Lately, on my runs, I’ve noticed signs that the season is changing. The humidity is hanging light and damp; there is a bright freshness to the air; the leaves are coming back on the trees young and green; even the deer and rabbits are hesitantly coming out to play. Mother Nature is resetting herself. And we can, too, with a gentle detox!
It is just as important to eliminate what our bodies don’t need, as it is to nourish our bodies with foods that build it up. When our bodies are overloaded with toxins, they can’t perform to the best of their ability. A variety of symptoms may indicate toxic overload. They can range from migraines or fibromyalgia to joint pain, depression or chemical sensitivity. Symptoms occur when our bodies cannot remove all the toxins we are exposed to in our daily lives.
Toxins are all around us. They are in our food and our environment. When we buy processed food, we miss out on the natural nutrients in whole foods and tax our bodies by having to process and eliminate human-made substances. In addition to all of the human-made chemicals in processed food, we need to be conscious of the pesticides used on our whole foods and fed to the animals that become our food. Alcohol, drugs, and cigarette smoke are no-brainers as toxic to our bodies. We also come into contact with toxins in our cleaning solutions, make-up, and beauty products.
Poor digestion is another cause of toxin accumulation. When the food we eat isn’t adequately digested, unhealthy bacteria can build up in our bodies. In addition to hindering digestion, even more damaging, these harmful bacteria produce toxic waste.
While each of these sources may not cause significant toxins to enter our bodies, it is the sum of all of these that overwork our bodies’ natural detoxification systems.
Spring is a wonderful time for us to reset ourselves with a detox. It is a time to give some extra love to your body. Your detox plan can be as gentle or as intense as you choose to make it, although I feel regular gentle cleanses are much better received by the body and leave you feeling more successful.
So, what can we do to help our bodies eliminate the toxins that accumulate? We can start with ABC – Always Be Cleansing! There are several things we can do in our daily lives that will support gentle cleansing:
- Adequate water, especially first thing in the morning
- Fresh and organic (if possible) produce to fill at least ½ of your plate 2-3 times a day
- Yoga, taking walks, or another type of movement
- Dry brushing before you take a shower to increase circulation
- End the day with a yummy herbal tea
- Enjoy a full night’s sleep, roughly 8 hours
- Eat your meals slowly and focus on being present in the moment
You don’t need to do all of these at first, as it will cause more stress and high expectations, negating the benefits of gentle detoxing. Start with a few that are realistic for you and your lifestyle and build on them when you are ready. As you focus on supporting your body where it is, the holistic benefits will follow.
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