healthy habits

How To Realistically Navigate A Detox Cleanse

One day at a time, that's how. (For starters, anyway.)

If the holidays are all about indulgence, then January is all about detoxing from said indulgence. How can we detox, however, in a way that will set us up for long-term success, in a way that will create healthy habits that will last past, say, January 15? We take it nice and easy, that’s how. Here, a few tips on thoughtfully navigating that post-holiday detox cleanse with a goal of making you feel lighter, more energetic and ready to take on 2017. (And that will last well into February, at least.) (We kid.)

1. The essential: Drink So. Much. Water. When detoxing, it is especially crucial to up your water intake.  Water will greatly assist in the process of flushing our bodies of toxins. Try your best to have only water, herbal teas and/or coconut water.

2. Stay away from the usual unhealthy suspects (now more than ever). Specifically:

Sugar. Limit or drastically reduce your intake of processed, sugar-y snacks, food and drinks. If you are craving something sweet, look for food alternatives and/or low-sugar recipes.

Alcohol. Your liver will love you for the break, and you’ll enjoy a clearer and lighter state of mind. (And, it goes without saying, no pesky hangovers!)

Refined carbohydrates and starches. White rice, bread, pasta and most baked goods are all packed with empty calories and will impact your blood sugar levels. Limiting them from your diet will make you feel lighter, and greatly reduce the work of your digestive system.

Coffee (and other stimulants). Again, give your liver some love, and limit your intake of caffeine and other stimulants. This will, among other benefits, allow your nervous system to self-regulate for more effective functioning.

3. Focus on the good stuff. Like:

Vegetables. No shocker here. Veggies are high in water content, as well as vitamins and minerals, all of which assists in the detoxification of your body. Including a variety of colored vegetables in your diet is the best way to get the widest range of nutrients available.

Fruits. High in water and in fiber, fruit is a great snack alternative—and natural energy boost.

Smoothies and juices. Liquids are an efficient (and delicious!) way to consume nutrients, and also give your digestive system a rest from breaking down solids.

4. Move, move, move. Getting plenty of exercise is always imperative to keep your insides moving, yes, but especially during a detox. Other added benefits of exercise here include a flushing of toxins through all that sweating, the loss of those extra holiday pounds, and an endorphin boost. Take a quick run or a long walk; participate in an aerobics class or a yoga session. Any movement, really, will give you a healthy glow and a happy heart.

5. Start the day right. For starters, get enough sleep: Your body does a quite a lot of work as you sleep, from replenishing cells to detoxifying. When you do wake up, start the day off with a big glass of water; lemon in warm water is particularly good for flushing out toxins and kickstarting your metabolism.

Moving your body first thing in the morning is key to setting up a strong metabolism throughout the day, and you’ll also just feel more awake and alive. It doesn’t have to be a strenuous workout (though if you have the energy, go for it!), even just a walk or some light yoga or stretches does the trick.

6. Most importantly: Create a plan that works for you. We all have different priorities and preferences. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to our lifestyles. These general guidelines do, however, give a great overview for what is proven to work in supporting your body. Now it is up to you to create a plan for how best you can implement these into your routine, cleanse your body and step into 2017 light, fresh and rejuvenated.

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