new-year-resolution-fresh-startThe holiday season is over, and we prepare to get back to everyday life and routine.

Sometimes it is not easy, and we might feel tired, bloated and even stressed. Our body feels intoxicated.

Typically, during the holidays, we tend to “relax” in every sense of the word: we also loosen our healthy habits. We eat more, drink more, and exercise less; sometimes we have too much fun and do not get enough sleep.

For a fresh and smooth start of the new year, it is important to take good care of ourselves. We need to eliminate toxins in order to strengthen our immune system, feel more energetic and positive, be more focused and lose excess weight.

Here are 6 practical tips on how to detox. By following them you will feel refreshed and ready to start the new year!

 

Detox step 1: Eliminate unhealthy food.diet

The first thing to do is to get rid – at least for a few days – of the “intoxicating” aliments. Those typically are acidic, and have a low pH. You need your body to be alkaline, with a pH of 7-8. These ailments should be avoided:

  • Drugs and alcohol (including beer and wine)
  • Caffeine
  • Unnecessary over-the-counter medications
  • Fast food
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Salt

You should also eliminate or at least contain the consumption of:

  • Gluten (bread, pasta, many pre-packaged foods), which can cause joint pain, itchy skin, belly fat and an irritable bowel (diarrhea, bloating, constipation). Gluten is also an appetite stimulant.
  • Animal protein (meat, chicken, fish, eggs), which is often intoxicated by hormones and antibiotic when raising cattle. Most fish in the sea is contaminated.
  • Dairy (milk, cream, ice cream, yogurt, cheese), for the same reason as animal protein. Diary is also very acidic.

 

Detox step 2: Eat the right food.

Once you have eliminated all the unhealthy food, you have to get the necessary nutrients elsewhere. Here is what we recommend you include in your detox diet:

  • Hot lemon water, every morning. It hydrates and alkalizes the body, eliminates mucus and toxins, assists digestions, lowers blood sugar and breaks down fat.
  • Fresh veggies and fruit juices, which help flush toxins away. Favorites: leafy greens (like kale), cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli), artichokes, lemons and berries. Here is a good detox smoothie for you to try!

    green-detox-smoothie
    Green Detox Smoothie
    Ingredients
    1 cup water OR coconut water
    2 bunches organic kale
    Juice of 1 organic lemon
    1 organic green apple
    1 frozen organic banana
    2 pitted organic dates
    1 to 2 slices of ginger root
    Ice

    Frozen bananas make the smoothie thick and creamy! Break bananas into pieces and freeze in container overnight. (People of cold body constitution or with weak digestive system should use room temperature rather than frozen material) To make the smoothie, mix all ingredients in a blender. (Alternatively: juice lemon and kale, then add to blender with remaining ingredients.)

    Optional Additions:
    Soaked almonds or protein shake mix
    Berries
    Flax or Chia seeds

  • Soups and salads made of legumes (such as beans and chickpeas), nuts (especially almonds), and seeds (sesame, quinoa or chia seeds are recommended). They will be your healthy sources of protein and calcium.
  • Fish, eggs and tofu in moderate quantities. Eat only fresh fish and eggs, whose origin is known and controlled.

 

importance-of-sleep

Detox step 3: Regulate your sleep schedule

Getting enough sleep is extremely important for your body to heal and repair itself. When you sleep, you regenerate yourself and naturally eliminate toxins. Set your sleep routine; make it a priority to sleep 7 – 9 hours and go to bed before 11 pm. Promptly address any sleep issue.

 

detox-bath

Step 4: Take a bath

It may sound strange, but bathing is one of the best and easiest ways to detox as well as to relieve mental and emotional stress. It is the act – most practiced in Asian cultures such as in Korea – of total cleansing, both externally and internally. Indeed, the warm water gently stimulates detoxification of the skin and of the internal organs (kidneys, liver, colon and lungs) by inducing lymphatic flow, improved circulation, and sweating. If you also scrub your skin in the process, you eliminate all the bacteria and pollutants set in your epidermis together with the layers of dead skin.

As recommended by Dr. Susanne Bennett (Detox Your Body: Bathing for Better Health, The Huffington Post, October 2010), here are few tips to remember when taking a bath in the form of a healing practice:

  • Wash your body before the bath. You don’t want to enter a clean bath with a dirty and sweaty body! In order to properly exfoliate, you also need to remove all oils and creams from your skin. By cleaning first, you prevent contamination and infections.
  • Stay in the bath for at least 20-30 minutes. The water should be warm enough to let you perspire, but not so hot that you want to get out after a short while. When you are finished, dry yourself vigorously with a towel to further stimulate your lymphatic system.
  • If you want to scrub, do not do it after 8 or 9 pm, as it might keep you awake. Scrub your body thoroughly with linear strokes, avoiding delicate areas, then splash yourself clean with hot water.
  • Lay down for about 15 minutes after the bath to relax and return to regular body temperature and heart rate.

 

Detox step 5: Use essential oils to de-stress and detox

detox-bath-saltsMany people suffer from a “stress after holidays syndrome” which is a specific form of stress that often appears after a relaxing and pleasant holiday. Research of established institutions revealed that 66% of the workers suffer from “stress after holidays syndrome”.

So how do we reduce stress in our busy lives? Think of detoxing as one of the most critical ways to de-stress your body and mind. One simple way is to incorporate essential oils into your life.
Essential oils have been used over many centuries to alleviate common problems such as insomnia, dyspepsia, irritability, headaches and depression, working by scent and by absorption. To de-stress, choose oils for their calming and re-balancing properties, such as:neroli

Read more here on how to incorporate essential oils in your life to destress!

Curious for more? Try the Raindrop Technique: It combines the art of Aromatherapy with the Vita Flex and massage technique using calming, energizing, and soothing essential oils to various areas of the body for mind and body detoxification.

 

Detox step 6: Detox your mind!

gears and headKeeping a good balance within yourself is key. During family time over the holiday season a lot of emotions can arise and unless they are processed we can be holding personal prejudices that can have lasting effects on our relationship with ourselves and with others. Indicators of emotional holding patterns include insomnia, intense dreaming, panic attacks, worrying and fluctuating moods. Taking time out to connect with nature, breathing techniques and meditation can be effective for stabilizing the emotions however if the problem persists a deeper detox may be necessary.

Therefore, apart from cleansing your body, you also need to detox your mind from negative emotions and toxic relationships. Techniques such as meditation, hypnotherapy and yuen practice will help you relax and find your inner balance. Additionally, join us for the MeManagement Power Manage Yourself program to equip yourself with mind-mapping models and self-mastery tools so you can control your emotions before they control you.

Read more on how to detox your mind here!

 

We wish you a prosperous and healthy 2016!

 

Contributed by Balance Health team, Aldo Privileggi, Irene Li, and Linda V. Fancy.

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