DETOX is pretty much the word of the month, since everybody’s indulged in “something nice” (as my adorable 2 year old nephew calls his “treats”) over the festive season. Even I – the yogi-loving green-leaf-eating raw food chef – enjoy the odd Christmas pudding and glass of bubbles. We’re all human after all!
The word detox conjures up all sorts of negative connotations; deprivation, starvation, cabbage soup, headaches, hard work. In reality, a detox doesn’t need to be so difficult or grim at all. Our bodies are very capable of detoxing every minute of every day without the need of an expensive retreat or four liters of green juice per hour (though a few green juices will help you out). If your body didn’t detox everyday, then we’d all be sick most of the time.
Your detox system – mainly comprising your liver, kidneys, respiratory system, digestive system and lymph system – work together like a well oiled machine to constantly sort the good from the bad.
There’s definitely a place for more intensive detox methods to give your detox system a boost – green juicing, fasting and thorough cleanses generally will always have a place in a health plan. However, the good news is there are some small actions you can take every day to help your detox system work more efficiently throughout the year, and not just the last few weeks in January when we try to squeeze on our LBD for date night.
My gift to your health for 2015 is a few handy detox methods that you can use in your home everyday. Actually, I use these detox methods at home myself and I promise they can easily become part of your beauty routine.
Instead of relying on intense, sometimes expensive, detoxes, begin incorporating these steps to detox your body EVERY SINGLE DAY of your life.
1) Oil pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian medicine (Ayurvedic) technique. The method is simple: take a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, swish it around for 10-15 minutes, or until it becomes frothy in your mouth, and then spit out the toilet. The oil literally pulls the toxins and impurities out of your body as a way of detoxifying. I recommend using cold-pressed organic coconut oil as it’s one of the cleanest oils and most beneficial for your body. Do not swallow the oil, as it will be toxic once you start to swish it around your mouth. You can practice this 2-3 times a day – I’m doing this first thing in the morning before I brush my teeth and then again before I go to bed at night. This tool is great to avoid mouth ulcers and bad breath.
2) Skin brushing
Brushing your skin from toe-to-top, literally in that order, with seven strokes per area, all towards your heart and the central lymph system, is an excellent way to move out toxins. By brushing your skin everyday you’ll be sure to not only support your skin’s ability to detoxify (shed old skin) but, also, you’ll start to see improvements in cellulite, rashes and skin conditions like eczema. You will feel a tingly sensation and you may go a little red at first, but this is a great wake-up call for your skin and body.
3) Move, sweat, bounce
Whether you decide to go for a walk, jog, do yoga or sit in a steam room, by simply getting hot and sweaty you’re doing your body a massive favour when it comes to escorting those nasty toxins out of your body. Some methods I use include sitting in the sun (without sunscreen, which often has chemicals in it) for 20 mins, fast walking for 30 minutes or practicing fast-paced yoga everyday to get my body moving and the sweat pouring. One of the very best ways to move is actually to bounce up and down on a trampoline because this will not only get the sweat on, but will also help the lymph system (our main detoxifying system in our body) to move the toxins to areas where they’re pushed out. Amazing fun!
4) Drink green-juice
Or just eat more greens and a clean (unprocessed) diet generally – hydration from raw produce coupled with essential vitamins and minerals are essential in keeping our bodies healthy, alkaline and hydrated. The best source of all of these essential nutrients can be found in plants. Raw green juices (such as a mixture of parsley, cucumber, apple and kale) are abundant with concentrated vitamins and minerals plus, because it’s a juice, the goodness will go straight to your cells for nourishment. Make sure to use organic greens, as the standard veggies will contain toxic pesticides, which we don’t want to pour into our newly detoxed body!
5) Epsom salt baths
This one you might choose do once or twice a week. Epsom salts will draw out the toxins and help to reduce puffiness in the body. Scoop about a tablespoon of the salt with a dash of your favourite organic essential oils into your hot and steamy bath for a super-spa-at-home treat.
6) Apple Cider Vinegar
My secret tonic to cure the world – ok, so it’s not actually a secret as it’s an “old wives health tonic”, but it can help to alleviate many symptoms of an overloaded system such as inflammation and “dis – ease” of the digestive system. Look out for organic and fermented variety – the consistency should be cloudy. The bottle will state “with the mother”, meaning it is fermented. I love the brand Braggs. I sip about 2-3 tablespoons a day – if you’re not so keen on the taste, add hot water and honey to a drink and sip it slowly. Apple cider vinegar is full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes in its raw form. Apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss as it aids in digestion and cleaning of the intestines. All the while killing off bacteria as it moves through the body. I notice that I rarely feel bloated when I take apple cider vinegar on a regular basis and I also feel it boosts my clear skin.
I invite you to implement these methods to your routine one by one this week and see how different you feel. Enjoy!
Next week I will be sharing with you a traditional Chinese New year recipe that is used to help cleanse the body ready for a new year, new healthy start. Stay tuned!