When you hear the word “detox,” does your mind automatically think about health fads like juice cleanses and fasts? If so, you’re not alone. However, there are many more ways to renew your mind, body and soul. Here are three simple steps that will help you cut through the noise and renew your whole self.
1. Detox Your Diet
When it comes to food, detoxing is all about eliminating toxins from the body that cause inflammation in the gut and disrupt the body’s natural waste removal process. Foods to limit include refined flours that contain additives and preservatives without any gut-healthy nutrients. Crowding out sugar is also important when detoxing too, as bad bacteria in the body feeds on sugar. It’s also beneficial to avoid overcooked meats and fats, because overheated foods often contain carcinogens that can be inflammatory and damaging to your health.
In addition to detoxing by elimination, adding more nutritious foods to your diet will allow your gut to flourish. In general, a clean diet with whole foods is the best way to support the natural detox process. Foods to eat more of include healthy fats and oils that provide energy for detoxing and contain Omega-3s with anti-inflammatory properties. You’ll also do your liver a favor by eating more fruits, vegetables and fermented foods. Add in fiber from whole food sources too along with prebiotics and probiotics. These foods help speed up waste removal and support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
2. Detox Your Mind
Yes, even our minds need a detox. Our brain is the most powerful tool we have, yet we often fill our minds with negativity, whether we mean to or not. The first steps to detoxing your mind are to become mindful about what you allow in and to start listening to the stories you’re telling yourself. Do you let doubts, fears and past narratives rule your thoughts? If so, work toward identifying those negative thought patterns when they’re happening and replace them with the truth. It will take time to train yourself to stop negative thoughts in the moment to replace them with good, but it’s a practice you’ll get better at each day. One way you can train your mind to be more positive is by keeping a gratitude journal. By taking just a few minutes each day to write down three things you’re thankful for, you’ll start cultivating gratitude naturally.
Another way to ensure you’re filling your brain with positivity is by limiting time spent on social media. Studies show too much social media is linked to depression, anxiety and isolation. We’re hardwired for community and face-to-face connection. Let yourself take breaks from the online world so you can focus on the things and people that bring you joy.
But speaking of people, do you have any toxic people in your life that you could use a detox from? Yes, really. We all face toxic people and situations in our daily lives and while limiting them completely may not be possible, setting boundaries is. When you know your values, it’s easier to see who lives in line with what’s important to you.
Lastly, when looking to detox your mind, consider how you can limit stress and anxiety in your life or manage it in healthy ways. It’s easy to let everything feel stressful, urgent or important. But when you take a moment to outline your priorities, it’ll become crystal clear what is worth saying, “yes,” to and what isn’t.
3. Detox Your Home
Our homes should be our happy places, but unfortunately, there are often toxins hiding in plain sight. We absorb these toxins orally, through the skin and through the lungs. Just like toxins found in food, these toxins can disrupt the gut microbiome.
So, where are these toxins hiding? In our plastic containers, cleaning products, walls, personal care products and even in our furniture. There are a few key steps you can take to detox your home and to make it a safer place for you and your family. To start, always opt for glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free plastic containers. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an endocrine-disrupting plastic that’s found in many common plastic products. Also, be mindful about the products you’re using to clean your home and on your body. Become a savvy consumer who reads labels, researches ingredients you can’t pronounce and steers clear of warning signs on product labels.
Mold can be incredibly toxic to your health – I know this firsthand. To avoid mold in your home, keep things dry and out of damp environments like bathrooms. Fix water leaks and flooding quickly. Use air filters or air sanitizers and change filters often. Lastly, learn how off-gassing affects your health. Off-gassing is the process of the gasses from chemicals and flame retardants found in furniture and household items (rugs, mattresses, etc.) being released into the air. Some things you can do to eliminate these gasses are to choose essential oils over artificially-scented air freshers and to let new products that smell like chemicals sit outside or in a ventilated area before putting them in your home.
BONUS: DIY Cleaning Products
You can avoid the toxic ingredients lurking in mainstream cleaning products by making your own. This option is also more cost effective than using store-bought products.
All-Purpose Cleaner That Works on Most Surfaces
- Mix a solution of ½ water and ½ white vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Clean and fresh scents
include lavender, lemon, orange, rosemary, and tea tree.
- Use as you would any other spray cleaner, minus the toxic chemicals!
Natural Scrubber to Cut Through Grime
- Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of water or just apply
baking soda directly on the surface you want to scrub.
- Apply a generous amount to the area that needs to be cleaned.
- Leave the paste on for 15 minutes before scrubbing off with a scrub brush.
Want to Work Together On Detoxing Your Life?
As an Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Duke Integrative Medicine trained health and wellness coach, I love helping women create sustainable long-term changes with their health so they can feel their best inside and out.
To get started, fill out this form to schedule a complimentary 30-minute health coaching consultation with me.