4 Healthy Ways to Detox
March 25, 2016
As we slowly make our way into spring, the many months of holiday roasts, fancy cocktails and sweets galore have us feeling sluggish, bloated and less than powerful. Unfortunately for us, those extra drinks and treats can be addictive, leading us into a vicious cycle that might be difficult to break.
It might be tempting to reach for your juicer and only drink though a straw for several days, but raw juice cleanses aren’t the only option to up your energy and power your tap-backs. In fact, the human body is amazing, and able to utilize many organs (hello liver and kidneys!) to remove waste all on it’s own. While most extreme cleanses have actually been proven to have no beneficial effect on our overall health — and can even be harmful — those that contain nutritional components can be helpful in detoxing the body and aiding in organ function (think citric acid, chlorella and plenty of vitamins found in leafy greens).
So from sweating it out to adding anti-inflammatory supplements and plates full of clean eats, here’s how some of our instructors bounce back from a junk food binge and get back on a bike with plenty of strength.
SWEAT IT OUT
For me I like to reset by taking Parker or Marvin's class. I started at SOUL by riding in their classes and to this day, they still have some magical effect on me. If I'm feeling like I need a little extra detox, I might go to some Bikram Yoga on the Lower East Side or I'll reconnect with something that makes me feel good, like horseback riding, relaxing in the sun, playing music or taking an improv class.
I like to sweat to detox. When time permits, I take two SoulCycle classes, then sit in the sauna and if I can, I go to yoga immediately afterward. Of course, I drink a lot of water with lemon and coconut water to rehydrate. I also give saturated fats the boot from time to time and focus a lot more on a high-fiber intake. Another detox method that I use — which I think is vital because of all of the sweating - is a weekly exfoliation.
My daily go-to detox is sweating! We eliminate many toxins through our skin, especially heavy metals. I do not wear makeup on my skin (don't get me wrong; I glam up with mascara and eyeliner!) during class or apply antiperspirant before so that I do not block my sweat. If you're coming to class from work, try washing your face before class.
When I used to coach clients through detox and cleanse programs, I'd include Breath of Fire, which is used in Kundalini Yoga. It is done by holding down one nostril at a time, mouth closed while pumping a quick, intense breath out. Practicing this may release toxins and deposits from the lungs, mucous linings, blood vessel and other cells. It also may expand the lung capacity and increases vital strength. Try this when you wake up, before you go bed and before class.
A good pamper session and a long bath always brings me back to neutral. I find water to be incredibly relaxing. It helps me unwind and lets my mind reset. I love a long bath - with a face mask, fun bath bombs with delicious smells and some old tunes playing in the background. I always feel so much better after.
I just recently spoke about this in class, actually. We work really hard to be the best athletes we can be and improve our performance across the board, but not enough of us view recovery in the same way. Letting your body grow accustomed to recovering — and more importantly, recovery at a high level -- is critical.
I think the spa is really important — the sauna, mani-pedis and facials, acupuncture and cupping are amazing. CryoTherapy is great, and restorative yoga in a warm room lets you sweat and lengthen. From a food perspective, instead of that cleansing nonsense, I do my best to never eat to the point where I'm stuffed! Let yourself get 80 percent full and then stop eating. There are more benefits than just the obvious ones!
REST AND RELAX
Acupuncture! It's the thing I have found to be most effective for my body when it's feeling off the tracks - from fighting off a cold to releasing anxiety, it's been really helpful for me.
I drink tea (I'm not cleansing with just tea though — I just add it to my daily meals)! I drink all different kinds, ranging from basic green tea to matcha, both hot and cold!
That's easy. Bikram yoga!
There are a lot of things I do when I need a little healthy reset. If I'm feeling under the weather or just getting over something, a good night's sleep (we're talking 9-12 hours) is always what brings me back to feeling like myself. I also take supplements like zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D consistently to make sure my immune system can handle everything I put my body through without being too susceptible to any of the bugs going around! I also take a TON of walks outside — I LOVE to take in the fresh air and give myself both and physical and mental refresh.
FUEL YOUR BODY
Some things I like to do to stay in tip-top shape or to prevent myself from getting sick are drinking lots of ginger tea and lots of veggies. I also start my day with hot water, lemon and cayenne just to wake my body up and get everything moving. Also taking my multivitamins, Spirulina and echinacea keeps my body happy and has definitely helped fight colds that tried to creep up on me.
To be honest, I don't really detox from anything. I have been sober for over two years now and eat clean all the time. My body is a machine, so I put good stuff in it. I'll cheat once in awhile, mostly to shock my body and insulin levels so I can continue being lean and heathy, but overall I put in what I want to put out: Excellence.
I have a major sweet tooth so when I need a reset, I usually totally cut myself off from desserts. Right now, with the help of my fiancé, I'm on a sugar ban for 30 days. The best part is always once I reach the end I always feel like I don't even have cravings anymore!
My go-to health rebooter/green insurance is Spirulina. It helps me stay healthy and energized to teach up to three classes a day. I also rarely catch colds or get sick since taking Spirulina daily. Overall, it makes it easy for me to get my daily greens.
Here are some fun facts about Spirulina:
• 60 percent protein and an excellent source of Vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and Iron, Manganese, and Chromium
• Rich source of health-giving phytonutrients such as carotenoids, GLA, SOD and phycocyanin
I use Whole30 as healthy reset button. Whole30 consists of eating only "whole" foods for 30 days, which means no processed foods (including grains). For 30 days, you just eat lean lean proteins such as poultry and fish, and vegetables, fruit and nuts - basically anything you could catch, grow or pick in the wild and eat without having to alter or process in plant to make it edible. Whole30 consists of foods our body's were made to digest making it a great way to help reset the digestive system and give our metabolism a little boost.
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