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Detox your way to happiness

Feeling sluggish and out of sorts? Try these detox tips from Sarah Grossman and Tamara Green, founders of the Living Kitchen Wellness Group.

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Q: How can detoxing make your body happier?
A:
Detoxing removes waste and toxins that have accumulated in the body, allowing you to feel lighter, refreshed and rejuvenated. Toxins are substances that cause irritation or harmful effects in the body by stressing out your organs and tissues. This affects every part of your body; from your energy levels to your ability to sleep, from how you feel after eating meals to your sex drive and to how well you can focus at work early in the morning.

Detoxing the liver, colon and intestines, can nip gas and bloating in the bud as well as enhance your immune system. A cleaner digestive system is better at breaking down food, which means your body absorbs more of the nutrients that it needs to function optimally. Many common complaints are caused by toxicity in the body, such as fatigue, headaches, congestion and even constipation. You may even find your skin clearing up after a cleanse.

The skin is one of the major pathways of detoxification for the body, so as toxins are leaving the body you might experience extra breakouts and pimples temporarily. But this is truly a sign that you’re cleansing from the inside out!

Q: Does detoxing have any affect on mood?
A:
Detoxing has a huge effect on mood! People usually experience a sense of clarity, feel energetic and are relaxed and revitalized after cleansing. This usually gives people a positive outlook on life and inspiration to keep living a healthy lifestyle. While detoxing helps you cleanse excess waste from the physical body, it also helps you release emotions and thoughts that you might have been holding onto. Detoxing is a great way to let go of things that have been bothering you and keeping you stuck emotionally.

Q: When detoxing, which foods should you eliminate?
A:
The main foods you want to focus on eliminating are:

1. Refined sugar and refined flour (this includes all white flour and white/brown sugar)
2. Coffee, alcohol and soda
3. Red meat
4. Dairy (this includes cheese)
5. Wheat (if you want to take the detox even further, it’s beneficial to eliminate gluten)

Many of these foods create congestion in your body and are extremely hard for your body to process and digest. They also leave your body in an acidic state, which leads to the breakdown and degeneration of tissues. In order to neutralize the acidity, your body must pull out stored nutrients from tissues and bones to create a more alkaline state. Ditching these foods during a detox is a definite must.

Q: Is there anything you should be sure to eat or drink to help cleanse the body?
A:
 The first thing to increase every day — and especially during a detox — is your water consumption. Water is one of the best detoxifiers because it regulates almost every process in your body. Water improves elimination of toxins and waste, it eliminates mental fogginess. It also allows you to feel energized, helps you find clarity and focus, and it makes your skin clear and healthy.

Drinking a glass of lemon water every morning is one of the most invigorating things you can do for your mind and body. Lemons are a part of most detox regimens because they enhance your digestive capacity, they increase the liver’s detoxifying enzymes, they are alkalizing and they help with fat metabolism.

Green vegetables are a must during a detox (and every day)! This includes kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, dandelion greens, collards, chlorophyll, spirulina, spinach, chard, parsley and beets (even though they’re purple!). These veggies are loaded in nutrients, antioxidants and fibre that cleanse your cells, your kidneys, your liver and your colon. Greens also have anti-cancer properties. A great way to get more greens into your diet is through green smoothies or fresh green juices.

Fibre is so important because it regulates your digestion and cleanses your colon by binding to toxins and eliminating them from your body. Fibre also makes you feel full and it balances your blood sugar so you aren’t bouncing through energy highs and lows throughout the day. Without enough fibre in your diet, waste accumulates and this can lead to feeling sluggish, foggy and tired. Fibre is found in whole grains, legumes, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

For more great detox tips click here.