Sometimes, we all overeat. Or undereat. Last weekend, I did both—Friday and Saturday, I ate a few more sugary treats than usual and more bread (though it was mostly whole wheat, in my defense) than whole grains, while my overall vegetable intake was rather dismal, perhaps clocking in at 3, maybe 4 servings a day. Now, by no means did I feel guilty, but my body felt, well, rather . . . blah, to say the least. Plus, I’d been fighting a little stomach bug for a couple days AND my period started, accompanied by cramps, bloating, and general malaise. So, Sunday demanded a detox.
Now, I am adamantly AGAINST detox diets that require one to a) water fast; b) drink weird cocktail-like concoctions every couple of hours; or c) altogether starve. Perhaps these methods work for some people, but my body would inevitably feel even worse being stripped of daily nourishment. No, my idea of detoxing is more like “getting back on track,” per se, especially if your digestion system is in need of a little TLC.
10 Detoxing Tips
Disclaimer: I am NOT in any way, shape, or form a doctor or health practitioner. I’ve done my research, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t too, especially before embarking on any sort of dramatic health/dietary change.
1) Start your day with a glass of lukewarm water, lemon juice, and an optional pinch of cayenne. This awakens the digestion system, cleanses the liver, and stimulates circulation.
2) Throughout the day, be sure to drink plenty of water. Green tea will also boost your metabolism and provide your body with an ample dose of antioxidants.
3) Be friends with bacteria! Probiotics are great for your gut. They’re found in fermented foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. You can also take them in capsule form–just be sure the capsules don’t contain gelatin!
4) Go all out on raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, and legumes, all of which are packed with fiber.
5) Really watch your sodium and refined sugar intakes. Craving dessert? Stick with fresh fruit for the time being.
6) Chew your food really, really well so your body doesn’t have to do more work than necessary. That’s what your teeth are for, after all!
7) Exercise! Sweating helps cleanse the body from the inside out. If you’re a Yoga fanatic like me, you can customize your practice to target your digestion system (consult Yoga Journal for some ideas).
8) Try to stop eating at least 3 hours before you go to bed. This really allows your body to digest everything and, then, repair itself overnight. I emphasize the try here because, sometimes, you just CANNOT survive without a bedtime snack. Trust me, I’ve been there—I’d much rather get a good night’s sleep than toss and turn thanks to a grumbling tummy. If you must, eat a piece of fresh fruit or some yoghurt, something relatively light.
9) Take a refreshing shower or bubble bath. Add a couple of drops of mint essential oil, and breathe deeply. Thoroughly scrub every inch of your God Pod (as the amazing Kris Carr says) to cleanse body and, more figuratively, spirit.
10) Finally, get a good night’s sleep, 7-8 hours for optimal health and healing.
With regard to tip #4, I got spunky in the kitchen last weekend and had some raw food fun. I’ve been craving fresh Vietnamese spring rolls lately, so when I stumbled into this recipe , I decided it was time to make some of my own, with a few alterations of course. Almond butter is SO expensive here in France. In fact, nut butters are ridiculously costly and hard to find (in regular supermarkets), save sweetened hazelnut spreads, which are a pretty tasty treat, I must admit.
Raw Romaine Spring Rolls with Hazelnut Dipping Sauce
8 whole romaine leaves
1 large peach, cut into 8 slices
1 small green or red bell pepper, cut into 8 slices
16 medium basil leaves
2 Tbs. sweetened hazelnut butter*
1 tsp. soy sauce, tamari, or shoyu
1 tsp. brown rice vinegar
*If you only have unsweetened hazelnut butter, add 1 tsp. maple or brown rice syrup to the sauce mixture.
Whisk together hazelnut butter, vinegar, and soy sauce in a bowl. If you want a thinner sauce, add 1 tsp. of water at a time until desired consistency is reached. Season with black pepper, and set aside.
Lay the romaine leaves flat on your workspace, making sure that they’re are “on their backs,” per se, so that the inside of each leaf’s is facing you.
To assemble, lay 2 basil leaves about 1 inch from the bottom of the leaf. Top with a slice of nectarine and bell pepper, then firmly roll up the leaf, tucking in the bottom firmly, and folding in the open sides. Don’t worry if the spine cracks a bit as you’re rolling.
Repeat with remaining leaves and ingredients. Be sure to lay each roll with the top flap facing down so as to prevent it from unrolling. Serve with dipping sauce.
After. Not the prettiest dish in the world, but it was DELICIOUS! And please forgive that measuring cup that is trying to imitate a little sauce dish, haha.