There comes a time when all of us need to hit the reset button, to carve out time and space to detox our bodies and minds, to let go of unhealthy habits and make a commitment to total wellness. Whether it’s when you just can’t take another day of being constantly tired, unmotivated, anxious or overweight, have a new fitness goal you’re working towards, or simply want to feel like your best, most positive self, a two-week detox is one of the most natural ways to get yourself back to optimal health. And the best news? Summer is probably the easiest and most delicious time to do it!
What Is Detoxing?
The dictionary defines a detox as “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances” and two weeks is an ideal length of time to revitalize the five essential organs you want to cleanse: the liver, the lungs, the kidney, the colon and the skin.
With invasive toxins in our environment as well as foods and beverages, these vital organs aren’t able to do their job of processing foods, aiding digestion, purifying our blood, and expelling toxins. Not only do toxins and inflammation start to build up when these organs aren’t functioning properly, setting the stage for serious disease down the road, but additional toxins may also be created internally.
Detoxing and Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting, or IF as it’s referred to in certain circles, is fasting for at least 16 hours every 24 hours, every single day. The cycle inspires the body to remove damaged cells, create brand new ones, break down stubborn fat stores, boost immunity and generally make you look and feel amazing (read my full piece on IF and how it works here.)
Integrating IF into your two-week detox plan is the most powerful way to jump-start your journey to health. You will start to feel and see the results much quicker with this approach and we can all agree that more energy is a motivating aspect to sticking to any health and wellness regime.
Cheat Sheet for Detoxing
At it’s most basic level, here’s what you need to know about detoxing: Remove unhealthy, toxic, inflammatory elements from your life and diet and introduce clean, nutritious, revitalizing elements.
Say Goodbye To:
- Refined carbs
- Processed foods
- Soy, GMOs, preservatives
- Animal products and by-products
- Consuming calories outside of the eight-hour IF window
- Food or drink you haven’t made from scratch at home
Say Hello To:
- Raw and lightly cooked vegetables and fruits
- Healthy fats
- Superfood smoothies
- Spices and herbs
- Lots of H2O (instead of the old “eight glasses a day” adage, think closer to 2-3 litres – or more during summer/exercise. Think of yourself like a plant: don’t wilt!)
A Few Foods For Detoxification
- Turmeric: They call me Turmeric Girl for a reason: I’m obsessed with this ancient spice and my business, Shot of Gold, is all about it. Turmeric is nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory. Why is that so important? Chronic inflammation can cause a host of health issues from heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and even cancer. The goods news is that, according to a study, the polyphenols found in certain foods (including – you guessed it – turmeric) can help lower inflammation in the body. Add to any and all food and drink. Two+ tablespoons a day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV is bursting with healthy bacteria, protein and enzymes that promote excellent gut and heart health. Two+ tablespoons a day, on its own or in food/drink (I love it in salad dressings and hummus.) Also try it as a toner for your skin.
- Lemon: another one of nature’s gifts, lemon helps fight infection and boosts immunity in myriad ways. Why not make healthy lemonade all summer with fresh lemon juice, pure maple syrup and H2O?
- Dark, leafy greens: these fibrous lettuces are alive with nutrients and provide our bodies with the roughage required to properly cleanse our intestines and keep us regular.
- Garlic: antibacterial and full of antioxidants, garlic cleanses the blood, combats heart disease and removes harmful bacteria (while leaving all the good stuff.)
Other Ways to Detox
- Exercise! This is so important, especially when you’re detoxing, as it helps you eliminate toxins exponentially faster. It also creates endorphins to make you feel happy and will add lean muscle mass and aid in weight loss.
- Give your skin a break. Abstain from wearing makeup as often as you can to let your face breathe. Use natural makeup and skincare products otherwise.
- Fill your home with air-purifying plants like the peace lily, snake plant and spider plant. Use natural cleaning products only.
- Meditate and work on keeping your mind free of negative thoughts.
- Get outside! Fresh air is not only great for the lungs and skin but it’s magic for the mind. Google “forest bathing” and find your nearest park.
Marissa is offering a free, plant-based 14 Day Anti-Inflammatory Detox and Intermittent Fasting Guide for Well TO Do readers, which you can get by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more and connect with a community embarking on the detox and fast starting July 16 through Instagram @marissabronfman
You can buy Shot of Gold here and 5% of every sale goes back to girls in India.
Lead image: Anna Pelzer via Unsplash