Spring is here and it seems many of you are interested in Spring cleaning your body as well as your home. I have received many questions over the last few weeks about detox diets and fasting. Let me begin by stating, I never think fasting is a good idea, even a juice fast. Not feeding the body is just too extreme for me, plus it can lead to headaches, fatigue, irritability, aches and pains, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, muscle breakdown, loss of "good" bacteria and blood-sugar problems, not to mention frequent bowel movements. If you lead a busy life, have a full time job, and/or have two young and energetic girls to raise, living off of just water and juice isn't going to cut it. You're going to need energy, and energy comes from food. I also want to add here that exercise is a great way to help "detox" the body, but you shouldn't and probably wouldn't want to go for a run, jump rope or practice some vigorous yoga if you are not fueling your body with food.
To see what you can do to Spring clean your body, just
- Eat a robust and healthy diet low in fat (especially saturated fat), high in fruits and veggies and high in fiber. During a detox time, I would steer clear of meat (no pun intended) and eat a plant based diet. Not sure what to eat? Check out Top 10 Detox Foods. To that list I would add artichokes and dandelion greens.
- You also need to lighten up the toxin load by eliminating alcohol, cigarettes, and refined sugars. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners as well.
- Exercise! Your body eliminates toxins by sweating. Getting your heart rate up will get your blood flowing.
- Drinking the lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper concoction from the Master Cleanse might be a good idea. Lemon juice is high in Vitamin C, which helps the liver create an amino acid chain that helps drive toxins away. Cayenne helps stimulate the body's self cleaning process and breaks up mucus that is clogging the body. Skip the maple syrup and add some hot water to your concoction and drink it like a tea. Just be sure to eat well too.
- Breathe deeply and regularly. Chronic stress can have a toxic effect on the body, focused breathing, and meditating can reduce the power of stress.
I suggest taking a week to focus on healthy living and eating practices and detox without starving yourself.
Fit's Tip: Many people use detox cleanses and fasts as a means of losing weight. The weight lost during a fast is all water weight, which will be gained back once you begin eating.