With the craziness of Christmas behind us, February is the perfect time to hit the reset button and bring back your glow.
Detox devotees (myself included) often claim they have more energy, improved sleep, are leaner, have greater clarity and clearer skin. In fact, after a liver detox I conducted under the guidance of a nutritionist, I completely eliminated my eczema! While this may not work for everyone, I highly recommend them as a way to shed some post Christmas calories, or simply give your liver and digestive system a well-deserved rest.
A short detox is akin to giving your body an internal spring clean at a deeper level. To preserve our skin, one of the best things you can do is rid your body of accumulated toxins that can build up in our bodies from poor diet, alcohol, pollution, chemicals and caffeine.
For our skin to look its best we must be constantly flushing toxins through our body on a regular basis. Detoxification can assist skin in the following ways:
* Skin will appear well rested and rejuvenated
* Brings back your natural glow
* The whites of your eyes become whiter
* Dark under-eye circles may be reduced
* Skin will become more hydrated, softer and smoother
* Supports and improves problematic skin
* Lymphatic drainage is boosted
* Improves circulation and delivery of nutrients to the skin
There are so many different ways to detox, but we suggest a three to seven day detox to clean out your pipes and have you heading in the direction of gorgeous skin. If you wish to undertake a professional detox program, which can last from 4-8 weeks, we highly recommend employing the services of a qualified nutritionist to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need.
A word of warning – You may experience breakouts, bad breath, body odor, a short period of headaches, fatigue or just a feeling of blah, while your body adjusts. This is only temporary, but believe me your skin will thank you in the end.
To ensure this year begins with the best skin, here are some of our best detox enhancing habits: –
Elimination – Begin by eliminating all the usual suspects:
Caffeine – We suggest easing into this one gradually!
Switch to Plant Foods
Whole foods are packed full of nutrients, and contain all the food’s vitamins, minerals and antioxidants on offer.
Like an old record player I tell my kids over and over, if you eat real food from the earth that is alive, then this is exactly how you will feel. Our bodies thrive on living foods, and the more plants we can we consume, the better we will feel. Packaged food is not alive and virtually devoid of nutrients. More than this we can do without all the added preservatives, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners and additives that add to our toxic load and disrupt our body’s natural rhythms.
The diet of Gorillas is basically vegan. They consume over 50% piths, shoots and green leaves, and yet they have one of the highest muscle masses of any living creature. They eat some insects, but their diet is largely plant based, and I believe this is the most beneficial way for us to eat in order to glow from the inside out.
Always aim to eat organically, I know… it is more expensive, and I could dedicate an entire article to this, but what it really boils down to me for is the quality of soil. The soil from organic farming contains more minerals, and plants that have not been sprayed with pesticides contain more antioxidants, there are also less toxins for us to process, which helps to slow down the ageing process inside our bodies, and aids in protecting precious earth.
Start your Day with Warm Lemon Water
It balances your body’s PH, assists with detoxification and gives you an added boost of skin saving Vitamin C.
Sweat the Toxins Away
Anything that promotes perspiration helps skin to detoxify. All forms of sweat, be it through movement, saunas or facial steaming enhances circulation in the skin and lymphatic system. Sweating for at least 15 to 30 minutes 5-7 times a week, or even daily during a detox will do wonders for your skin.
Deep Diaphragmatic Breathing
Did you know that seventy per cent of the accumulated toxins within our bodies, is actually released through breathing?! YOGIS believe that when you extend your breath you extend your life.
Deep diaphragmatic breathing is the ultimate aim, as this will pump our lymphatic system, which assists with detoxifying blood, promotes cellular regeneration, and helps to eliminate dull, blotchy or lacklustre skin.
Yoga is a fabulous for this, as stretching stimulates circulation, while the deep breathing calms the mind, relieves stress and removes toxins. (Win win!) Breathing at its best stimulates cellular repair, leading to more luminous skin.
