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SheSaid.com Your Ultimate Winter Detox Plan

Did you know the best time to detox is at the start of a season? So why not get a kick start on winter by cleaning out your system today? Health expert Monique Bolland is the owner of Alkaline Spa in Potts Point, Sydney, and has all the advice on detoxing like a pro!

(view article on the SheSaid website here)


Why should we detox?

Our bodies are built to ingest air, food and water; take from these things the nutrients that they needs to grow and function; and eliminate anything unnecessary or harmful along with the acidic residue these things create in our systems.

Modern life, polluted air, stress, processed foods – these all add to the toxic load our bodies endure every day. For most of us, the toxins and associated acidic residue build up faster than the body can eliminate them and we are left feeling lethargic, heavy, and irritable; with the toxic overload taking its toll on our skin, weight and immune function.

A detox program is simply a period in which you aim to take some of the load off your body by limiting the amount of new toxins taken in, and assisting in eliminating the old toxins that have built up over time. The idea is to reset your body to a slightly alkaline state, giving your body and organs a fresh start. 

Why is it good to detox in winter?

In winter we tend to be less conscious of our health and bodies and overindulge in comfort foods, high in simple carbohydrates and saturated fats and low in the essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies crave to function at their best. It’s the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality.

Team this with the fact that people are generally much less active in winter - meaning slower blood and lymphatic circulation around the body and less endorphin boosting Vitamin D - and you can see why your general state of health and mood can be affected.

A Winter detox can give your system that little pick me up it needs to keep you feeling as light and energised as you do in the warmer months.

But it's so hard!

You need to find enjoyable ways of ‘spring cleaning’ your body, which is what Alkaline Spa is all about.

Infrared saunas are great to warm you up in Winter, and help the body heal and eliminate toxins through the skin; and massages are fantastic for unblocking the lymphatic system and increasing blood circulation.

When it comes to food, get creative with hearty, leafy greens like kale and spinach. Make soups, vegetable casseroles and stews from the abundant root vegetables around in colder months.

What's the perfect detox?

Start each morning with a cup of hot water and lemon juice; eat fresh, organic foods with little to no animal products (meat/dairy); avoid alcohol, and caffeine, and limit sugar intake.

To assist the body I would suggest colonics and infrared saunas; as well as taking extra fibre and drinking plenty of alkaline water.

You can do this for a week, or make a lifestyle of it – it’s up to you.

What are some great detoxing foods?

- Water – Drinking plenty of water will help flush all the toxins out of your system. 

- Liquid chlorophyll – Helps purge your body of environmental toxins and clean the digestive system. 

- Fibre rich foods Think fresh fruit and vegetables, psyllium hulls, cereal. Toxic waste from the liver is bound to fibre in order to pass out of the digestive system. It sweeps the bowel of built up waste. 

- Lemon juice – A glass of warm water with lemon juice to start the day will kick start your digestive system, purify the liver, and alkalize your system. 

- Organic fruit and vegetables – So many of the chemicals we absorb every day are in our food. Eating organically will significantly decrease this toxic load. 

- Green tea – High in antioxidants and assists liver activity. 

- Herbs – You may want to speak to a Naturopath about herbs and tonics that assist with liver detoxification, kidney support etc.

What activity is good for detoxing? 

- Aerobic exercise - Running or cycling are great for detoxing. Exercise aids the lymphatic system, which is how waste is carried out of our bodies; it increases your oxygen intake and circulation; and helps you eliminate toxins through the skin by sweating. 

- Yoga - There are certain yoga poses that are designed to stimulate and aid the organs of detoxification like the liver and the bowel. 

Are there any side affects? 

Detoxing should be taken seriously and done with careful research or, ideally, under the guidance of a qualified Naturopath. What works well and safely for one person, may be hazardous for another. There are too many off the shelf quick fixes out there and it worries me when I hear about the migraines, upset stomachs and fatigue that they can inflict on people. 

What are the benefits? 

I have embarked on several detox programs in the past – everything from two day fasting; to the five day fruit flush; to full diet and lifestyle programs that eliminate all but fresh, unprocessed foods, and incorporate infrared saunas, colonics and lymphatic drainage massages.

Physically, my skin was glowing and clear, eyes sparkling, and body lean. I was able to sleep better, wake up without feeling groggy in the morning, and deal with daily stress with a clear head.

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