Have you overindulged lately? Or, perhaps, you’ve found yourself eating out on most days of the week? Whatever the reason, much like our closets or our office spaces, our bodies can also benefit from a thorough cleaning from time to time, to rid it of toxins and get it running like new. But if the thought of a full-on detox leaves you anxious, fret not! Below, we’ve got four simple habits you can adopt right now on a regular basis to glean the same benefits of a cleanse… without undergoing a rigorous detox program.
1. Drink more water
Sound familiar? We hear this tipad nauseum, and there are valid reasons for that. Water helps keep you hydrated and flushes out all the toxins in your body. Plus, it’s calorie-free, so there’s no better beverage to quench your thirst.
Tip: Start the day with a (preferably) lukewarm glass of lemon water, and wait 15 to 30 minutes before you have breakfast to enjoy the many benefits of this beverage, including better digestion, blemish-free skin, and a stronger immune system.
2. Keep your eating clean
You can do so by reducing your consumption of meats, dairy, processed foods, coffee and caffeinated drinks (tea, soft drinks, and the like), and alcohol. The latter beverages have a tendency to leave you dehydrated.
Tip: Canada’s Food Guide suggests the following meat alternatives: beans, lentils, and tofu. But if you have to have your meats, go with lean meats with little or no added salt, such as skinless chicken for instance.
3. Stick to foods that are closest to the earth.
Go back to basics, and base your diet on foods derived from the land, which are far healthier than packaged foods.
Tip: If you catch yourself raising an eyebrow at one or more ingredients on the packaging of a food product, it’s best to put the item back on the grocery shelf and keep on walking.
4. Eat loads of fruits and vegetables
Berries, apples, strawberries, cucumbers, broccoli, squash… the sky’s the limit! Fruits and veggies are chock full of nutrients that your body needs, and a diet rich in these foods helps reduce your risk of certain types of cancers, as well as heart disease.
Tip: Eat at least one dark green (e.g. broccoli, spinach, ro romaine lettuce) and one orange (e.g. carrots, winter squash, or sweet potato) vegetable each day for variety, and steer clear of fruits juices, which are high in sugar.
While the tips above will help you detox regularly without going on a full-on cleanse, it’s still important to stop and give your body a fine tune-up three or four times a year, resetting and purging it of all toxins, including pesticides and pollutants. Ideally, you should do this at the start of a new season. Remember: a full-on detox needn’t be more than a few days long, unless you want to go at it longer. How long you cleanse will depend on the program you choose but, ultimately, is entirely up to you.
Whether you go the raw food diet, juice cleanse, or other route, ease into it gradually by limiting your diet to clean food (fruits and veggies) for two days prior to beginning the cleanse of your choice. Cheers to a healthier you!