5 Non-dietary Ways to Detox
Cleanses and detoxes have been all the rage in the last 10 years. Whether it’s a post-holidays indulgence juice-cleanse or a colon detox, the idea of a cleanse or detox is to remove toxins from your body and start anew.
The problem with detoxes, however, from my perspective, is that there is often no exit plan, and when this short lived detox is complete, we are faced with a world of food choices with no compass or blueprint to guide us. In addition, cleanses and detoxes also force upon us this idea of “white knuckling” our way through our day feeling starving, deprived and unsatisfied and using willpower and sheer determination to get us through. As an Eating Psychology Coach, I have found that it’s this very sequence of binge-remorse-cleanse-restrict that has us feeling like we need a cleanse in the first place! I work with clients all the time to find balance and pleasure in their lives with respect to food and exercise. This way, we prevent the uncomfortable polarities of being in full-on indulgence/binge mode and cleansing/restrict mode. From this place of balance, we can truly start to tune in and give our bodies what it needs and what makes it feel energized, healthy and strong for the long haul.
The 4 cleanses I will talk about below are non-dietary in nature but can prove powerful in helping one feel healthy, renewed and “detoxed” both physically and mentally.
I am a huge proponent of yoga. I will admit, as a former over-exerciser, I used to hate it because it clearly didn’t burn enough calories to make it worth it! It wasn’t until I gave it a real shot when I realized just how powerful yoga is for body, mind and soul. I especially enjoy hot yoga because I can be very present to the environment and its effect on my body and also get a really amazing sweat sesh on. Several poses in yoga specifically target massaging and activating your liver for a natural detox. In the seated twist, for instance, I can literally feel toxins being dumped from my liver (kidding, but it’s close! I do feel little twinges). Other poses, such as in supine twist or in any inversion pose like a plow or headstand, you are bringing oxygen rich blood right to your brain for a short period of time to enhance our mental functioning and well-being. You are also filtering your lymph nodes. Check out this site for more information about how yoga detoxifies and other postures that help cleanse. Remember, there are many types of yoga and for all levels – like with any new exercise plan, you’ll want to consult with your physician before starting.
2. Fung Shui – house detox
Have you ever tried to sit down to do a project and feel like your brain is cluttered because your home space is cluttered? This happens to me all the time. I feel like I can’t even cook dinner until all the current dishes are clean and the kitchen is tidy and organized. Seems silly but many of us thrive on organization and a pristine space. Easier said than done I know. With 3 little girls running around my house, it feels almost insurmountable at times. But, taking even just a few moments to declutter and organize your space can do a lot for your productivity, your industriousness and sense of well-being. Cluttered space = cluttered brain. Detoxified space = Tabula Rosa. Detoxing the house can also mean other things. Have you checked for mold in the home? Had a co2 detector installed? Have your painted walls examined for lead? These are powerful ways that we can detox in a simple and easy way. Fung Shui is also another way to detox. According to wikipedia, Fung Shui “is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment.” Essentially it is decorating and arranging furniture and items in the home in a way that is oriented in the relation to the flow of natural energy in that space. To read more on Fung Shui and how to easily implement some of its tenets, click HERE.
3. Ditching toxic people in your life.
As mammals we need community and people in our lives. We are not a “go it alone” species and we rely on people every day to help support us, lift us up, and to collaborate with to thrive. However, in our pursuit for connection, community and friendships, we sometimes end up befriending people who actually do the opposite for you. They are a time suck, they are critical or unsupportive or perhaps even abusive. One way of detoxing is to try to remove those people from our lives and pursue healthy, equitable and uplifting friendships and relationships. How do you know when someone is an energy-sucker rather than a ‘swiffer-picker upper”? Tune in after you’ve spent time with someone. Do you feel happy, energized and hopeful? Or rather, do you feel stressed out, fatigued and anxious?
4. Have an input day.
What do I mean by that? Well, we are a hugely output society. We look to produce and do and give and talk and accomplish, ALL THE TIME. When we are harried and stressed and rushed and, well, outputting all the time, we are more apt to take in environmental toxins, lower our immunity and are more susceptible to disease and malaise. The remedy for this? Allow for input days. They do not feel as productive, for sure, but they are powerful in girding us and preparing for those inevitable output days. Examples of input days include: reading, meditating, writing, resting, listening. You might not even be able to pull off a whole input day but what about an input hour? Even an input minute to stop, breathe, take in, get grounded and connect with self. From my experience, having these input moments make me feel more cleansed than any food detox could ever do for me.
5. Social Media Detox
I need this one! There is a new app on my phone that keeps track of my weekly social media consumption. It gives me updates that tells me how many hours I’ve been on various social media sites (ahem, twitter, I can’t quit you!) and I was shocked that I was clocking 8 hours a week! These are 8 hours I can never get back. Imagine all the things I could have accomplished in those 8 hours. So, for 2019, one of my goals is a social media detox. Its not that I’m giving up social media all together. There are certainly many wonderful things about it. But, for me confronting how much time I was actually spending on there was a shock and a wake-up call. maybe for you too? One way to do this is to have very targeted social media time instead of checking your profiles and others every 5 minutes which sucks us into the land of distraction. Put a timer on it and be committed to lure yourself away when the time is up.