Try Foam Rolling
It may take some time to adjust, but it increases blood flow and assists with flushing the lymphatic system.
Rebounding is essentially bouncing up and down on the ground or on a mini trampoline. This style of movement drains your lymph and speeds up the removal of toxins and waste from your body. It also energises your cells with fresh oxygen and nutrients.
Brush it Off
Dry brushing skin stimulates the body’s detoxifying lymph system. Using a soft-bristled brush, lightly brush your body, always moving in the direction of the heart. For more details see our article here.
Massage improves circulation, reduces stress and stimulates the lymph nodes, to speed up the removal of toxins and restore calm to our nervous system.
When I feel congested, bloated or just blah, I like to switch to a liquid diet for a few days to give my digestive system a break. This can come in so many forms but my favorites are:
Getting Juicy: –
Juicing is a great way to get an abundance of nutrient rich plants all in one serving. I prefer cold-pressed, as this method presses the produce, which protects and preserves all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and nutrients. Best of all, the flavour is next level!
If you are short on prep time, you can call upon a cleanse company such as Karmic Cold Pressed www.karmiccoldpressed.com.au to set you straight.
Smoothies are usually fruit based, but what I love most is that you can easily add in a mixed green powder, or some super foods such as Spirulina or Chlorella known to cleanse blood by eliminating toxins.
Vegetable Broth: –
Simply simmer some vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, broccoli or anything seasonal in a saucepan for about 30 minutes on a low heat covered with water. Strain and drink the liquid or puree into a soup.
Herbal Teas: –
This is a great way to flush out toxins and infuse liver loving herbs into your life. Look for Milk Thistle, Burdock, Dandelion Root, Nettle, Liquorice, Fennel, Cardamom, Matcha Green Tea or Ginger. You could also look to the experts for a blend to tick the boxes. Shokuiku www.shokuikuaustralia.com – have a beautiful range of Detox blends I adore, or try visiting your local health food store.
Hydration Hydration Hydration
For a good flush, fluids are essential. Drink as much water as you can, aiming for at least eight glasses. Mineral water is another way to spice things up, or try fruit infusions by adding slices of lemon, orange, mint, or strawberries to your water for at least 1-2 hours. The longer it sits the more flavourful it will be!
Don’t forget your Fibre
Fibre acts as an internal broom, grabbing toxins and removing them from your body. Upping your intake of plants with the skin on, such as apples, pears and potatoes to ensure roughage. Flaxseed meal is wonderful for this purpose, as they are charged with Omega 3’s in the form of alpha linolenic acid, and filled with fibre. Side note; they must be ground (a blender is perfect for this) before consuming or they will simply pass through your digestive tract, undigested. (Also grind them fresh, as they have a tendency to go rancid quickly). Chia Seeds are another amazing source of fibre, calcium, magnesium, and those all-important Omega 3’s.
Targeting the liver in a detox is essential, as it is a key organ in the regulation of toxin elimination, body fat, energy, cellulite, clear skin and hormone balance.
Begin by taking a break from the booze, as it adds an extra load. Focus on foods such as bitter greens, kale, beetroot, broccoli, garlic, citrus fruits, apples and artichokes. Add in the potent herb milk thistle, which can remove harmful substances from the liver and assist in repairing damage.
This is a classic detox technique for boosting circulation. Take a very hot shower for 3-5 minutes, then follow with cold water for 30 seconds; repeat two more times. You will probably scream like a banshee, but I’m telling you nothing will make you feel more alive!
When we sleep our body slips into rest and repair mode, making it essential for detoxification. Enough said.
Add in Betonite clay, Himalayan salt, Epsom salts or Magnesium Chloride sea salt to draw out impurities and eliminate toxic substances accumulated within the body. Click here for our detox bath recipe.
This may gross some of you out at the mere thought, but a clean colon means efficient absorption of key nutrients and better elimination. Unfortunately your colon can become built up, which are then often re-circulated into the blood stream and eliminated through the skin!
