Have you been waking up feeling fatigued, even with a full eight hours of sleep? Or how about feeling irritable for no particular reason? Maybe you’re experiencing bloating or sluggishness in your digestive tract. Or you've lost your radiant skin, lustrous hair, and strong nails. These are just a few tell tale signs that your body may need to detox.
Detoxing the body can seem overwhelming at first, especially when we don’t want to give up our current routines. In truth, there are so many diverse ways to detox, that often times the hardest part is knowing where to start… so let me help get you on the right track.
First, let’s define the purpose of cleansing the body.
We live in a world full of toxins and toxic chemicals. We’re exposed to these through air pollution, household cleaners, chemicals in our food and water, radiation, prescription drugs and even in our skin care products. The list goes on, and unfortunately, there is no escaping this growing environmental concern. However, what we can do is protect ourselves by gently and safely removing them, assisting the body in its natural cleansing processes. Detoxification purifies the blood and stimulates the liver to help eliminate impurities from the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph, and skin. With that being said, the purpose of cleansing is to simply renew and restore the body to maintain an optimum state of health.
When you nourish your body, you also feed your skin. After all, your skin is a reflection of what’s happening inside. A clean, detoxified body will radiate beauty from the inside out.
So, how can you detox gently and safely to help you look and feel your best?
There is an abundance of information out there regarding different types of cleansing. From the Master Cleanse to juice fasting to raw food cleansing to celebrity detox diets, these ‘detox programs’, although structured, may not be suitable for every individual. We encourage you to tap into your intuition and feel what your body needs. Instead of shocking the system with fasting or dieting, we want to promote a gradual and safe protocol for effectively cleansing the body. Try incorporating any or all of these ways of detoxing to form healthy habits in your life.
Ways to Gently and Safely Detoxify Your Body Daily
Drink more water!
Water is truly the most vital resource for our bodies. It provides overall hydration, keeps us energized, helps our kidneys transport waste out of our cells, promotes healthy bowel functions and excretes toxins through the skin. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The average intake for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Water will plump up your skin, diminish fine lines, and keep your skin looking hydrated and youthful.
When life gives you lemons….
Add them to your water! When you wake up in the morning, warm a glass of water and squeeze a lemon wedge into it. Lemon balances the body’s pH, stimulates the digestive tract, purifies the blood, and strengthens the liver. Lemons also contains an abundance of minerals and antioxidants that improve the appearance of your skin. There are countless benefits of this amazing superfruit.
Eat your greens, juice your greens.
Adding in a large green salad or a green juice daily gives us a healthy dose of antioxidants and phytonutrients that play a key role in eliminating toxicity from the body. Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, broccoli, beets, cucumber, celery, apples, lemons, and garlic are all incredibly detoxifying foods. Try juicing: 1 handful of kale, 2 stalks of celery, ½ cucumber, 1 apple, and 1 lemon wedge. Feel free to juice in larger quantities to enjoy over a few days. The essential minerals in greens will deliver a beauty boost for your hair, skins and nails, too!
Love your liver.
Your liver is your body’s filter and the hardest working organ of them all. It breaks down waste, toxins and toxic chemicals in the body. There are several herbs you can take in the form of tea blends, capsules, or extracts that help protect your liver on the daily. Try milk thistle to improve liver function and repair damage. Also, healing roots like dandelion and burdock both purify the blood and stimulate bile production. Other herbs that assist in liver function include turmeric, Oregon grape, licorice, yellow dock and gentian. Keeping the liver strong will also promote healthy skin. Light liver tonics will help support the liver’s ability to eliminate and function optimally.
Eat more fiber.
This element is found in fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. While both soluble and insoluble fiber are equally important for our health and digestion, insoluble fiber acts as an intestinal tract cleaner and unlike other foods, does not break down. Instead, it bulks up and sweeps out waste in the gut. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), we should be eating anywhere from 20 to 25 grams of fiber a day.
Allow your body 12 hours to digest.
In Ayurvedic philosophy, it is recommended to eat a light dinner and to allow at least 12 hours to digest until we eat again. For example, eating our last meal or snack at 8pm and then not eating until 8am. This gives the body a break from digesting food throughout the day.
I cannot exercise this enough! We must move our bodies to assist in detoxification. Moving our body, at least 30 minutes a day, stimulates the lymphatic system. The lymph is essentially your body’s drainage system. It removes waste and cleanses our cells. Exercising also makes us sweat which purifies the body through perspiration. Sweating regularly, will boost oxygen and blood flow to the skin, which will improve skin health. Try doing yoga to elongate your muscles mixed up with some aerobic activity such as cycling, swimming, or jogging. Sweat it out!
Additional Tips for Detoxifying:
- Reduce intake of alcohol and coffee
- Minimize consumption of processed foods and refined sugars.
- Buy organic, Non-GMO foods to decrease exposure to pesticides.
- Use all-natural skin care products that don't have additional toxic chemicals.
- Use green cleaning products for your home.
- Invest in a shower filter to reduce chlorine and heavy metals in the water supply. Your hair and skin will love this, too!
- Add houseplants to your environment to help purify indoor air quality.
Every day is a constant battle with toxic load, but the more you do the better you'll look and feel. Join us in practicing these methods on the regular!
How do you detox your body? What are some methods you find beneficial for your beauty routine?
By: Abby Stoecker, Licensed Esthetician
Douillard, John. “The Miracle of Lymph”. Life Spa, Your Source for Natural Health News and Ayurveda. February 27, 2014.
Weed, Susun. “Healing Wise”. Ash Tree Publishing, 2003.
Snyder, Kimberly. “The Beauty Detox Solution. Harlequin Books; Original edition (March 29, 2011)
Abby Stoecker is a Licensed Esthetician with 9 years of experience in the beauty industry. Her journey has led her to experience first hand the entire cycle of the esthetics industry—first working as a practitioner, then as an Account Manager/ Brand Evangelist at a skin care product company (ASC), and previously as an Educator at Cinta Aveda Institute where she originally studied for her Esthetics License almost 10 years ago. Currently, she is freelancing with start up skin care brands in the green beauty space. Her objective is simple—spread awareness, educate and make people feel their best when it comes to the decisions they make for their wellness and beauty. Abby finds immense joy in navigating clients through the world of skin, helping each person craft their own at-home rituals to achieve balance, inside and out. You can find her on most mornings with a face mask on, coffee in hand, listening to “The Daily” podcast.