Keep It Clean: Five Tips for a Daily Detox

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Although the holiday season is behind us, ‘tis the season for making, breaking, and following up on New Years resolutions, and for indulging in the fabulous food and wine of the new year. While we all strive to improve our bodies, our personal lives, and our careers in 2016, it is easy to forget that some of the best and biggest changes that we can make come from small alterations in our daily routines. Beauty, fitness, and medical professionals know that consistency is key, when we are building the bodies and the health-supportive habits that we will thank ourselves for in the years to come. Your health should be a priority, but your health-supportive habits do not need to overshadow your other goals and resolutions of 2016, nor should they prevent you from indulging in the finer things in life.

Challenge yourself to start your day with a warm drink of lemon water, include a serving of dark leafy greens with your lunch, fit a thirty minute sweat session into your afternoon, take a five minute yoga break at any time of the day, and cultivate healthy sleep patterns to ensure that you get your beauty sleep every night. These five daily detox habits will boost your immune system, combat health conditions and diseases, boost your mood, give you more energy, and keep your skin glowing this winter season. They are both manageable enough to fit into our busy schedules, and potent enough to get our bodies off to the right start in achieving our health and fitness goals of this new year. Your body will thank you, giving you more time and energy to devote to your other greatest achievements of 2016. Your health is your wealth, and make sure to make every day count.

 

1 Drink lemon water.

Start your day off with 24 to 36 ounces of room temperature or hot water with fresh lemon juice. We all know the benefits of proper hydration: improved digestion, healthy skin, and more energy. Healthy hydration supports enzymatic properties that ensure restorative activities at the cellular level. Boost your morning routine with fresh lemon juice. Not only do lemons contain natural antibacterial properties and a healthy dose of immune system supporting vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium, lemons also aid in the production of bile and other digestive juices, flush toxins out of the digestive system, and help the body maintain healthy pH levels throughout the day. For an added boost, infuse your water with lemon peel and take advantage of the powerful antioxidant naringin, which can reduce radiation-induced cellular damage, and limonene, the aromatic compound that gives lemons their distinctive smell and has been known to contain chemopreventative properties against many types of cancer.

2 Eat dark leafy greens.

Incorporate at least one serving of dark leafy greens into your diet today and every day. The benefits of dark leafy green vegetables, such as kale, collard greens, chard, mustard greens, brussel sprouts and escarole, are well-documented. Now in season and readily available, these vegetables provide a healthy alkaline boost to any diet, as well as a source of minerals, carotenoids, flavonoids, and other powerful antioxidants. Everyone wins with greens, because they are low calorie, low on the glycemic index, and encourage good digestion and healthy gut flora. Green foods improve the function of the liver, gall bladder, and kidneys, as well as purify the blood and clear congestion. Studies have suggested that one daily serving of dark leafy greens is sufficient to reap the health benefits, such as a 9% lower risk of diabetes. Add them to your soups, your stews, and your smoothies. Order your omelet with spinach or substitute a side of brussel sprouts for a side of fries at your next lunch. For a quick, high-mineral snack, try kale chips or Japanese-style greens oshitashi.

3 Sweat.

Go for a run, try out a new fitness class, or just spend 10 minutes in the sauna or steam room. Everyone is doing it. Mark Zuckerburg has pledged to run 365 miles in 2016. Oprah has pledged that 2016 is the year of her best body. A healthy sweat session helps the body eliminate toxins, especially alcohol, cholesterol, and salts, through the skin, while unclogging the pores at the surface level for a radiant glow. Exercise boosts endorphins and improves circulation and immune system function. The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes a day of moderate cardiovascular activity, five days a week, or 150 minutes of moderate exercise as a guideline for improving and maintaining cardiovascular health. People who sweat regularly have longer life spans and are at reduced risk for a plethora of diseases.

4 Five minutes of yoga.

While sitting in traffic, on the airplane, or waiting for lunch, take five minutes to practice deep breathing and spinal twists. Yoga and yogic breathing promote mental clarity, healthy stress management, and mindfulness. These practices can help you to be more conscious about your every day dietary choices, allowing you to make better food decisions and reducing the volume of toxins that you put into your body on a daily basis. In order to perform a spinal twist while seated in a chair, cross your right leg over your left leg, straighten your spine from its base to the crown of your head, raise your left arm, and twist from the middle of your spine to your right, aiming to place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Remain in this position for a few breaths, while directing your gaze over your right shoulder. Move back to center slowly and repeat on the other side. Yogis will tell you that your digestive system and internal organs benefit from this internal form of massage, as it increases circulation and the efficiency of many body processes.

5 Get your beauty sleep.

Cultivate habits that encourage healthy sleep patterns. Sleep is not a luxury. A consistent lack of sleep leads to weight gain, a compromised immune system, difficulty coping with stress, and low energy levels. The National Sleep Organization recommends 7-9 hours of nightly sleep for adults, and studies have suggested that people who sleep less that six hours a night have shorter life expectancies than those who sleep adequate amounts. During our sleeping hours, our bodies undergo repair and detoxification processes at the cellular level, our brains consolidate memories and emotions, our muscles relax and repair, and our pituitary glands secrete human growth hormone, a protein hormone which promotes the growth, maintenance, and repair of muscles, bones, and other body tissues. Every body tissue, including the skin, is repaired faster while we are sleeping. Cultivate better sleep habits by avoiding napping, investing in blackout curtains, exercising regularly, practicing relaxation techniques before bed, improving your sleep environment, and staying away from big meals and copious amounts of liquids in the evening.
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