Let’s talk detox! It’s a buzzword these days, but that’s OK by me. Performed in a safe and healthy way, detoxing is one of the most effective ways to keep your mind and body clean and clear so that you can be at your best.
Spearheaded by the liver and supported by the skin, urinary system and bowels, detoxification is a natural process in the body that works to neutralize, transform, and eliminate toxins. Toxins from food additives, pesticides, skin care products, medications, and even the hormones our own bodies make all have to go through our liver before being eliminated. And while our liver is pretty good at what it does, giving it a little extra love can go a long way.
It’s a great idea to do a serious detox once or twice a year and devote a few consecutive weeks to cleaning up your life, your diet, and taking extra special care of yourself. Just like our homes, dirt and other junk that we don’t need build up over time, it makes sense that we should clean our bodies once in a while too.
But there’s also a lot we can do to gently detox on a daily basis. Here are six easy ways to keep you clean all day long:
Start your day with a glass of warm water, a wedge of lemon and a dash of apple cider vinegar. The water flushes your internal organs and the acidity from the lemon and vinegar gently stimulates the liver and gallbladder, and tells the digestive system to kick into gear.
Ninja detox tip: Keep the (filtered) water flowing all day long. Three liters a day helps flush the toxins away.
2. Take a contrast shower.
For every 2-3 minutes of your hot water shower, blast yourself with 30 seconds of cold. The colder the better, so be brave! This type of hydrotherapy not only wakes you up better than any cup of joe, but it also helps to stimulate your lymphatic system — which carries waste products as well as white blood cells — and improves circulation.
Ninja detox tip: Always end your shower with cold water. Brrrrr. But it’s worth it!
3. Stop Re-toxing.
Say no to toxic and artificial materials that are common around the home. Get rid of those plastic water bottles and food containers and replace them with glass. Plastics often contain BPA, which makes your liver work extra hard and disrupts your hormones. Take the time to educate yourself about the chemicals that might be lurking in your every-day cosmetics, like makeup, sunscreen, shampoos, fragrances and baby products.
Ninja detox tip: Find out the toxicity rating of your cosmetic products here.
Nothing can mobilize and eliminate toxins from the body like a good sweat session. High intensity workouts, infrared saunas, steam rooms and hot yoga are all great ways to get your blood pumping and release toxins. Just thirty minutes will do the trick!
5. Eat your cruciferous veggies!
Also known as the Brassica family of vegetables, these include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts, and get their name from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross. Among their many health benefits, cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals that stimulate specific liver enzymes required for detoxification.
Ninja detox tip: Don’t overcook these veggies—that’s what can give them an unpleasant, sulfur-like taste. Keep ‘em crunchy!
6. Write it down.
Along with a physical detox, it is important to emotionally rid yourself of the clutter that isn’t serving you. Take a few minutes before you go to bed to jot down any worries, fears, anxieties or lingering to-dos that are buzzing around in your mind. Consciously acknowledging these thoughts and releasing them onto paper can be a very empowering and cleansing process.
Keep these easy six tips in mind and your mind and body will be loving you all day long!