So right now in the midst of waiting for the sun to return I find myself really wanting to get something done, something amazing and something that feels really great.
Of course there are tons of things I could be doing, the to-do list is infinite, but really and truly, I feel the strongest desire to tap into some internal creativity that I know is there, vaulted and hidden underneath a bunch of who knows what, but I need to figure out a way to get to it before I can dive into it, swim in it, unleash it.
So, recommended by a dear friend and my unofficial existential and nutritional counsellor, I will perform an old-fashioned detox. I hear that detoxification helps to release toxins, but that it also helps clear blockages that limit our potential. And, according to my friend, it doesn’t have to be a ‘program’ or even difficult – but everyday easy ways to detox. Here goes:
1. Bring on the water. Drinking a bunch of water, say up to 1-litre first thing in the morning helps the body rehydrate, kick starts metabolism and helps the body’s natural morning cleansing processes. It pushes all the gunk and leftovers out of the intestines and the free radicals and toxins from. And, remember to drink up throughout the day and especially after yoga and exercise.
2. Don’t take any non-prescription medication Refrain from taking painkillers or any chemical-based medication for at least a day or for as long as possible. Refrain and replace any hygiene chemically based products with environmental and health friendly products. This also includes chemical-based cleaning products that are full of toxins.
3. Get enough Z’s. We all know what a good night’s rest can do. My mom always said to go to sleep when the birds do and wake up with them too. I’m not sure of the benefits, but it seems to work for her and most of the time for me.
4. Limit caffeine. Refrain from your typical consumption of Joe for at least a day or forever cut your intake in half. Along with the jitters, coffee is usually associated with disrupting sleep and not to mention it usually goes well with sugar, fatty cream or gooey frosted pastries. And, if you’re like me, I get angry when coffee is running through my veins.
5. Eat organic. Limit your intake of pesticides and chemicals by choosing organic produce. According to the Environmental Working Group, we can reduce our exposure by 80% by avoiding the non-organic ‘dirty dozen’ that have the most pesticide contamination: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach and potatoes.
6. Got Yoga? Probably one of the most important detoxification methods is to get moving! Whether it’s yoga, taking a walk after a meal, doing a zillion jumping jacks or sweating it out at the gym, get your circulation going, your lymph nodes draining and eliminate toxins.
7. BSL also know as Brush, Scrape and Lather. Stimulate your lymph canals and circulation by dry brushing your skin, scrape toxins off your tongue with a tongue scraper or simply lather up with some herbal or oil based soap (which actually means, take a shower). I love lavender soap or Chandrika! Check out more peculiar little things (5 to be exact) that could change your life.
8. The Hot-Cold shower. While in the shower, steam it up for a few minutes, then turn the temperature a bit colder for a few seconds and alternate. Trust me, this will wake you up. Alternating between hot and cold helps circulation and helps to increase the rate of detoxification.
9. Vitamin C-yeah! Since us humans don’t naturally produce vitamin C like some animals, it’s important we consume it through the foods we eat or the supplements we take. Vitamin C is an important primary antioxidant that helps to remove toxins. So for a meal or a snack try organic fruits or veggies that are loaded with Vitamin C like papaya, cantaloupe, oranges, raw red bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, steamed broccoli, boiled Brussels sprouts or kale.
10. Meditate. As we detox the body, we should also remember to detox the mind. Meditation allows us to calm our busy thoughts, if only for a few minutes. We can then return to our lives with a more calm, less stressed frame of mind.
11. Take a break from cigs and alcohol. Although this isn’t a hard one for me, as I don’t really do either, the thought is blasphemy for some of my beloved friends. Cut back or refrain all together. Instead of cigarette or cocktail beverage, try a multi-vitamin or a cup of herbal tea. Doesn’t that sound like a good exchange?! Get high on life!
12. Turn off the TV. Don’t fill your mind with worries of the world or the incessant drama of reality television. Instead do something that challenges your mind like Sudoku or a word search. Take a walk or simply relax. I like trying to kick my boyfriend’s butt at Backgammon.
13. Mini-fast. Give your digestive system a break. Skip dinner and drink only water, fresh vegetable juices and herbal teas.
14. Refrain from refined sugars and saturated fats. Skip the morning donut and the afternoon candy bar. A diet high in sugar and fat make toxins stay in the bloodstream longer.
15. Go raw for a day or a meal. Take advantage of all the live enzymes and nutrients of raw fruits and veggies. Check out a new trendy new raw café. Heck, walk there or even ride your bike.
16. Completely veg out. Try a vegetarian diet that is rich in protein but low in fat and carbohydrates. Remember our veggie friends are high in Vitamin A, C and fiber. Read more about veggin’ out and the yoga shmoga undiet.
17. Go Green Tea! Skip coffee and try green tea. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help to cleanse the liver. 3-4 cups of the green stuff a day really helps to eliminate toxins from the body and helps wake you up.
18. Breathe. Remind yourself all day long to take long deep breaths. Allow oxygen to circulate completely through your entire system.
19. Eat lots of fiber. Eating plenty of fiber also helps to detoxify the body (and helps with those yoga twists and binds, if you know what I mean). These foods are brown rice, fruits and veggies. In addition beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella and seaweed are especially great.
20. Watch what you say and think. Practice being more compassionate and positive both when it comes to communicating with others and paying attention to the thoughts associated with these interactions. Remember, thoughts count! Check out a great article about Michael Stone and engaged living.
21. The most important, be kind to yourself. Look in the mirror and appreciate who you are. Boost yourself up and simply accept and love every bit about who you are.