Have you been procrastinating doing a spring detox? Could those be the reasons why:
• You just don’t know where to start.
• You’re afraid of going hungry.
• You’ve done a detox before and it was too complicated and/or expensive.
• You’re not a “juice person” (Isn’t that the only way to cleanse, you ask?)
Except for the first reason, all those apply or have applied to me at some point. For one, cleanse or not, I like to chew my food. I need substance. Liquid cleanses always leave me hungry and ravenous for the foods I’ve been depriving myself of, as well as massively ungrounded. Likewise, intricate detox plans that require a bunch of supplements, shakes and/or specific meals to be taken at specific times stress me out. And guess what? Stress is not conducive to detox, it is toxic! Stress puts the body into a holding pattern which goes counter to the intended goal of a cleanse, to release. For that, relaxation is necessary. That’s why over the years I’ve been gravitating towards a simple way to cleanse: a whole food diet + sip, scrub and sweat. Let me break it down for you.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free or an omnivore choose to eat whole foods only, for a period of time. What are those? The opposite of processed. As in: fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, fish, meat, eggs, raw milk, olives, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil. No matter how “all natural, raw and organic” stay away from store-bought snacks and small bites. In my experience it’s a slippery slope. Keep it simple. Avoid mixing many different kinds of foods in one meal, you’ll digest easier. Make use of spices and herbs, you’ll digest easier. Eat more for lunch, less for dinner, you’ll digest easier (as per Ayurvedic wisdom.) Breakfast? According to your appetite level. Obviously, this is a good way to eat all-year-round. In fact you may find your need for detoxing lessens drastically when you eat cleaner most of the time. Pretty commonsensical right? For common sense I often turn to my french, farmers and salt-of-the-earth parents. Cleansing for them is eating less of everything, cutting back on cheese and baguette, a light supper made of a soup and a fruit or yogurt. In their world kale & spinach are only enjoyed sautéed with garlic and olive oil. Truth is, for many of us greens are much easier to digest cooked. Juicing is not for everyone.
Your next step? Make a list of all the whole foods that fit in your preferred diet, only buy those items next time you go shopping.
On hot water, of course. Not teas, not kombucha, not coffee 😉 Stick to hot water. Keep. It. Simple. Boring you say? That’s ok. Boring is sobering. And if you’ve been corrupting your taste buds with canola oil-rich salted snacks, sugar-laden gluten free cookies or salad dressings full of additives, hot water will cleanse your palate nicely. Give it a week and you’ll find steamed veggies with a dash of olive oil heavenly. Read more about the benefits of this quintessential Ayurvedic practice in a post I wrote previously here. Your next step? Get yourself a thermos. Fill it with hot water in the morning, take with you everywhere and sip away.
Yourself that is. (Maybe your bathroom too, you be the judge) If you like a rough scrub I’d go with a natural-fiber loofah. A rugged towel is less intense and still works very well. For those with sensitive skin I recommend the garshana gloves we use in Ayurvedic treatments. Benefits: aside from unclogging your pores, increasing circulation and being energizing, you’ll get ooh’s and ahh’s from anyone who brushes against your skin (“Oooooh you’re so soft!”) What now? Get your preferred skin scrubbing tool and scrub every square each of you moving from the extremities towards your heart. Use in the morning on dry skin.
However you want. My preference? An infra red sauna when I’m tired, a dance class or a run in the park when I have the energy. Other suggestions: my Saturday morning yoga class (it does get toasty), any high-intensity workout such as cross-fit, squash or tennis, jump-roping. Sweating is therapeutic on all levels. You can sweat out work-related stress, emotional upset, yesterday’s chocolate cake, excess heat. A good sweaty workout is my favorite way to reset, regulate my moods and appetite.
So today is June 6th, which means another two weeks before summer. When are you starting your simple detox? How about today? I’d start with 3 days, nice and easy. Maybe that’s all you need. I suspect you’ll feel better fast. And then you’ll want to stay on that plan because it works so well!
Enjoy and let me know how it goes in the comment section below xo