Summertime is perfect for a detox. It’s the time when many of our vegetables and fruit come into season, working perfectly with the temperature outside to support our inside thermodynamics.
Detoxing can be done in a variety of different ways. A good first step for most people is a detox from junk food, eliminating both sugar and refined packaged food. There’s also eating fresh-only seasonal foods such as grass-fed animal products and whole grains, eliminating gluten and dairy, detoxing through sweat, or even detoxing digitally. Regardless of the type of detox you decide to do, these seemingly subtle life changes are self-implemented to make you a better version of you.
Here are a few to get the ball rolling on your new life:
TAKE TIME OFF —
Traditionally, detoxing meant fasting and was done for religious purposes. People who went without eating were usually immersed in prayer and resting. The detox I often recommend is to simply take time off — anywhere from a weekend to a week. Detoxing is a perfect time to turn inward, stay quiet, and reflect.
GET INTO NATURE —
Being in nature has many benefits. Go off the grid by planning a trip somewhere outdoors with little to no cell phone reception. Taking a break from technology began to pick up speed in 2010 after Dr. Todd Braver, a neuroscientist and neuropsychologist at Washington University, went into nature with four other colleagues to better understand how the brain responds to the often taxing use of technology. To no surprise, these scientists found that spending time in nature without cell phones and computers refreshed the brain and increased attention and focus.
KEEP IT LOCAL —
Summer is a perfect time to visit a farm or farmers market. Not only will you be able to get fresh organic food, but you will connect with where your food came from. The amount of energy and love that goes into growing our food can give a new perspective on what it takes to bring produce to the table. Having this awareness in your mind is vital to our health. It raises our consciousness about the food we eat and how it is grown. This leads to less wastefulness, a greater respect for the sanctity of our environment, and ultimately, an improved diet.
SWEAT IT OUT —
Sweating is a great way to detox your body as skin is the body’s largest eliminative organ. Sweating has been used effectively for thousands of years to rid the body of toxins and increase lymphatic circulation.
DON’T DEPLETE —
Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of protein, fiber, and carbs. When on a detox people often tend to dip below their minimum caloric intake, depriving themselves of basic nutrients and causing their bodies to go into starvation mode.
CONSUME MORE FIBER —
The easiest way to detox during the summer is to add red and green vegetables and fruits to your diet. The fiber in veggies and fruit is one of the best ways to lose weight, stay full, and lighten your digestive load. I recommend 7-11 servings of vegetables and fruit a day.
DON’T OVERDO IT —
Detoxing is supposed to be a way of giving your body a gentle break. Make sure to get enough rest, gentle exercise (like walking and yoga), and stay hydrated. You may feel changes going on in your body like fatigue, fogginess, and cravings. Detoxing can be a profound experience if you honor the time to give yourself a break from food and the busy world around you.
Dr. Elizabeth Trattner is a Doctor of Chinese and Integrative Medicine and an Acupuncturist. For more information about Elizabeth, visit elizabethtrattner.com or find her on Instagram at @dreliztratts, Facebook at @drelizabethtrattner, and Twitter at @acumom.