I’ve had some people tell me that they just cannot juice fast, “I have to eat!” (which I totally understand). Juice fasting is not for everyone, mostly for health reasons. But health reasons or not, I was inspired by Vegetarian Times to let you know how to detox your body without a juice-fast. Of course, adding juice to this cleanse will not hurt! Juicing along with other diets is always welcome!
Detox your diet…
Detox diets have become an enduring trend among health-conscious consumers—and with good reason. “Consuming products such as dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can burden the system and cause reactions as varied as headaches, digestive upset, tiredness, cravings and increased susceptibility to colds,” says Cathy Wong, ND, CNS, author of The Inside Out Diet: 4 Weeks to Natural Weight Loss and Total Body Health and Radiance. But by focusing on fresh, whole, unprocessed foods and eating “clean” many of these health problems disappear, says Wong, who offers these detox diet tips:
1. Clean up your act... For the next seven days, steer clear of caffeine; alcohol; sugar; gluten; and meat, eggs, and dairy products. Why ban these bad boys? Many of them (alcohol, caffeine, animal fat) are acid-forming—preventing the body from functioning optimally—and can interfere with liver function (alcohol) or upset the body’s energy levels (alcohol, caffeine, sugar), says Wong. Plus, food sensitivities or intolerances to gluten and dairy in particular can cause a multitude of health woes. “Food intolerances also place a greater demand on the liver and, over time, can place great stress on the body and increase blood sugar, cortisol, and insulin,” Wong says.
2. Eat light—and right... Your diet should now consist of foods that promote digestion, are anti-inflammatory and/or have liver-protecting properties. On that list: fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, raw nuts and seeds (unless you suspect an intolerance or allergy), gluten-free grains (such as brown rice and quinoa), healthful oils (such as olive, avocado, and almond) and detoxifying seasonings (such as ginger, turmeric, cilantro, and cayenne). Wong especially recommends broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables because they contain compounds that speed up detoxification.
3. Opt for organic... The last thing you want when detoxing is chemicals in your food—which is why Wong recommends eating organic as much as your budget will allow, with a particular emphasis on the foods on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list (find it at ewg.org/foodnews) as well as corn and soy (high on the risk list of genetically modified organisms). Can’t find organic? “Thorough scrubbing and using a natural fruit and vegetable wash can help remove some of the pesticide residues from conventionally grown produce,” Wong notes.
4. Ease in and out... Try to plan your detox for a week when you’ll be able to get plenty of rest. “It’s common to experience headaches, bloating, and tiredness a few days into the cleanse,” says Wong, who recommends Beano for gas and says it’s OK for coffee drinkers experiencing headaches or fatigue to replace their java with green tea (“Try to limit consumption to 1 to 2 cups per day,” she advises). After the cleanse, introduce foods back into your diet gradually—not just for the sake of your system, but to better understand which ones might be best left out for good. “Keep a food journal, noting reactions to any foods such as dairy and gluten,” Wong says.
More detox ideas by Cathy Wong… there’s a lot more you can do to expedite the elimination of toxins from your system. So add the following steps to your regimen, as outlined by Cathy Wong, ND, CNS:
1. Drink up… Strive for at least eight glasses of water a day. “Staying well hydrated can help remove metabolic waste from the body and prevent constipation, hunger, and tiredness,” Wong notes. “Noncaffeinated herbal tea, fresh vegetable juice, and soup also count toward your fluid intake.”
2. Get moving… Now is not the time to take on an extreme workout program, but Wong recommends about 30 minutes a day of light to moderate activity such as walking, stretching, and yoga. “Exercise boosts circulation and improves digestion, which promotes the elimination of toxins from bowels,” she says. “People also tend to notice that they sleep better and have an improved mood, which helps them to cope during a detox diet.”
3. Scrub-a-dub… Use a natural-bristle brush on dry skin before bathing, and then try a contrast shower, alternating bouts of the hottest water you can stand for three minutes followed by 30 seconds of the coldest water you can handle. “Toxins are eliminated through skin, so dry brushing and contrast showers can help promote circulation and allow toxins to escape,” Wong explains.
4. Supplement your system… A variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, magnesium, and selenium help support the detoxification process, so Wong suggests taking a good multivitamin. “I also recommend 200 milligrams of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which protects cell membranes from oxidative damage due to toxins,” Wong says.
More about Cathy Wong… www.CathyWong.com
References… Vegetarian Times