Spring is here, and the earth is once again alive with an array of colorful blossoms and cheerful sounds. This yearly renewal of nature plants within us the desire to shake off winter’s icy shackles and find a little renewal of our own. We all want a little extra pep in our step, so we can move forth with vigor and vim. Unfortunately, if you are like many, you may have taken advantage of the camouflage your winter wardrobe provided and indulged your appetite a little too much this winter, and you’re not feeling very peppy. If this describes you, what can you do?
As you ponder this question to yourself and then aloud with friends, someone is surely to mention a detox. You’re likely to hear about a spring detox at work, at the gym, and every morning talk/news show is sure to have a segment on products you can use to detoxify your body. I confess, I too have fallen victim to the spring detox, but now I know better. I know I don’t have to buy any special products to do a spring detox. In fact, I don’t need “a detox” at all. I just need to know how to add and subtract. Keep reading, and I’ll share a formula with you that will keep your insides clean year-round.
To start, let me ask you, why would you consider a detox? Are you tired, overweight, moody, sluggish, and/or constipated? Have you been putting things into or on your body that you know aren’t good for it? Sounds like you NEED a detox!
Now for another question: Do you clean your home just once a year? How about your car? Your work space? No, of course not. You know that it takes consistent care of your home, car, and work space, so that it doesn’t become an overwhelming task. The same is true for your body. You need consistent – not once a year – care. It takes more than taking some high fiber product and drinking lots of extra water for a week once a year for your body to be able to rid itself of toxins.
The top culprits that cause our bodies to have a toxic load are stress, alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, chemical cleaners, and personal care products. Day after day, these add layer upon layer of toxins, and our bodies can become overloaded. DETOX! I don’t want you to detox once a year; I want you to develop habits that help your body detox EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Now for the magic formula: Start adding things to your daily routine that help the body to detox, and subtracting those things that cause a toxic buildup. Notice I said “add” first. I want you to focus on the positive things first, not the things you need to eliminate. If you want to do that too, great, but if your only focus is on eliminating things from your diet that you like, and you’re not paying any attention to adding good things, you’re likely to get discouraged and quit. I want your primary focus to be on adding.
To begin, add more water to your diet. Water helps your body eliminate toxins through, sweat, urine, and feces. According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men need about 15.5 cups daily, while women need 11.5 cups daily. You may need even more if you are in a very hot climate or exercising vigorously for long periods of time. You also get some water in fruits and vegetables. However, sodas, tea, and coffee don’t count for our purposes. The water contained in these beverages also comes with many things you don’t want to be putting into your body on a regular basis, so drink your water and eat your fruits and veggies.
Next, add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds to your diet. These foods contain high amounts of fiber which helps the body eliminate toxins by a) keeping the bowels moving regularly, and b) they contain enzymes and phytochemicals that help the body to detox.
“Broccoli is incredible. It can prevent DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread; activate defenses against pathogens and pollutants; help to prevent lymphoma; boost the enzymes that detox your liver; target breast cancer stem cells; and reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression.” Michael Greger, M.D.
The FDA recommends that adults get at least 25 grams of fiber per day from food not supplements. Currently, Americans are averaging about 16 grams per day. Once you start adding more high fiber, nutrient dense foods, you will naturally subtract less healthy options from your diet and lighten your toxic load. If you need a little help knowing what foods to add to your diet, see the lists below, displaying how much fiber each contains:
Artichoke, boiled, medium. 10.3 g
Green peas, boiled, 1 cup 8.8 g
Sweet Potato, baked, 1 cup 6.6 g
Broccoli, Boiled, 1 cup 5.1 g
Turnip greens, boiled, 1 cup 5 g
Raspberries 1 cup 8 g
Pear w/ skin, med, 5.5 g
Apple w/ skin, med 4.4
Blueberries, 1 cup 3.5 g
Orange or Banana, med 3.1 g
Split Peas, boiled, 1 cup 16.3 g
Lentils, boiled, 1 cup 15.6 g
Pinto beans, boiled, 1 cup 15.4 g
Black beans, boiled, 1 cup 15 g
Lima beans, boiled, 1 cup 13.2
Whole wheat spaghetti, cooked, 1 cup 6.3 g
Barley, pearled, cooked, 1 cup 6 g
Quinoa, 3/4 cup 5.2
Oatmeal, instant, cooked, 1 cup 4 g
Brown rice, cooked, 1 cup 3.5
Almonds, 1 oz 3.5 g
Sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup 3 g
Pistachios, 1 oz 2.9 g
Pecans, 1 oz 2.7 g
Walnuts, 1/4 cup 2 g
The next thing I’d encourage you to add to regular weekly routine is sweat. Sweating also helps the body to rid itself of toxins, so make sure you’re getting at least 150 minutes of cardio every week.
Another thing that will help reduce your toxic load is adding yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. This will help reduce your stress hormones, so don’t forget your daily “OM.”
I know it’s trendy to “do a detox,” but hopefully, now you know the right way to do it – by daily adding and subtracting, not just once a year. Choose one or two things at a time to focus on, and when that becomes a part of your regular routine, up your game and add or subtract more. Remember this quote:
“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life’s hard.”― John Bytheway
To recap, we’re focusing on adding first: water, fiber, sweat, yoga, meditation, deep breathing. We’re subtracting: stress, alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars, saturated and trans fats, cleaners and personal care products with harmful chemicals. Think about the small changes you can make today and share it with a friend who will hold you accountable. I’d love to hear from you to know how you’re cleaning up your act. Don’t forget to e-mail me and tell me what you’re doing and how you’re progressing. I want you to be able to have your best life ever, and you and I both know that starts with great health. Great health is not an accident. Take charge of your health and start detoxing today and every day!
“Your body is a Temple. You are what you eat. Do not eat processed food, junk foods, filth, or disease carrying food, animals, or rodents. Some people say of these foods, ‘well, it tastes good’. Most of the foods today that statically cause sickness, cancer, and disease ALL TASTE GOOD; it’s well seasoned and prepared poison. THIS IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SICK; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually; because of being hooked to the ‘taste’ of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness. Respect and honor your Temple- and it will honor you.” Supa Nova Slom