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Detox has been a buzzword for many years, and during that time, we have been offered a growing number of techniques and opportunities to safely and effectively detox the body. Some of those methods involve checking into a spa or retreat and being surrounded and supported by experts in detox techniques, while others are more basic and appeal to those of us who want to do-it-yourself.
This article focuses on the latter approach, which for several reasons (e.g., expense, convenience, busy lifestyles) makes more sense for most people. In addition, a DIY detox gives you a feeling of control and accomplishment: you can do this! Perhaps you even want to gather up a friend or two and try it as a group.
What is Body Detox?
Generally, detoxification is a way to eliminate the negative effects on the body from environmental sources, such as food additives, secondary smoke, air and water pollutants, heavy metals, household cleaners, pesticides, and more.
A DIY detox typically involves adopting lifestyle modifications and a few special techniques that allow you to get rid of toxins in a manner that isn’t disruptive to your routine.
The following are suggestions you may want to incorporate into your personal detox. Set your goal for two weeks and then see how you feel at the end. A good tip since you won’t have a detox expert at your side every day to remind you of the steps is to post them on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror to keep you on task.
How to Do a DIY detox
Remove alcohol, sugar, and wheat from your diet.
Depending on how badly you need to detox, it can take one to two weeks for the body to completely process and eliminate these items from your system. These foods have inflammatory properties and contribute to systemic inflammation and toxicity in the body.
Focus on nutritious foods.
These include whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, high-quality protein (if animal protein, use organic only), healthy fats, fiber-rich carbs, and pro & probiotics. Making your own juice is a popular detox ritual for many. All you need is a blender and some good organic produce, fruit, yogurt, etc. There are many great recipes online no matter what your dietary restrictions might be.
In fact, all of your food and beverage choices should be organic and non-processed. Otherwise you will be introducing food additives, antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides into your body.
Hydrate consistently and use filtered water.
Start each day with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice. In fact, drinking water and lemon throughout the day can be quite beneficial and help your liver process toxins at its best. Aim to drink at least half your weight in ounces. That may seem like a lot but it will help out a lot. Get a good water bottle that has ounces marked. Some water bottles also have gadgets that help you keep track of how many bottles you have consumed throughout the day.
Pee a lot.
If you are drinking enough water every day, this suggestion won’t be a problem. Urinating is an excellent way to remove fats and toxins from the body. If you are drinking enough water, your urine should have a light yellow color. Darker urine indicates you need to drink more liquids.
Whether you choose a sauna, hot yoga, exercise, or a sweat lodge, sweating is one of the best ways (peeing is the other) to eliminate fats and toxins from the body. Be especially aware of your need to hydrate with additional water when you are sweating. During detox you should make a habit of always keeping your water bottle on hand so that you remember to drink it.
Get adequate rest.
About one-third of adults operate on a sleep deficit. Sleep is critical for rejuvenation of your cells and tissues, and it is also the time when the liver is most effective at processing inflammatory factors. Throw in a 20-minute nap or two during your detox if needed. If you are having trouble sleeping then consider some relaxation techniques before bed.
Try to avoid using computers and watching television for at least 30 minutes before you attempt to go to sleep. The blue light from the screen has been shown to be a factor in sleep patterns. Use a Kindle e-reader to dive into a favorite book or pick up a paper copy of a book that is fun and soothing to you.
Get physical exercise.
When detoxing, engage in physical activity that helps move the toxins out of your body. Yoga, tai chi, walking, Pilates, or dancing are great choices. Vigorous exercise may actually trigger more inflammation, which you are trying to eliminate so be cautious about which exercise you choose to do while exercising.
Weight loss is often a goal for those that are detoxing. Getting physical exercise will help you feel better emotionally in many cases while helping you meet your weight loss and physical fitness goals.
During these two weeks, make both mental and physical notes (e.g., keep a journal) of things for which you are thankful for.
It’s been shown scientifically that feeling gratitude and engaging in positive thoughts enhance physical and psychological health, improves self-esteem, reduces aggression, and boosts mental strength. In other words, being in a state of gratitude helps eliminate toxins from your body.
Several times a week, treat yourself to a detox bath with essential oils, Epsom salt, and a few other natural ingredients. Soak in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes for the most benefit. You may feel lightheaded when you get out, so be aware and take precautions. It’s best to have someone available just in case you need assistance.
Combine: ¼ cup each sea salt, Epsom salt, and baking soda in one quart of boiling water. Fill the tub with hot water and add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar. Pour in the salt mixture and add 10 to 15 drops of lavender or peppermint essential oil. This detoxification ritual will likely become a favorite part of practicing good self-care habits.
Use of a dry brush has several detox benefits, including improved blood circulation, enhanced lymphatic drainage, and removal of dead skin cells, which encourages new cell replacement. Some dry brushing tips: if you use oil on the brush, dry brush after your shower.
Take a shower after dry brushing if you prefer to apply oil after bathing. Dry brushing also can be done along with a steam bath or sauna. For a demonstration on dry brushing, and detoxing in general, you can watch my TV segment on Cityline here.
Author Bio: Andrea Donsky, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N) and Founder of Naturally Savvy Media Inc. is a pioneer and visionary in the Natural Health Industry. Andrea inspires people to make healthier choices through her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, hosting, and media appearances. She has appeared as a healthy living expert on TV and radio across North American networks that include: NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Univision, WGN, KRON4, Better TV, City TV, CTV, CBC, and Global. Andrea founded Naturally Savvy Media Inc. in 2007, a website (www.naturallysavvy.com) with unique content dedicated to healthy living from a holistic perspective. To learn more about Andrea, visit www.AndreaDonsky.com.
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