Monday, December 31, 2012

Start The New Year With A Clean Body & Mind - Safe Detox Tips

I don't know about you, but after this holiday season, I'm in serious need of a detox! All that rich food, sugary treats and desserts, way too many snacks, a few too many holiday martinis.... It's all catching up to me. I've been feeling overly stuffed and sluggish for a couple of weeks now, so I decided before the holidays that once January hit I would do a good cleanse and get my body back in tip-top shape for the rest of the winter. I tend to stay away from the weird extreme cleanses that are really hard on your body, and opt for the more natural and gentle detox diets which eliminate sugars and other junk completely for a period of time. I find these safer and more natural, as they help the body support what it does naturally, without causing it too much stress. (Click here for more info on my favorite detox diet - the Total Wellness Cleanse.)

Detoxing is a wonderful way to get healthy and accomplish some of your New Year's goals. It can help you lose weight. It can give you back your energy. And it can help you improve your brain function. However, detoxing also comes with risks if not done properly. Here are 5 tips for detoxing safely.

#1 Get doctor approval. If you have an existing health condition make sure you get permission from your doctor. Diabetes, pregnancy, kidney disease and anemia or low blood pressure may be reasons to avoid detoxing.

#2 Start slow. Detox too quickly and you can experience serious side effects. They include dizziness, headaches and stomach upset. Diarrhea isn’t uncommon. If you experience an onslaught of symptoms consider stepping back your detox plan. Symptoms are the result of too many toxins being released into your system at once. They can also be a result of withdrawal from processed foods or chemicals. If you normally drink a lot of caffeine or diet sodas you may experience withdrawal as your body adjusts.

There are two approaches to detoxing. You can ease into it. For example, you might drink one juice meal and eat two solid meals the first day. Juice for two meals the second and third day with one solid meal. And then juice for the next two or three days to complete your detox. You might also ease back into eating solid foods by reversing the process.

The other approach is to be aware of your body’s reaction and make adjustments as you go. For example, if you’re juicing and have a detox reaction you might eat one solid meal during the day.

#3 Keep a journal. Journal your symptoms and side effects. Also journal what you ate/drank before you experienced the symptoms. That way you can recognize patterns in what you’re eating or your symptoms.

#4 Detox when you don’t have to be “on.” Detox when you can rest and relax. The weekend or an extended weekend is a great time. You can take it easy on your body and mind while you’re detoxing. If you have to go to work or tend to family while you’re detoxing it can be extra stressful. Get plenty of rest and treat your body well.

#5 Drink water! Water helps flush the toxins out of your body more quickly. The faster they’re out of you, the faster you’ll feel better. The faster you’ll have renewed energy, focus and mental clarity.

Finally, make sure to follow a trusted detox plan. If you experience any unusual symptoms or side effects, contact your physician or nutritionist. Don’t detox without a solid, safe and proven plan. To your great health in the year ahead!

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