Mask it up
Clay is an ancient remedy for its powerful ability to pull toxins from the skin. There are literally thousands of different forms but here are our favourites:
Choose a clay that suits your skin type:
Rose Clay – Sensitive and dry compositions
Bentonite – Oily and prone to breakouts
Rhassoul Clay – Normal to combination
Mix clay together with almost equal parts water, Matcha Green Tea Powder, Algae, Yoghurt, Honey or your choice of Hydrosol Water. Mix and apply to face for approx 10-15 mins. Do not leave a mask to dry completely, as it draws too much moisture from the skin.
Get your Greens
Nothing makes you glow like green! Eat something green everyday such as kale, spinach, herbs, wheatgrass, seaweed, algae such as spirulina, chlorella or magical marine phytoplankton. The Chlorophyll also alkalises the PH and purifies our blood.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, is more than just an old nursery school rhyme. Anti-inflammatory in nature, they boost the immune system, alkalise the body, while cleansing the liver, gallbladder and intestines.
A true super food, blueberries are packed with antioxidants and filled with minerals. They contain natural aspirin that assists with chronic inflammation and protects against free radical damage.
We call it the “Holy Kale” for a reason! High in antioxidants, packed with protein, minerals, iron, fibre and Vitamins A, C and K, it is one of our favorite cleansing foods. It assists in reducing inflammation, protects heart health, lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, and is a superstar for detoxing the liver.
This incredible fruit contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that protects the liver from incoming waste and toxins, while also providing you with a healthy source of “the good fats” to deeply nourish skin.
A powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, that mops up free radicals and supports liver detoxification. It also boosts our immune function, relieving stiff joints and muscles, eczema and other skin-related issues.
Tip: Remember it must be consumed with a source of fat such as coconut milk or oil, and a pinch of black pepper to enhance absorption.
Thanks to the Medical Medium celery juice is everywhere! A powerful blood purifier and eliminator of toxins from the body, it also reduces inflammation and supports the nervous system.
Grandma was right, broccoli is truly deserving of its super star accolades. This super green contains powerful antioxidants, fibre, calcium, iron and magnesium, plus other unique substances that support the liver detoxification pathways. It also supports thyroid function, improved mood and clearer skin.
Supports bile production from the liver, assists with better digestion and relief from bloating, while increasing lymphatic flow,
A powerful liver detoxifier that also supports cardiovascular health, improves sleep and clarity of mind. It naturally purifies blood and boosts energy levels.
Containing high levels of glutathione and omega 3 fatty acids, all of which detoxify the liver and support toxin elimination, while combating inflammation and supporting a healthy brain.
Do a Professional Detox
Contact a qualified nutritionist you can trust, and undertake a professional detox program tailored specifically to you, because what is “healthy” for one person may not work for another. My personal favorite is liver detoxification, which usually lasts around six weeks, and is broken down into 3 stages of supplementation. I always aim for at least two a year, to flush my liver and get my skin back on track. It also assists with weight loss, as the liver plays a significant role in breaking down fat within the body, while also balancing hormones and reducing allergies. My eczema and hay fever symptoms both completely disappeared after my very first detox! The role the liver plays in healthy skin cannot be underestimated!
Purify your Personal Care
The easiest way to detox is to minimise the amount of toxins in your body in the first place. You only need to look at the way a nicotine patch works, to understand that our skin absorbs our surroundings. I highly recommend turning yourself into a label detective, and educate yourself, so that you can make the best possible choices for your home. The packaging on many products may be pretty, but its what inside that truly matters! So think about switching some of your products to clean options.
Detox your House
To compliment your detox, why not try detoxing your home too? With Marie Kondo now on Netflix to inspire us, try de-cluttering and making space for only the items that truly spark joy. You will be surprised at how powerful this is. Smudging your house with sage will also ensure the energy is your house is cleared. You could also bring some plants inside to assist with air purification.