Detoxing Made Simple!
Spring detoxes have long been a health trend, but it can end up feeling like yet another thing to add to the list of ‘shoulds’. If our aim is simply to feel good and refreshed, luckily there are more positive ways to go about it than shaming ourselves into restriction.
Focusing on what we can add instead of concerning ourselves with what we should eliminate or avoid, can be a really great perspective shift to keep us feeling positive about changes we are making. The common perception of a spring detox can feel really overwhelming. We usually associate detoxification and health in general with extreme discipline and restriction. No sugar, no dairy, no caffeine, no gluten, no processed foods, no lectins, no carbohydrates…. these are all things that often get advised to detoxify, clean out the system, or lose weight. These absolutes can be really hard to adopt and moreover, they are nearly impossible to maintain. The most important thing is setting ourselves up for good health over the long run, with sustainable small changes, that lead to improved health over time.
Luckily, if our aim is simply to feel good and refreshed this spring there are more positive ways to go about it than shaming ourselves into restriction through traditional detox methods.
Focusing on what we can add to our routine, instead of concerning ourselves with what we should eliminate or avoid, can be a really great perspective shift to keep us feeling positive about changes we are making. When it comes to what really matters, the most important thing is setting ourselves up for good health over the long run, with sustainable small changes, that lead to improved health over time. When we focus on these small and gradual changes, it makes things much easier to take action when we feel that our health is out of alignment or off balance.
Here are some simple tips I like to incorporate when I feel like I’ve tipped the balance a little too much in the wrong direction and am not feeling my best:
- Aim for an extra hour of sleep! This might mean going to bed an hour earlier, taking a midday nap, or letting yourself get a little extra sleep in the morning. More sleep means better recovery for your body and mind, and more balanced energy and mood the next day.
- Increase circulation. I usually try to recruit a friend for a walk or hike or do a yoga class from home when I need to get my body moving. Higher intensity workouts are great too, but they are not necessary to reap the benefits of movement. Often, we feel like we need to step up our exercise routine, but this can be intimidating, and in the end, prevent us from starting. If we simply plan for movement, we experience improved circulation and detoxification, reduced stress, and improved energy. Improving circulation helps the delivery of nutrients to organs and tissues and optimizes the elimination of wastes and inflammation by supporting the lymphatic system.
- Balance blood sugar. Our blood sugar is affected by what we eat and drink, as well as by our nervous system. Our body will constantly try to adapt to these spikes and crashes, but if not balanced, we can feel the rollercoaster of energy levels and impulsive food cravings. Plan your meals around sources of lean protein and healthy fats, as they provide a more sustainable energy source for our bodies, and therefore prevent blood sugar crashes. Stable blood sugar leads to less cravings for sugar and simple carbohydrates, and therefore healthier food choices overall.
- Hydrate. We all know this, but some are better at this than others. I’m admittedly weak in this area, but I find that adding electrolytes or a vitamin C powder to my water helps a lot. Improved hydration supports detoxification through elimination of wastes, improves energy and focus, and improves muscle function.
- Nourish your body. Add more veggies to your dishes! Vegetables contain high amounts of minerals and antioxidants that help the body’s innate ability to detoxify and reduce inflammation.
- Give some love to your liver. The liver carries out many functions in the body from supporting digestion, to producing hormones, and metabolizing lipids and neutralizing toxins. One easy thing to add to your day is lemon water first thing in the morning. You will likely notice improved digestion, skin, and energy levels. There are many other ways to support your liver including castor oil packs, as well as specific liver supportive supplements.
When I focus on the basics, I find that I start to tip the balance back toward feeling good again, which naturally makes me opt for better choices. When I feel healthier, I find I have more energy for cooking meals at home instead of eating out, engaging in more active lifestyle choices, and also have less need for stimulants including sugar and coffee. In this way, these little changes propel me onto a healthier track, and I know that I can always come back to them when I need them.
If you feel you’d like to have some support navigating your way back to having a healthier balance, feel free to book in for a consultation to discuss these suggestions, as well as many others. It is important to find what healthy lifestyle and diet changes will fit best into your routine to ensure that you can maintain them and continue to feel more and more like your best self!
To book a naturopathic visit with Dr. Brett Simpson, ND call the clinic at 604-974-8999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org