The opportunities to participate in a summer cleanse or detox are plentiful this time of year. We bombard our bodies with all sorts of treats through the winter with the holidays, birthdays, work celebrations, and those extra shots of coffee to get us going on cool, drizzly days. And it all takes its toll. Just like a thorough spring house cleaning, an internal cleanse can go a long way toward lifting the burden on an already taxed system.
But how can you work toward optimal health if you’re not in a spot to take on drastic diet modifications, even for a short time? Your life is rich and full, right? Sometimes it’s just not possible to make big commitments to change…right now. Rest assured, there are times a cleanse or detox is the best way to break the cycle of less-than-healthful eating habits or allowing extra sugar to creep into your diet.
Here are three steps you can begin implementing today, and continue year-round, to give your body and its hard working organs a rest without making drastic changes to your diet. Your liver will thank you. Your adrenal glands will thank you. Your gut will thank you.
Ditch the coffee with creamer, the chai lattes, the sports and energy drinks ladened with sugar and caffeine, and the sweetened bottled teas. Your body really only needs pure water. Adding a slice of fresh lemon or fresh-squeezed lemon juice will add flavor and serve to stimulate your liver. Water is nourishing and supplies all the hydration your body needs. Because caffeine and sweeteners, even natural sweeteners, require the body to kick in its filtration system in a big way, the body has to work harder to metabolize and filter out these substances. This creates added burden on your system. By protecting your liver with pure water and lemon juice, you’ll be on your way to breaking the energy-depleting cycle of blood sugar imbalance and instead protecting your body from the stress of sugar sabotage.
Pile on the vegetables. It’s my mantra! The nutrients your body needs, and craves, come from plants. Along with being rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (which provide life and energy to every cell), vegetables are cleansing, too. They provide fiber to scrub the intestines. Whole fruits and vegetables help your digestive and elimination systems do their jobs, and increased consumption has been shown to protect against chronic diseases. I’m fully aware how intimidating it can be to go from minimal vegetable intake to the recommended 8 cups or more per day. Start slow by increasing the variety of vegetables you serve with each meal or try one new vegetable each week. Before long, you’ll be eating the veggie rainbow in health-promoting amounts.
Move your body enough to break a sweat. The skin is your body’s largest organ and, like other organs, serves a vital role in your health. Primary among sweating’s health benefits is its ability to expel toxins. Relieving your system of toxins offers important cleansing effects, particularly for those with thyroid issues. The more you can free your body of toxins through sweating, the less your liver needs to filter. Have you heard that sweating is considered “happy juice” for your brain, too? Exercise improves mood by increasing endorphins, a group of hormones that activate your body’s opiate receptors. In addition to enhancing mood, these endorphins serve as natural pain relievers. Think how much easier it is for your body to handle natural pain relief than struggle to filter out chemical residue.
Implementing these three simple “cleansing” actions on a regular basis will go a long way toward keeping your body and mind healthy.
Need help creating a cleansing plan? Or want to discuss whether a deeper cleanse or detox is right for you? Contact me by phone (303-442-2492) or email.
With summer in full swing, now is a good time to take advantage of brighter days and a healthier body.
Here’s to your health and vitality!
I believe good health is as close as your kitchen. My nutrition practice is based on nutrient-dense, whole food and lifestyle choices that support health and wellness, especially during times of high stress and transitions. My role is to educate, guide and support individuals who want to break the stress-induced cycle of depletion and regain control of their health. As a Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (Candidate), I look forward to helping you create a vibrant life. To learn more, contact me at 303-442-2492 or by email.