During the holiday season, it is often too easy to indulge. With parties and time with friends and family spent around rich food and sugary sweets, it’s no wonder most of us feel sluggish and ready for a restart with the beginning of a new year. While some will look to detox pills and supplements for their fresh start, rebooting your body can actually be done in seven easy steps.
To Detox, Start with a Flush
One of the best ways to reset the body is with a flush. Poor food choices and stress, especially during the holidays, can cause the bowels to slow down or go on lockdown leading to constipation, especially in women. Because the bowels are not working properly, all of the food that was consumed is, in essence, sitting in the body rotting and wreaking havoc.
Fortunately, a flush can be performed with a simple Vitamin C supplement, but it’s important to be particular about the supplement used. Look for a powdered Vitamin C supplement and avoid any containing corn or corn products. Brands that employ the African wild potato are a great option.
The Flush Process
So what exactly will a flush do? Along with generally detoxifying, it will help to ease inflammation, boost glutathione, heal the gut, and pull water and flush the bowels. The process can take several hours and may result in one feeling extremely tired and dehydrated if not ingesting enough water. It’s best for individuals to do this on a day when they can be home and close to a bathroom.
For a relatively healthy individual, start with one teaspoon of powder to three ounces of water every 15 minutes for up to four doses. Individuals in poor health should start with two teaspoons of powder during the same length of time. If four doses are not enough, it is ok to continue, but stop when the stomach begins to gurgle or a bathroom is needed. Those with ulcers or hemorrhoids should avoid performing a flush altogether.
Implement a Fast
The next step to detoxify the body is to implement a fast. This is also a great option for those that may not be able to do a flush due to the above-mentioned conditions. However, if an individual has Type 1 diabetes or an issue that affects blood sugar levels, it is best to consult a physician before considering a fast.
Fasting is one of the most fundamental strategies to reset the body and can be safely performed for up to two days. If an individual has never fasted before, it’s best to start with a 24-hour fast and work up to longer. While some may be able to go for three days, it’s not recommended without the help of a medical professional.
More on Fasting
While fasting can be a challenge emotionally and psychologically, it gives the GI tract 24-48 hours of rest. During this time cell regeneration or autophagy, is able to occur uninterrupted. So while an individual may have to deal with low blood sugar, headaches, and a growling stomach at times, it’s is extremely beneficial for the body.
While some may consider intermittent fasting (fasting for 16-20 hours and eating within a 4-8 hour window), a complete fast with no caloric intake is best for a reset. Stick with liquids like water and green tea and consider stacking fasts for an even greater effect. This could be fasting for 24 hours one day a week for multiple weeks or fasting one or two times a week for just a couple of weeks.
Use the No Grain, No Pain Protocol
A third detox strategy is to use the protocol laid out by Dr. Osborne in his best-selling book No Grain, No pain. This process takes 30 days and really dives into the diet and how it may be causing inflammation within the body. The first 15 days incorporate small changes, while the second 15 gets more restrictive as it pertains to sugar and grain.
Not only will this protocol detoxify, but it works to eliminate inflammation and the pain associated with chronic inflammation. It also allows the body to truly rest and repair.
Get Extra Sleep
While sleeping may seem like an odd step to include when thinking about a detox, it’s actually crucial. Sleep not only helps with repairing and detoxifying the body, but it also helps to detoxify the brain. This includes getting rid of brain fog, cognitive decline and even recall issues.
Ideally, during a detox, an individual is getting 10 or more hours of sleep, specifically during the hours of 10 pm and 2 am when healing occurs.
The fifth step in detoxifying the body is exercise. While each individual is different with various health limitations and capabilities, it’s important to exercise to tolerance.
Jumping into a vigorous routine too quickly can cause injuries and disrupt cortisol resulting in an inability or a lack of desire to exercise. Starting an exercise routine may be as simple as setting a walking goal every day or performing simple body calisthenics within the home.
One of the reasons exercise works well to detoxify the body is because it often produces sweat, which is the sixth detox strategy. If individuals are unable to exercise due to certain health issues, infrared lights and saunas can induce sweat as well. Sweating gets rid of chemicals and expels agents in the bloodstream and body.
Employ Deep Breathing Techniques
Exercise is also helpful in promoting deep breathing, the seventh and last detoxification strategy. While it may seem simple, breathing out actually expels toxins and chemicals. It helps to upregulate the metabolism of mitochondria and other systems working to rid the body of harmful agents.
Along with exercise, meditation and deep breathing practices can also be employed to promote detoxification. Before each meal, spend three to five minutes performing this deep breathing exercise:
- Breathe in for three to five seconds
- Hold the breath for three seconds
- Expel it for five seconds
In addition to helping detoxify, this will activate the nervous system and digestion allowing for better nourishment from the foods being eaten.
A Fresh Start
With the beginning of a new year comes a new motivation to do things differently. So this year, take the time to really care for yourself with detox and a total reboot of your body. Starting with a cleanse now will provide a renewed focus and vigor to take control of your health and ultimately your life.