Detoxing: What and How

5e0d3503e04ce5346e201d21cbee00fb

Hello friends!

This post is mostly just a diary entry I guess. I’ve really been struggling to eat healthy! It all started with my birthday and indulging on some really yummy strawberry cake. I have a weakness for sweets, and being that it was my birthday I felt obligated to indulge in some decedent, sweet, strawberry cake *queue the heart eyes and mouth waters* ANYWAY! Thats when I really messed up. For the next few days following I allowed unhealthy carbs back into my diet and thought nothing of it and made excuses as to why I was having the food. I ate one slice of cake, then the next I had ice cream and donuts, then I had pasta and bread sticks (LIKE 8 of them!), fast forward an entire week and I just finished mindlessly eating an entire loaf of french bread with a cup of hot coffee while trying to finish my final exam essay. That was the wake up call for me. As I looked down and saw all the tiny crumbs on my lap, I knew I had to take action. I mean, even my yoga pants were getting a little tight and I was beginning to feel sluggish at work and my skin was starting to break out again. I had to make a change.

So here I am, on a Sunday night trying desperately to finish my final exam papers, with french bread crumbs in my lap and coffee stains on my notes. I’m attempting to make a plan on how to properly execute this whole “Detox” thing. What exactly is a Detox cleanse? Is it healthy? Which is the best method?

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 10.50.24 PM

Detox is typically associated with being a treatment used to rid the body of drugs and/or alcohol, but the same concept is also used to cleanse the body from dietary and environmental toxins. A detoxification diet usually involves the use of herbs and/or specialized diets to flush the toxins out. There are several different types of detoxification diets, all of which are short-term and typically:

  • Contain foods, such as water and high fiber foods that increase urination and bowel movements in order to draw out and eliminate toxins.
  • Minimizes the amount of consumed toxins, such as eating only organic and/or plant-based foods.
  • Place a high emphasis on foods that provide the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body requires for effective detoxification.

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 10.50.38 PM

The human body is a marvelously efficient detoxing machine. The skin—your body’s largest organ—provides a barrier to harmful substances. Your airways trap and expel noxious particles, while your intestines screen out parasites and other harmful organisms while allowing nutrients to be absorbed into the blood. The liver acts as your body’s primary filter, digesting food and ridding the body of toxic substances. Your kidneys also filter out toxins, via your urine. Those organs act in concert with the immune system to keep you well. Healthful eating, sleep, and exercise habits help the machine to run optimally; substandard ones compromise it. But there’s no evidence that a special detox diet or fast can take the place of or supplement what your own body is naturally programmed to do.

It is common for those who have completed a detox diet to have an increase in energy, regular bowel movements, improved concentration, improved digestion and clearer skin. There are pros and cons to almost everything, including a detox diet. One of the most common side effects of a detox diet is headaches, which often occur within the first couple of days after starting the diet. The headaches are usually due to caffeine withdrawal, but gradually decreasing your caffeine intake before starting the diet may help to reduce the headaches. Diarrhea is also a common side effect of a detox diet, which can cause a loss of electrolytes and dehydration. Some people also experience weight loss, fatigue, irritability and skin acne.

5e0d3503e04ce5346e201d21cbee00fb

1.Get your fiber!

The more fiber the better. When we eat fiber we stimulate our bowel tract which is one way we can eliminate toxins. Some foods that are high in fiber include apples, flax seeds, beans and legumes, and berries.

2. Drink lots of water!

One study suggests that you should be drinking half of your body weight in ounces on a daily basis! For example, if you weigh 120lbs, you should aim to drink 60oz of water a day. Another study suggests that the “8×8″ rule is the best water to track water intake. This method encourages a person to drink eight 8oz glasses of water on a daily basis. The more water you drink on the daily, the easier it will be for your body to filter out and eliminate toxins from your body.

3. Get your sleep!

Evidence suggests that while we sleep, our body is busy repairing our bodies and eliminating toxins that we acquired throughout the day. It’s important to get at least up to 7.5hrs of sleep so that our body has enough time to repair what is needed and to store energy for us to use in the morning.

4. Eat your veggies and fruits!

We’ve all been told to eat our fruits and veggies, but do we know exactly why? well veggies and fruits are packed with tons of vitamins and healthy minerals that help our bodies stay in tip top shape. For example, citrus is a great detoxifying fruit because it is packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C. Grapefruit is loaded with vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant to protect the skin and also is essential to the formation of collagen, a major building block of our skin. The enzymes found in citrus also burn fat in our body and allow for detoxification!

