lung tissue while stimulating the organs of digestion. And it’s not just about the physical! Yoga is a great way to mentally detox, helping combat stress, anxiety and bringing awareness back from the chaos of your mind to the present moment. Try and incorporate a daily practice into your routine, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes of a few relaxing poses and stretches.
Green smoothie for Breakfast and dinner
Though you never want to go to extreme measures where your diet is concerned, there are some ideas that can work wonders. When it comes to naturally cleansing the body a great measure can be to replace one or two meals a day with a detoxifying smoothie. This isn’t extreme and won’t cause any harm, but it can be exceptional for getting rid of the substances that your body doesn’t need while giving your overtaxed digestive system a break. In fact, turning to a smoothie as a meal is a great way to jumpstart your metabolism while feeding your body some easily absorbed nutrients! You will notice that natural energy that you feel and may even notice that some of the symptoms that you suffer with daily are gone with this natural boost. Try and use lots of green leafies, such as spinach and kale, which are great for detox and liver support, along with your favourite fresh fruits, nuts and seeds.
When we talk about cleansing the main focus tends to be on the physical aspects, but a focus on rebalancing your mind and spirit is arguably as important. After all, stress, negativity and poor self-esteem are just as toxic to the body as any junk food. This is why I emphasize the importance of doing a “holistic cleanse” with all my clients, addressing ways to improve mood, increase self-love and ensure they are the happiest and healthiest people they can be.
Not only does research show that keeping a written account of your health and weight-loss efforts DOUBLES your chances of success, but it also shows it is extremely effective in helping reduce stress, clarify thoughts and feelings, and giving us a deeper understanding of ourselves. Studies also show that writing down all the things we are grateful for has amazing benefits in improving mood and with it our health. Try taking 5-10 minutes each day to write down your feelings, thoughts, and accomplishments for the day.
We can be our own worst critics, letting negative self-talk take over our minds and wreak havoc on our health. It’s time to turn the internal conversation around with positive affirmations! Why do affirmations work? They work because whatever you verbally repeat to yourself will influence your thoughts and eventually change your beliefs. Some great mantras to repeat to yourself during a cleanse could be, “I am becoming lighter and more balanced each day” or “I deserve perfect health and happiness”. Repeat your chosen mantra many times throughout the day to empower your success!
A vision board is a simple yet powerful visualization tool that manifests your dreams into reality by activating the Law of Attraction to bring what you desire most into your life. The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with positive images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live and the things you are grateful for, your life changes to match those images and those desires. And it’s easy! Just begin by cutting out images and phrases of the things you love and want to see in your future onto a large pin board or piece of cardboard in any way you desire. When finished, place it in a position where you can look at it daily for continued inspiration. You can also use Pinterest if you are more digitally savvy!
We live in a busy world with hectic schedules, deadlines, and seemingly endless obligations, making it seem like we don’t have time to focus completely on our health. This is where a mini (but mighty!) detox is perfect. It does not take up too much of your time, it’s easy to follow, and most importantly, it works incredibly well! My 3-day Sugar Detox is designed to help you jump start quick weight-loss; cleanse and detoxify your body; and revitalize your mind and spirit in just 3 days so you can move forward on your path to wellness feeling fresh, restored, and motivated towards lasting change. Check it out here!
Need a custom approach? Take advantage of my one-on-one New Year Weight Loss Package. Email me directly to find out how you can get started today firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year and happy detoxing!