14 JAN 2015 / DETOX

15 Ways to Detox without going Hungry!

If you are anything like me, you have over-indulged in the last few weeks of Christmas festivities, and are now left feeling heavy and sluggish. With 2015 promising healthy resolutions, and a fresh slate to work with, there is no better time to rid your body of the signs of a Christmas well spent and step into the New Year feeling fresh and vibrant.

Just like getting your car serviced annually, or going for a dental check-up, once or twice a year I like to cleanse my cells of toxins that may have made their way in due to bad food choices, alcohol or environmental pollutants. I usually do one around the beginning of spring, and after periods of indulgence such a Christmas, Easter or other festivities.

The duration of a detox is generally anywhere between a couple of days (often a weekend ) to a couple of weeks. Here are 15 easy and enjoyable ways to add to or customise your own detox program.

  1. Take a break – from alcohol, processed or rich foods, caffeine, dairy and red meats (this doesn’t mean you have to starve! ). You've probably over-indulged a little over the Christmas/New Year break (and why not, you deserve it!). However now might be the time to give the body a break from processed or rich foods,dairy and red meats, coffee and alcohol to help kick start your New Year.
  2. Tongue Scraping. Based on traditional Ayurvedic folk medicine, this involves scraping the tongue first thing in the morning. Done with a special V-shaped scraping tool, the tradition is used to help rid the tongue of toxins that have gathered overnight.
  3. Coconut Oil Pulling. Another ancient Ayurevedic tradition, this method uses oil (use coconut oil for best results) as an effective mouthwash. Swished around in the mouth for about ten minutes the oil gathers the toxins that have accumulated overnight before being spat out. Interested to learn more about coconut oil pulling? See our 10 Sep article
  4.  Lemon Water. Have you tried starting your day with a refreshing glass of lemon water? Supporters of this method claim drinking a glass every morning ( after tongue scraping & oil pulling ) helps detoxify the liver and promotes overall health. Simply squeeze half a lemon in some room temperature water and enjoy.
  5. Dry Skin Brushing. Those that practice skin brushing say it not only helps clear the pores, but eliminates toxins, releases fatty deposits under your skin’s surface, assists in skin regeneration and helps with blood circulation.
  6. Hydrotherapy with Epsom Salt Bath and Essential Oils. Bathing in Epsom Salts creates a process called reverse osmosis which pulls salt and harmful toxins out of the body and allows the benefical magnesium and sulfates to enter in. By adding essential oils with detoxifying properties to the bath as well, you lift this common detoxing method to a new level. What better way to help sweat out those festive season toxins?
  7. Hydrate – drink lots of water. Particularly as the weather warms up, it makes sense to "keep the fluids up" as the saying goes. However water also helps to flush out our system and is essential for any detox program.
  8. Detox with Tea. Relax with a calming cup of detox tea! There are herbs that have been associated with cleansing for generations. Preprepared detox teas and green tea are both great additions to a detox program.
  9. Detox with herbs There are a number of alternative medicine sites that recommend a variety of herbs to help in the detoxing of the liver and bowel, two of the body's organs that may receive a lot of extra work over the festive season. The detox herbs usually with high marks for detox include St Marys Thistle for cleasning the Liver and Senna for the Bowel.
  10. Ear Candles. Have you heard of ear candling? This alternative method of removing wax involves using hollow candles with claims that ear wax and debris that is contained in the ear is drawn out. There are claims that this method helps in the detox process. 
  11. Do some light exercise. Even light exercise like walking, cycling and gentle yoga will help you remove some of that excessive festive baggage. Some time spent meditating or getting out into the fresh air will help put you back in the right frame of mind, ready to tackle the New Year’s challenges on the front foot.
  12. Do some vigorous exercise. For those who enjoy vigorous exercise, try sweating out toxins. Any exercise is beneficial for good health however by exercising hard, whether it be at the gym or through "hot" yoga, a good, solid exercise session will help get you back in shape for the New Year.
  13. Lympathic Drainage Massage. This consists of a gentle massage by a trained professional designed to help lymph flow which assists with the detox process. The theory is based on the lymph glands role in removing waste, bacteria and toxins from the body.
  14. Just breathe. This is the first thing any meditation teacher will advise. Just take some time to stop, slow your breath, relax and breathe. Listen to your breath and feel your mind and body replenish.
  15. Get more sleep. Getting your full eight hours sleep will allow the mind and body to relax....and replenish. Waking up feeling refreshed (instead of still tired) will do wonders to kick start your day and help detox your body.

We are all individuals, and some of the above may not work for everyone. However by picking and choosing those that suit your lifestyle, these suggestions may help in your post Christmas/New Year detox.

Please use your discretion when trying out these remedies, some are based on common sense, some originate from ancient folk remedies, others are attached to more modern anecdotal claims. Some you might like to mix and match, or even continue them as a part of your lifestyle once the detox has ended.

Some of you may have a completely different way to detox. If so let us know your favourite method?  We'd love to hear from you.

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