5 Ways to Boost Your Detox
Making a few lifestyle changes during your 30-day Detox will help take it to the next level. Based on your assessment and personal goals we have provided some specific lifestyle suggestions for you but here is some additional inspiration to fuel your efforts.
While we sleep the brain clears itself of waste products via the cerebrospinal fluid, and the body repairs itself on a cellular level with the help of human growth hormone. Finding ways to improve sleep quality is the single most important way to boost your detox and encourage healing.
Making changes to our sleep routine, and how we wind down before bed can encourage deeper, more restorative sleep. We can enhance feelings of relaxation and sleepiness in the hour before bed by developing a sleep ritual. Each person will respond to different approaches but for myself I find practicing one or two of the following rituals most effective:
Turning down the lights and drawing the curtains.
Lighting a candle.
Turning off devices.
Listening to binaural beats or white noise.
Opting for silence.
Taking a warm bath.
Quiet therapeutic stretching.
Reading a book.
Fasting after dinner.
Taking relaxing herbal nervines.
Consider what a sleep ritual might look like for you and explore how it can improve your sleep quality during your detox.
Step One: Many detox protocols suggest eliminating a long list of foods or involve rapid calorie restriction. However, there are no lasting health benefits associated with short term eliminations or calorie restriction and it can turn you off doing a detox again.
Picking a single change to follow during your 30-day Detox is a much more powerful action for the following reasons:
Listening to your Body
A single change will be based on something you know you need or are deeply curious about.
A single change allows you to effectively track any related health changes.
Making a single beneficial change for 30-days is more likely to become a new habit.
A single change is much easier than many changes and you will more likely be successful achieving it.
In years past, I have included weekly 1-day fasting, as well as single eliminations of alcohol, sugar, wheat, or dairy during my annual Spring detox. Each approach has had interesting results which have helped me better understand what my body needs and responds best to.
Step Two: A single elimination can be paired with a single inclusion of a healthy food group or food preparation method. The most impactful food groups to consider including on your 30-day detox are:
(broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts etc.)
(natural sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, miso)
(hemp, flax, walnut, avocado, olive, coconut)
High Fibre Foods
(flax, chia, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables)
Whole Food Smoothie or Juice
(2-3 vegetables combined with one fruit)
Regardless of what type of exercise you do, whether it is high impact movement like running or resistance training, or low impact movement like walking or yoga, when done consistently it will enhance the body’s capacity to detoxify.
Activity which stimulates circulation, deep breathing, sweating, and the release of positive mood molecules, also encourages elimination of waste and improves the body’s adaption to stress.
Modern humans have become predominantly sedentary which is strongly associated with age-related, non-communicable diseases. Any type of movement we can incorporate on a daily basis will take us out of an otherwise sluggish state and activate our internal housekeeping processes.
Water therapy is one of the oldest curative principles in medicine, and inspired the creation of the European Spa method. Spa therapy includes both water consumption and water immersion.
Water not only keeps our brains and joints lubricated but infuses and bathes each and every cell of the body, which is why humans are made of 60-70% water. Water helps to transport oxygen and other vital nutrients to the tissues, enabling robust metabolism, detoxification and elimination.
The basic guideline for daily water consumption is the 8 x 8 rule (8 x 8oz glasses or 2L), however it is more accurate to gauge your level of hydration according to your physical symptoms and lifestyle.
Signs of dehydration include: yellow or cloudy urine, infrequent urination, low energy, reduced brain function, headaches, dizziness, dry skin, dry mucus membranes, constipation. If you experience two or more of these symptoms regularly you may be in a chronically dehydrated state.
Keep in mind drinking caffeinated beverages, alcohol, exercise, cold weather, and skipping fruits and vegetables in the diet will increase water demand due to their dehydrating effects.
2L per day is a good starting goal but then adjust according to the signs and symptoms your body provides.
The type of water you drink does matter, especially when doing a detox program. Municipal water is a key source of environmental contaminants and bottled water contains 2x the amount of microplastics compared to tap water. Microplastics attract and absorb environmental pollutants, and by themselves are disruptive to the hormonal system.
My home contains a 2-stage activated charcoal filtration system with third party certification of what substances are removed, and the list is long! In general, activated charcoal systems are more effective than reverse osmosis or distillation for removing impurities.
There are different hydrotherapy approaches but the method most useful for detoxification is Contrast Hydrotherapy. Contrast Hydrotherapy involves alternating immersions in warm and cool water. This can be accomplished at home in the shower. Each phase of immersion should last 1-2 minutes and two rounds of cold water immersion is best. The colder you can tolerate the greater the health benefit and the benefits are immediately felt.
Alternating between temperatures causes vasodilation and vasoconstriction of the blood vessels which improves circulation, lactic acid removal from tissues and temperature control of the body. The short-term stress associated with cold water immersion boosts energy and mental focus, reduces inflammation associated with exercise or injury, and stimulates the metabolism of fat.
It is safe to do as often as you like but a minimum of 2x weekly during a detox can provide notable benefits.
There is no greater way to care for one self than by taking time out to relax and re-connect with our sense of wholeness. Chronic stress gets in the way of healthy digestion and physical recovery. Being in ‘stress mode’ is something we all need to learn to turn off at will.
As you set out on your detox journey consider how you can build a 15-30 minute window into your daily routine that is dedicated to relaxation. An additional 1-2 hours of relaxing activity on the weekend will solidify your stress reduction efforts. Perhaps a full body massage, a walk along a wooded path or an art project.
My favourite relaxation activities include, getting outdoors; self-massage; therapeutic stretching; candle light bathing; smudging and quiet reflection; and singing. My friends also love to do saunas, journalling and meditation. Whatever you choose to do that helps you unwind is good!