Fall has fallen and the cooler weather may have you bundling up and staying in, but there might be a few things you want to get rid of before winter hits – like toxins. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is the time of letting go to prepare for the internalization or hibernation associated with winter. It is also the season of the lungs and large intestine so it also a great time to let go of any toxins that have built up through fun summer festivities.
People constantly ask me about detoxes, fasts, and cleanses so this is one long awaited blog. Traditionally, cleanses that include periods of fasting were done far away from your daily life where you could be still, do gentle yoga, and meditate. However, this is not the case and most people try to do a juice fast or minimal calorie cleanse while performing their usually daily activities and this why many do not succeed.
While spring is another great time to clean out the gunk in your body, fall is particularly important because we are heading full speed towards the holiday season- a time when it can be the most difficult to watch what you eat. If you get a handle on things now, you may not be starting the New Year with several extra pounds.
I believe that there are some simple things you can do to help your body without having to go to serious extremes like only drinking lemon juice. If you have the dedication and time or space to do a serious cleanse, I urge you to talk to a healthcare provider for some proper guidance because those $30 detox kits from the health food store aren’t going to do a lick of good without the proper dietary changes. In addition, if you live in an area that already has cold weather, you need to be mindful what you consume to support your body’s ‘letting go’ of toxins.
Cleaning up your diet is a simple place to start. If you’ve been hitting the sauce a lot – booze, gravy, pasta, or otherwise-simply backing away for a few weeks can make a world of difference. I like to joke about a ‘slow’ versus a ‘fast’: Eat a bunch of crap and party too much then go back to eating healthily and you’ll feel a million times better. While that’s a silly extreme, it does go to show that you don’t need to eat only lettuce to feel an improvement especially if your lifestyle hasn’t been healthy lately.
Even the best detox program can’t replace a healthy lifestyle, but it can give it a kickstart. Toxins get into our bodies through many places like food, environment, workplace, and household cleaners to name a few. Our livers work really hard to flush those things out but giving it a little break every once in a while can help it work more efficiently. Depending on your health condition, a cleanse can be anything from a full juice only to an eating plan that includes lots of veggies and whole grains. I of course opt for the latter but if you can go full on, then go for it.
The most important part of embarking on a cleanse or detox or even a time-out from your typical diet is to make sure to eat foods that help break up the sludge in your body as well as food that help carry said sludge out of the body. Stay tuned for the details of my Turkey Day Cleanse!