Daily Detox Routines, not Crash Detox
Recipes and formulas for “3 Day Detox” or “Instant Detox” are all too common on Pinterest and in health magazines. These fads usually encourage drinking some type of green smoothie, downing gallons of water and eating copious amounts of lettuce. Unfortunately, these instant detox schemes can actually harm the body and they overlook the fact that detox is not an overnight phenomena.
Here’s the deal: real, effective detox doesn’t happen overnight. It doesn’t happen in a week. Healthy detox in the body rests on a nourishing diet and stress management. We can, however, utilize additional safe and gentle methods to support our body’s detox processes. The following daily detox routines are effective and work with your body, not against it.
Why should we support daily detox?
We live in an increasingly toxic world and we owe it to our body to offer support in it’s daily detoxing duties. For example, these are just a few of the insults our bodies combat each day:
- pesticides on produce
- herbicides on produce
- fluoride in drinking and bathing water
- chlorine in drinking and bathing water
- preservatives from processed foods
- chemicals from fire retardants on carpets, furniture and clothing
- carcinogens in cosmetics and body care products
- environmental pollutants
A warning about over-hydration
Many of the fad detox programs encourage drinking copious amounts of water or a specified liquid each day to “flush out the toxins.” This is not accurate and over-hydration can be quite harmful.
Although I take what he writes with a grain of salt (no pun intended), I think Matt Stone makes a good point in Eat for Heat: The Metabolic Approach to Food and Drink:
No other creature is so removed from its instinctual programming to the point of accidentally over drinking.
Over-hydrating can actually lower metabolism and it is stressful to your body if you already have a slow metabolism to drink too much liquid. Additionally, when the adrenals are stressed or fatigued, excess water intake without adequate salt intake can lead to cellular dehydration. Want to learn more? Read my post on Metabolic Hydration!
1. Morning Lemon Water
Start each morning with warm glass of lemon water: warm 1/2 to 1 cup of filtered water to body temperature, then squeeze in the juice of 1/4 to 1/2 of a lemon. If you don’t have a lemon on hand, you can also use 1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar. Add a pinch of sea salt, if desired, to support your metabolism. Sip mindfully and let it awaken your senses.
Why it works: lemon water (or apple cider vinegar water) supports a balanced pH of the body and helps flush toxins through the liver. It can also stimulate stomach acid production before breakfast– a very good thing, since adequate stomach acid is essential for digestion! If you have bloating, acid refux, or constipation, this morning drink may help your symptoms.
Troubleshooting: Since fluoride and chlorine in tap water is toxic to the body, it is a worthwhile investment to purchase a quality water filter. My family uses the Berky Water Filter with the fluoride filters.
This is my favorite! Jump on a trampoline 10-20 minutes each day. This doesn’t need to be a strenuous workout–your feet don’t even need to leave the trampoline. I turn on iTunes and enjoy a little bounding party each morning. I bought this mini trampoline and it is affordable and compact.
Why it works: rebounding supports the lymphatic system, the series of vessels that eliminate toxins from your body. Because the lymph system does not have a pump (like the cardiovascular system), we have to keep the lymphatic fluid flowing through movement. Bouncing and jumping are effective ways to stimulate lymph flow. Additionally, it can help regulate constipation and encourage detox through bowel movements. (Source)
3. Detoxifying Dry Brushing
Buy a stiff bristle dry brush. Starting at the soles of the feet, use firm, sweeping strokes and brush upward toward your heart. Always brush toward the heart. It’s easier to show than to explain, so I found a great tutorial on Youtube:
Why it works: The skin is the largest detoxing organs of the body. Dry brushing increases circulation which supports the discharge of metabolic wastes. It purifies the body by stimulating the lymphatic system to drain toxins into the colon. It clears clogged pores, improves muscle tone and rejuvenates the nervous system (Source).
As a bonus, dry brushing softens skin and encourages cell renewal. It is heralded as the ultimate cellulite treatment. I have dry brushed faithfully for a year and, to be honest, have not seen a reduction in cellulite. Real cellulite treatment begins with gut healing and digestion (which I’m working on), and this can take years to correct.
Troubleshooting: Yes, this will hurt a bit for the first week or so. The brush is, well, rough. But after a couple weeks, your skin will be silky soft and able to tolerate firmer brush strokes.
4. Cold Rinses
After your shower, turn the tap to as cold as you can stand it. Rinse for 30 seconds (or longer, if you can stand it!). If you feel lightheaded during the cold rinse, gradually decrease the temperature over a few weeks, until you have built up tolerance.
Why it works: alternating hot and cold water is a form of hydrotherapy, an ancient and universal healing technique. Hot water expands your blood vessels, and the cold water immediately constricts them. It is the expansion-and-constriction motion that supports lymphatic drainage and helps push stagnant toxins from your system.
Troubleshooting: Fluoride and chlorine are absorbed through the skin. The best solution is to buy a water filter system for the whole house that removes these toxins. I don’t have that option, so I make use this shower filter to remove chlorine.
5. Daily Detox Yoga Poses
You don’t need to be athletic or flexible to do these two detoxing yoga poses. First, get your Downward Dog on! Spend as long as you wish in the pose. The second pose is Legs-Up-The-Wall, a very relaxing pose. I like to spend 5 minutes in this pose every morning, as it is a gentle way to transition into the activities of the day.
Why it works: In Downward Dog, the heart is higher than the head and this increases circulation and aids lymph flow. Legs-Up-The-Wall also supports lymph flow, lymph drainage, and circulation (Source).
Are you up to trying this easy daily detox routine? Do you practice other methods of gentle detox?