The first thing to know is that it is always the right time to take on some active health and lifestyle cleansing. Optimally, we are aiming to make efforts on a daily basis to reduce retoxing (bringing the bad stuff in) and promote detoxing (getting the bad stuff out). The best part about making a regular effort is that there isn't a need for a whole big dramatic DETOX or CLEANSE where you cut out 95% of your usual diet and are left sipping only cold-pressed vegetables. Sure, that can be beneficial for some people at some points, but what I want to share here are the simple habits to take on and maintain ongoing.
Now, if the ongoing efforts aren't feeling like enough, there are three optimal times to take on a more involved cleanse and they are:
- Today, or whenever it is you are feeling inspired and motivated to do it
- When the seasons change – always a good time to rejuvenate and at the same time reset some positive habits
- Spring/summer when we move into the lighter version of our body with more outdoor time, fresh food, and activity.
The tricky thing about cleanses is they tend to be restrictive and limiting; when really, this process should focus on expansion and possibilities – if you do it in the optimal way. If you spend a week drinking lemon water you’re just going to feel hangry, but if you focus on these simple cleansing tips, you’ll feel more energetic, focused, and vibrant ongoing. And as I mentioned, the best time to start is today. Okay, I'll give you until tomorrow so you can prep your kitchen for it!
These are simple tips for easy seasonal cleansing you can take on for a reset.
1. Drink Lots of CLEAN Water
Hydration is key to protecting your insides from the effects of life. Fluids will help you flush out wastes, keep digestion regular, keep muscles and joints supple and flexible, and the brain functioning optimally. Clean water is a great option, but herbal teas, coconut water, elixirs, smoothies, and fruits and vegetables also contribute to overall hydration.
2. Load Up on Vegetables
Plants are incredibly nutrient-dense and can help provide you with the macronutrients and micronutrients you need to maintain resilience and optimal health. They are packed with fibre for great digestion and cardiovascular health, as well as antioxidants that help protect our bodies from damage. Dark leafy greens, mushrooms, berries, crucifers, citrus, and root vegetables are just some of the many detoxifying veggies you can include in your diet.
Remember, if you wash, slice, and properly store those veggies right after you get home from the store you’re more likely to eat them.
3. Eat Locally and Seasonally
If possible, try to eat food that was grown close to you and eat with the seasons. Eating seasonally is incredibly beneficial to your health because seasonal foods provide the best nutrients we need at that specific time of the year. For example, spring vegetables have many compounds that help us combat seasonal allergies, while fall and winter vegetables have nutrients that support our immunity for cold and flu season.
4. Ditch The Sugars
White, refined sugars can lead to a whole host of health issues including obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, hormone imbalance, while artificial sweeteners also have similar effects. During any cleanse, it’s useful to ditch the sugars from your diet. If you’re new to healthy eating, swapping the white sugar for natural sweeteners can be helpful – or try going on a 7-day No-Sugar Challenge which can be invigorating. I eliminated all sweeteners entirely last year and have never felt better!
5. Cook Food from Scratch
Try not to worry as much about the popular diet regimes and instead focus on cooking from scratch in your own kitchen using whole, unprocessed ingredients. With any dietary strategy, there are a ton of processed store-bought foods that go along with it, and often those foods aren’t beneficial to our health. Cooking yourself also allows you to control the amount and type of sugar, salt, and oils you add to your food.
6. Take Five Minutes to Sit in Silence
Cleanses are often about doing something – but when was the last time you actively did nothing? No music, no TV, no phone, no nothing. Sit and be quiet with your thoughts for five minutes. Start to notice the tape recorder we play in our minds and decide whether those thoughts are helping you or hindering you. Once you bring awareness to those thoughts, you can start to change them. And when you can change your thoughts and start to believe all the positive ones, it all gets a little sweeter.
7. Move Gently While Breathing Deeply
Studies have shown that gentle exercise combined with deep breathing such as walking and yoga will increase GABA production in the brain (a neurotransmitter), reduce cortisol levels (attributed to a multitude of chronic diseases), increase white blood cell production and circulation to support immune function, and increase lymphatic circulation (hello detox!). Dry skin brushing is a bonus practice that can help promote circulation in the body on the days that you just can't squeeze in a movement practice.
8. Practice Gratitude and Try to Worry Less
Our thought patterns play an important role in our health, and excess stress has a negative impact on our brains and bodies. Focusing on the positives in your life instead of the troubles should be an important part of any cleanse – learn how to do that over here.
9. Cleanse Out The Clutter
The physical space that surrounds us affects our internal physical and emotional space. Being surrounded by stuff, mess and clutter can create the feeling of weight upon us, affecting our energy levels. It can be harder to think clearly, move freely, and bring in new thoughts, habits and patterns when we're drowning in older, unneeded and unused physical stuff. This guide on minimalism or this one on cleansing toy clutter could be a good place to start.
Now, to get your daily cleansing started: go for a gentle walk to the store while deep breathing, pick up some fresh fruits and veggies, wash them well, blend some of that into a smoothie to sip on and when you're done, just sit quietly for five minutes. You can do that! And while you're doing that, have a listen to Episode 2 of the Today Is The Day Podcast: Do We Really Need To Detox.
A good cleanse focuses on the nutrition that serves (or doesn’t serve you), but it’s also important to cleanse your thoughts, physical space, work, relationships, and finances. These are all covered – plus more! – in the Awesome Life Detox Program if you’d like to dive a little deeper into how you can detox on all aspects.