Most people start quaking in their boots when they hear the word detox. It conjures up images of existing on nothing by lemonade for three weeks (like the Master Cleansea diet that consists of nothing more than spicy homemade lemonadethat Beyonce purportedly used to shed weight before filming Dreamgirls), or gobbling down foul-tasting herbs and spending lots of time on the pot.
There is an easier way. By eating simple foods and taking steps to help your body perform its natural modes of detoxification, you can nudge the needle on your personal wellness meter toward greater vitality. To that end, here are several tips for a low-drama detox.
Keep it simple
Instead of depriving yourself of solid food altogether, concentrate on eating only whole foods. Have oatmeal (not the instant kindthe kind you buy at the health food store and have to cook for at least five minutes) and organic berries in the morning, a salad dressed with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil for lunch, brown rice and sautéed vegetables for dinner. Snack on raw almonds, carrots and hummus, or an apple with natural peanut butter. Just giving your body a break from refined foods for a few days will help give it the time and space it needs for its own healing mechanism to kick in.
Invest in some distilled water
For as long as youd like to detox, drink distilled water (that youll likely have to buy at the health food store) so you can be sure youre not consuming contaminants while youre trying to clean house. Squeeze lemon into each glass it kick starts your digestive process and its astringency is believed to help the liver purge toxins.
Sweat it out
Sweating is one of your bodys natural elimination processes. Help things along while youre detoxing by visiting a sauna or steam room, a heated yoga class, or taking long walks on warm day.
Brush it off
Exfoliating your skin helps shed dead cells and also promotes elimination. Use a loofah, a dry brush, or a scrubby pouf before you shower, so the water can wash away anything you slough off.
Help things along
Try a detox tea, such as the one by Yogi Tea. It contains 21 herbs hailed for their purifying properties, such as burdock, dandelion, juniper berry, and ginger. And despite the range of herbs, it isnt something you have to hold your nose to be able to choke down.
When you are ready to resume normal life, keep eating as many whole foods as you can so that you wont be tempted to gorge on pizza and chips. With every dietary change you makestarting to eat dark chocolate in the afternoon, for example, or getting back in to your coffee habitjust notice how it affects your body, mood and energy level. Because in addition to helping your body rid itself of what it doesnt need, a low-drama detox can also help you make wiser decisions for yourself. If you rush right back in to your old eating habits, you may miss this important payoff.