I actually rarely use the term “detoxification” these day, in preference for recognising our body’s ability to clear itself from toxins, without defined need for additional clearance. That being the case, I am running a month of “Spring Cleaning” which will incorporate the body’s elimination systems, as well as supporting our mental clarity and environmental load. Welcome to Clean October!
I like doing clear out diets in Spring, as it is warmer, and the days are longer, so we are more likely to engage in light exercise and be willing to clear out our diet a little. My proposed steps for this version can be engaged in stages, or degrees of intensity. I often recommend to take a few notes before you start, to compare with how you feel at the end: on a scale of 1-10, what is your energy, sleep quality, pain levels, emotional stability, sense of taste, appetite, appreciation for life. Take a few basic measurements and weigh yourself – I can do this in clinic, if you come in for the Clean October package.
I suggest to start the month with a two day broth and herbal tea fast. When I say “fast”, I mean, remove as much excess from the diet as you feel comfortable doing. Fasting is not something which I suggest every person is well suited to do, and if you have any medical conditions, it is suggested that you do this with the advice of your medical professional, or in a much edited format. But for those who feel it is safe and advantageous to embark on a clearing fast, this is how to start:
- Pick two days (probably a weekend) where you can rest, relax and not be undertaking tasks which will be hindered by reduction of diet.
- Stock your pantry with: home made broth, herbal teas (varieties can include peppermint, dandelion, chamomile, ginger), lemons, filtered room temperature water, himalayan salt.
- Drink broth and teas over the two days, drink filtered water with a teaspoon of lemon juice in it, or water with a pinch of salt, to assuage hunger. Rather than guzzling lots of water, just drink a cup of hot or cold liquid every hour.
- Spend your time reading or listening to a podcast, or let your mind wander – this can be detoxifying too. Set aside time to do some knitting or colouring. Be at rest.
- For breaking the fast, consider a vegetable and chicken soup (no cream) to start with, rather than straight into heavy or hard to digest food.
For the remainder of the month, be mindful of avoiding foods of excess. Eat real food – if it has a ingredient label on it, then it’s not real.. Avoid sugar, gluten and dairy, as they commonly cause issues in the body which you won’t recognise until you experience time without them, so this is a perfect way to see clearly any benefits.
Coffee and alcohol should be reduced as much as possible. If you need coffee, reduce it to a small short black, or even just a half a cup (I need a bit of caffeine to avoid the detox headache) but wean your self down to nothing if possible. Replace with green tea, or herbal tea. If you can avoid drinking any alcohol for a few weeks, this is great. If you decided to drink on weekends, then have a vodka and soda with a squeeze of lime in a tall glass, which at least has less impurities than various other forms of alcohol.
Ensuring that your organs of elimination are working to their best is important here. Whilst we can’t actually clear out our liver and kidneys, it is possible to support their action, so that they are continue to do their job better, with the introduction of sufficient (not too much) liquid, slightly bitter foods (rocket lettuce, lemon juice in water, apple cider vinegar in water).
Allow your skin and lymphatic system to better detoxify by doing full body exfoliations in the shower, and using a body brush for dry skin brushing before the shower. This should normally be done once a week, but during the elimination weekend, gentle work every day may be supportive.
Exercise is useful – probably do less on the fasting weekend, but during the time of detoxification, any form of sweating, heavy breathing, is all helping to clear toxins from the body. Think about doing exercise outside, walking, surfing, swimming are all great, but even doing a yoga or spin class, followed by a walk in the sun will be of benefit.
I often support client’s clearing programs with herbal support for various body systems (liver, lymphatic, etc), as needed, and in some cases, I will also introduce nutrients which will improve the removal of toxins. This needs to be assessed on a case by case basis, so please see me in clinic to discuss your health in more detail. Book in for a Naturopathic appointment and get the Clean October package of two Naturopathic appointments and one Remedial Massage for $250 with 10% off products purchased applicable to this package.
I tend to structure a clearing package around how much time, effort and change you are prepared to make, and can do a hard-and-fast 10 day clear out, or a slow and supportive month long cleanse. It’s about you.
Additional cleansing practices:
- Every day, remove one item from your home which you no longer need.
- Consciously avoid buying items which are not essential this month, save money and avoid waste
- Book a few massages to help clear tightness and fatigue from your body.
- Identify habits which you wish to change and write down how you intend to create that change then practice that, every day for October
- Recognise your ability to remove negativity from your life – concentrate on positive thoughts and actions, and show appreciation and gratitude wherever practical.
- Smile more. Laugh daily. Hug your family.
At the end of the month, review your results. Compare how your sense of taste and energy have changed. It is often hard to believe how quickly your taste buds respond to having less sugar, and how well you feel from a few weeks of no alcohol.
I will be doing this process all month, and will check in via my Facebook page (Revive Your Health Naturopathic) to document any issues with hunger, headaches or heartbreak over throwing out that pair of high heeled shoes that I love but never wear… Check in and tell me how you are going!
19 September 2018.