As much as we promise ourselves we won’t over-indulge during the holidays (cue inner voice: “this time I really, really mean it!”), most of us are guilty of a bit of seasonal gluttony. Instead of berating yourself for succumbing again, take a more positive approach. Be thankful for what you are able to enjoy and balance your indulgences with the following rejuvenating practices. You might even consider making these the basis of a new family routine. Keep yourselves healthier by helping your body flush out the environmental contaminants you are exposed to every day.
- Sweat it out. At least three times a week (but ideally every day), work up a good sweat. Exercise is the healthiest thing you can do for your body for a variety of reasons, and when sweat comes out, toxins do too. No need to get a gym membership, make it simple family fun by taking a vigorous hike or bike ride together.
- Flush it out. Drink plenty of water every day, especially before, during, and after exercising (drop in a wedge of lemon for added benefits). Eat cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage) and high fiber foods to keep your systems flowing.
- Love your liver. Your liver is your body’s toxin filter. Keep it healthy by limiting alcohol, caffeine, refined sugars, saturated fats and medication. Look into herbs or supplements to support general liver health. (Talk to your physician before starting supplements or herbs).
- Relax. Your mental well-being is inherently connected to your overall health. Stress slows down detoxification, among other things. Keep family stress levels low, so all your body’s systems are in prime working condition, by taking time to cuddle and read with your kids, or by doing yoga and meditation together.
- Breathe deeply. Oxygen is essential to cleansing and feeding your body’s cells. Whenever you think of it throughout the day, take some deep cleansing breaths to oxygenate your body.
- Soothe. According to Diana Carswell at the Washington Post: “the body can efficiently expel toxins through the pores of the skin. To hasten this process, combine in a bath 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 to 2 tablespoons of an essential oil, such as lemon, jojoba, rosemary or olive. The ingredients' stimulating properties naturally draw toxins out. (Just be sure to test the oil first to make sure you're not allergic by applying a small amount to the underside of your forearm.) Another option is to exfoliate the skin, which increases respiration and removes toxins. Combine 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tablespoon cornmeal and several drops almond oil with enough milk to form a paste. Apply by hand to the entire body (excluding the face) with gentle, circular motions. Rinse, then brush the skin using a loofah or sponge.”
Aaaaaahh…..These tips will not only help you detoxify your body, incorporating them into your daily life will also lead to greater overall health and happiness. Enjoy!
Note: While these tips are applicable to your entire family, more extreme detox diets are not intended for children or pregnant women.