It’s a new year! 2015 is now behind us, for better or worse, and we’ve begun to settle back into our regular routines. January is a great time for cleansing to bring our bodies back to center after countless parties, vacation, and general holiday eating. Below are some tips to maximize your nutrition and detoxification. Have a happy and healthy 2016!
- DIET: The options for cleansing are virtually endless ranging from mild to extreme. Diet is not the only part of cleansing, but is a very important part. The right diet for a cleanse will vary from person to person. It’s helpful to set yourself up for success by choosing a diet that you can sustain for 21 or more days. For everyone, increasing vegetable intake to 7-10 servings daily is beneficial. Eliminating refined sugars, processed foods, alcohol and caffeine in addition will provide even more benefit. If you want to take it a step further, eliminate the most inflammatory foods in addition to the things above: gluten grains, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, tomatoes, tomatoes, potatoes. For people wanting to go even further or are already eating a diet similar to the one above, the Whole 30 is fantastic. If you are unsure what the best diet is for you, then talk with your naturopathic doctor about it.
- WATER: Urine is one of the ways that our bodies eliminate toxins. You need to be drinking plenty of water to help flush the toxins out of the body. During cleansing, toxins can be released from fat stores. If those toxins are not eliminated, then they will circulate in the blood causing symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, irritability, or a general feeling of being unwell. Drink a minimum of ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day. For a 150-pound person, this would be a minimum of 75 ounces of water daily.
- CASTOR OIL PACKS: These help support detoxification through the liver as well as the digestive system. Check out my blog post dedicated to castor oil packs to learn more about them.
- EPSOM SALT BATHS: Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to a hot bath and soak for 20 minutes or more. This helps to support detoxification through the skin and increases magnesium, an important mineral that people are often deficient in.
- MOVEMENT: Any form of movement will increase health. For some people gentle movement such as walking is the best option. More rigorous exercise such as running is better for others. A combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training and flexibility is highly encouraged. You should feel good with an energy boost after exercise. If you feel exhausted or generally bad, then you may need to change the type of movement you are doing.
- JOURNAL/MEDITATION/GRATITUDE: Cleansing the mind can be just as important as cleaning the body. Using tools such as journaling, meditation, gratitude practice, or many more to eliminate negative thoughts and focus your mental and emotional energy on what is positive in your life.
Is a January cleanse right for you? Ask your naturopathic doctor!