To make the most of the new detoxed you, it is essential to reduce or avoid as many toxins as possible. This ensures your body stays clean and healthy. For most people food is the main source of toxicity, followed by lifestyle. Listed below are some essential and optional steps that you can take to give your body a fresh start:
- Daily detoxification support: As part of your ongoing wellness plan you may like to continue taking a daily supplement to maintain the acid/alkaline balance and assist your body’s ongoing detoxification processes.
- Exercise: Our bodies are designed to move. We have a circulatory system that pumps blood and oxygen around the body and this system has its own pump (your heart). We also have a lymphatic system which carries many toxins and wastes. The lymphatic system does not have its own pump but relies on muscle movement to help pump toxins out of the body. You should aim for 30 to 40 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise three to four times per week (examples are brisk walking, swimming) plus one to two sessions per week of strengthening exercises such as weights, calisthenics, yoga or pilates. It is best to move every day rather than cram one super-intensive session in on a weekend.
- Avoid recreational drugs: The three most commonly used recreational drugs in our society are caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. If you use any of these regularly, you should make a concerted effort to stop them. Other recreational drugs will also interfere with the detoxification process and should be avoided.
- Pure water: One of the easiest things to do to get your system detoxifying more effectively is to drink lots of water. Ideally the water should be as pure as possible – the most cost effective option is to install a filter. Drink at least two litres of water per day, more if it is hot or when you are exercising. A good rule of thumb is that if your urine is not almost clear, then you need to drink more. Water in alcohol, tea, coffee, soft drinks and ice blocks doesn’t count. You can add a little lemon, ginger or mint to your water for flavour – but it is best consumed ‘straight’.
- Detoxify your environment: Your home and work can be major sources of toxins. Try to eliminate or minimise your use of cleaning products (vinegar, bicarb soda and other natural products are suitable safe alternatives), antiperspirants with aluminium, pesticides, herbicides, petrochemicals, paints, solvents and hair spray. As much as possible, also try to avoid pollution from cars and factories as well as mould, dust and animal dander.
- Avoid toxic emotions and stress: How you feel and how you think influences your health profoundly. Try to avoid being around negative, energy draining people. Choose to be positive, optimistic and focused on improving your health. If you have a major stress in your life, enlist the support of others. If you need support visit: www.heartlandretreat.com.au
- Dry skin brushing: Your skin is a major organ of elimination and dead cells accumulate, preventing the skin being able to remove toxins effectively. Before you shower, spend five to ten minutes with a firm-bristled brush or loofah and scrub the skin of the arms, legs and back quite briskly – always brushing towards the heart.
- Spa treatments: Many health spas offer treatments such as Far-Infrared Saunas, hydrotherapy, baths, marine algae wraps, skin exfoliation and mud treatments. These treatments have a long traditional use for detoxification. Always make sure that only natural, chemical-free products are used.
- Lymphatic drainage massage: Many massage techniques can accelerate detoxification, but lymphatic drainage is the most well-known and specific for this task. This gentle treatment helps to cleanse the lymphatic system and leave you feeling great.
- Sleep and rest well: Proper rest and a good night’s sleep are essential, but even more when on any detoxification program. Your body system must work efficiently and quality rest and sleep are very important. The best sleep is between 9:00pm and 5:00am
Tips for staying on track
- When shopping, always look for fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables. Try your local farmer’s markets or vegetable barns. It is always preferable to buy organic produce.
- Avoid packaged and processed foods.
- Avoid foods containing artificial colours, flavours, additives, stabilisers, flavour enhancers and hydrogenated fats. This information is usually contained in the ingredients list on the food label. Be aware that “no added” does not mean “does not contain”.
- Read the ingredients list to ensure the food does not contain high amounts of saturated fat, gluten and/or sugar (note the many forms of sugar may be listed separately).
- Fresh vegetable smoothies make a great addition to the detox diet. Blending is preferable to juicing, as this retains valuable fibre.
- Choose soy milk that is made from whole organic, non GMO soybeans (not soy isolates), is fermented, low in sugar and free from preservatives. Organic rice milk may be an option.
- Plan your meals in advance and avoid impulse purchases of foods that aren’t on your shopping list.
- Always shop on a full stomach. It is easier to make the right choices when you are not hungry.
- Remove as much ‘avoid foods’ from your home as practical. Remember if it is in your pantry it will be eaten. Give food to charity, friends and neighbours or pack long-life foods away out of sight until you have reached your goal and finished the program.
- Ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
- Instead of meeting friends for coffee/lunch/dinner, meet for a walk. You can still chat and be sociable while avoiding unhealthy food and getting exercise.
- Talk to your waiter/waitress. Many restaurants are happy to adjust a menu item slightly to ensure a happy customer.
- Order meals that do not contain any ‘avoid foods’. It is easier to avoid these if they are not on your plate.
- Familiarise yourself with your allowable food list so you can easily recognise foods to eat on a menu. If you are not sure of the ingredients in a dish ask your waiter/waitress to tell you.
- Avoid sauces and dressings whenever possible or ask for them on the side.