Welcome to the 2nd part of my Mind, Body and Soul January detox
I guess the first thing that many of us mean when we say that we’re detoxing for January is that we are dieting, shedding pounds or getting rid of the excess crap we ate over Christmas and New Year.
I believe one healthy way to look at January, and an easier way to avoid failing your detox is to take a realistic look at the body. Make your detox less about shedding the pounds and more about cleansing the system.
The Detoxing process on the body
Our bodies naturally detoxify every day, it is a normal process of the body to eliminate or neutralize toxins through the Colon and Liver. Your body is always detoxifying itself.
The most obvious way is through eliminating waste via urinating or having a bowel movement. This is one way your digestive system gets rid of unneeded toxic waste. This happens regularly for almost everyone, and the cleansing is done by the colon and kidneys.
The lungs filter out toxins and debris in the air we breathe before the oxygen is absorbed by the blood and taken to the muscles of the body.
The skin is our largest organ. Waste is eliminated by the skin through sweating. Often when the other detoxifying organs are compromised, toxins will begin to come through the skin, showing up as acne, rashes, blemishes, pimples or sores.
The liver is a complex organ that helps the body to either use or get rid of metabolic waste as well as environmental toxins and substances. Lymph is a clear fluid that flows through the body containing white blood cells.
The lymph system is made up of nodes, which act as filters, and capillaries. The lymph collects unwanted “debris” in the body such as fats, bacteria and other harmful materials and filters them through the lymph nodes. The lymph system is similar to the circulatory system except there is no “pump” to help the lymph circulate through the body. The lymph system relies solely on the body’s movements for circulation.
Nutrition and detoxing
As we have determined that our body is constantly already detoxifying it is helpful to understand that what we are putting into our body can further enhance and inhibit the process. There are many suggestions of extreme diets out there but in the spirit of not failing why not try adding to your existing diet by introducing a morning smoothie into your regime?
A combination of any of the below will enhance your bodies nutrients by encouraging detox and improving necessary nutrients to the system (please note I have taken this list from Green forks who offer all sorts of smoothie recipes for the less brave):
Spinach/Kale: These leafy greens are both great sources of amino acids (protein), calcium, beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin K, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, folate, and selenium. All around super foods, spinach and kale are great for strengthening the body, creating beautiful skin, boosting the immune system, and providing important antioxidants. Also, each is full of fiber which is great for cleansing the colon!
Romaine: Contains vitamin C and beta carotene (vitamin A). These two nutrients work together in the body to prevent plaque from forming on artery walls. It is also a good source of potassium, folate, iron, vitamin K, manganese, vitamins B1 and B2, and chromium. Romaine helps to regulate blood pressure, build blood, and support body movement.
Cucumber: Highly hydrating, cucumbers are full of B vitamins, silica, and electrolytes that help build clearer, brighter skin. The vitamin C, caffeic acid, and electrolytes in cucumbers makes them great at fighting puffiness and bloating in the body, working as an anti-inflammatory team.
Celery: Very alkaline, full of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Good source of B1, B2, B6, and C vitamins, folate, iron, and amino acids. Celery helps to lower high blood pressure and reduce puffiness. It contains compounds polyacetylene and pthalides which reduce inflammation and stress (causing blood vessels to dilate), respectively. Celery is a powerful detoxifier and colon cleanser.
Pear: Contains vitamins C, E, B, and K, copper, manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium, selenium, calcium, zinc, and folate. Pears are wonderful for the skin and supportive of both the lungs and the colon.
Banana: Contains vitamin B6 and magnesium which help promote better sleep. Bananas also have fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin A. They promote good digestion, prevent constipation, contribute to healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Lemon: Extremely alkaline, are high in vitamin C, and traces of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Lemons are a powerful detoxifying agent. They support liver function, purify the blood, destroy free radicals and toxins, flush out bacteria, fight wrinkles and rejuvenate skin. Great for long-term weight loss.
Chia Seeds: These seeds swell 10 to 15 times their original size when placed in liquid, which makes them great for weight-loss. They also help stabilize blood sugar levels, providing you with longer lasting energy. Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein, calcium, anti-oxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Mint: Great source of vitamin C and beta carotene (vitamin A), copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Mint aids in digestion, is helpful in relieving congestion of the respiratory tract, and lowers blood pressure.
Parsley: A powerful detoxifier, parsley aids digestion, removes toxins from the body, acts as a diuretic by flushing out the kidneys, and purifies the blood. It contains vitamin A, C, and E, folate, iron, and anti-oxidants.
Cinnamon: Studies have found that cinnamon helps lower blood sugar, have anti-oxidant effects, fight bacteria, and reduce inflammation.
Ginger: Helps ease nausea, maintain proper blood circulation, improve nutrient absorption in the body, is anti-inflammatory, strengthens immune system, and fights common respiratory problems.
