Doing a detox after the holidays is a great way to kick off the New Year. It's an effective way to get rid of a few extra pounds that crept up along with that sluggish, bloated feeling from not eating normally. But what about after the detox? How do you keep it going? Here are nine tips for everyday detox. No fads or fasts required. This is not detox drudgery but daily deliciousness!
Recently I did a fun Facebook Live event for The Daniel Plan community on easy tips to detox every day and thought I would create a post for you out of my notes. Hope this helps you to live more healthfully and make smarter food choices throughout this year.
Add Detoxing Fruits and Vegetables to Your Daily Diet
Detoxing is a natural metabolic process your body does every day. It's the job of your liver, kidneys, pancreas, gallbladder, skin and even your lungs. Providing your body with detoxing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices is like providing it with cleaning tools. Here is a list of of what to add to your diet to support daily detox, plus quick ideas on how to enjoy them:
- Apples - Eat them raw as a snack, dice and add to steel but oats, slice for salads, bake for a sweet treat
- Apple Cider Vinegar (raw organic - Add ACV to a cup of water and drink first thing in the morning, it's a great natural detoxifier and support healthy digestion. Check out this post from Dr. Josh Axe. The first benefit he lists is detoxability.
- Artichokes - Steam until tender, enjoy warm, chilled or grilled with a dipping sauce, stuff them, make a dip, add to chicken dishes
- Asparagus - Grilled, roasted, or steamed, added to salads, made into soup, these greens spears of spring are so versatile
- Avocados - Add to smoothies, make chunky or creamy guacamole to enjoy with raw veggies, add to tacos, soup, chilies and salads, enjoy avocado toast for breakfast
- Beets - Roast beets and add to salads or enjoy drizzled with olive oil and balsamic as a side dish. Make Borscht, a classic beet soup
- Broccoli - Steam, roast, blanch, eat raw for a snack, chop and add to salads, make broccoli salad, puree into soup, use in frittatas, casseroles
- Cabbage - Slice for chilled or warm slaw, make soup, shred for tacos add to salads, stuff the leaves, use leaves for wraps, make sauerkraut, add to a stir-fry
- Collard Greens -Sauté chopped leaves, stuff and roll them or use the leaves for wraps
- Cucumbers - Add to salads, slice for snacking, puree into juice
- Dandelion Greens - Use raw for a bitter greens salad, try the leaves dried as tea (see below), sauté and serve warm
- Fennel - Shave thin into salads, roast or braise wedges as a side vegetable, add chopped to soups
- Grapefruit - Slice out segments and add to salads, enjoy for breakfast, top oatmeal, combine with other fruit for a fruit salad
- Lemon - Squeeze some in warm water to start your day, add to tea, makes sauces and vinaigrettes, a little lemon juice lifts and brightens the flavor of many dishes, roast chicken with lemon, steam salmon with lemon slices
- Lime - Squeeze juice over tacos, cooked fish and chicken, makes sauces and vinaigrettes
- Kale - Slice thin into ribbons for a chilled or warm salad, add to casseroles and soups, add baby leaves to smoothies, frittatas
- Onions - Onions add flavor to so many dishes; soups, stews, salads, roasted, grilled or caramelized. They are just about in everything
- Watercress - Make salads, add to pureed soups, add to pesto
Add Freshness and Flavor with Detoxing Herbs and Spices
Not only do they add fantastic flavor and aroma, fresh herbs and spices are powerhouses for everyday detox. And in some cases, like with cayenne, rev up your metabolism because of the heat from capsaicin. Many of these are also powerful natural anti-inflammatories.
