If you are familiar with Minimalist Beauty, you know that my approach to everything is creating a healthy lifestyle. When it comes to detoxing, I make overall healthy lifestyle changes versus viewing a detox as a one time thing, then going back to a unhealthy lifestyle afterwards. In my mind that’s like decluttering your home, then after you are so proud of your work, collecting trash or compost and pouring it throughout.
I don’t usually write about detoxing because the only true perspective that I have on it is my own. I am not a naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, hydrotherapist, or health specialist. Every time I’ve wanted to go deeper with healing my body, I’ve always gone to a specialist for assistance. With that said, I will tell you the methods I use to create a lifestyle of gentle detoxing for my life.
Our body has the innate ability to heal itself if given the right conditions which includes removing toxins and creating an alkaline body.
There are so many different diets that are marketed as the best and healthiest way to eat. I believe that the best diet includes highly alkaline whole organic foods. Allowing your body to determine what is best for you based on how you feel is also a good navigator to start with.
If you feel tired or become bloated after eating something, there’s a good chance what you ate did not agree with you in some form or another. Healthy food provides the body with fuel and tons of energy. If we filled the empty tank of our car with fuel at the gas station, and our car stopped driving and was sluggish afterwards, we would be seriously confused. Well we need to look at how we eat in the same way. Becoming your own nutritionist while using organic food as medicine is a great start.
Here are 7 steps you can take to gently detox your body by creating healthy conditions overall.
1. Eliminate Processed Foods Completely
Any food that is prepackaged/prepared and not a simple ingredient is questionable as you truly don’t know exactly how it was prepared or everything that it contains. Processed foods also have no nutritional value even when they are labeled organic and gluten-free. I did not understand this until I began using nutritional apps/websites such as CRON-O-Meter which helped break down the amount of calories and actual nutrition that I was eating everyday.
Processed foods also include sugar. Yes sugar, even natural sugar is processed. Why Sugar Is The Real Enemy & How I Stopped Eating It explains it all!
2. Toss Out Chemical Beauty Products
Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything that we put on it. Our pores are like tiny mouths which literally eat and drink our beauty products. It takes the body a great amount of effort to figure out how to handle, process, and eliminate chemicals and toxins in the body. Many times these toxins are stored in body fat since our eliminating organ systems are overtaxed and sluggish.
The chemicals in beauty products also contribute to high amounts of toxins in the body. One of the easiest ways to minimize the amounts of chemicals you come in contact with is to simplify your beauty routine, and also learn to make some of your own products. I’ve shared so many DIY beauty recipes on Minimalist Beauty.
You can see a list of DIY beauty recipes by category in the website footer and/or sidebar. I’ve also simplified the amount of products that I make by finding single ingredients that can be used for multiple beauty needs. For example, you can use an oil as a facial cleanser/moisturizer, hair leave-in, and for lotion. Definitely check out the chemicals that I avoid in beauty products if you haven’t. My beauty regimen is extremely simple!
3. Eat An Abundance of Raw Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Now that you’ve eliminated processed foods and chemical beauty products, you are no longer adding toxins into your body everyday voluntarily. Eating an abundance of raw organic fruits and vegetables is the best way to give your body nutrient rich foods that can be easily digested. Nutrient rich foods give your body the fuel it needs for daily activities as well as balancing your body and detoxing. Just by eating enzyme rich foods your body will naturally detox.
Regardless of whether you are vegetarian, pescatarian, or paleo, raw organic fruits and vegetables can be a big part of your diet. About 70% or more of my diet is currently raw organic fruits and vegetables. The other 30% is what feels right to me at that time as I do my best to listen to my body. It’s important to learn to listen to your body and find what works best for you. It is also critical to be flexible in this process and try different things. No one should tell you exactly how to eat or how to heal as only you know what it feels like to live in your body.
4. Take Sea Salt Baths
Warm sea salt baths help to detox the body mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Simply purchase pure sea salt in the spice section of the store or more favorably in the bulk section using your fabric produce bag or glass jar for zero waste. By purchasing sea salt this way, you will save money versus buying prepared sea salt soaks.
Take a sea salt bath as often as possible when detoxing or in general. I use 1-2 cups of pure sea salt and a few drops of my favorite essential oil, usually lavender. You can even add dried flowers or other flower essences. Sea salt baths are a great place to meditate, relax, and allow your body to rejuvenate.
5. Drink Water & Herbal Tea
Since you’ve eliminated processed foods including processed drinks such as sodas, water enhancers (use lemon/lime slices or mint leaves instead), energy drinks, and other imbalancing substances, you now have more room to increase your water intake or enjoy herbal tea. Creating an alkaline body creates the environment for gentle detoxing, and avoiding acidic drinks has a lot to do with this.
Some of you may be super sensitive to caffeine yet not even know it. Slowly decreasing the amount of coffee or caffeinated drinks will improve your health. Caffeine is an acidic liquid which weakens the body, creates blood pressure imbalances, can cause allergies, headaches, insomnia, and other issues. By minimizing or eliminating acidic dehydrating beverages from your lifestyle, you will feel better and also discover the power of using raw organic food for energy instead.
6. Reduce Stress with Stretching, Journaling & Meditation
Stress is the number one cause of dis-ease in the body. Stress is caused by so many things and we can’t always avoid it. Life happens and it can be completely overwhelming at times. Since we’ve eliminated toxic chemicals from our lifestyle with toxic foods, drinks, and beauty products, it’s now time to look deeper into how we care for our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual body.
One of my favorite ways to take care of my mental and emotional body is to journal. There is no better way in my opinion to release frustration, or just clear your thoughts in general than writing it down. With journaling you create a space for venting without pouring negativity onto others, and also for collecting wonderful ideas.
Whether you pray, meditate, or just take time to sit still in nature, you are giving your body conscious relaxation which is a huge GIFT. This gift is a gentle way to soothe and uplift the mind, body, and spirit. This also sends a message to your unconscious that you are just as valuable as caring for others, finishing that work deadline, or whatever you feel takes up so much of your time and energy in your life. Making quiet time for yourself is invaluable.
As a dancer, outside of my dance classes, stretching, doing gentle yoga series such as this DVD, or floor barre exercises are my favorite ways to keep the chi (or energy) inside my body flowing smoothly. Otherwise I feel aches and pains in different joints or muscles. Releasing stress is vital to detoxing.
Take out your yoga mat or even a towel and do some simple stretches. Be easy with yourself and breath deeply while you’re at it. We can’t always control what happens around us, but we can do our best to nurture ourselves through it.
7. Beauty Sleep Is Not Overrated
When you are sleeping, your body is doing its healing work. If you are “running on fumes” as they say, you can’t expect your body to be detoxing too. Some say get 8 hours of sleep, some need 10. I say if you know you are not getting enough sleep see what changes you can make in your life to get more. Getting adequate sleep is critical to being healthy.
Healing–A Daily Decision
When you eliminate the areas in your life which add stress and toxins to your body as much as possible, you are creating a space for healing and detoxifying. True beauty is radiant health and radiant happiness. I’ve seen many commercially beautiful people with the “right” style, hair, makeup, and home. The beauty and health you truly desire is not from commercial sources. It’s in how you live and experience life everyday.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)