Detox Your Life
A weekend cleanse helps flush out food additives and pesticides that can build up, and reduces inflammation. It also restores your alkaline- acid balance, making it easier to fight disease and stay energized, says Adina Niemerow, author of Super Cleanse (HarperCollins, 2008).
UPON RISING: Drink two glasses of warm water with lemon: Water helps eliminate waste and lemon makes the water more alkaline. (Brush your teeth afterward. Some dentists warn that the acid in lemons erodes tooth enamel.)
Energize your morning with a liver-detoxifying green juice.
2 heads romaine lettuce
1 bunch kale
1 ½-inch piece of fresh ginger
2 medium cucumbers
1 lemon, juiced
Purified water, as needed
Cut the first four ingredients into pieces and put into a juicer. Add lemon juice and enough water to make two 16- ounce servings. Stir and drink one serving. Save the rest.
PREP BROTH FOR DINNER
Part of tonight’s dinner is a warming broth. To prepare it in advance, boil the following:
2 cloves garlic
1 1-inch piece of ginger
2 stalks celery
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 medium-sized acorn squash, skinned and diced
1 ½-inch strip of kombu
Cover with 10 cups of water and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 hours. Let cool. Strain and save the liquid for your broth and discard vegetables, except the squash. In a blender, mix the squash with some of the broth to create a liquid consistency, then add it back to the broth. Add salt to taste, and some cayenne, which increases circulation. Set aside to cool.
Drink the second serving of your green juice.
Eat a big, fiber-rich salad with spinach, sprouts, avocado, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Dress with cold-pressed olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.
If you’re hungry, eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of almonds. Drink tea that aids digestion like licorice, peppermint, or ginger.
Take a nap or just relax in bed for at least an hour.
Eat a bowlful of warm broth, followed by a bowl of quinoa (a protein-packed grain) and a big salad of seasonal vegetables and avocado
UPON RISING: Drink two glasses of warm water with lemon.
Mix a smoothie in the blender with 2 cups of almond milk, 1 cup of berries of your choice, 1 teaspoon of flax oil, and 2 tablespoons of a green chlorophyll powder.
Fill your plate with steamed broccoli and onions to help clean your arteries, raw beets to purify your blood and strengthen your heart, and raw cabbage for better digestion and to add a satisfying crunch. Toss in some greens—romaine, spinach, or red leaf, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon.
Bust fatigue with a shot of wheatgrass (make it at home or buy it from your local juice bar) or a handful of Brazil nuts.
Pamper yourself with a Swedish massage or some restorative yoga. Or, write in your journal or meditate.
Pour yourself another bowl of the nutritious broth. This time add a side of brown rice and a fresh arugula or spinach salad with a piece of avocado.
EVERYDAY DIET DETOX
Lean on these detox aids when you feel a need to clear out your system. Follow dosage guidelines on the labels. Flush waste from the colon and intestines with Fiber Fusion by Enzymatic Therapy (enzymatictherapy.com), a fiber-based drink mix (or capsules). For an extra, um, push, try Cleanse More by ReNew Life (renewlife.com). These capsules contain natural laxatives like slippery elm bark and rhubarb root. To boost digestion, drink Smooth Move Tea by Traditional Medicinals (trad itionalmedicinals.com), an organic tea with senna leaf (a mild laxative), ginger, fennel, and orange peel. Dedicate one week to the Complete 7-Day Cleanse by Hydroxycut (hydroxycut.com), a capsule-based detox plan that uses cleansing herbs and fibers, with added prebiotics.
There's nothing more liberating— and energizing—than clearing out toxic emotions. It’s also an effective way to boost your health: When you release anger, jealousy, and other negative emotions, you feel less anxious and fatigued. (You might even notice fewer pains in places where we tend to store stress: the stomach, head, neck, and back.) Practice these steps to pamper your body and clear your mind, and you’ll be rewarded with extra zest and brighter spirits.
TAKE A BREATHING BREAK
Give yourself a five-minute deep-breathing break whenever you need to soothe or quiet an anxious mind.
1. Find a quiet spot and sit comfortably.
2. Bring your attention to your breath.
3. Inhale through your nose, feeling your belly expand and chest rise. As you exhale, gently pull in your belly.
4. Strive to make your exhalations twice as long as your inhalations.
5. Do this for five minutes at a time.
PERFORM A HEALING CEREMONY
Take an afternoon to reflect on any emotions or situations that might be toxic to your mind and body, then create a personal ritual to help symbolically release those issues. Some ideas:
1. Perform a rock-throwing ceremony. Each rock will represent an emotion you’d like to release.
2. Write a letter to someone—and burn it.
3. Call somebody you’ve been avoiding for a while and make an effort to clear the air.
PRACTICE RESTORATIVE YOGA
Find inner stillness with a restorative yoga pose called Legs up the Wall. It helps regulate blood pressure, and refreshes the body and mind. (Skip this if you’re menstruating: Yogic teaching says not to interrupt the downward flow of the body’s fluids.)
1. Lie on your back with one hip touching the wall and your legs off to the side.
2. Bring your knees to your chest and swing around, allowing your legs to rest on the wall.
3. Relax your head, face, neck, shoulders, and belly.
Hold this pose for ten minutes, breathing deeply.
EVERYDAY EMOTIONS DETOX
Stay on track with your emotional detox goals by taking a few minutes to set a specific intention every day, says Holly Lucille, N.D., R.N., a naturopathic doctor and author of Creating and Maintaining Balance: A Woman’s Guide to Safe, Natural Hormone Health (Impakt Health, 2004).
1. Place a journal, pen, and glass of filtered water near your bed at night.
2. Upon waking, clean your palate with the glass of water.
3. Sit up tall (remain in bed) and take ten deep breaths. Think about what thoughts, feelings, and emotions you’d like to release. Are you carrying anger, frustration, or resentment?
4. Write down your goals in your journal. Continue this practice daily as needed so that difficult emotions don’t build up over time.
USE A LOOFAH BRUSH
Dry brushing stimulates the lymph system and enhances your body’s natural detox process. It also removes old skin cells, which makes it easier to excrete waste through the skin. You’ll find instant energy, a clearer head, and better strength of mind.
1. Start at the heart and work your way up to the head, and then back down.
2. Brush before a shower so you can wash away any dry skin.
3. Take five minutes to brush your entire body; twice a day is best.
TRY A MASSAGE
Nourish your spirit with a 10- to 20-minute massage, suggests Ayurvedic practitioner John Douillard, Ph.D, author of The Encyclopedia of Ayurvedic Massage (North Atlantic, 2004). It can prevent the accumulation of toxins, and lubricate muscles, tissues, and joints.
1. Heat sesame oil slowly on low heat until it feels slightly warmer than body temperature. (You can also use coconut or olive oil.)
2. Place a small amount of warm oil on your fingertips, and starting with your scalp, rub the oil into your head, massaging firmly with your palms.
3. Continue applying oil gently to the rest of the body, moving downward from the head.
4. Use a gentle circular motion when you reach the abdomen and chest. Massage the joints with circular strokes, and the bones with long back and forth strokes.
5. End at the feet, rubbing the soles vigorously.