Detox is Not Just About Diet
Detox. When most people hear this word, they think of some drastic diet involving obscure logic, weird food, or no food at all. I’m here to tell you, my friends, that there is a whole wide world of detox that is not scary, but fascinating, logical, and effective— and not all of it is diet centered.
The basic dietary principles of detox involve fresh, fiber-rich whole foods, healthy oils, antioxidants, and eliminating common allergens. This style of eating is not only good for detoxing, but it supports healthy metabolism and should be the foundation of any lifestyle dietary plan.
There are many alternative methods of detox though, and the following ones should be easily incorporated into your daily routine:
Wash Away Toxins
Detox baths utilize our largest detox organ— our skin! Immersing yourself in hot water encourages internal temperatures to rise, setting you up for success. Toxins are then moved to the surface of your skin, and as the water cools they are attracted into the water via osmosis. This recipe promotes general detox and protection from radiation, pesticides, xenoestrogens, and heavy metals:
- Draw a bath as hot as you can safely tolerate and dissolve into it 2 lbs of baking soda.
- Relax and sip a glass of warm water mixed with 1 tsp baking soda.
- Remain in the bath until the water is cool.
- Towel off without rinsing, and refrain from showering for about 4 hours.
Exercise is another way to incorporate detox in your day-to-day. Ideally, you should aim for about 30 minutes of physical activity at least three times per week. You can certainly do more though, if you are conscious of getting enough clean carb energy in your diet and you choose the proper type of workout.
- Walking is great. It is low intensity, low impact, and helps circulate your lymph (which helps move toxins out of your body). Swing your arms or even skip, if you like, for added benefit.
- Rebounding, or bouncing on a mini trampoline, utilizes gravity to squeeze toxins out of your cells. (Bouncing for 10-20 minutes per day has also long been a remedy for cellulite!)
- Cycling provides a good cardiovascular workout that is low impact. Major lymph vessels in your legs benefit from the spinning motion and contraction of your muscles, and if you monitor your posture, it is also excellent for your core strength.
- Yoga utilizes deep breathing, range of motion, bends and twists to circulate lymph through your body. You can easily modify the postures to make them less intense or more challenging, depending on your fitness level and any injuries that may need protecting.
Detox from the Outside In
Personal care and beauty products are major sources of environmental toxins that we are exposed to daily. From shampoo to lotion, lipstick to nail polish, we are constantly in contact with ingredients that are known carcinogens, hormone disruptors, skin and lung irritants, and even heavy metals. To simplify your hygiene and minimize exposure to those toxins, try to incorporate as much of the following as you can:
- Instead of body washes that contain artificial fragrance, use natural products, or find a homemade bar soap at your local Farmers Market. The essential oils they use smell amazing and have therapeutic benefits.
- Try the “no-‘poo” method of washing your hair. All you need is baking soda and vinegar! Read up more on this topic here.
- Replace lotions with jojoba oil or coconut oil. If you miss the fragrance, all you have to do is add a tiny drop of your favorite essential oil to the bottle.
- Select your cosmetics carefully. I recommend using the EWG’s Skin Deep database to check out the safety of all your personal care products.
Create Balance in Your Life
Finally, one often overlooked aspect of detox is your personal life! It’s so easy to become stressed out or worn down in our society, but try the following ideas to help create balance in your life:
- Being mindful of all your obligations. Responsibilities requires a lot of mental energy, so I encourage you to make lists and develop a system of organization that works for you.
- Simplifying your schedule can also be important— don’t take on more than you can comfortably accomplish and be successful at.
- Personal relationships can be incredibly enriching, but they can also be toxic. It’s not easy, but try to accept that there are some things which cannot be changed, and for your health it may be necessary to cut ties with toxic people.
- Put your cell phone away for a while. Read a book, write poetry, or indulge in some other “old fashioned” activity that you used to love, but you’ve not had the time for lately.
-Spend time in nature to help ground yourself, and try to sneak in a few moments of meditation throughout your day.
If you can incorporate any of these methods of detox, you will be making major improvements in your health. Don’t overwhelm yourself by diving into each thing all at once— try one at a time until you’re comfortable with it being a part of your routine. Before you know it, you’ll be noticing benefits like more energy, clear thoughts, more restful sleep, and improved skin tone… just to name a few!