I have a confession to make…I overindulged during the silly season. Naturopaths are human too, aren’t they? I, like you, find it difficult to switch off my love of red wine, blue cheese, roasted potatoes and tiramisu every day of the year. Forgive me, I don’t deserve to be burnt at the stake I hope. You will be happy to know that I have jumped right back on the healthy train and recommenced the journey back to wellness & vitality, and so should you.
No matter what your vice, the new year presents an opportunity to detox your body and mind, so lets get things moving…
The liver is the prime organ of detoxification. When it becomes over-burdened with toxins such as alcohol, environmental pollutants, caffeine, fatty food, cigarette smoke and the like, our health can become compromised. Digestion may be affected, skin break-outs might occur and you might lack energy and feel sluggish. All of which are signs pointing to deeper functional problems.
However, all is not lost. Our bodies are intelligent vessels that when provided with the right conditions, can repair cellular damage and clean up toxic waste via specialised eliminatory channels. A detox program can assist with the opening of these channels and stimulate the removal of unnecessary built-up garbage that might be making you feel ill. It doesn’t have to be extreme and you need not starve, as long as there is adequate nourishment and it gives your body a break, then I’m happy.
Below are my top 8 post-silly season detox dos…
1. Drink a glass of lemon juice in warm water every morning to stimulate liver detox pathways and promote digestion.
2. Drink plenty of filtered water to keep yourself well hydrated and to move toxins out through the bowels.
3. Eat lots of “liver foods”, i.e. beetroot, onions, turmeric, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spirulina, avocado, carrots, celery and parsley. Juices including these foods are a great idea too.
4. Exercise. Getting that heart rate up will have you sweating out toxins quick smart.
5. Avoid aggravating foods/beverages, i.e. fatty/fried foods, wheat, dairy, processed food, sugary snacks, alcohol, caffeine and soft drinks.
6. Don’t starve yourself. It is important to eat three meals per day (plus snacks), just make them healthier choices. For example, steam your vegetables instead of frying them, substitute white rice with brown, eat sweet potato instead of white potato.
7. Take a supplement each day (whilst under the supervision of your healthcare provider of course!) Perhaps try an antioxidant nutritional supplement, a probiotic for digestive health, or a supportive liver detox herbal remedy. Also, try to incorporate some lovely herbal teas like chamomile, dandelion, green tea, nettle, peppermint or lemon balm.
8. Engage in relaxation/ breathing exercises such as yoga, tai chi or meditation. This final point should not be underestimated or overlooked. The body cannot achieve optimum health without the presence of a calm and happy mind.
Here’s hoping your new year is a happy and healthy one. And remember, you don’t have to ditch the wine glass altogether, naughty indulgences 10% of the time are fine with me. Just be sure to mostly fill that glass with stuff your liver will love more often than the stuff that will upset it.
Image courtesy of bitteroblivion. http://www.flickr.com