Detoxification has been a core healing principle and practice for me since I did my first cleanse in 1975. I believe it is the missing link in modern healthcare and nutritional medicine, and my book The Detox Diet tells you everything you need to know to get started.
Seasonal transitions, from Summer to Autumn for instance, are a particularly good time to consider giving our body a break from old habits so we can readjust and realign.
Here are my simple 10 Detox Tips:
1. Follow a non-toxic lifestyle. Eat wholesome, natural foods, drink plenty of good quality spring water or filtered water (8-10 glasses a day), exercise regularly, and avoid junk foods and additives in order to minimize the need to detoxify.
2. If you feel toxic or congested — with aches and pains, allergies and sinus congestion, sluggish digestion, or skin rashes for example — you might consider a detoxification program as a first step toward healing.
3. If you have habits to any of the SNACCs (Sugar, Nicotine, Alcohol, Caffeine, or Chemicals) take a break occasionally to evaluate how you really feel without them. These short breaks can give you a new perspective. Is your habit an easy pleasure, or is your body paying a price?
4. Detoxify your body and life in a way that feels right to you, through a combination of diet changes, juice cleansing, and supplements. Challenge yourself a little, but avoid the attitude, “No pain, No gain.” The idea is to take extra good care of yourself with the new attitude of “I love myself and care for my body in loving ways.”
5. Create the time and space to detoxify successfully. You may want to do a weekend fast. You might also consider a seasonal approach, like a 7-10 day Spring or Autumn Cleanse. In either case, starting on a Friday gives you the weekend to transition in and out of your program.
6. My favorite cleanses are:
- The Master Cleanser – a lemonade diet described in the Spring Cleansing section of my book Staying Healthy with the Seasons.
- Fresh Vegetable Juices and broths, with added Spirulina, Chlorella or other blue-green algae.
- The Detox Diet – a very smooth and easy way to take a needed cleansing break with three meals daily as described in my book.
7. Plan to include regular exercise in your life and create a balanced schedule of activity and rest, work and play. Take the opportunity to be outside, spend some time walking in the trees, by the ocean or along a river. In the city, watch the sky to stay connected to Nature. Do not forget to relate to flowers, birds, and other natural life forms.
8. Enjoy saunas, sweats, showers, and skin brushing to help detoxify. The skin is our largest and least appreciated organ of elimination and these activities help cleanse our tissues and give us energy.
9. Make sure you keep your digestive tract cleansed. Have a bowel movement at least once or twice daily, using fibers, magnesium, herbs like aloe vera, saltwater flushes, enemas, or colon hydrotherapy. These can all be helpful in experiencing healthy cleansing. This is a very personal issue, but necessary for experiencing vibrant health.
10. Be positive and drop at least one old habit this month. Even a change as simple as giving up wheat or dairy products, sugar or caffeine, could make a big difference in your health. Embrace the possibility for improved health when you focus on changing your lifestyle habits.
© Elson Haas MD 2016