Spring is just around the corner (no matter what the temperature outside says) and our bodies are beginning to rise to the season. Intuitively, our internal clocks know that spring means tossing off the hibernating tendencies of winter and blossoming into a more active, thriving lifestyle.
One way we can support our bodies’ desire to get moving is through a gentle detox. We’re not talking about your traditional juice cleanse or adopting a super restrictive meal plan. Instead, let’s talk about how we can gently encourage our bodies to detox on their own.
Two Types of Detoxes to Consider This Spring
There are two types of detoxes that can be good for just about anyone to consider: lighten your chemical load, and clean up your diet.
Lightening your body’s toxic load is a great place to start. Consider all the products you use on your body and in your home every day. Are those laundry detergents, makeup, lotions, soaps, cookware and water bottles the best for you? Eliminating toxins in the form of personal care and cleaning products can be an easy way to detox this spring. By rooting out toxins in your daily routine, you’ll be decreasing your body’s chemical load, and helping support its natural detoxification system.
You can also consider a few bigger in-home steps to decrease your body’s toxin load:
- Purchase an air purifier for your bedroom to decrease the amount of air pollution you’re breathing in. Prettier option: Add a few plants to your life to help purify the air.
- Install a good water purifier or under-sink filtration system. And don’t forget to ditch that plastic water bottle—studies show that even BPA-free plastic can leak into your water.
- Evaluate the vitamins you buy to ensure that they aren’t full of preservatives, added dyes and fillers you don’t need. Those additives can outweigh the positive benefits of your supplements.
Another great at-home way to detox is by committing to a healthier meal plan. Why not use the nicer weather to support your nutrition goals? Plus, adding in supplements won’t really help your body if you’re not consciously paying attention to your foundational eating habits.
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We like to recommend the Whole30 as a way for just about anyone jump start a new way of eating. Because of its popularity, there are a plethora of recipes, blog posts and books available to help you be successful, and add variety and creativity to your diet while still following the protocol. The principles of the Whole30 are great tools to decrease inflammation, help rebalance the gut microbiome, rebalance neurotransmitters (such as serotonin and dopamine, which are essential to our sense of a positive wellbeing, and mental focus and stamina) and rebalance hormones.
With any change in meal plans, we recommend tracking your symptoms daily to see if you notice a correlation between eating certain foods and physical discomfort. We hear all the time that people didn’t notice they were sensitive to a food until they took it out of their diet. If the Whole30 feels too restrictive, start by taking out dairy or sugar or grains for two weeks. Keep notes on how you feel after eating each day so at the end, you have data to decide what your next steps will be.
Detoxing Won’t Matter if You’re Not Eliminating Too
If you want to undergo a detox, you also have to make sure that you’re able to get out the toxins you’re shedding. If you don’t rid your body of the toxins, they could be reabsorbed and potentially do more harm.
Ask yourself three questions as you consider a detox in any form:
- Am I pooping regularly? This is one of the body’s best ways to eliminate what you’re shedding. Getting plenty of fiber is a great way to ensure consistent elimination.
- Am I sweating regularly (exercising)? Sweat is another of the body’s natural ways of detoxing. Getting your heart rate up so you develop that glistening sheen is key to helping get rid of toxic build up.
- Am I getting enough protein? Your liver is the organ that ‘deactivates’ and packages up toxins, getting them ready to be eliminated, and those detoxification pathways require protein to do their job. Making sure you’re getting adequate amounts of protein will make or break a good detox.
Interested in learning more about how to detox for your body? Scheduling a free, 15-minute consultation with MPLS IMC can help you decide!
Dr. Cassie Wilder is a registered Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) and founder of MIMC. Her passion is empowering her patients through education, understanding, and support through their healing journey. After graduating from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Health, Dr. Wilder earned her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences, a fully accredited and nationally recognized institution in Phoenix, AZ. During her clinical training, she received extensive hands-on training with many leading experts in the field of functional medicine and developed a passion for treating hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular concerns, and adrenal fatigue.