Let’s talk about detoxing! Detoxing is a pretty subjective term. Some people like to think of detoxing is something they do consciously and periodically. One thing that is certain is that detoxing is the way your body rids itself of toxic waste that we accumulate daily. Our body is constantly detoxing in many different ways. When you sweat, breathe, urinate, poop, etc., your body is detoxing. What does vary, is how effectively you detox. Take it from Dr. Alejandro Junger “A focused period of detoxifying is a reset for the whole physical and mental body. It delivers an all-access pass to boundless reserves of energy you didn’t know you had.” – Excerpt From: Junger, Alejandro. “Clean (Enhanced Edition).” HarperCollins Publishers, 2009. iBooks.
Why should you detox? Well, if your body can’t eliminate toxins you introduce daily, your body will show it through acne, joint pain, headaches, hair loss, menstrual cramps, etc. That doesn’t sound like a pleasant life at all. I should know because I used to suffer many symptoms of the SAD diet (Standard American/Australian Diet). Living in Asia made me realize that stuff really isn’t a part of normal life! Go figure! So let’s go over things that are toxic (toxins) to our bodies. Air pollution, pesticides, heavy metals like aluminum in antiperspirants & cheap jewelry, oxidized cooking oils, gluten, dairy, prescription meds, conventional makeup & skincare, etc. For some people, these exposures are part of their daily lives, it used to be mine too! Some toxins are impossible to avoid such as air pollution, which is pretty bad in China at times. But where there’s a yin, there’s a yang!
On at least one of my days off, I consciously focus on detoxing since I tend to take it easy on one of those days. So what are some things you can do to detox effectively?
1) Drink detox tea on your days off. This tea is very easy to make with just 3 ingredients and boiling water. Cut 5-8 thin, flat prices of organic ginger and let it steep in boiling water for 10 minutes. Once the ginger has cooled a bit, stab the ginger pieces with a fork to get the full ginger essence. Add 1 whole organic lemon and a tiny pinch of organic cayenne pepper. I don’t sweeten my tea with honey or sugar (a no no in china) but if your new to the game, you can add just a bit of raw organic honey to numb the spicy factor. I INHALE this tea! Its warming, it’s spicy, it’s sour, it’s awesome! This tea recipe was shown to me by my favorite celeb nutritionist Kimberly Snyder. It will boost metabolism, reduce inflammation and relieve pain, making it also very good for recovering from an illness.
2) Drink a cold-pressed juice made of fruits, veggies and roots . Green juices are very good for detoxing, with ingredients such as kale, cilantro, green apple, sprouts, chlorella, etc. I love to mix it up, but my current detox juice is ginger, apple, celery, beets, carrots. To make this juice more filling and fun to eat (oh yea) I’ll add activated chia seeds. Activated, meaning the chia seeds have been soaked and are now little jellies. Juicing will give your digestion a much needed break, replenish your body with vitamins and minerals, but it’ll keep you full because of the activated chia seeds.
3) Take a break from toxic foods and drinks, and eat gluten-free grains, fruits, veggies and legumes. This is your chance to have at least one day where you can eat most consciously and nutritiously. NO BREAD, PASTA, COOKIES, CAKES, MEAT, DAIRY, SODA OR FRIED FOODS. For example, breakfast can be detox tea, juice and steel-cut oatmeal, lunch can be a salad with gluten-free grains like millet, dinner can be a salad, sautéed veggies, mixed rice and lentils. This is a great introduction into a healthier lifestyle. While my personal belief is that you should eat like this daily, it can be impossible for many people. DO WHAT YOU CAN. That’s why I say have at least one day a week where you can eat like luxury. :-)
4) Dry brush, then take a hot/cold shower. I loooooooove to take hot showers. So at least once a week, I take a hot shower as usual, but then I will also alternate back and forth a few times between hot and cold water. Alternating two extreme temperatures will propel blood circulation throughout your body. When you use hot water, the blood vessels will dilate and gets blood moving, but when cold water shocks the body for a few seconds, the blood will circulate rapidly to the most important organs like the heart and lungs. Dry brushing your skin will get rid of dead skin and stimulates lymphatic drainage. Want to get really pampered? Use a water diffuser and put your favorite essential oils before you shower. Essential oils purify the air, have anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-septic properties AND, they smell damn good! You will feel AMAZING when you come out of that bathroom, trust me!
4) Have you heard of Ganban Yoku? It’s a Japanese hot room, NOT a sauna. When I was living in Singapore, I used to do Ganban Yoku once a month or once a week when possible. You lie on a special marble where the room is very hot, but the humidity is low, making it actually very comfortable. You can do easy yoga stretches or just sleep, all while sweating out all those toxins from every pore. After 45 minutes, the air outside is totally refreshing, and made even better since they also give you a probiotic enzyme shot. This place always carried 4 kinds which were dragonfruit, mango, hawthorn berry and lemongrass. Each had a specific purpose like providing more iron, antioxidants, detoxing, etc. This is Japanese treatment, of which I have yet to hear about it in the states. Hopefully one day…
Enjoy your day off my friends! Stay healthy, happy and hungry :-D