What's a simple detox? Sip, scrub and sweat + a whole foods diet.
Have you been procrastinating doing a detox? Could those be the reasons why:
You don’t know where to start.
You’re afraid of going hungry.
You’ve done a detox before and it was too complicated and/or expensive.
You’re not a “juice person” (Isn’t that the only way to cleanse, you ask?)
I’m familiar with all those reasons. For one, cleanse or not, I like food and I like to chew it (vs. drink it). I need substance. Liquid cleanses leave me hungry and ravenous for the foods I’ve been depriving myself of, as well as massively un-grounded. Similarly, intricate detox plans that require a bunch of supplements, shakes and/or specific meals to be taken at specific times stress me out.
And guess what? Stress is not conducive to detox. Stress is toxic. It puts the body into a holding pattern that goes counter to the intended overarching goal of a cleanse, to release. For that, relaxation is necessary. That’s why I’ve become a fan of a simple detox method: a whole food diet + sip, scrub and sweat. I’ll break it down for you.
Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free or an omnivore, for a few days to a couple weeks choose to eat whole foods only. What are those? The opposite of processed, as in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, fish, meat, eggs, raw milk, olives, cold-pressed olive oil, coconut oil.
No matter how “all natural, raw and organic” stay away from store-bought snacks and small bites. In my experience it’s a slippery slope. Keep it simple.
Avoid mixing many different kinds of foods in one meal, you’ll digest easier.
Make use of spices and herbs, you’ll digest easier. As Ayurveda teaches us, you are not what you eat, but what you digest.
Eat more for lunch, when your digestion is stronger, less for dinner.
Breakfast? According to your appetite level.
Obviously, this is a good way to eat all-year-round. In fact, you may find your need for detoxing lessens drastically when you eat cleaner most of the time. Pretty common-sensical, right? For common sense I often turn to my french, salt-of-the-earth parents. For them, cleansing is eating a little less of everything, cutting back on cheese and baguette, having a soup for dinner. In their world kale and spinach are only enjoyed sauteed with garlic and olive oil, not drank raw by the gallon. Beware of juice cleansing. Juicing is not for everyone.
Your next step? Make a list of all the whole foods that fit in your preferred diet, only buy those items next time you go shopping.
On hot water, of course. Not teas, not kombucha, not coffee. Stick to hot water. Keep. It. Simple. Boring you say? That’s ok. Boring is sobering. And if you’ve been corrupting your taste buds with canola oil-rich salted snacks, sugar-laden gluten free cookies or salad dressings full of additives, hot water will cleanse your palate nicely. Give it a week and you’ll find steamed veggies with a dash of olive oil heavenly. Your next step? Get yourself a thermos. Fill it with hot water in the morning, take with you everywhere and sip away.
Yourself that is. (Maybe your bathroom too, you be the judge) If you like a rough scrub I’d go with a natural-fiber loofah. A rugged towel is less intense and works well too. For those with sensitive skin I recommend the garshana gloves used in Ayurvedic treatments.
Benefits? It energizes, opens up clogged pores, improves blood and lymph circulation, makes your skin oh-so-soft.
What now? Find your preferred skin scrubbing tool and scrub every square each of you moving from the extremities towards your heart. Use in the morning on dry skin.
However you want. My preference? An infra red sauna when I’m tired, a dance class or a run in the park when I have the energy.
Other suggestions: my Saturday morning yoga class (it does get toasty in there), any high-intensity workout such as cross-fit, squash or tennis, jump-roping. Sweating is therapeutic on all levels. You can sweat out work-related stress, emotional upset, yesterday’s chocolate cake, excess heat. A good sweaty workout is my favorite way to reset, regulate my moods and appetite.
When to start your simple detox? How about today? Start with 3 days. It might be all you need. I suspect you’ll feel better fast. Then you’ll want to stay on that plan because it works so well.
Enjoy and let me know how it goes in the comment section below.