I feel like whenever I say the words "detox" or "cleanse", it sends a shudder through my body. That absolutely doesn't sound enticing to me, and probably doesn't sound great to many other people either.
Detoxing doesn't have to mean skipping or drinking your meals. It's really simple actually, and your body will naturally detox itself every day if you treat it right. In this article, I want to share my top 5 tips to detoxing naturally.
Looking at it From Both Sides
I will be the first to admit that I am on both sides of the fence. I endorse the Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living program, which is a program designed to challenge you to eat whole foods, stay gluten, soy, dairy and caffeine free for a whole month, and provides digestion and protein support with their products. It's the one "detox" I think is great because it isn't restrictive, even though some may argue it is. For those that say it is restrictive, I'd say you are only looking at what you can't eat, and not at the even longer list of natural, whole foods you can eat.
However, if you don't want to invest a ton of money into a program like this, you can easily do it yourself...naturally.
Do You Need a Detox?
Detoxing naturally simply means making better food choices, drinking a lot of water and most importantly, looking at your overall day-to-day life. Are you stressed at work? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you eat a variety of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables? Do you go from cups of coffee all day immediately to a glass of wine at dinner with little to no water in between?
If that sounds like you, then chances are your body isn't able to do its best job of detoxing itself. For some, it's not easy to just turn the switch and start eating better, which is why a program like Arbonnes is so effective, but for others, even just small changes can make a big difference.
Here are a few symptoms to look for to know if you're in need of a gut-health overhaul:
These are all signs of an unhealthy gut, which means it's time do a little cleaning. Here are 5 tips to help you naturally detox your body. You don't have to do them all and make yourself crazy though - remember that even small changes can make a big difference.
Hydration is the key to getting things moving and helping your digestion stay healthy, and when you drink enough of it, it can also help not only within but also on the surface, giving your skin that healthy glow.
The subject of water intake and the amount everyone thinks they need to drink isn't the same for everyone. I always see those water bottles helping to keep track of your water intake, so you drink the recommended average of 12 cups of water a day, but that's really not the case for everyone. If you think about it, that's a lot of water! Every single person is different, both in body shape, size and activity level. If you're sitting at a desk all day, you probably don't need that much water. If you're incredibly active then maybe, but you'll also want electrolytes to go with it.
The key here is to simply listen to your body and drink when you're thirsty and then don't when you're not. There's no point in forcing it, and if you are running to the bathroom every 30 minutes to pee, then you're probably drinking too much.
By listening to your body, I mean when you want to reach for a cup of coffee or a soda, grab a glass of water instead. Or start your morning with a glass of water before the coffee. You can also try adding fruit to your water for added flavor.
Fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi and kombucha are types of probiotics that help improve digestion, decrease inflammation, increase immunity and can help protect you from infections. These gut healthy foods can be used in a number of different ways, added to recipes easily. Just be mindful when you're purchasing these products of added sugars, flavors and artificial ingredients. Those that are pregnant should stay away from foods like kombucha that are unpasteurized.
Make a yogurt parfait, add kefir to your smoothie, enjoy a bowl of miso soup (low sodium please!), add pickled veggies to tacos or to have over salads or have a glass of kombucha in the morning.
The 30 Minute Rule
Exercise is just as important as the foods we eat. Moving around for even 30 minutes a day, increasing your heart rate and getting a good sweat are very important in my book. When you sweat, your body is releasing toxins while also giving your skin a healthy glow. Movement also increases your blood flow and assists with digestion. With that said, make it a habit to move at least 30 minutes a day, enough that your heart rate gets up.
If you're not into going to the gym, opt for a brisk walk around your neighborhood, or find one a millions of different workout videos on YouTube to do in the privacy of your own home. FitSugar's page on YouTube has a really good assortment of different workouts that I like to do when I'm on vacation. If you're a gym lover, do your normal thing, but perhaps change up your routine a few days a week. Add in a spin class, hop on the rowing machine for 10 minutes to warm up - just try something new. Our bodies very quickly get used to the same workouts every day, so switching it up can make a big difference.
So many people are always focused on the big 3 - calories, protein and carbohydrates. However if we keep gut health as an important part of our daily life, then fiber plays a big role. Upping your fiber intake will greatly help keep your digestion, prevent constipation and can reduce your risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
This is where I find the Arbonne and their 30 Days to Healthy Living Program so helpful, because they provide digestion support in the form of a powder, with a high dose of fiber that you can easily mix right into your drink, and tastes like nothing. The fiber supplement is vegan, 100% clean and comes with the program. You can purchase the powder on its own or as part of the 30-day package.
If you're not in the Arbonne 30 Days to Healthy Living Program, then you'll want to be sure you're including fiber-rich foods into your diet every day. Here are some easy ways to add fiber in to your diet:
Take a Look at your Daily Stressors
Stress is one of the leading causes of almost all digestive issues. Moderate stress is more common and generally not as harmful as chronic and severe stress, which can have negative effects on your emotional, mental and physical health. Chronic stress is associated with physiological and environmental stress and sleep deprivation.
It's important to take a close look at what may be causing your stress, and whether it is leading to more severe forms of stress like anxiety and depression. Whether it's meditating, finding a hobby that brings you joy, physical activity like running or yoga, traveling, being with friends, reading in hammock or cooking a new recipe, make sure you're taking time for yourself.
This may be the biggest factor playing in to your gut health. Take me for example, who suffered from major anxiety attacks and stress for years at a job that just wasn't fulfilling for me. For a long time I thought nothing of it and accepted it as normal life, but once I took a hard look at myself, I knew how toxic it was for me. It took a huge toll on my body, wellbeing and my mind, and now that I am removed from it all, the difference is extraordinary. It may seem drastic to tell you to quit your job and find something else you love, but for some that's very necessary.
Perhaps it's a bad relationship you're in. We've all been there, and it's not fun, but the differences you will see and feel within yourself when you remove the toxic stress will be like a kick in the bum you wished you had had years ago.
As you can see, detoxing naturally can be so easy, it just takes a little prior planning and commitment to yourself. As a health coach, I help to show clients how to forge their own paths and create their own destiny on their journey to health. Through simple steps, delicious, healthy, vibrant recipes and 100% online support, I would love to help you. If you are interested in working with me, please check out my page dedicated to my 60-day program, all with the help of Arbonne if you want it.
Thank you for reading and please let me know in the comment below how you have taken your own steps towards detoxing naturally and increasing your gut health.