In a recent article, I addressed the importance of detoxing as a means for resetting your body’s healing capabilities. But what does that actually entail?
In simple terms, detoxing consists of reducing or eliminating your exposure to harmful substances and/or removing these substances from your body and your environment.
Detoxing helps prevent disease and it allows our organs (skin, liver, kidneys, etc) to function more efficiently and effectively. And it has many benefits, including:
· Increased energy
· Improved brain function
· Weight loss
· Disease prevention
· Improvements in chronic health conditions
· Increased vitality
· Higher quality sleep
However, detoxing can get quite complicated. So, unless you are the type of person who thrives on diving in head first by tackling everything at once, I recommend taking it in incremental steps, incorporating different aspects into your lifestyle over time. To help you feel better faster, however, it will help to jumpstart yourself with a 2–4 week detox diet, followed by a less restrictive regimen that is closer to your current lifestyle and therefore easier to maintain over time.
One easy way to start detoxing is to look for things in your environment that have chemicals or heavy metals in them, such as deodorant, hair care products, soaps, detergents, laundry supplies, air fresheners, fragrances, scented candles, etc. As these products run out, replace them with chemical-free, natural products. These are readily available in health food stores and in the natural products section of the local grocery store.
Making your own products is a great way to reduce your exposure and save a lot of money, but there is a time trade-off. In any case, I will share more information on this topic later, but if you are interested in making your own detergents, house cleaners, and such, please contact me!
Another first step in detoxing is to get in the habit of purchasing locally grown, organic produce. If that seems cost prohibitive, start on a small scale. Apples, celery, strawberries, and a few other fruits and vegetables tend to have more pesticides on them from conventional farming methods (for a list of the most important produce to purchase organic, Google “dirty dozen organic”).
The third and most important step is to eliminate processed foods from your diet. That’s right—sugar, breads, pastas, pizzas, chips, etc. The further it is from the food chain, the worse it is for you. (Did you know cellulose is used in many processed foods? It is wood pulp, and our bodies are not designed to process wood products). If stopping altogether is daunting, put rules around it. For instance, if you currently eat pizza once per week, have it once every other week instead, then reduce it to once per month, and so on. And I shouldn’t have to say it, but it is important to stop eating fast food and drinking sodas altogether.
Fourth, filter the water you eat, drink, and shower with. There are lots of undesirable particulates in municipal water and in many bottled waters. Any level of filtering is better than none. I highly recommend reverse osmosis water for cooking and drinking. See also my recent article about water and water filtration.
Like many things, there is no one-size-fits-all program. But by starting with the four key steps listed above, you will be well on the way to living a lifestyle that supports the healthiest and most vibrant you that you can be!
Don’t forget, we are starting a Healthy Lifestyle Initiative in January. If you are interested in participating, please sign up here. This does not commit you to anything, it just gets you on the list of interested people that we will send more detailed information to in the near future.
Once again, thank you for reading this post!
Yours in health and wellness,