Spring is the perfect time of year to make a fresh start. Many people are cleaning out their homes and yards, but most don’t think about cleansing their bodies. The colder months can leave us feeling sluggish, and a cleanse is the perfect solution to help chase that away. There are many ways to do a cleanse or detox. I was never sure about detoxing, because some of the programs sounded outrageous. I ended up finding a program that allowed me to eat great food and that would transition well into my everyday life once the detox was over. The 30 Day Whole Body Detox had me really thinking about what I was eating. Now as some of you may know, I am a crazy label reader anyways, but this was intense. I had to eliminate refined sugar, gluten and wheat, heavily processed food, caffeine, dairy, alcohol, fried food, limit red meat and dark chocolate. My eating habits are somewhat similar to this on a regular basis….but even I found this detox to be tough.
I don’t know if it was bad timing on my part, as the same day I started this detox I also started a body transformation competition. My challenge was getting my macros balanced while meeting my calories for the day. Because the cleanse is big on whole foods, my carbs and sugars were through the roof. And by the end of the day I still hadn’t met my calories, and I was so tired of eating. Also…vegan or vegetable based protein is f’in disgusting! For me, I was hoping the detox would help mentally, but I think with all the challenges, it made me worse.
That being said, my bloating and irritable bowel was completely gone and my bathroom trips were so much more easy and regular (I know, TMI). Even with my challenges I do recommend a cleanse to everyone. There are great results that can come from a detox: weight loss, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, feeling refreshed and relaxed, a general better understanding of your body and the foods that are affecting your health and contributing to the sluggish feelings. A large majority of us don’t eat the way our bodies need us to, so taking 14-28 days to treat your body right and give your liver a break can be very beneficial.
There are also many supplements to aid in the detoxification process: multi-vitamins, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, omegas, probiotics, fibre, and herbals.
If you don’t want to go all in with a cleanse or detox here are some helpful tips to support and balance your body.
Tip 1 – Whole Foods Are Best
– Choose high fibre
– Try to eat at least five differently coloured fruits and vegetables each day
– Ditch the processed snacks
– Keep healthy snacks in your car
Tip 2 – See Ya Sugar
– Fruits and fruit juices, though great for you, also contain natural sugars that contribute to your daily intake
– Infuse water with fruit, herbs, vegetables or herbs
– Dilute sweet drinks with water or carbonated water
– Raw or cane sugars are a better option over refined sugar
– Stay away from HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) as this has been linked to fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes
– Read the label: 4g sugar = 1 tsp sugar
Tip 3 – Grains Are Good
– Whole grains reduce cholesterol, promote weight loss and protect against cancers and diabetes
– Read the label and look for the word “whole” before the name of the grain
– Gluten & wheat-free may contain more fats, sugars and less fibre than the wheat filled counterparts
– Drink at least 2L of water per day to keep the bowels moving when increasing fibre intake
Tip 4 – Caffeine
Pros and Cons to coffee
– Improved memory
– Anxiety, palpitations, irritability, insomnia are common with too much caffeine
– The stimulating effects on the digestive system reduce nutrient absorption if we drink too much
– Cut back with smaller amounts, less frequent, or dilute with decaf
– Drink herbal teas instead with nature energy-boosting properties (licorice, chicory, barley, and dandelion)
– White, black or green teas have less caffeine. The cancer fighting properties of green tea make it a healthy choice
Tip 5 – WATER!
– As our bodies are mostly water it only makes sense to replenish this to stay healthy
– Drink at least 2L of filtered, distilled, or spring water each day
– Water aids in healthy brain function, bowel function, organs, keeps skin hydrated (reducing wrinkles)
– A cup of warm water with lemon upon rising balances the bodies alkaline levels and gets the internal organs moving well for the day
– Always have a reusable water bottle with you. This will make it easy to consume your 2L and keep the environment happy!
Tip 6 – Meal Prep
– Plan meals ahead of time
– Make double batches to freeze
– Save time and money
Tip 7 – Supportive Supplements
– Herbs and supplements should be discussed with your doctor or health care practitioner before use.
– Turmeric – curcumin helps to reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract
– Dandelion – a cleansing agent and a natural diuretic
– Milk Thistle – provides natural protection for liver cells and aids in regeneration
– Alpha-lipoic Acid (ALA) – anti-inflammatory and antioxidant reduces damage that may be caused within our bodies during normal metabolic activity
– Peppermint – can clean a tired mind in the morning and dry up mucus; and can also deflect a headache and alleviate nausea
Creating healthy eating habits and drinking plenty of water daily are the best ways to keep the body working well for you. You get one body, if you take care of it, it will take care of you.
Some information for this post was gathered from Sage (May 2016), Detox your Diet, Gillian Flower ND
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