Today’s Daily Tip: Don’t be afraid to buy items that you really need to help yourself succeed. Frugal doesn’t mean cheap, it means carefully chosen.
Yesterday, I gave the low-down on cleansing before pregnancy, including a couple of options for a more intense cleansing. But those aren’t your only options.
If you do not want to do a more extreme kind of cleanse, you’ve done one and want to shift to a healthier lifestyle or your already pregnant, the following tips will not only help your body rid itself of toxins, but will set you up with habits for a healthy lifestyle.
1. Drink lots of water
Our body is made of cells. These cells need to be hydrated to work properly. I visited a naturopath concerned about my energy levels and the first thing she asked me was, “how much water do you drink?” After telling her my pathetically low average, she advised me to drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces every single day.
Water is vital for maintaining energy levels and for flushing out toxins. During pregnancy, hydration is important for maintaining amniotic fluid volume and your own blood volume. Without it, your heart is forced to work harder, increasing your heart rate.
For added cleansing help, add some lemon juice or lemon essential oil (make sure it’s safe to consume) in your water. Citrus aids in the elimination of toxins.
Another way to rid your body of toxins is to sweat it out. Moving your body is great for your health anyway, but it can also help you get rid of built-up toxins. Increase exercise that makes you sweat. My favorite way to sweat out toxins is by doing Bikram (hot) yoga – I’ve never sweat so much in my life. But with the excess sweating, remember to drink lots of water to flush out toxins.
You can also do this by visiting your favorite spa. Any excuse to go to a spa, right? Sitting in a steam room or sauna will also get you sweating out the bad stuff. While you’re at it, schedule a massage.
3. Ditch the Junk
This is huge. Nutrition is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and so it is important to eat as “clean” as possible. What does eating clean look like? Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Preferably organic, but not all of them have to be.
Meat and dairy should come from grass-fed, cows, preferable from a local farmer (who you know for sure is only feeding his cows grass). Eggs are an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fat. Free-range chicken eggs can be found in some stores, but many people who raise chickens also sell their excess eggs. Check Craigslist for that.
Nourishing your body with healthy fats provides the building blocks for well-balanced hormones. Butter (from those lovely grass-fed cows) and organic coconut oil are excellent and flavorful foods for making sure you’re getting adequate amounts of the right kinds of fat.
Find recipes that will help you incorporate these food into your life and try to keep it simple. The point of this change is to create habits for life, which won’t happen if you need to cook with a ton of ingredients that are hard to find. If you’re looking for more help on eating a nourishing, whole foods diet, check out our sister site, Modern Alternative Kitchen.
4. Use Natural Cleaners
We have toxins all around us – our homes alone have chemicals in the paint, carpet and cleaners. Learning how to make your own cleaners is a great, simple way to reduce your exposure to harmful toxins. Many recipes call for these ingredients:
- Baking soda
- Essential oils
- Lemon juice
- Washing soda
- Castile soap
5. Use Herbs
Herbs can be a helpful part of cleansing your body. But, like with most things in life, it’s going to work better for you if you can keep it simple. Fortunately, many cleansing herbs are common ones that you’d find in your kitchen: garlic, ginger root, cayenne pepper and parsely leaf.
- Garlic is a natural antibiotic that cleanses the blood and boosts the immune system.
- Cayenne purifies the blood, increases sweating and fluid elimination.
- Ginger root stimulates circulation and sweating.
- Parsley leaf is a diuretic that flushes the kidneys. (Avoid if breastfeeding – it is also helpful for lowering your milk supply).
And these can all be easily incorporated into your diet. You can grow your own herbs, or buy organic herbs here.
Image by Diamondduste
6. Get a Massage
Massage is a great way to remove toxins from your lymphatic system. If you can find a massage therapist who will do lymphatic drainage massage, even better. Consult with your massage therapist and let them know that you’re trying to cleanse your body of toxins – they might have essential oils to apply during the massage that will help or have certain techniques they can use.
7. Nix sugar
Sugar is terribly addictive. Our bodies crave it and the more we eat, the less healthy we become. Eating processed sugar lowers our immune system’s ability to fend off illness. It also messes with our blood sugar, knocking our hormones out of whack.
If you have a sweet tooth (I do!), you can remove processed sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) from you body and replace it with something more nourishing. Raw honey and pure maple syrup can be used in many recipes and are even sweeter than sugar. They also have vitamins and minerals and raw honey boasts healing properties.
However, if you’re a hard-core sugar addict, try eliminating all things sweet for at least 30 days. Even raw honey. Give your body a chance to reset itself – both your blood sugar and your taste buds. When you do eat it again, you’ll notice that you need much less, and, who knows you might not want to eat it after that.
8. Increase fiber intake
Part of eliminating toxins from your body is, well, elimination. Toxins will be flushed out through your sweat, your urine and your bowel movements. For the latter, it’s important to get plenty of fiber so that things move along nicely. The last thing you want to do is go through the effort of eliminating only to get constipated and have these toxins sit in your body or get reabsorbed.
Thankfully, by increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re giving your body a good amount of fiber. No need for Metamucil here – just eat some more carrots. And broccoli. And parsnips. 🙂