Welcome to Week One of our cleansing series to prepare your mind, body and home for a healthier winter. Today, we’re starting with the body.
Our bodies are exposed to toxins every day – in the air, in our food, in our personal care products, in our cleaning supplies, even in our paint and the carpeting in our homes and offices. The bulk of these toxins are known hormone disruptors and they can cause a host of issues, including:
- Mood imbalances
- Thyroid disease
- Leaky gut syndrome
- Food sensitivities
- Low libido
- Low energy
- Chronic inflammation
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Cleansing is a simple, safe strategy to support the body in releasing and expelling these toxins for optimal health. Our eliminations systems are efficient, but when you combine the abundance of toxins we’re exposed to with some less than ideal food and health choices, even the best elimination system can get overworked. When the toxic load becomes more than we can handle, our bodies produce fat as a protective measure. The fat becomes a safe place to store excess toxins to protect our organs. Simply put – our fat is acting as a damage control system.
To protect our bodies from disease and shed excess fat we need to gently cleanse several times a year – and now is the perfect time to get things clean and get our bodies ready to handle the stress of winter.
Below are my top 15 tips for safely and gently cleansing your body.
- Keep it simple. It’s not necessary to make cleansing an extreme sport. Opt for a 3-5 cleanse that focuses on fueling your body with the proper foods and drinks to flush your system while also providing sufficient nutrients for your day.
- Have a plan. Decide what foods you will eat, grocery shop and prep your food to take to work or on the go each day. When it’s a short cleanse, every meal and every day counts.
- Make all of your food at home to avoid excess salt, oil, fats and preservatives.
- Opt for fresh produce, maybe a little frozen mixed in, but avoid any prepared foods or packaged foods from the grocery store. You want everything to be clean, fresh, nutrient dense and in it’s simplest form.
- Eliminate stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Opt for energizing citrus or peppermint herbal tea in the morning to help get you going and lavender, turmeric or roasted dandelion root tea in the evening to help you sleep and aid the cleansing process while you rest.
- Drink water with lemon throughout the day to gently aid the flushing process. Staying hydrated is critical to help flush the toxins that are being released during this process.
- Make your meals plant based. Animal products are extremely difficult for the body to digest and takes a lot of time and energy. Give the digestive system room to work by eliminating meat and dairy while cleansing.
- Because it’s a short cleanse, it’s also helpful to eliminate grains. The idea is to reduce the workload on your liver so it can get a rest and really support your body in it’s cleansing efforts. Eliminating grains will also help reduce inflammation levels in the body during your cleanse.
- Support your cleansing efforts with a daily self-care act. An Epsom salt bath with 2 cups of Epsom Salt and 1 cup of Baking Soda can help pull toxins from the body while also relaxing the muscles and the mind. Dry brushing can also support your cleansing efforts. The skin is our largest elimination organ. Dry brushing give it an assist, increases circulation and stimulates our detoxification organs by gently giving them an internal massage.
- Give yourself 12 hours of not eating at night. If possible, finish your last meal by 7:30. You can drink water and herbal tea after that, but allow your elimination system sufficient time to work and rest.
- Get plenty of rest. Cleansing is work for your body so it’s important to support it with plenty of rest. Try to go to sleep by 10:30 p.m. at the latest. The detox phase for the liver happens between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. each night.
- Get in the right mindset. Ask a friend or your spouse to be your accountability partner.
- Focus on what’s working and what feels good. Start or end your day by listing mentally or with pen and paper what you’re enjoying about the cleansing process and what feels good. This will help you focus on the positives, which will make you much more likely to sick to your cleanse and see it through with a smile on your face.
- Continue to exercise, but realize that your energy might be a little low as your body is working to eliminate toxins. The act of moving and sweating will support the cleansing process, but you may not have your strongest workouts on cleansing days. Just know that moving your body is good for you and be ok with needing to go a little lighter and take a pause to catch your breath or get a quick stretch.
- Don’t forget to enjoy the process! Your are doing something amazing for your body that is going to help you feel physical and mentally lighter while helping to not only heal your body but also strengthen your immune system for the winter.
If the idea of cleansing is new to you or feels a tad overwhelming, consider starting with the 3 Day Refresh. It’s a 3 day program of specifically formulated shakes, easy-to-prepare clean meals, and healthy snacks to help you break the cycle of unhealthy eating, lose weight, gently cleanse the body, and improve the way you feel without starving.
Check back next week for 10 Tips to Cleanse and DeClutter Your Home. You’ll be amazed at how a few simple tricks can improve your peace, sleep, and overall health at home.