So, you've been thinking about doing a detox. Maybe your past days were a bit chaotic and you're feeling kind of gross, or maybe you just want to get a jump start on weight loss and you think doing a detox is the place to start. This will give you everything you need to know.
What does a detox mean, anyway? I think that the word mainly implies to "get rid of the old". But detox could also mean just taking a break from something taxing.
But the benefits of doing a detox aren't just about getting rid of the bad. Your body will feel light a uplifted, you'll feel clear headed, and overall you have a positive outlook on life. Sounds pretty darn good to me!
There are 3 kinds of Detoxes. Which one do you really need?
The one you're probably thinking of is physical - as in, you're getting rid of any wastes in your body by eating cleansing foods. We'll talk about that more in this article.
The second one is emotional. Is there a situation that is really bothering you that you need to take a break from? You can read more about emotional detoxes, here.
The third is environmental. What things in your environment are clouding up your mind, or stressing you out? You can read more here on ways to do an environmental detox.
Your body already detoxes naturally
I think we tend to forget (or overlook) that our bodies are designed to get rid of wastes that we don't need. And people who do detoxes act pretty hard core - like we need to fix something wrong with our bodies and do some heavy duty Spring Cleaning.
So your purpose shouldn't be about doing a drastic diet to force out a lot of waste. Instead, your purpose should be about encouraging your organs to function to the best of their abilities.
Your body gets rid of wastes in 3 ways
Through your bowels, your skin (sweat), and your lymph system.
So that means you want to focus on doing things that will encourage proper bowel movements, generate sweat, and also do body care.
You don't have to do juice cleanses or fad diets to detox
Since the main purpose is to stimulate your organs to function to the best of their abilities, there are only 3 things you need to focus on:
1) Eating foods that cause the least amount of stress on the body
If you take a look at the food energetics chart, you'll see that foods in the extreme yin/yang zones are ones that are the most stressful. Why? Because stress in this instance means that they either take way too long to digest, or digests way too rapidly.
Keep in mind that no foods are necessarily good or bad, they just have different kinds of reactions.
And the reactions you want to focus on for a detox are the ones with least impact. And those would be the foods in the center of the chart.
2) Avoiding foods that you're intolerant to (duh, but not so duh)
This sounds like a duh, but any time you're eating foods that don't agree well with your body, you're adding more stress to it. If you don't know what foods you're intolerant to, I really recommend taking an IgG food intolerance test. This will help you pinpoint what foods you should avoid (even ones you don't sense a negative reaction to!).
3) Chew ridiculously well
Digestion starts in your mouth, with your saliva. Your saliva helps your body break down foods even more, so make sure you're not inhaling your foods and you'll instantly put less stress on your system.
4) Keep your body warm (mmhmm)
What? Keep your body warm? This might sound off-topic, but you need to make sure that you have stellar circulation so your digestive system can function properly. You know you have poor circulation if you have cold areas on your body (like cold hands/feet/butt). Try wearing warmer clothes, adding warming foods into your meals, and taking hot baths.
5) Do stretches (seriously)
I don't know about you, but stretching sounded like the least effective thing I could do to care for my body. I mean, it's nothing like burning a ton of calories at the gym or as strengthening as doing weight lifting. But you need to do it, because it also helps with your circulation, and also helps your body move out waste.
6) Dry Brush for your Lymph Drainage
Dry brushing stimulates your lymph system to move along wastes more efficiently. Creating physical stimulation to your body is a great way to aid in detox! I wrote more about how to do it, here.
It gets worse before it gets better
When you're body's getting rid of wastes more rapidly than it does on a regular basis, it's not going to be a pretty sight. You can feel weak and have intense cravings, and also might see more pimples or skin impurities pop up on your face within the first several days.
But after that, you should start to feel amazing - your body feels light a uplifted, you feel clear headed, and overall you have a positive outlook on life.
And you can actually ease yourself into a detox as opposed to quitting everything, cold turkey. There's no need to do anything drastic, and if anything, you'll probably feel better over time.