Turmeric: Very high in anti-oxidants, turmeric is a great anti-cancer agent. It is also anti-inflammatory and works as a blood cleanser. Cleansed blood results in clearer, brighter skin.
Cayenne Pepper: An incredibly potent spice, cayenne pepper is often used to detoxify and cleanse the body (mostly due to capsaicin). It has anti-cold/flu properties, aids in digestion, has anti-fungal properties, helps discourage formation of blood clots, supports weight-loss, promotes heart health, and aids in joint-pain relief.
The Super Detox Green Juice
for your to try, sourced from skinnyms:
Yields: 1 servings | Serving Size: 1 smoothie | Calories: 158 | Previous Points: 2 | Points Plus: 4 | Total Fat: 1 g | Saturated Fat: 0 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 112 mg | Carbohydrates: 39 g | Dietary Fiber: 9 g | Sugars: 20 g | Protein: 5 g
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, chopped
- 2 kale leaves
- 1 handful spinach
- Handful of fresh parsley or cilantro
- 1 lemon peeled
- 1 apple, seeded, cored and chopped
If using a juicer: Add all the above ingredients to a juicer and juice.
If using a blender: Add all the above ingredients to a blender along with 1 cup chilled water. Add ice if desired. Blend until smooth.
Healthy work lunches
One of the obstacles of going back to work after Christmas is the lure of fast food. Try avoiding an unhealthy lunch box by downloading Eating Well’s free healthy eating cookbook!
Mim Beim, a Neuropath suggests her 7 day detox plan incorporating some science through achievable means. My favorite lists including:
Foods to avoid
- Milk products (except ½ cup unsweetened yoghurt with acidophilus each day)
- Sugar, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners
- Grains: wheat (bread, biscuits, cakes, pasta), rye, barley, oats, spelt and rice
- Dried fruit
Foods to enjoy
- Fruit: any and all fresh fruit
- Vegetables: any and all fresh vegetables
- Fish: fresh, canned in water or olive oil
- Lean red meat, chicken (without the skin). Limit to two serves per week.
- Legumes: dried or canned, such as kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils
- Eggs: preferably organic
- Olive oil (preferably extra virgin), Coconut oil (unprocessed)
- Nuts: raw unsalted almonds, walnuts, macadamias and cashews
- Seeds: raw unsalted sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- Green tea, white tea, weak black tea (decaffeinated)
- Water: from one to three litres of water per day
- Morning lemon juice: This is an oldie but a goodie to kick start the digestion and cleanse the system. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. Drink first thing in the morning before breakfast.
- Exercise: During detox aim to exercise for one hour daily. And not just any exercise – something that makes you pant and puff and raise a sweat like a spin class, jog along the beach, walking uphill, hot yoga or boxing. Vigorous exercise increases lymph flow and circulation to help sweat out toxins.
- Raw foods: Aim to cut out the cooking process and eat mainly raw foods. Raw foods contain more nutrients and enzymes. Try adding fresh sprouts to a salad daily.
- Detox the mind: While you’re detoxing the body, its good to clear the clutter from the mind too. Aim for 15 minutes of meditation per day. If you don’t know how to meditate, try belly breathing. Start by placing hands palm down on your lower belly. Breathe in through your nose, counting slowly to 3 or 4 counts. Feel your tummy rise with the breath. Breathe out just as slowly, allowing the belly to drop. Do this for 15 minutes daily.
- Drink: Aim to drink three litres of fluid daily. This will help move the lymph and support kidney detoxification. Choose from pure spring water, fresh vegetable juice and herbal detox teas. Or make your own brew by mixing one or a combination of Dandelion root and nettle, cleavers, calendula, burdock and red clover. Add one teaspoon of the dried herbs to a cup of boiling water. Leave to steep for five minutes, strain and drink.
- Body brushing: Doing this daily will support circulation and increase skin detoxification. Using a loofah or natural fibre body brush, brush the skin with firm circular strokes before you step into the shower. Start from the feet and hands, moving up the legs and towards the arms, avoiding the delicate area of throat and face, and any rash or sore spots. Then jump in the shower. Finish your shower with a one-minute burst cold water which brings the blood circulation to the skin.
- Chew: Aim to chew each mouthful of food 10 to 12 times before swallowing. Bringing mindfulness to mealtimes improves digestion, allowing you to feel a sense of fullness without a need to overeat.
Note: Don’t detox if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly, have high blood pressure, are underweight or against your health practitioner’s recommendation.
Exercise for the body
Anything that gets your heart pumping within reason will increase blood pressure and speed up internal drainage of toxins! Hurrah!
I am a yoga girl, if you are too, why not introduce the “morning routine”?
Stay tuned for Sundays … Soul January Detox blog!!