Goal-setting/planning is the first step towards making positive changes for your health and I recommend that you consider a detox program to kick off the new year. A detox program can aid your body’s natural cleaning process by releasing excess toxins and wastes, improving circulation, and replenishing your supply of alkaline minerals.
There are many different detox methods that you can implement as well as time periods you can choose to do them for. Consider the following suggestions and select the methods and time periods you feel are most realistic for you. I have heard of cleanses lasting anywhere from three days to three months, and people changing their diets for a lifetime or doing one-day-a-week fasts indefinitely.
A detox program can benefit virtually everyone, however if you have a health condition or are pregnant or nursing, you should discuss with your physician before starting any new eating or lifestyle program.
Here are some methods to naturally cleanse and detox your system:
Fresh juice fasts (especially those high in greens) are a popular way to cleanse and alkalize the body. You can try starting every day with a glass of fresh juice, replace one meal a day with juice, or go all out and drink nothing but juice for weeks or months as Joe Cross did and inspired many others to do in the film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” We recommend cucumber-pear and kale-green apple as easy and cleansing duos, but keep in mind that the act of juicing even the most alkaline of fruits and vegetables creates a mildly acidic juice, therefore I recommed that you offset the acidity by diluting with 9.5 Chanson alkaline ionized water. You can juice your own if you own a juicer, or there are companies on the internet that you can order from which will deliver fresh juice to your door daily for the duration of your cleanse.
Hydrate with alkaline ionized water
Drinking Chanson alkaline ionized water is essential throughout any detox program because it helps to flush out the many toxins that will be stirred up and eliminated from fat stores and organs in your body like your lymphatic system and your kidneys. Ionized water is microclustered which means it penetrates cells deeper than traditional water and can thus flush them out more effectively. A Chanson water ionizer is a wonderful investment for overall day-to-day health, not just during a detox. You can also try one day a week “water fasts” where you drink nothing but Chanson ionized water to cleanse your system.
One of the reasons juice and water fasts are so effective is because they give your body a break from having to work so hard to break down your food for digestion. Therefore you can also try a liquid diet of blending or pureeing your food if you wish to consume more than just juice or water. Soups and smoothies are examples of liquid feast “dishes” you can try and are recommended by Dr. Robert O. Young in his book “The pH Miracle for Weight Loss.”
Cut the crap
When we consume unnatural foods, they can leave behind a dense residue in our cells, which can turn into excess weight, body odor, wrinkles, cellulite and premature aging. Therefore, sugar, artificial sweeteners, animal products, processed foods, and fried foods should be eliminated from your diet during a detox and reduced in general for overall health. For example, just because coffee, alcohol, milk and sodas are liquids does not mean that they are acceptable for a liquid feast. Likewise, ordering “fresh juice” off of a Jamba Juice menu is not going to have the desired effect due to the excess sugar their smoothies contain. Dairy products clog your system and are acidifying, so avoid yogurt also.
If you choose to incorporate some solid foods into your diet, then you should rely heavily on raw alkaline fruits and vegetables as snacks, starters and even meals. Raw foods are more nutrient-dense than cooked foods and their negative ionic charge is the opposite of the positive ionic charge of toxins in our cells. The fiber found in fruits and vegetables will also help with elimination as well. Consider munching on carrot, celery and bell pepper sticks dipped in hummus, salads with oil-based dressings, and fruits dipped in almond butter.
According to Dr. Norman Walker, author of “Colon Health: The Key to a Vibrant Life”: “The elimination of undigested food and other waste products is equally important as the proper digestion and assimilation of food…the very best diets can be no better than the very worst if the sewage system of the colon is clogged with a collection of waste and corruption.” A colonic is a safe and effective method for cleansing the bowels and can be performed by a professional or done in the comfort of your own home with the use of a colema board as often as once a month. Without them, buildup in the bowels can lead to prevention of the absorption of water and nutrients, constipation, growth of harmful bacteria and yeast and autointoxication (when toxins are absorbed into the bloodstream through the colon wall).
While you’re working hard to watch what goes into and comes out of your body, don’t forget to keep an eye on the toxins you may be exposing yourself to externally. Virtually all chemical-based household cleaners and many personal beauty products like shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes are acidifying to the body and contain known carcinogens. Chanson ionized acidic water–the byproduct of a water ionizer–is an all-natural alternative to everything from mouthwash and facial toner to Windex and Lysol.
Exercise–the alkaline way
“Instead of hard exercise (which creates lactic acid), one should practice traditional Asian soft-style exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Chi Gung on a daily basis throughout the duration of any detox program” according to Daniel Reid, author of “The Tao of Detox.” Don’t have the time and/or desire to learn traditional Asian exercises? Rebounding on a mini-trampoline can dramatically improve lymph flow while exercising every cell in the body, and walking, stretching and aerobic exercise also works well.
Pledge to be stress-free
When stress hormones are released into the system in large amounts, toxins are created and can slow down the detoxification enzymes in the liver. Negative emotions are also very damaging and should be minimized. Dr. Young has seen negative emotions have a more damaging effect on one’s alkalinity than the worst of foods, and world-renowned photographer Dr. Masaru Emoto has documented the effects of negative words on water crystals with pictures (this is important considering that we are about 70% water!)
To increase circulation and help flush out toxins, try alternating a very hot shower for five minutes, with cold water for 30 seconds, for a series of three times in a row before wrapping in a towel and getting into bed for 30 minutes. But don’t try this before installing a Chanson Spa Shower Filter, which filters harmful chlorines and chloramines from the water which would otherwise be absorbed by your skin and lungs.
Sweat it out
One way toxins are released from the body is through perspiration, which is why most spas offer saunas and steam rooms. Infrared saunas are preferred as they can cause you to perspire more than twice as much, and if you are going to be using a steam room or wet sauna make sure it is using filtered water so that you are not inhaling the contaminants found in tap water.
“Deep breathing greatly enhances oxygenation of the blood and tissues, which helps neutralize acidosis and maintains a healthy alkaline environment inside the body” according to Reid. One of the main ways to move the lymph system is through breathing deeply, so try focusing on your breathing several times throughout the day.
Dry skin brushing
To increase lymph flow, you can use a natural bristle brush on dry skin by brushing in circular motions towards the heart. This will help your lymph system rid itself of the toxins that collect in the lymph glands and keep the pores of the skin open.
I hope that you will find these detox suggestions helpful and will try to implement one or more of them this new year for better health. What are your goals for 2012?