It’s impossible to avoid toxins – so we need to be continually cleansing, on a daily basis. Here are 11 (plus 1) habits for a healthier body and happier mind:
- A Plant Based Diet – Opt for a mixture of raw and cooked veggies and fruits (or all raw if you want!), grains and beans which have been sprouted or “germinated” whenever possible, and no or minimal animal products. Not only are animals often inhumanely treated, their products are often mucus forming and don’t contain any fiber, which is a key element to keep the body cleansed. There is plenty of protein in vegetables so don’t be overly concerned about getting enough protein if you’re eating an unrefined plant based diet. Eat the bulk of your calories in greens and veggies and you’ll never feel hungry! Avoid dry or sweet fruits and add a green smoothie or vegetable juice. WATER 8 glasses, away from food. If you can – Alkaline, antioxidant rich Kangen water is really a game changer…
- Breathing – Your respiration is one of your biggest toxin removal streams and long, extended breathing is proven to lower blood pressure. This is scientifically proven and can be an effective tool to prepare the body for digestion. Take 5 long slow breaths before eating a meal. Closing your eyes while you’re doing it can bring on a peaceful feeling.
- Exercise – A good walk or other form of cardiovascular exercise can of course help with mood AND give you a good appetite that turns up the digestive fire! A great stress buster, many health experts believe that exercise is actually more important for good health than a good diet! Getting the heart rate up for even a short time is very important!
- Sweat – Skin is your biggest elimination channel so perspiration is important for detoxification. Either through exercise, sauna or other means (I’ll outline others methods) sweat once a day while on your cleansing regime.
- Lymphatic drainage – Unlike the cardiovascular system where the heart pumps the blood, the lymph is moved by the body movement. Lymphatic drainage is PARAMOUNT for ridding the body of wastes. Each cellular effort, associated with every function in the body, creates waste that the body needs to be rid of. Lymphatic fluid moves it out to eliminatory channels. Yoga is great to move the lymph.
- Get up and move! MOVE , move, move your body!! (In some way, at least once a day.
- Drink Hot water – no lemon, no tea bag, just by itself. You’ll be surprised how good it tastes. This helps to clean out the lymphatic system. It’s best to drink water away from meals (contrary to what is traditionally done!) as water dilutes digestive efforts.
- Dry skin body brushing first thing upon rising is a great way to recharge and get your lymph moving!
- Alkaline Eating – The traditional North American Diet is far too acidic! 80% alkaline 20% acid is also a good rule of thumb for cleansing. As an everyday formula, 80% of the time eat the foods that are right for your body. This is something that is different for each person. And of course it can change drastically when your health is at its peak.
- Room temperature or warm lemon water on an empty stomach in the morning is alkalizing and detoxifying. Add zeolite clay or bentonite clay for a more detoxifying effect.
- Vegetable and fruit juices can be helpful but it’s important to consume WHOLE fruits and vegetables to have the fibre intake high.
- Get “Digestive Helpers” until your system is running optimally.
- Probiotics – building a healthy gut ecosystem is the cornerstone to good health! We cannot get rid of all of the bacteria in our bodies – we’re teaming with it! But we can keep the friendly population large and healthy to outweigh the nasty, problematic bacteria. Build up the “friendly” gut cultures by consuming probiotic supplements and foods.
- When our bodies have that healthy ecology, we don’t have to worry so much about supplementation, but if we’re drinking chlorinated water, we’re also killing it off regularly. It’s extremely beneficial to your body’s probiotic ecology to switch your drinking water to filtered water. Also regularly consume fermented veggies, miso, yogurt, kefir, miso etc.
- Regularly consume “prebiotic” fiber. Ground flax seeds, ground chia and chicory are good sources. This type of fiber not only creates a healthy intestinal environment where your good “probiotics” can flourish, but it grabs on to excess cholesterol soaked bile and allows it to be eliminated from the body. If you don’t have enough of the good fiber in your diet, cholesterol and excess hormones just keeps recirculating through the body, wreaking havoc!
- It also helps to keep the colon clean which again makes a healthy body… KEEP the colon clean and moving – two or at least one bowel movement a day! Temporarily use a laxative supplement if you aren’t. Triphala (an Ayurvedic time honoured formula) is one of my favourites and can be used regularly for many months if needed (great for traveling!). Eat herbs/teas that aid in digestion with or after meals. Ginger is my favourite! Not only is it digestive, it’s immune boosting, anti-inflammatory and warming. Chai tea, rooibos and Chinese pur-eh tea are some good examples. Rooibos tea in New Zealand was often given to babies with colic and is said to help with food sensitivities.
- Manage your stress. Digestion is a key component to long-term health however extended periods of stress create a lack of nutrient absorption due to hindered digestion. That causes a long list of physical problems. When you’re starting a cleansing diet, managing your stress levels are a great place to begin.
- SLEEP – Enough sleep is always important and even more so when the body is cleansing. Repair and renewal is accelerated during times of rest and sleep so make sure you’re getting enough. If you’re in a time where life is very hectic and enough sleep and rest is not possible, it’s probably better to wait for another time to cleanse.
And of course the most important… PEACE – Whatever your situation is, how serious you want to get about your daily cleansing regime, it’s important to find your sense of peace and well-being. With physical detoxification, you can almost always experience some emotional detoxification arising! When it comes up, acknowledge it for what it is, know that it is good and find ways to deal with it. Breathing, yoga, meditation, herbs, laughing, good friends, quiet time, time in nature, time by the ocean, massage, etc. are all options to bring you to your best, happiest self. Of course, I’m a huge hypocrite most of the time (too busy, yada, yada,) but I do want to, and keep correcting to, live a long and healthy life!
Much Love, Cindy ox