Step 3: Retox wisely (if you must)
Ideally, you’ll think of this 21-day cleanse as more philosophy than diet. It’s a way of living and eating and thinking, really—a kick-start that will make you feel so great you won’t want to go back to your old, unhealthful eating habits. That said, if you do go back to drinking coffee and eating some processed foods, slowly reintroduce these foods and keep ’em to a minimum. Stick to your daily juicing and smoothies. And if you veer off the healthy highway, cut yourself some slack. Of course you’re going to take little detours every now and then. That’s what life is about. You’ve got to take the side roads and dance on tables in Spain. Just remind yourself that you now have a home base healthy diet to come back to.
OTHER IMPORTANT DETOX TO-DO’S
During your cleanse, try to do these every day:
1. Move it! Sweat your prayers, walk, run, dance, play with Fido—whatever yanks your crank. It doesn’t matter what time of day you do it—just do it! Exercise for 35 minutes every day. And make sure you pump some iron. Every pound of muscle in your body burns about 35 calories to 50 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns only around 2 calories. Strength training literally keeps your metabolism firing. Aim for 30 minutes of strength training two to three times a week.
2. Dry brush We dump about a pound of waste from our skin on a daily basis, and when skin is clogged, those toxins are reabsorbed instead of being eliminated. So buy a natural-bristle brush and use long, upward strokes starting at your feet and moving toward your heart. Brush before your morning shower.
3. Snooze Lack of sleep has devastating effects on health and beauty. Once your final meal is digested, your body diverts its energy toward cleaning and repair—and this happens when you catch some z’s, ideally for eight uninterrupted hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. So, make sure you finish eating three hours before you hit the hay (your body needs that precious time and energy to get through a long list of inner chores so it can repair and rejuvenate your insides during the night) and make sleep a priority. If your good sleep intentions go straight out the bedroom window when life gets crazy busy, take a nap.
4. Supplement It’s best to get nutrients— vitamins, minerals, enzymes, oxygen—from a whole, organic, plant-based diet. Yet there are healthful ways to augment and enhance your existing diet with supplements that boost your diet and your health. Probiotics, vitamin D, omega-3s, digestive enzymes and a good multivitamin are tops on the list. Have a chat with your doc about the supplements (and doses) that are right for you.
5. Chill Self-care (including cleansing and detoxing) extends beyond the food in your fridge. A crazy, sexy life includes reflection, exercise, natural beauty products and relaxation. But you knew that, right? Yet it’s so easy to overcommit or mismanage your time. Like most multitasking gals, you’ve probably broken many promises to yourself. As hard as it might be, backtalk your inner nag (you know, that little voice that says, “Why bother? I never follow through”) and get on the wagon again. Get comfy and try meditating for five minutes. Create a sacred space just for you. (We’re not talking the Taj Mahal here—my space consists of a little altar with pictures I love, candles and a few spiritual tchotchkes.) Simply start and end your day feeling grateful.
6. Give yourself kudos Bust out that beautiful journal and jot down a few affirmations every day. Since showering ourselves with praise can be pretty darn difficult, here are a couple suggestions to get you started: “Each step is a victory. Each fall is a lesson. Either way, I am improving now.” “I am the embodiment of success today! I am a champion!”