This is that time of year when many people make a resolution to lose weight. A good way to start a new healthy regime is to detox first. Not only will you lower your cravings for certain foods, but you will also lower toxins in your fat cells.
All of the ways to detox listed here are what I have personally used. I worked for a health food store for many years, where I learned a wealth of information. I have also done my own research into different modalities for the last fifteen years or so.
I will include the typical "I am not a medical professional" and "always consult your doctor before starting any new treatment". However, I personally feel information should be in the hands of the consumer and combined with advice from a doctor. The reason I say that is because doctors are not educated in nutrition and natural healing modalities. Don't believe me? Just google "nutrition class requirements for doctors", and you'll get the answer that I have known for many years. So do your own research, and use your own judgement. There, that's the end of my disclaimer (although you'll also find one under my About tab).There are many ways to detox. Choose the one that is right for you! Click To Tweet
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Daily → Several Times a Week
1. Lemon juice in warm water - I drink lemon juice in warm water almost everyday first thing in the morning. It helps balance your pH levels, detoxify the liver, and kick start your digestive system.
2. Dry brush - I like to dry brush my skin daily before showering. A dry brush is good for stimulating the lymphatic system and blood circulation, and getting rid of dead skin cells. Since your skin is the largest organ in your body, it makes sense to use a dry brush on it.
3. Oil Pulling - I use coconut oil for oil pulling everyday. Oil pulling is when you swish with a tablespoon of oil for 10-20 minutes in your mouth, then spit it out. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for ages. Typically sesame oil or a similar oil is used. It prevents cavities, reduces bacteria, and promotes healthy gums. Teeth become whiter, gums become pinker, and breath becomes fresher.
4. Juicing - I admit, I do not juice daily, or even weekly. I go through phases of juicing; mainly I like to juice in the Spring and Summer months. Ideally, it would be beneficial to juice more regularly. Freshly juiced fruits and vegetables give you a boost of nutrients that you may not normally eat in a day. It is a great way to add vitamins and minerals to your diet. When I drink freshly juiced fruits and vegetables I feel a surge of energy.
5. Eating fruits and vegetables - Being vegan, my diet is composed of a lot of fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables cannot be overlooked. This is an obvious one, but effective. Being high in fiber, fruits and vegetables help cleanse the body of toxins and excessive waste.
6. Sugar scrubs - I use a sugar scrub several times a week. They are beneficial for getting rid of dead skin cells, boosting circulation, stimulating your lymph nodes, and increasing blood circulation. Depending upon what ingredients you add, they can have other benefits as well, like reducing the appearance of cellulite, equalizing skin tone, fighting acne, and reversing skin damage.
Once or Twice a Month → Seasonal
1. Detox tea - I love to drink detox tea a few times a month, and to prepare for a fast. It is mild enough that you don't feel side effects like a fast or some supplements. Add some lemon juice for additional benefits.
2. One to three day juice fast - I have done quite a few short fasts, usually consisting of freshly juiced fruits and vegetables. A short fast gives your digestive system a break, and allows your body to recuperate and rejuvenate. A three day fast is a good way to get your feet wet with fasting. It is also the length of time that most people can handle.
3. Cranberry juice in water - I add a splash of unsweetened cranberry juice to an 8 oz. glass of water. It is said to balance pH, suppress hunger, combat cellulite and water retention, and draw out fatty wastes.
4. Mustard bath - A mustard bath is an age old remedy that has stimulating, rejuvenating, and cleansing properties. The powder helps to open pores so that you sweat impurities and toxins out. It is good for achy muscles and joints, skin conditions, stress, sleeplessness, and congestion. It balances your pH and eliminates acid waste.
1. Master Cleanser - The Master Cleanser is a fast. You drink water with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. In the morning you drink a quart of salt water or laxative tea. In the evening you drink laxative tea. I love the taste of the lemonade, so it works well for me.
This cleanse is one that I have done quite a few times. I have never felt hungry on this cleanse. You can do this fast for 10-40 days. The first time that I did it, I was planning on doing it for the minimum 10 days. I felt so good that I ended up doing it for the maximum 40 days. I also did it for 30 days, 15 and 10 days a number of times. The only thing that I would say is to be careful when returning to normal foods. I have lost many pounds during this cleanse, just to gain them back (my own fault). At the time of writing this (back in September), I was on the Master Cleanser for ten days, which motivated me to write this post.
2. Supplements - I am not going to go into brands here, but supplements are another good way to seasonally cleanse. There are many different options out there from a week long cleanse to a month long cleanse. I haven't done one in a long time because I have issues swallowing pills. They are a great way to cleanse the liver, kidneys, and colon.
3. Detox foot bath - There are many claims that this product is all hype, but I thought I'd include it anyway. The ionic foot bath is said to emit negative ions in the water. With your feet placed in the ionically charged bath, the feet are said to release toxins and heavy metals. What I can say is that I feel more energized after using it, and there's a tingling sensation in my feet. If you want to read testimonials instead of negative reviews, you can find many at earthclinic.com.
If you decide to take the plunge into cleansing, remember that depending upon what type of cleanse you choose, you may feel side effects depending upon your toxicity level. If you eat a healthy diet and don't drink a lot of coffee or soda, you are less likely to feel any symptoms.
When I fasted for the first time, the first three days were the hardest. After that, I had no problems whatsoever. I won't go too much into possible symptoms because my goal is not to discourage you from cleansing. You could get headaches, especially if you drink coffee or soda daily. Other symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, problems sleeping, skin breakouts, irritability, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and extreme cravings.
If you have never cleansed before I would start with eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, juicing, drinking detox tea, and drinking water with lemon juice. Then, move to the more "hard core" types of cleansing, like a juice fast, the Master Cleanse, or supplements. If you start with a seasonal cleanse, you may get discouraged from wanting to stick with it or never want to do it again!