New Year, New You

Time to ditch the toxins

By Karen Frye

The human body is remarkable. When you realize how much is going on inside — the synchronicity of the organ functions and systems — you’ll see everything works together like a well-oiled machine.

The body renews itself entirely every seven years. Some of the organs, such as the liver, renew themselves every four to five months. Our skin renews every seven days. New cells are formed to replace the old ones. Our bodies are capable of healing and renewing with no effort on our part, though our world today makes the work a lot more challenging.

Environmental toxins, herbicides, chemicals in water, caffeine, alcohol and prescription medications contribute to toxic overloads. Detoxing is not a recent fad. People have been doing various forms of detoxifying for hundreds of years. There are many methods. It is good to find a health care professional to guide you, and if you are on medications, discuss your plans with your health care provider first. There are changes you can make in your life that will give beneficial results with a little effort and willpower.

It is best to change your bad habits permanently into better ones, which may take time. You might just notice that you are feeling so much better through the detox process that you may keep some changes as part of your daily lifestyle.

Prepare yourself for your detox:

Set your mind to succeed. You won’t starve, and your body will appreciate the attention you are devoting to being healthier. Create a journal and record your thoughts and feelings so you can go back and read them later.

Clear your kitchen of the foods you want to avoid so you aren’t tempted. Remove all processed foods, sweets, soft drinks, etc.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with seasonal fruits and vegetables, preferably organic. Have berries in the freezer to make smoothies.

Plan your schedule so you can get to bed at a reasonable time, and get enough sleep. Sleeping well helps your organs recharge, and assists the elimination of toxins.

Set aside a little time to exercise. Sweat is the body’s way of releasing toxins from the cells. I love Bikram yoga. Not only do you sweat, but the postures stimulate the glands and organs so they function optimally.

Drink lemon water with a pinch of Celtic or Himalayan salt upon rising. Use fresh squeezed lemon juice with warm or hot water. This is something that you might consider doing every day even after you finish your detox. And while we are talking about water, you must increase your water intake to at least 90 ounces. One of the most important functions of drinking a lot of water is how it helps the kidneys and liver do their job flushing toxins.

Replace your morning coffee with a cup of green tea. Matcha green tea contains the highest amount of antioxidants, and is more flavorful than typical green tea. Drink herbal teas throughout the day; dandelion and red clover are my recommendations.

Eliminate red meat, and if you must eat animal protein, choose free-range chicken, or wild salmon (in moderation). Try to eat mostly fruits and vegetables, especially dark, leafy green salads.

Fiber is important to keep things moving. Chia seeds are an excellent source. They are not only high in fiber, but loaded with omega-3 fatty acid and high in antioxidants. You can add chia seeds to almost anything.

There are “detox kits” that contain herbs to help your body in the process. Please keep in mind that you can do a lot on your own by cleaning up your diet.

You can design your detox for a week or longer. You might find that you really like the way you feel. Often you will sleep better, and have more energy and stamina throughout the day. Your skin will become radiant, and your eyes will be clearer. Digestion will be improved, and your immune system will be stronger.

Whatever you do this year, set yourself up for success. Think healthy thoughts, eat healthy foods, exercise, and most of all, be happy PS

Karen Frye is the owner and founder of Natures Own and teaches yoga at the Bikram Yoga Studio.

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