In my last post, I weighed the pros and cons of embarking on a spring detox (Pros: it's probably beneficial. Cons: it can be hard to do). Today, I'd like to focus on some strategies to try if you are interested in cleansing but not ready to commit to a complete detox regimen. Luckily, our bodies are always working to rid themselves of toxins we encounter through the environment (think plastics, cleaning chemicals, personal care products) and food (pesticides, allergy-causing food products) and there are some things you can do daily to help the process run more smoothly and efficiently.
1. Drink water. Because this is the simplest thing to do, it's probably the easiest to overlook. Drinking enough water is absolutely vital for all of your body's functions, especially detoxing. And it's free! Different sources give different estimates regarding how much you should be drinking and your ideal number of ounces will depend on your weight, activity level, and the types of foods and beverages you are consuming. A good rule of thumb to try is to multiply your body weight (in pounds) by .66. That number in ounces is probably a close target.
If you, like me, don't really enjoy the taste of water, try sipping on herbal teas or water flavored with lemon, lime, or other fruit. You could even try some cucumber water! Try these simple recipes from Refinery29 to get started.
2. Exercise. Another super easy and potentially free detox method is exercise. When you get your body moving, you increase circulation and make it easier for your blood stream to bring important nutrients to your organs and to clear waste products. Exercise also increases detoxification through the lymph system and sweat glands. A simple brisk walk will do the trick but you can also try jogging, strength-training, or even high intensity interval training (HIIT).
3. Focus on detoxifying foods. Even if you're not planning on doing a full cleanse, it can be very beneficial to include detoxifying foods. Next time you're at the grocery store, try loading up on
- Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower
- Leafy greens: spinach, lettuce, arugula, chard
- Garlic and onions
- Artichokes (canned artichoke hearts count!)
Here are some recipes to get you started:
4. Add herbs. Herbs provide so much more than delicious flavors to meals...they are also detox superstars! I love the way they can take a blah-tasting dish and make it something special. Herbs that are especially good for cleansing your system include
So there you have it, the easiest ways to gently detox your body on a daily basis. Try to incorporate these tips/foods a few times each day and you will be well on your way to a cleaner, happier body!