By Katarina Arneric
Cleansing doesn’t have to be radical to be effective. Your body is miraculous and naturally eliminates toxins. Often though, just through daily living, it gets bogged down. Simple dietary and other changes can be very effective in lightening your load both physically and emotionally.
The air you breathe, the food you eat and even the products you put on your skin can tax your system. While cleanses and detox diets often make you feel great after they are over, they can leave you feeling deprived. You need a lasting change, not just a quick fix. Your body will thank you for progressively and consistently reducing processed foods, eating real food and adopting healthier habits. Here are some ways to detox without doing a full-blown cleanse.
Drink more water, hold the ice please
Water is nature’s best cleanser. All of your cells need it. Try sipping warm water throughout the day. Water’s greatest health benefit is that it hydrates the body. Good hydration stands as a base for biochemical and metabolic processes in the body. Try sipping warm water as it has a dilating effect which helps flush out toxins. Ayurveda teaches that drinking warm water on hot days can even aid the process of perspiration, helping you to cool down.
Eat whole foods
Trade in processed, packaged foods for whole fruits and vegetables. Processing strips foods of key nutrients, and such foods can also contain more chemicals. Your best bet is whole food in its original form (shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store).
Get more sleep
Sleep rebuilds and refreshes your body. Most of us are always “on.” This can drain your battery; sleeping will help you recharge. Growth hormones that assist in the healing of your cells are released while you slumber. Melatonin, of these hormones, inhibits the growth of tumors and stimulates the immune system.
Move and sweat
Sweating not only regulates body temperature, it also helps release heavy metals and other minerals. Walking, running and biking all stimulate digestion and can help with elimination. Yoga is especially effective when it comes to renewing the body. The postures, specifically spinal twists, encourage deep tissue hydration and detoxification. So pick an activity and get moving daily!
Choose naturally detoxifying foods
Certain types of food support your body’s natural ability to cleanse. Citrus is high in vitamin C, which stimulates the liver and your digestive tract. Garlic acts as a natural antibiotic.
Dark leafy greens help improve circulation and act as blood purifiers. They are also chock full of vitamins and other micronutrients. Mung beans absorb toxins that build up in the lining of the intestinal wall, and beets improve liver function. All of these foods help support your body’s natural ability to detox itself.
Crowd out unhealthy foods
Most cleanses focus on diet restriction and food elimination. Trying to curb your appetite too dramatically, can actually lead to more tension, stress and toxic thoughts. Instead, choose to focus on nourishing yourself. You can do this by adding more of the foods that will support your energy (like the ones listed above), instead of just taking away what bogs you down. It’s a simple equation– when you add in more good foods, the bad ones will naturally get crowded out.
These key changes in your daily habits could give you more energy and a happier outlook on life without having to endure what can seem like a torturous regime of “doing without.”
Katarina Arneric is a yoga instructor, health coach, food blogger, dancer, goal setter and overall health enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance and began yoga as a way to cross-train. After sustaining a foot injury and battling digestive issues, yoga became her refuge from the physical and emotional demands brought on by dance. Wanting to share and inspire others, Katarina became a 200-hour registered yoga teacher through Breath and Body Yoga in Austin, Texas, and a certified health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Whether it’s teaching yoga to kids or adults, leading health, goal and nutrition workshops, or doing stand-up paddleboard yoga in Lake Michigan, Katarina chooses to live her best life daily and seeks to help and inspire others to do the same.