Cleaning Up After Your Summer Fun

The absolute greatest thing about summertime is the freedom: the vacations, the outdoor barbecues and rooftop parties, the family get-togethers, and did I say vacations? With all of that going on it is really hard to stay in a healthy routine over the summer, and often—despite all of our best intentions—our health goals are derailed and we feel bloated, sluggish, and physically rundown.

Can you relate?

This is how everyone's family gatherings look, right?

This is how everyone's family gatherings look, right?

I am currently in the middle of a 10-day vacation/staycation and I am definitely feeling less than my chipper self. I know it is because I have been indulging in more and heavier foods and libations, which carry toxins and inflammatory acidity levels, but I also know that being outdoors has exposed me to a lot of environmental toxins as well. (L.A. smog anyone? And have you SEEN the news about all the toxic bacteria and algae infecting our waterways? Just because your state isn’t on the news doesn’t mean you are in the clear.) Did you know that when you consume a toxic substance your body actually forms a fat cell around it to isolate it so that it doesn’t infect the rest of your body? Can you imagine how many fat cells your body must have formed over the years to protect you? Luckily, there are certain activities that you can carry out to detoxify your body—and even to eliminate some of those stubborn fat cells that feel impossible to lose… because they kind of are! Fat cells holding toxins aren’t necessarily there because of the pizza you had at 2 a.m. after the bar last week, so a normal diet and exercise regimen just isn’t going to cut it to get rid of them.

I know that the word “detox” can carry a lot of connotations for people. Up until a few years ago when I heard the word I associated it with hippy dippy stick-thin yogis who ran around town drinking nothing but juice and spending their time post-yoga on the john cleaning out all the built-up crap. And I am sure those people do exist, but a good detox is soooo refreshing and so necessary to maintaining a healthy and energetic body. And it doesn’t have to involve poop. Here are a few of the top ways that I like to detoxify my body so that I can flush out all of the chemicals an 

Nutritional Cleansing

This. System. Changed. My. Life.

You know those pesky fat cells holding toxins I have been rambling on about? Those are the ones that nutritional cleansing targets. It cleans out your body at a cellular level so that those fat cells can release the toxins and flush them out of your body… and then guess what? Your body doesn’t need that cell anymore so it flushes it away too. BOOM. How does it work? You spend a few days consuming an alkaline diet to help your body reduce inflammation and reach a balanced state, then you have a 2-day supported intermittent fast. Hang on, stay with me … don't be scared off by the word "fast"... “supported” means you aren’t drinking just water and nothing else, you are actually just reducing your calorie intake and drinking a special aloe-based and nutrient-rich juice that provides your body with the nutrients that it needs to perform well while fasting. It really isn’t that hard AND when you give your body a chance to rest, the organs don’t have to focus on digestion, instead finding time to cleanse out those cells and rejuvenate your digestive system. All this means that you come out of it with tons of natural energy and more effective digestion. Read more about it here, and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to consult with me about it to see if it’s right for you.

Getting my cleanse on in New York last year.

Getting my cleanse on in New York last year.

Lemon Water

Lemons are seriously a magical food. In addition to being packed with vitamin C, which boosts your immune system and helps protect your cells from oxidative damage, it has an atomic structure similar to that of the human body’s digestive juices, which tricks your liver and allows for food to move more easily through the body. It can relieve indigestion or an upset stomach; it has negative-charged ions that increase your energy levels when they hit your digestive tract; and it contains pectin, a fiber which helps you to feel fuller for longer. Need more convincing? Lemons assist in producing collagen, so they are great for your skin too. Drinking a cup of hot water with lemon in the morning is a great jumpstart to the day, and sipping on lemon water throughout the day will have incredible effects. 

Sub Green Tea for Coffee

I lived in the Caribbean. I love a good, strong cup of coffee as much as the next girl, but did you know that coffee beans test extremely high for mold and bacteria? In particular, there is a toxin called ochratoxin that is a carcinogen and can do some serious damage to your health. You should know where your coffee is coming from and the type of production process it has gone through. So why not just sub it out sometimes? Green tea has some incredible antioxidant benefits as well as that natural little caffeine kick that can give you the boost you need.

Sports Massage

This is one that I have recently discovered and man, it hurts so good. If you want to get rid of toxins in your body, you MUST find a good certified sports masseuse and get regular massages focusing on the pressure points when toxins build up. When you get deep into the muscle tissue and push on those pressure points, the toxins that have collected there can release. You may experience symptoms like headache, congestion, and soreness… which all means that the massage worked! Afterward, drink A LOT of water to flush all of those toxins out of the body immediately.

Skin Brushing

We brush our teeth every day to clean off the built-up plaque and bacteria, but you don’t think twice about brushing your skin. But our skin is the most exposed tissue on our body. When our body naturally eliminates toxins, often they seep out through the skin, and Of COURSE it is going to collect toxins, bacteria, and other nasties from the environment that need to be banished. Brushing your skin also has the added benefit of unclogging pores and stimulating circulation, which assists in removing cellulite. Skin brushing is best conducted in the shower, so get a fine bristle brush and begin at the feet with slow motions, working your way up your body. Take your time on areas that are tight or that are prone to circulation issues, like your knees and ankles. If you do this 2-3 times per week you will DEFINITELY feel the benefits.

See? I promised no poop. These strategies can be carried out individually, or you can really go crazy and do them all at the same time and have a total detox day. A good sweat sesh at the sauna would be a good complement to this routine, especially between the sports massage and skin brushing when you will have all those toxins floating around that need a way out. Do you have any other detox practices that you incorporate into your routine? I love hearing new ideas!