Do the words 'detox' and 'cleanse' scare the sh!t out of you?! If the answer is yes, you're not alone! In fact, they used to scare me too.
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It took me a long time to do my first real cleanse/detox program - even after I became a holistic nutritionist.
The idea of starving myself, experiencing detox symptoms and all the work involved with the meal prep was not at all appealing. Of course, I soon learned that there are all sorts of detoxification programs and not all leave you hangry (for those of you unaware 'hangry' is a word hybrid of hungry and angry - we all experience it from time to time). I also learned the benefits of cleansing the body a few times a year. It's crucial to give our system a little break from all the crap we're constantly consuming and exposed to day to day.
I'm sure you've come across various programs about cleansing and detoxing especially now that we're into the new year. There are your 3 day cleanses, sometimes 10 or 21 days. There are smoothie cleanses, juice cleanses and my personal fave - whole food cleanses (yay for eating solid foods). And while I'm all for these programs (and even offer a few myself), you can gently detox your system by including some of these simple foods (most found in the produce section of the grocery store) into your day to day diet. And there's nothing scary about that!
So the good news is that cleansing and detoxifying your body doesn't have to be scary. Add these foods to your grocery list, incorporate them into your diet and your body will take care of the rest.
Beets are incredibly liver supportive and our liver is one of the main ways our body rids itself of toxins. They're rich in fibre, iron, zinc, beta carotene and some B vitamins. Not everyone loves beets - me included! They're messy to work with and super earthy in flavour. But they are a powerhouse of nutrition so one of my favourite ways to use them is shredded or spiralized using my veggie spiral slicer in salads.
Incredibly cleansing to the system - lemons work to stimulate the liver and flush toxins out of the body, improve digestion and cleanse our blood. Lemons are one of my favourite produce. We buy tons each week. Getting fresh squeezed lemon into the diet is a cinch. There's lemon water, homemade salad dressings, sauces and dips.
Raw garlic has antiviral, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. The ultimate immune booster! It helps stimulate the liver and aids the body to detox naturally.
4. Sea veggies
Sea veggies are marine algae - they are chlorophyll-containing leafy greens (seaweeds) that live in the sea. Like the words detox and cleanse, sea veggies can also intimate people. Thing is, they're incredibly healthy! They are rich in antioxidants, minerals, alkalinizing to our system and help draw toxins out of the body. My favourite way to (realistically) include them in my diet is in the form of roasted seaweeds like SeaSnax (perfect for snacking when you want something salty) or cooking with dulse or kelp flakes (use in place of salt in salads, soups or stir-fries).
5. Dandelions (and other leafy greens)
Dandelions are a leafy green that are liver-loving! They are a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Incorporate into salads, soups or easily drink a warming cup of dandelion herbal tea each day. All leafy greens, however, aid in detoxification - they are chlorophyll rich and chlorophyll assists the body in ridding itself of toxins.
For all the keeners out there (like me ), here are other naturally detoxifying foods you can include: artichokes, apples, all green veggies, green tea, cilantro, parsley, turmeric, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds and onions to name a few.
So maybe you're not ready for a detox program yet (or maybe you are!) but either way I think you can see how easy it is to incorporate detoxifying foods into your everyday eating to live healthier and feel better.
I want to know! What are you favourite naturally detoxifying foods to use day to day?
SIDE NOTE: If you're anything like me, then you made merry this holiday season, overindulged, didn't drink as much water as usual and now you're suffering from post-holiday skin blues! I feel you! My skin is living proof of my holiday fun and begging for a little detoxification.
Which is why I created this ready-made meal plan for all my ladies looking for clear, radiant and glowing skin. It's designed with real, whole foods (no starvation) that are simple, convenient, delicious and of course nutritious.