January is my favorite month because it is the most optimistic time of year. It seems that everyone gets a second chance in the first month of a new year: renewal, rebirth, starting over. It is a time of pure opportunity.
Did you know there is a really beautiful side to detoxing that does not include the most commonly discussed benefits? It is part holistic health, part mindfulness and pure opportunity for change. It is perfect for January!
What Is a Detox?
Detoxing has become quite popular and more mainstream in the last 5+ years and is no longer limited to the Lululemon-clad yogis of Los Angeles. With the amazing reach of the Internet, it is impressive how many now have access to detox programs with the power of virtual support groups, file sharing, and video.
The human body has a natural system of detoxification and it is efficiently working around the clock. However, our bodies are burdened with toxins from the foods we eat, the pesticides on our produce, the unpronounceable chemicals in convenience foods, the air we breathe, the containers we use to prepare our foods, skincare products, the flame retardants on our furniture and clothes – the list is long.
As you can imagine, our bodies are overburdened with so many toxins. Without proper elimination, our system may experience health conditions such as brain fog, inflammation, weight gain, bloat, digestive issues and potentially more serious conditions such as auto-immune disorders to cancer. This is why it is great to periodically bring in some additional support. Imagine a street sweeper coming through and cleaning up the excess and dumping it. Brilliant!
A detox is a period of time where one participates in the elimination or reduction of certain foods, drinks (and perhaps activities).
What is ingested varies based on the program but is usually heavy on whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. During a detox, the body spends less time digesting heavy foods and will instead use its energy to excrete toxins and theoretically heal, as necessary.
Detoxing In The New Year
A January detox is a great way to establish strong foundational changes in your overall health and wellness. These changes will grow not just from the nutrition aspect that is typically the focus but also your mind and spirit.
The following are three transformational side effects of a detox that will help you stick to those resolutions past the first month of the year.
1. Good bye to Food-related Decision Fatigue
Detoxing cuts down on decision fatigue caused by trying to figure out what to eat since you will be provided with clear direction of the what when and how to eat during your detox program. This is amazing once you get in your groove.
Nowadays, we have so many options, fads, and dietary theories; at any restaurant in major cities across the world, you will have vegan, gluten free, vegetarian, Paleo, nut free, egg free, soy free options. It is overwhelming to make the right choice!
During a detox, you follow the guidelines that radically reduce these choices. Suddenly, that useless food chatter going on in your head is silenced thanks to the minimalist approach to food during the detox. It is like going to a personal trainer and being told what to do, when and how. You only need to follow direction and enjoy the ride.
Post detox, you will have more insight into the foods that leave you feeling great and which ones bring down your operating system. When you re-introduce foods your body will tell you immediately what causes inflammation, bloat, gas, gut distress, sleepiness, etc. As long as you listen, your body will guide you to the right choices going forward.
You will no longer need to worry about all the outside dietary suggestions as you’ll have your own barometer based on what you learned.
2. Crowd out the bad and in with the new.
Because detoxing calls for the elimination of many foods, drinks and lifestyle activities, it is an amazing opportunity to crowd out useless habits with the introduction of healthy ones.
Instead of feeling the pains of abstinence where those old habits lived (e.g. eating chips at lunch, snacking after dinner, scrolling Facebook until passing out), use this opportunity to build new routines and you will have no space left for the old ones to return even when you are ‘allowed’ to reintroduce post-detox.
For example, during the detox, you will come to truly enjoy filling your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. You will appreciate the way the food tastes, looks and how energized you feel after eating.
Once you have the option of eating meat, gluten, processed foods or dairy again, you will be much more prone to stick to whole foods.
Alternatively, imagine that as part of your detox you stop all electronic screen time one hour prior to bedtime to increase the quality of your sleep.
You replace that habit with an evening ritual of taking a warm bath with Epsom salt and lavender oil, re-discover the joy of reading and practice a brief evening meditation.
You will most definitely think twice about returning to mindlessly scrolling Instagram and Facebook once the detox is over because you will have experienced what you’ve been missing for years — quality sleep.
3. Become more in Tune with your Body, Food and Environment
I am passionate about taking a holistic approach to health and wellness. A detox is typically heavily focused on food and nutrition but I love to add in other components such as ways to improve sleep, meditation, gentle yoga, implementation of a morning routine, grounding in nature, etc., that will allow participants to become more introspective, mindful and thoughtful of how everything is truly related.
When these non-food-related activities are practiced during your detox, you will experience the connection between the mind and body.
It may be for the first time or it may be on a deeper level but it is profound. A window opens to a new world; one where there are fewer mysteries about the ailments of the body and the pure appreciation of how much control we do have when we slow down and listen.
This is the beauty of a detox. There is no single thing or ‘easy button’ in the pursuit of feeling and looking great on the inside and out other than a mix of wellness practices that include the plate and beyond.
You May Also Want To Read – Troubling To Stick With Your New Year’s Resolutions?
January is a Month of Opportunity, Optimism and Change
I encourage you to use this incredibly optimistic time of year to reflect on how you could approach your resolutions. Consider a detox not only for the most celebrated side effects but also for those that are more understated yet just as impressive for your overall wellness.
Use your detox as an opportunity to plant the seeds for new habits and routines, nurture and water them and then watch them grow and flourish into something solid from which you build other healthy habits throughout the remainder of the year.
Read Also – Top 7 Ways To Detox Your Life And Home
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