Do you hear the word “detox” and imagine yourself starving for a day while you dream about chocolate cake? Or do you picture yourself quickly dropping annoying pounds that your body has been holding onto for years? The concept of detoxification, which used to be reserved for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction, has been hijacked by the diet industry. It’s time to reclaim this incredible practice and invite some wellness back into our lives. In today’s world, the idea of “detoxing” can quickly be misconstrued as another extreme fad diet. However, the practice of inviting in more plant-based foods, drinking plenty of water, getting adequate rest, removing stimulants, breathing deeply (practicing pranayama), and setting aside time for adequate relaxation supports the body in doing its incredibly intricate job of maintaining balance.
Our bodies have incredibly sophisticated, built-in detoxification systems (liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymph and skin) that provide the ongoing daily cleansing that keeps us healthy and energized. And yet, we live in a world where we eat food that looks nothing like the plant from which it originated. We drink sugar, caffeine and alcohol to boost our energy or alter our state of mind. We breathe smoggy air and the skin (the largest organ of our body) is exposed to many different chemicals and hormones on a daily basis (some even found in our water supply). Not to mention our workday has become longer and longer, often requiring us to sit in front of a computer for long hours.
Planning a detox can be an act of self-love, particularly if you reclaim the practice and take a multidimensional approach.
Nutrition matters. Plant-based foods are where it’s at… For inspiration, check out these fun & engaging food blogs with recipes that nourish your body with an abundance of macronutrients (vitamins, minerals, water, protein, carbs, fat) that will energize you from the inside-out. Add simple practices like sipping lemon juice with water and apple cider vinegar drinks, which have an alkalizing effect on the body reducing inflammation and restore natural balance. Rather than deprive yourself of foods you love, create a sense of abundance around food by preparing plenty of fresh options and eating when you are hungry… and stopping when you have had enough.
Body matters. Plan rejuvenating and relaxing activities: yin and restorative yoga at the studio, walking in nature, bathing with epsom salts and essential oils, dry brushing, and getting to bed early will all support the detox process. A long exhale is perhaps the most effective detox there is. Add some pranayama into your yoga routine; experience spinal twists to wring out the organs and try some restorative postures to let go on the cellular, muscular and fascial levels.
Mind matters. Digital detox anyone? Fasting from technology may be almost unimaginable in this day and age, but it is well worth the experiment. Let’s be real… we are all so hooked to our devices… Sometimes we have no idea what to do with the time and space between conversation and activities. Take a break from technology and say YES to your mental health. What to do instead? Take time to meditate or practice simple mindfulness practices (like this mindful eating activity with chocolate!). This will help to create a sense of inner calm, awareness, and non-judgment that you can carry into the rest of your life.
Heart matters. Treat yourself with loving kindness and allow for healthy connections with people in your life by using affirmations. This will rejuvenate and restore your entire being, encouraging a sense of abundance and peace in your detox process. The mantra for the heart chakra is “love and be loved,” or “I have the right to love and be loved.” Schedule time out to reflect on matters of love and the heart, what works and what doesn’t work for us, and practice letting go of what no longer serves us.. if only for this moment.
Spirit matters. Take time to remove the layers of clutter that dim your inner light or bury your true self by communing with nature, experiencing sacred spaces, listening to beautiful music, letting go of effort and hard work, entering flow, and taking time to become interested in your inner world. This will, without a doubt, support the process of aligning all parts of your being with the calling of your soul.
Any or all of these practices will support a renewal in all parts of your life… so this weekend take some time to truly detoxify in the way that is right for you.