We recently invited our friend, Naturopath Belinda Byrnes from Ritual Herb Bar to share her ideas on the New Years Detox Routine and how to effectively include cleansing ideas into your daily routine, in lieu of starving. Heres what she had to say.
New Year, New You! Right?
Now before you start your New Year detox or diet, hear me out.
I’m not against ‘detoxing’ as a health strategy and in certain situations it can be really helpful. Overall though, it tends to be a quick fix type option, there are rarely long term changes and the benefits disappear as quickly as they arrived when you go back to the way you usually eat.
I’m going to suggest that there might be another strategy that might be more sustainable so that you aren’t just one of the 90% of people who don’t stick with their New Year’s diet for more than a few weeks. Yet you can still feel great and reverse some damage done from eating and drinking your way through December (let’s be honest, through most of 2020!)
We eliminate toxic substances and natural by-products of metabolism in a variety of ways:
- Through our skin
- Via the liver and gut
- Lymphatic System
- And our lungs
All of these organs should be able to perform their functions effectively and remove anything that we don’t need without a problem. But given that we’re constantly exposed to poor quality food, medication, chemical beauty and cleaning products, pollution, the list goes on, as well as some of our less than ideal lifestyle habits, our bodies aren’t able to function optimally and don’t do everything we would need them to do to keep us feeling healthy and vibrant.
So here are some practical strategies that you can implement to support your bodies natural detoxification and the health of the organs that perform all of these functions.
- Try to include 1-2 cups of cruciferous vegetables in your diet each day i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, bok choy. This will help to support healthy liver function and detoxification as well as good elimination through the bowels.
- It’s essential to ensure that you’re having regular bowel movements! Ideally they should be well formed and easy to pass. When waste isn’t being eliminated regularly via the digestive system, there is opportunity for things like toxins, histamine and hormones to be reabsorbed and recirculated throughout the body which can cause or contribute to many different health issues. The causes of poor bowel function will be different for each person but some of the common reasons that I see regularly are:
- Not enough water ( we should be drinking 1L per 25kgs body weight on average per day). Drinking adequate water will also support healthy elimination via the kidneys.
- Not enough fibre or not enough of the right types of fibre.
- Poor production of digestive enzymes and/or hydrochloric acid which are needed to break down the food we eat so it can be utilised throughout the body and the waste then eliminated.
- Reduce the toxic burden. There’s no way for us to avoid coming into contact with hundreds of different toxic chemicals on a daily basis but we can certainly limit our exposure and make it easier for our bodies to deal with.
- Use natural beauty and cleaning products.
- Avoid eating and drinking from plastic containers (particularly those that you heat food in)
- Use organic menstrual products or reusable products like menstrual cups and period underwear.
- Move your body daily to support the movement of lymph throughout the body, support elimination via the lungs and aid the movement of waste through the bowel. Even 10 minutes of moderately strenuous movement each day will support all of these detoxification pathways. Don’t overthink it you can keep it simple. Walk, do some yoga, a basic circuit at home, walk/run up some stairs or a hill a few times in a row. It doesn’t have to be about weight loss, building muscle or burning calories, it can just be about supporting your health.
- Have a maximum of 1 caffeinated drink per day and swap any others for herbal tea. Herbal teas like liquorice, dandelion root, turmeric, calendula and nettle, used regularly can help to promote healthy elimination and detoxification because of the many effects they have on the organs of elimination.
Making just these 5 changes alone and doing them consistently, could have a huge impact on your health and you could be in a much better place in 12 months from now. More energy, more balanced hormones, clearer skin, improved bowel habits.
We’re in this body for the long haul and we need to implement habits and rituals that nourish and support it for years to come, not just until our jeans fit properly again or we get back to our goal weight.
I know it’s always tempting to want to sign up to the latest thing or program that makes all the right promises. But unless you have a really solid foundation and healthy long term habits in place, the results are rarely sustainable.
If you’d like some support getting your health on track this year, please feel free to book a free 15 minute phone appointment to have a chat about how I may be able to help or you can book a full appointment online www.ritualherbbar.com/book-now. Use the code PAUDHA to get 15% off your initial appointment.
Photo Credit: Noble Brahma on Unsplash