5. Exercise/Meditate

Exercise and meditation help maintain a healthy body. Exercising helps you sweat, and sweating helps release toxins through your skin. Studies have found trace amounts of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat. Meditation helps you clear your mind and reduce stress. Stress can be as toxic to your health as chemicals. A troubled mind can cause the physical body to function poorly.

screen-shot-2017-05-13-at-11-26-47-pm.png

After researching and watching plenty of videos about detoxifying diets, I am ready to take on this endeavor and hope that someone else will be inspired to do so as well. Most diets last for an average of 3-7 days, however I plan to detox for one week straight and then begin to eat clean again. This is my plan, but you can do however many days you feel you need to, just be sure to listen to your body!

Thank you for reading,

~Aja

Spring has Sprung!

Ahh. Nothing like a fresh start!

For me Spring is a time for new beginnings, a clean slate, a rebirth of sorts. Its a time
when everything is coming to life, from the little sprouts underneath your feet while FullSizeRender 9walking along the sidewalk, to the baby birds singing to their mama’s, to the beautiful blooming rose bushes along school yards. It really is a beautiful time in the world that brings so much joy and color, its hard not to smile and breathe in the fresh crisp air!

One of my favorite quotes about spring is from my favorite band Noah and the Whale (below), and its just a beautiful reminder that although we make mistakes, or do things that make us feel like we’re setting ourselves back, or are genuinely unhappy for some reason, we always have a fresh start waiting for us. When the flowers bloom and the trees grow we have a chance for us to also grow and bloom into something magnificent regardless of our past.

It’s the first day of spring
And my life is starting over again
Well the trees grow, the river flows
And its water will wash away my sin […]
Like a cut down tree, I will rise again
I’ll be bigger, and stronger than ever before

-The First Days of Spring

by Noah and the Whale

FullSizeRender 10

Spring is a time to be grateful for all the beauty around you and within you. If life has been hard, take a moment and realize that you can make small changes to make it better. Little things like being grateful for the sun because it gives you life, be grateful for your mom because she loves you unconditionally, be grateful for your body because it protects you. Smile because its a new day, you’re alive and well and you’re strong enough to change your life around!

So this season, take a moment to really breathe in the fresh air, stop to smell the roses, meditate on aspects of yourself/life that you want to improve. Whether it’s something big or small, just gently remind yourself that you need to improve these things in order to achieve a happier and healthy life!

Here are some examples on how to do so:

  • Have a picnic

Grab your favorite picnic basket,a blanket, a few ripe fruits, some infused water and your favorite person and have a day counting clouds and smelling the budding roses while lying under a tall tree at your local park. Guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed and full of positive vibes!

  • Meditate in Nature

Put on some comfy clothes, grab your mat and some water and go someplace FullSizeRender 21.jpgoutdoors thats relatively quiet. Be mindful of your body and surroundings. Listen to the breeze whistle through the tree tops, feel the suns rays try to hug you as they make their way through the branches. Hear the birds chirping and the flowers blooming excitedly. Feel your body as it fills with positive energy and releases the tension. Think about happy thoughts and what you want to improve.

  • Make yourself a beautiful nutrient dense meal with spring season veggies/fruits

Nothing is better than making a meal jam packed with flavorful ingredients that aren’t only tasty but full of healthy nutrients. Take some time to prepare a meal with lots of spring veggies, protein and healthy fats (like nuts and avocado). Not only will you be happily satiated from the wholesome meal but your body will be very thankful for the clean meal and all its nutrients. Eating healthy wholesome meals not only keep you full for longer periods of time, it feeds your happy chemicals in your brain, helps keep your intestines happy, and allows you to feel more energetic and ready to take on the day.

  • Exercise outdoors

Go for a run at the local park,  or a swim in the pool, a hike up the trail you’ve been FullSizeRender 20meaning to visit, a bike to your friends house, do some yoga on the beach, anything just get moving! Not only
will this allow you to get some vitamin D from the lovely sun, but it will also allow you to clear your mind a little while getting
your body moving. Its been proven that exercise increases t
he happy chemicals in your brain (Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins), so get out there sweet pea!

  • Do something Creative

Garden with your grandparents, doodle some flowers as you sip on some lemonade, paint something with bright colors, journal about your day/feelings. By
getting your creative juices flowing, not only are you expressing your feelings and blowing off a little steam, you’re also releasing more happy chemicals that will allow you to be motivated to make positive changes in your life. You’re also practicing those artistic skills of yours, own ’em!

I hope this post helped get you into the spring mood! Stay tuned for more posts to come.

Until next time,

xoxox

Aja