It's January, a time for new beginnings and wiping the slate clean to begin again. Only better this time. Right?
Well, if you're like me and my clients, January always seems like the perfect month to start a detox.
Because, we often become 'toxic' after periods of overindulging with fatty foods and alcohol, as well as other toxins. And when our body is toxic, our natural detoxification system can no longer cope, it becomes overwhelmed causing every other system in our body to become negatively affected.
If you're suffering from constipation, food allergies, an inability to lose weight, acne, rosacea, eczema, persistent headaches, muscle pain or muscle fatigue - you need to detox.
And, even if you're not suffering from any of the above, putting your body through a simple detox is good for you for a number of reasons including:
1. It will remove toxins from your body
Being exposed to toxins like preservatives, pesticides and environmental pollutants affects your metabolism and immune system leading to disease.
2. It will enhance your immune system
Boosting your immune system will help you to fight off infections like colds and flus and keep you in optimum health all year round.
3. It will help you shift any unwanted pounds
Toxins are held in fat cells, slowing the metabolism and affecting the body's natural ability to burn fat - leading to the inevitable weight gain.
4. It will increase your energy levels
A detoxified body will enable improved sleep, more mental alertness and greater physical energy.
5. It will slow aging
By detoxing your body you are helping to rid it of the free radicals that lead to premature aging. A detoxed system is able to absorb antioxidants and vitamins more easily helping to reduce damaging oxidative stress.
So now we know why to detox, let's look at 10 easy ways to do it:
1. Avoid toxins, including: Sugar, alcohol, fizzy drinks, processed foods, excess caffeine (stick to 2 cups of organic coffee, black or green tea per day), artificial sweeteners, food additives, preservatives, artificial colours, and pesticides (wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating)
2. Eat more antioxidant rich foods. Antioxidants protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals by destroying them and, in the process, slowing down their degenerative effects. Antioxidants are found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, avocados, sweet potatoes, red, green, yellow and orange peppers, and brightly coloured berries.
3. Take a bath with Epsom salts once a week. Epsom salts are full of magnesium and encourage the body to shed toxins quickly. The salts also work to aid the digestive process and, some say, they help to reduce cellulite. Run a hot bath and add 2 scoops of Epsom salts. Relax in the bath for around 20 minutes.
4. Drink a glass of hot water (not boiling as boiling water kills the vitamins) and lemon juice as soon as you wake up. This drink is both hydrating and detoxing and therefore the perfect first drink of the day.
5. Go organic when possible. Ideally you'd buy everything organic, however this isn't always possible. It is especially important that you opt for organic when it comes to vegetables, eggs, dairy and meat products. Local farmer's markets are a great place to buy local, fresh and organic products.
6. Take a probiotic supplement. The beneficial bacteria within probiotics help to kill harmful bacteria and yeasts allowing food to be absorbed, or moved through your system more effectively.
7. Drink herbal teas. There are a huge variety out there including Kusmi Tea, Dandelion tea, nettle tea, organic Echinacea and green teas, pick one and enjoy for their calming, detoxing and antioxidant properties.
8. Avoid toxic oils. These include vegetable oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and canola oil, all of which often contain high levels of trans fats (the worst kind of fat) due to the bleaching, degumming and caustic refining processes that they goes through.
9. Reduce stress. Alongside the obvious advice of meditating, going for walks in nature and listening to classical music, try removing stress inducing foods (these also happen to be some of the foods in point 1) and including stress alleviating foods like berries, green vegetables, turkey, nuts, avocados and sweet potatoes.
10. Be positive. Focusing on the positive and being grateful for all the blessings in your life will not only help to reduce the damaging effects of stress hormones, but also make you feel good, on the inside and out.