Dry January or Detox
Detox can mean so many things. A few years ago, we detoxed for our colon, which was more a means for weight loss and not really about our health. Now, it’s trendier to detox for our liver. This is an act of self-love, truly. Our livers are where we take in toxins and store them—sometimes for too long. That includes toxins from foods (sugar, alcohol, pesticides, heavy metals from poorly treated soil, etc.), but also environmental and stress-related toxins. Creating a why for your lifestyle change is very important. Commit to changes that prevent disease and promote overall health rather than changes that simply promise weight-loss results.
Here are my reasons to cleanse or detox, and what I share with my clients:
• Reduce toxins accumulated in the body from the food we eat, the products we use, and the environment where we live.
• Rely on food for your source of energy.
• Reduce fat storage and increase energy.
• Identify any food intolerances or sensitivities.
• Simplify your selections to see food as nourishment rather than pleasure.
• Bland out your palate to better appreciate the true flavors of real food.
• Provide more efficient productivity for your liver.
The best foods to kick-start your detox are:
Think colorful when it comes to fruit. How many different colors can you eat?
Note: what I mean by fresh is seasonal. If you’re using foods out of season, which is totally fine, frozen is a good way to go. It’s better for cost and sometimes taste.
Lean animal proteins
I’m talking about our poultry friends. Also, be sure you’re evaluating the animal’s diet as well. The better they are fed and treated, the more nutritional value.
Nuts and seeds
Funny how these always make their way into my healthy food articles. Take note!
Olives, avocados, and their corresponding oils are some of the best choices. Eggs also fall into this category.
For any detox, knowing what to avoid is just as important as knowing what to eat. Let’s work to eliminate alcohol, sugar, soy, gluten, and dairy during this phase. You may even notice that these foods have been giving you problems for a while, or you may notice they don’t bother you and it’s OK to incorporate them, but it’s always good to give your digestive system a break from time to time.
Let’s not forget water intake. Increase your water as you increase these detoxing foods. The amount of water you drink depends on your activity level, but as a baseline, I recommend close to 80 ounces a day. Add some lemon for even better detox effects.