- Cayenne Pepper - Adds flavorful heat to soups, stews, dressings, sauces, and even smoothies
- Cilantro - Incredibly variable, add it to green smoothies, soups, salads, salsa, or make pesto. Try it any place you might use parsley
- Cinnamon - One of the worlds great spices, add to smoothies, breakfast steal cuts oats or buckwheat, great in a spiced savory dishes
- Garlic - No explanation needed. Can't cook without garlic and its a great for detoxing
- Ginger - Available in many forms, add ground ginger powder to smoothies and fresh ginger or ginger puree to almost any dish
- Peppermint - Add this refreshing herb to raw to green and whole grain salads, to smoothies, and dressings. Makes great pesto
- Rosemary - This potent classic, pine-y herb is a natural with lemon, as in lemon rosemary chicken or fish
- Turmeric - Add to smoothies, curries, soups, stews, rice, dressings and adds bright golden color to foods
Focus on Fiber
Getting enough fiber is a critical component of healthy eating, yet most Americans don't get enough. Fiber not only feeds your food gut bacteria but supports good elimination, critical for everyday detox. Fiber comes from plant sources, so the more you include fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in your diet, the more fiber you will get. For women aim for 25 grams a day, and 30-35 for men.
Drink Enough Water
Being well hydrated with enough clean, filtered water is imperative for every day detoxing. Filtered water is important because municipal water systems may add chemicals or metals to your water that you don't want to drink. Aim for half of your body weight in ounces. Get a refillable stainless steel bottle that is easy to drink out of and be sure to wash it out every day. I carry my 20 ounce Hydro Flask with the sport cap everywhere and know if I get through three bottles a day I am doing my body good.
Consider Supplement Support
Along with a daily multivitamin, these over the counter supplements have been part of my personal daily routine for years. If they are new to you, do some research on your own and decide if they will work for you, or check with your healthcare provider, nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor (ND).
- Milk thistle - This restorative, detoxing herb has been been used for centuries to support liver, gallbladder and kidney health. We take it in capsule form and enjoy it in a detox tea blend. It contains silymarin and silybin, antioxidants that help protect your liver
- Chlorella- Another one of nature's potent natural detoxifies, chlorella is a blue-green algae, available in tablet or powder form. I've taken it daily for the last year as part of a heavy metals detox program. Buy broken cell wall chlorella to be sure your body will absorb it, otherwise it is indigestible.
- Spirulina- Chlorellas cousin, spirulina is another blue-green algae that has tremendous natural detox capabilities. I add the powder to my green smoothies. Nature's ancient green superfood.
- Glutathione- Called your master antioxidant, your body produces glutathione but modern life depletes it, so you might consider a supplement to be sure you are getting enough of this essential detoxer (plus there are many other incredible health benefits). Many of the vegetables listed above (cruciferous veggies) support your natural glutathione production. Read more about glutathione here.
Get a Massage
Getting a massage is not just a once a year luxury for when you are on vacation. Massage helps your body release toxins and detox. Drink lots of water afterwards to help eliminate toxins released from massage. A good massage therapist will always tell you "drink lots of water!" on the way out.
Enjoy Detox Teas
Skipping caffeine and alcohol for awhile is a great break for your body. But what to do when you need something besides water? Try an herbal blend organic detox tea. Look for them at health oriented markets and online. Read labels to be sure there are no added stimulants, and buy organic. My favorite organic detox tea blend is from LooseLeafBlends. It has a delicious minty taste from mint, milk thistle, and dandelion amongst its herbal blend. And be sure to check out their other beautiful blends too.
Green tea is an excellent option to. I buy organic matcha green tea powder, not only for drinking as tea, but for adding to my morning green smoothies. That way you are consuming the whole leaf. And on the caffeine front, green tea is very low.
If the word exercise ruffles your feathers, call it movement! Each day, find a way to move for at least 20-30 minutes. When you get moving your spirit is lifted and it helps keep things moving internally, if you know what I mean. Good elimination is important for detoxing. Researchers in a new study published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity also said that just 20-30 minutes a day provides wonderful anti-inflammatory benefits.
I hope these ideas for easy detox every day will support you to keep detoxing every day of this year. Let me know what you think, and how incorporating any of these ideas help you.
Detox With an Infrared Sauna
Unlike traditional saunas, infrared saunas use infrared thermal light to heat up your internal core temperature. When you sweat, you detox. You need one that provides near, mid and far wavelengths as far goes the deepest to help draw out toxins. Infrared saunas allow the release of more toxins. Check out this article for more health and detox benefits.
Last tip! Here's a new post on How To Do a Detox including a video link.