Top 6 Detox Strategies for 2015
Counting calories is so 1998, and is probably as helpful as leeching, but for most of us, the new year brings a fervor of “I’ll do better and eat less” mania, which hasn’t helped 99% of us feel, look, or behave any better.
This new year, I invite you to start listening to your body, and stop paying attention to calories and digital scales. Begin listening to what your body is really asking for: real rest, real fun, and real food. Trust me. Join me in welcoming in true healing, nourishment, and balanced energy for the new year:
- More play, less work: You’ll get more benefit from exercise, and enjoy your life a lot more, if you move in ways that are fun for you. Stress puts you in the metabolic state to keep weight on, while playful fun energizes you while you sweat out toxins. Go play frisbee. Have sex. A lot. Take up archery. Take your friends for a hike and picnic. Dance. Movement that’s fun and laugh-inducing is good for you. You’ll do it more, and it will release the beneficial, metabolism-balancing neurochemicals of pleasure, including dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Get out and have fun - your body and hormones will respond positively!
- Sleep: Sleep is the foundation upon which your entire life is either built sturdily, or falls apart. Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep, every night, is necessary for your body to balance hormones, which affect your mood, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. Your brain also cleans out unnecessary neurochemicals and waste products while you sleep, that could be responsible for brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
- Watch Your Thoughts: 40% of our thoughts are habit. We think the same things over and over again, and most of them, especially when it comes to our bodies and ourselves, aren’t nice. It’s normal - humans have a built in “negativity bias.” This means your brain defaults to the negative, to try to protect you from mistakes. This constant negativity puts us into a stress state, keeps you going back for comfort foods to relieve the stress, and makes you feel unworthy of the amazing, energized, healthy life that’s waiting for you when you are kind to yourself. In short: you can’t kick yourself into a happy relationship with your body.
- Media Detox: What you see and hear impacts your health, confidence, and cravings. From magazines that show sized 00 models promoting the latest fad diet next to chocolate cake recipes, to “fitspirational” Facebook feeds featuring toned professional athletes that throw us into “compare and despair” mode, our brains are assaulted with images of how we “should” look thousands of times a year. Turn off the flood of shame-inducing images with a 7-day media detox. Turn off the commercial TV, talk radio, celebrity magazines, and social media that makes you feel bad about yourself. This will help you start listening to your body, and feeling better about how you actually look and feel, rather tha n comparing yourself to others who’ve probably been airbrushed or surgically altered to begin with.
- Remove the Toxic 6: Calorie counting doesn’t do anything to detox or heal your body, nor has it helped the obesity epidemic. Because calories don’t matter to most of us. What does matter is removing foods to which you are sensitive to. There are six common foods that most people suffering from weight-loss resistance or hormonal imbalance are sensitive to: gluten, dairy, soy, corn, sugar (including alcohol and artificial sweeteners), and caffeine. Removing these six foods for three weeks to allow your hormones to balance, leading to easy, natural weight loss and better energy. These foods also cause leaky gut, and removing them can begin to heal your digestion.
- Chew: Mom was right: chew your food! Most digestion of carbohydrates happens in the mouth with mechanical chewing and the enzymes in your saliva. If you swallow half-chewed food, your stomach won’t break it down much more, causing bloating, gas, and bacterial overgrowth. I recommend that you chew each bite of food until it is mostly liquid. This allows for better digestion, metabolism, and, elimination.