Everywhere you look, there are signs of Spring and life. The snow is melting, showing glimpses of green grass and sprouting leaves on the trees. The hats, gloves, boots and winter coats are being replaced with brightly coloured light jackets, dresses, even a few sightings of shorts and flip flops.
But you’ll notice more changes with the season. People are starting to spring-clean their homes, their closets, and most notably, their diets. The winter hibernation is over.
If you’ve paid attention to most magazines, websites, blogs and even the morning or evening news, you’ll see an influx of extreme cleanses, detoxes and the dreaded word, diets. Like most people, you are confused, overwhelmed or think there is no possible way you could even consider a ‘detox’, let alone get through even a day of one.
You are not alone; a detox may not be for you. Most of these popular detoxes and cleanses are being marketed as ‘the’ cure, the one thing that is going to get you that beach-ready body, remedy for everything that ails you and flush out all toxins completely. Maybe they will. But is that quick-fix going to last? Don’t you want more for yourself? I absolutely believe that we are worth more than that quick-fix. Most of us are looking to change our lives for the better. Let’s face it, many of these cleanses, detoxes and diets are not one size fits all, or a cure-all, no matter what they advertise, or what their hook is.
There are a few simple ways you can detox your life without going to extremes. The great news is that anyone can implement one or all of these to make incredible and significant changes in their life; the person who works out at the gym, the runner, the outdoor enthusiast, the 9-5 office worker, the stay-at-home mom; even those who are at the very beginning of their health journey. Any one of these can be highly effective in its own right.
Sounds too good to be true but honestly, a detox could potentially be life changing and life giving.
Replacing your soda, juice, coffee and energy drinks with clean, fresh water will help flush out toxins and help to keep you regular. Eliminating toxins is extremely important, but you want to approach it in a safe and effective way. Add a squeeze of lemon, or chop up your favorite fruit and add it to your water to take it to the next level. When you feel you need a snack mid- morning, drink a glass of water first, you could be dehydrated, not hungry.
2. Choose whole food.
As much as you can, remove packaged foods from your kitchen/pantry. Yes, they are convenient in a pinch but more often than not, they are filled with additives and toxins that can affect the way you feel and how your body functions. Anything that is added to keep these foods fresh is a toxic load on your body. Remove them and you’ll have more energy without your body having to process food it doesn’t recognize as such. If you must grab a packaged snack, find a nut, fruit or granola bar with 5 ingredients or less and that you can pronounce.
3. Get more sleep.
Sleep or lack thereof, affects your metabolism. When you are sleep-deprived, you are more susceptible to making poor choices in general. Set a time in the evening when you will put away, or walk away from any distractions. Create a routine, something that you will do every evening that sends a signal to your body it’s time to relax. It’s much easier to fall asleep earlier to get more rest when you have a ritual at the same time every single night. Reading a novel, having a bath, making a cup of tea, will all allow you to shift your focus from whatever happened that day, and enable your brain to wind down.
4. Slow down.
It seems that we like being busy, but the busier we get, the more stress we take on. Whether we are busy with work, kids, family, too many other commitments, it can be incredibly taxing on our bodies and increase our susceptibility to toxins. Even if you have to schedule it into your calendar, take at least 30 minutes a day to do something for you. Or, if it means saying no to something so that you don’t have to rush from one thing to the next, do it. Take a walk, give yourself time to slow down, to enjoy and appreciate the joys and blessings in your life!
5. Do something that makes you happy.
All too often we stop doing things that feed our soul. Maybe it’s because we’re too wrapped up in our everyday life, we’ve gotten too used to our routines, we’ve been putting everyone else first, or maybe it’s because we don’t have the courage to do what we love. Stop selling yourself short. If there is a class you want to take that you are afraid of doing, believe that you can and do it! If there is something you have wanted to do/accomplish for a long time, but are holding back because you don’t think the timing is right… do it. There will never be the perfect time.
If any of these resonate with you, start today; it’s as good a time as any.
Christa Collie is a Culinary Nutrition Expert and healthy living blogger. She works full-time in an office environment, though her true passion lies in nutrition & encouraging others to live the healthiest life they can live with clean, whole foods.
‘Choose to heal the body, not harm it, with clean, whole foods. Choose freedom, no limitations. Always learn, grow, and create. Being true to oneself.’