Focus: Detoxifying & Cleansing
In my previous post I spoke about adding a daily probiotic as a start for looking after your gut health. A daily probiotic keeps your gut populated with good fighting bacteria. It can also be beneficial to cleanse your colon, as years of built up toxins can affect your health. Think dirty colon = dirty blood = bad health. A cleanse can be a chance to “reset the system.” Others do a cleanse more spiritually for inner peace. Some like to do a spring & fall cleanse, but others like to do it once a month. How you do it is all a personal preference, and comes down to listening to what your body wants or needs.
There are a few different types and lengths of cleanses you can try. With any cleanse you want your body to be prepared for it.
Step 1 – Approach your cleanse with a self-care attitude. It’s most important to make sure you will have the time to relax, and not stress. See this as a time to pamper and care for yourself. Plan to be home, read a good book, mediate, take a bath; whatever helps to create a nurturing environment for yourself.
Step 2 – Be prepared with everything you need in order to be successful! Make a list! You want to make sure you are keeping your body hydrated and putting back minerals and nutrients. Find recipes for fresh detox juices you can make at home, or if you prefer there are programs here in Winnipeg, such as the ones offered at Green Carrot. You also want to have certain foods on hand, such as brown rice or Miso broth, in case you find it too difficult to be without food.
Step 3 – Be realistic with yourself, and your intention with the cleanse. Don’t go into a cleanse with an ideal of shedding unwanted pounds, but rather envision your body cleansed and refreshed in order to give you optimal health.
As I mentioned, there are many different types of cleanses available. You really should research what is best for you, and be sure to check with your doctor if you have any health restrictions.
In addition to the toxins in our colon, cleansing also gives our other organs a much-needed rest! With the amount of toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, in addition to a cleanse, we should find ways to help our body detoxify.
Detoxification removes impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system, and skin. There are numerous ways to enhance your cleanse and help your body detoxify. Here are a few suggestions:
- Detox baths are wonderful, not only for helping relax your body, but drawing toxins to the surface. Encouraging our bodies’ natural detoxification process is simple! You will want to start with bath water as hot as you can handle and add in 2 cups of epsom salts (also known as magnesium sulfate.) It can also be beneficial to add a cup of baking soda to your bath to help neutralize any chemicals, such as chlorine. Add a few drops of essential oil if you like, and submerge your body for at least 20 minutes. When finished, drink lots of water to hydrate.
- Dry Brushing is another great tool for detoxing! By dry brushing your skin with a loofah or a dry brush, you will stimulate the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is our personal filter, it keeps toxins out of your bloodstream. When we stimulate it with a dry bush, it activates this powerful defense system. Dry brushing can also help rid cellulite, and naturally rid of dead skin cells.
- Any exercise that helps you break a sweat is going to be a detox tool. So dance in your kitchen, get outside for a brisk walk, whatever you enjoy, just get sweating!
- Go for a massage, my personal favourite! Ever wonder why a massage therapist will tell you to drink plenty of water after a massage? Think of it like this: your muscles are a sponge and when a massage therapist starts rubbing your muscles they are squeezing that sponge and stimulating your lymphatic system.
Eliminating our exposure to toxins, especially environmental toxins, can be difficult. But we can help our bodies have a strong defense system by making healthier choices! Some of the other benefits that you can receive from a cleansing & detox routine are: beautiful skin, clear thinking, more energy, & better mood.
Next up in our “Natural Living” series: Understanding Omega’s, Superfoods, Enzymes & Antioxidants.