More and more people are waking up and realizing how important it is to take care of their bodies. This is wonderful news and I couldn't be happier, but there's still plenty of confusion out there in the world and on the internet. People are are relying on "health professionals," online articles and blogs just like this one for their information regarding health.
Although there are plenty of websites with sound information (I'd like to think this is one of them), not all of the "health" blogs and articles are filled with correct information. This is when it is up to you to REALLY take your health into your own hands.
I believe in intuitive eating. The body naturally knows what it needs, how much it needs and when it needs it. That said, it's often hard for the body to know these things if it's been in a toxic state for a long period of time. When I first went raw and fully detoxed from my former lifestyle, I was amazed by how easily I was able to maintain a healthy and nutritious diet without falling into cravings and old patterns. Some of this was willpower, but a lot of it was just listening to my body and going with what I felt I needed. I work on this with my clients, and they've also had the pleasure of getting to know their bodies again.
So what can you do to start detoxing and getting to know yourself and your body better?
1. Start distinguishing between the ego mind and the right mind.
This can be really hard at first because our egos are super clever and have a masters degree in manipulation. The best way I've found to notice the difference between the two is to pause before responding to a thought. Here's an example: I really want that chocolate bar. I've been really good this week; I ate my kale and I went to the gym, and chocolate is actually good for me! I'll feel better. I know I said I wasn't going to eat chocolate, but that's crazy talk. Who can actually follow through with that ... ?
Can you guess what mind that is? That's the ego mind convincing you it's OK to do something that you promised yourself you wouldn't do. Indulging in something that you love is great, but breaking a promise to yourself isn't OK for your mind, body or spirit.
2. Make a decision to detox.
You can do it alone, you can do it with a friend or you can get support from a professional. Detoxing with a friend or a professional is great because you have someone to help you see when maybe you're cutting yourself short or not following through all the way. You have someone else to help hold you responsible. Eventually you'll build up your willpower, but in the beginning it's important to have support.
3. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator.
This is an old trick that works! If it's not there, you can't eat it! Simple as that. Take out any packaged food, canned food, sugary treats, chips — pretty much anything with an ingredients list. The best things for you are whole foods that are not processed. I always have my clients shop the perimeter of the grocery store, another trick that keeps you from buying processed foods.
4. Start with the basics.
Start with some basic detox knowledge. Warm lemon water in the morning, for example, works because it alkalizes the system and helps the liver and kidneys gently detox. Another simple and great way to get the detox going is dry skin brushing. Dry brushing removes the top layer of dead skin that carries discarded toxins, it opens the pores for better elimination, and it stimulates circulation and the lymphatic system. Dry brushing stimulates the movement of toxins from fatty tissue. These are two very simple ways to start gently cleansing your body and getting back to a healthy equilibrium.
5. Mentally and emotionally detox.
This was the number one thing that helped me reconnect with myself and my understanding of what my body needed. I had a decent grasp on what was healthy for me and what my body needed to stay healthy, but I wasn't able to follow through and really do what it was that was needed to maintain my health. It took me getting really sick, a lot of inner work, a lot of reading, breathing, praying and meditation to finally come to a place inside myself that was balanced. Once I reached this space inwardly, I was able to connect with my body and really hear its needs.
There are many paths to healing, and many ways to find your intuition around food. These are the ways that have worked for me and continue to support my well-being. You are a genius design that was made to thrive; sometimes all we need is a little faith in ourselves and the right support.
Photo Credit: Summer Sanders