Gentle 3-Day Detox
I haven’t been taking care of my body lately. I’m in such a rut—not eating well, not exercising regularly, not giving my body the sleep it needs. I have all kinds of reasons why I haven’t, but I’m ready for a change. And even though I’m not looking for anything drastic, any kind of change feels drastic on some level. I do know I want to take better care of my body, and I think it would help to get a little jump-start on healthy-living, something to shock my senses and hit the reset button.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to do a gentle 3-Day Detox. Now, I use the term “detox” very lightly here; the body’s natural functions do a wonderful job of ridding the body of toxins on its own. This is more about aiding the body’s natural process by breaking the cycle of unhealthy eating, calming cravings, and making a couple of beneficial additions to your day.
- No alcohol, caffeine, grain, dairy, sugar, processed food, gluten, soy, corn or nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant)
- Yes to vegetables, fruit, lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish) and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, flax seed)
- Drink hot lemon water upon waking, an hour later eat a smoothie for breakfast, another smoothie for lunch, then a salad and one lean meat for dinner.
- Drink lots and lots of water
- Sweat every day
- Detox bath at night
- Sleep at least 8 hours every night
I’ll break it down ::
Lemon Water in the Morning
Squeeze half a lemon or one drop lemon essential oil into warm or room temperature water. Your body has just gone 8 hours without any water, all during a time when the liver is extremely active. Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning will rehydrate you and help flush your digestive system.
Smoothies are a wonderful way to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, but there are other added benefits. By eating a liquid diet, we relieve some of the strain on our digestive system. Also, blending fruits and vegetables breaks down the cellulose walls, unleashing more of the nutrients into our system.
Drinking enough water may be the single most important thing you can do to take care of your body. Normally, you need to drink enough water that your urine is a pale straw color, but during the detox you can up your intake even more to make sure your body has enough water to flush the system.
One of the key ways that the body eliminates toxins is through the skin, so make sure you sweat every day. This can mean anything from yoga to running to spending time in a sauna to a hot bath. I recommend yoga, since it also stimulates blood flow, is gentle on the body, and feels so good! (That’s Eden in the pictures…isn’t she stunning?)
Detox Bath at Night
Again, your body rids itself of toxins through the skin, so give yourself another chance to sweat (and relax) before you go to bed. Draw a bath (make the water hot enough to sweat), dissolve 2 cups of Epsom Salts into the water, then soak for 20-30 minutes. For added benefit, you may add a couple drops of essential oils (lavender, frankincense, StressAway, and Joy are some of my favorites) to the salts before dissolving them in the tub.
Everything else is pretty self-explanatory. As far as dinners go, I figure you already have your favorite salads and lean meat recipes, but if you want something new, you can find a couple of my favorites here and here. Also, I always find going to bed early much harder that waking up early, so I think I’m going to set an alarm to go to bed each night. Ha!
All in all, even though it’s intense (no coffee!), I feel like you can do just about anything for three days. And there’s a part of healthy eating and exercise that actually feels good, so if you focus on those things during the detox it won’t feel so torturous. After the detox is finished, my tentative plan is to replace one meal a day with a smoothie, try to exercise 3 times a week, keep sleeping 8 hours a night, and make time for a hot bath at least once a week.
Planning a detox may be the last thing on your agenda, but I wanted to put this out there in case anyone was interested. Besides, I’d already done all the planning for myself anyway and I appreciate the accountability. (I know you will be asking me about it now!) But if you are interested in doing something like this, let me know! Maybe we can plan it at the same time so we can share all our joys and trials in real time. :)
(Pregnant and nursing mothers should not do a detox because of the potential exposure of the baby to toxins.)
For those of you who have done a detox before, what was your experience? Was it beneficial? Difficult? Any tips? Where did you go for information?
(All photos by Eden Greer)