So, you overindulged at Christmas, had one too many glasses of bubbles at New Years and come January, feel as though you could use a little post silly season cleanse? Well, you’re not alone… I too load up on the Christmas ham, think it’s perfectly acceptable to have lunch and dinner dessert and say yes to ‘one more mimosa’ all in one day!
But how often do you actually feel like you’ve achieved what you set out to do with said detox ritual? The lack of success in new year cleanses may be because they often leave you feeling a little less than average. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do it (that means its working) and I highly recommend taking a bit of down time once or twice a year to cleanse deeply and thoroughly, but that isn’t always practical.
This is why I’ve come up with Not Your Average January Detox – something achievable for everyone. Tips and tricks that are simple, quick, cheap, effective and most importantly, sustainable throughout the year to keep that post cleanse glow all year round.
Let’s talk about detoxification for a minute, it is such a buzz word that I think we sometimes forget the actual meaning and what goes on inside our bodies.
First thing to get straight is that we are designed to detoxify, it’s a completely normal process that is occurring all the time. Your liver is constantly processing toxins and helping remove them. This is not a process that only occurs when we drink litres of celery juice or take expensive supplements, it literally happens all day and night long without you even thinking about it. That’s not to say though, that things don’t get a little sluggish and need a little extra help now and again.
Second thing to get straight is that it’s not all up to our livers! We detoxify through our skin, our lungs, our kidneys, our bowels and our lymphatic system is also involved. So, it’s important to not only focus on the liver but to provide support to all channels of elimination.
Below is a selection of simple practices that you can include on a daily basis, all year round, that not only focus on the liver but the bowels, skin, lymphatics, lung and kidneys too. You can include all of the tips below if you’re really committed (or really over indulged) or pick a couple, and do what you can, but be consistent and do it every day!
- Apple Cider Vinegar; the oldest and simplest trick in the book – take 5-10mL before each meal in a little water to promote the bowel and liver channels of elimination.
- Warm lemon water; a great way to start the day and promote liver, kidney and bowel detoxification
- Vegetable juice; loaded with phytonutrients to promote liver, kidney and bowel detox.
- One raw meal a day; provides a real boost of fibre and lots of live enzymes for detox through the bowels.
- Plants at every meal – fibre helps promote detoxification via regular elimination of the bowels as well as plenty of phytonutrients to promote liver, kidney and bowel detox.
- Water water water!! And filter it! This is the most important tip, hydration is key for all channels of elimination and detoxification. Drink up!
- Dry Skin Brushing; stimulates lymphatic flow, a natural process of systemic detox
- Herbal Teas; St. Mary’s Thistle, Globe Artichoke, Fennel, Ginger, Turmeric, Lemon, Burdock, Licorice, Dandelion, Clove – I could go on all day… the liver, kidneys and bowels benefit most from these guys.
- Infrared saunas; sweating is the best way to remove toxins from your body through your skin!
- Exercise; see above point on sweating! Toxins are stored in fat, so losing weight can liberate toxins from the body, just make sure you follow the other tips in the list to assist their removal from the body.
- Deep breathing/yoga/meditation; are the most effective ways to detoxify through our lungs, all practices that promote deep breathing help remove carbon dioxide and keep fresh oxygen flowing to all parts of our body.
To really ramp up your cleanse, aim to avoid the following:
- Excessive caffeine (keep it at 1 per day and always organic)
- Excessive red meat (2-3 times per week only and always organic)
- Fast food/packaged food/refined food
- Household chemical cleaners
- Personal care products containing chemicals
If you feel as though you’re ready to take the next step and move into a thorough and deep cleanse, its best to do so under the advice and supervision of a trained Naturopath, so get in touch!