Planning a little detox cleanse before winter’s officially over?
We often associate cleansing with spring or fall, when the weather is in a transition phase and we take the cue to renew our health. Winter is put on the back burner as the season where we cling to comfort, and thus emerge with the love handles and the sniffles to show for it. But, winter can indeed be the season for detoxing and keeping the body clean and lean. Follow these eight cleansing tips and see for yourself!
1. Wake Up to Morning Detox Tea
Give your liver a boost in the morning with a tea elixir that cleanses your system. On an empty stomach, sip on hot tea mixed with the juice of half a lemon, a dash of cayenne, a dash of turmeric and a dash of cinnamon. Sweeten with stevia or drink as-is. You could also give the morning detox tea more flavor with the addition of an herbal tea bag, such as peppermint or ginger, which are excellent for the digestive system.
2. Drink Your Greens
Shower your cells with living enzymes, nutrients, and alkalizing chlorophyll for breakfast. Drink a juice or smoothie that contains green leaves, which are highly cleansing and a powerful way to improve digestion, as well as having positive effects on every other bodily system. While the green smoothie packs fiber, the green juice will digest more quickly and more directly and quickly affect your blood. Here are two recipes to try. Modify as preferred.
Green Smoothie Recipe
Hefty handful of green leafy vegetables such as kale or spinach
½ cup water
1 large banana, peeled
½ cup frozen berries or mango
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Green Juice Recipe
6-8 kale leaves, including stems
Stevia to taste (optional)
Put all ingredients, except for the stevia, through the juicer, beginning with the kale leaves and ending with the cucumber. Sweeten with stevia afterwards and drink after stirring.
3. Embrace Warm Vegetable Soups
Cleansing is all about giving your digestive system a break and letting it relax and strengthen so that your body can focus on other organs and processes. For this reason, soups are an excellent way to pack both nutrients and taste without burdening digestion with chewing and breaking down solid food.
And there is no need for a complicated recipe; simply boil in water or bake your favorite vegetable until softened, put it in a food processor with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and process with enough of the water until the soup reaches the consistency you like. Broccoli and sweet potato work great for this!
4. Savor Denser Vegetables
Eating light in the winter is harder than in the summer. Cold temperatures demand the warmth that comes from comfort food. But that doesn’t mean you have to indulge in heavy, fatty foods. Instead, take advantage of denser vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potato, squash, and celeriac to get the bulk without the diet bust. Steam, bake, or sauté them and enjoy them aside a light marinara sauce or a dab of butter and you’ll never feel like you’re missing out.
5. Avoid Dairy
Simply cutting out dairy for a period of a few days or weeks can drastically change how you feel. Some people have allergies and don’t even know it, and that could be the very reason for stubborn weight, sluggishness, or indigestion. Refined and processed milk has its risks, and it’s important to note that while some people handle dairy better than others, in general it is not an ideal food and can curb your health goals. Avoid dairy or switch to goat and sheep milk yogurts and cheeses, which have a lower amount of casein, a hard-to-digest protein prevalent in dairy products. Raw dairy is also richer in healthy bacteria and worth a try if you aren’t planning to cut dairy out altogether.
6. Drink Enough Water
Just because it’s not sweltering outside doesn’t mean you don’t need as much water. Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the most important rules in cleansing. Always carry a water bottle with you and you’ll never forget.
7. Skip the Antiperspirant
Considering it’s chilly outside, the level of sweating is at bay and any aroma is buried under layers of clothes, so not applying a strong antiperspirant or deodorant isn’t the end of the world. Antiperspirants contain aluminum, which stops sweat glands from doing what they do best – sweat, which is another way the body releases toxins. There are fears that the skin absorbs the aluminum and can cause breast cancer, despite further studies needed to draw a definite link. Besides aluminum, antiperspirants and deodorants can contain other harmful ingredients including parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan, TEA, DEA, FD&C colors, and talc. Use winter as an escape from the dangerous effects of most deodorants and antiperspirants on the market and go bare or make a homemade version.
8. Lather Up with Coconut Oil
Winter leaves the skin dry and moisturizing is key to keeping it supple and smooth. Most commercial lotion products, however, contain ingredients that do more harm than good. The skin is the body’s largest organ and is like a sponge in that it absorbs whatever is applied to it, toxins included. Take this as a cue to go as natural as possible. Virgin coconut oil is an excellent choice, not only because of its pureness but also for its emollient and antibacterial properties.
Photo Credit: Vanessayavonne