Detoxing happens when the amount of inflammatory foods and drinks put into our mouth reduces, and the liver has an opportunity to work through built-up toxins. As Dr. Mark Hyman states, "Detox is necessary when the metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD) has exceeded the threshold for what the body's innate detoxification system can tolerate."
While this may sound like a simple physiological process, detoxing affects both the body and mind.
Psychologically speaking, it takes the average person, one to two weeks to process alcohol, sugar and wheat, and have them completely removed from your system. (That is, of course, if you are not adding additional sugar, wheat and alcohol to the body during the detox process.)
Removing these foods and beverages from your diet for two weeks is a great way to cleanse your system. In addition, here are eight other things you can do to turn your food cleanse into a full body detox.
1. Drink water.
LOTS and LOTS of H2O! Water for the liver is like gas for your car. With small amounts of gas, your car can only run efficiently for a short period of time. Likewise, if you want your liver to perform at its highest potential in processing toxins, water is essential. For the average adult, 1 gallon of water (preferably filtered, if possible) will be most beneficial.
Tip: One glass of warm water with fresh lemon squeezed in it, is a sure fire way to jumpstart your morning into the detox process.
This will come automatically by adopting the 1 gallon of water per day challenge. Why peeing? Sweating and peeing are the only two methods a person physically removes fat from the body, and fat is where most of our toxins are stored. The more you pee, the more fat and toxins you eliminate from the body.
As mentioned above, sweating and peeing are powerful methods to remove fat, and therefore stored toxins from the body. Two of the most beneficial methods of sweating, through the detox process, are through Bikram yoga (a form of hot yoga) as well as through partaking in infrared saunas. Both methods allow a person to relax while sweating, maintaining a healing environment in the body, unlike intense exercise which may allow you to sweat, but can actually create acute inflammation.
4. Move your body.
Think restorative movement and exercise such as yoga, Pilates, walking, or MELT. The goal here is to simply get the blood flowing, which helps to transport toxins out of the body. Often the thought post New Years is to exercise long and hard. However if a person is detoxing, intensive exercise is counter-productive as it actually inflames the body reducing the amount of inflammation from food and drink that the body can process during the detox period.
5. Eat clean, whole foods.
Ideally, you are removing sugar, wheat and alcohol from your diet. This will stop the majority of inflammation going into the body so that the liver can focus on processing the inflammatory foods from the holidays. The most simple and effective foods to eat are those that do not come in a box, bag, can or jar. Essentially, whole foods plucked right from our earth.
Most of us have been working on overdrive between traveling to, or hosting Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, cooking, attending festive parties, and playing Santa. There has been little time for rest and relaxation the past 6 weeks, so seize the opportunity to throw your feet up, go to bed a couple hours early each night, or carve out time for a nap during day. The liver processes the most amount of inflammation when the it is in sleep mode, so allow yourself a few extra hours each day while you move through the detox process.
7. Dry brush.
Dry brushing increases the circulation in your body, encourages new cell renewal by helping to shed dead skin cells, improves vascular blood circulation, encourages lymphatic drainage and more. That's a lot of good stuff for something as easy and simple as this self-care act. Check out a step-by-step guide on how to dry brush here.
8. Think elegantly.
Detoxing is not just about the physiological process. The Shady Bitch, aka – ego or mind, shows herself in full force, creating thoughts based of fear, disappointment and doubt. She will lie, cheat and steal in order to convince you of these negative thoughts, and she is in full force while detoxing. How do we defend ourselves from her?
Be mindful of your thoughts. Know the negative thoughts will appear, and recognize that they are not your thoughts, but rather the Shady Bitch's thoughts. Remind yourself of this constantly. Use the two weeks to create a habit of journaling gratitude in your life, for all things no matter how small and minute they may seem. When we are thinking positively, there is less space for negative thoughts. Carve out 5 minutes a day to meditate simply by putting attention on your breath. This calms the mind and gives you a break from the spinning detox mind.
Whichever elegant thinking method your choose, use it with vengeance throughout these two weeks and you will find that not only are your surviving the detox process, but you are thriving!