6 Ways to Detox That Don’t Involve Going on a Juice Cleanse
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good green juice. But juice alone for days on end? No, thank you. But ’tis the season for lifestyle makeovers which inevitably means it’s the season of the detox. And with this season comes the resurgence of the juice cleanse. My Instagram feed is currently filled with folks bragging about how refreshed they feel below photos of mason jar upon mason jar of juiced beets. Then there are the photos posted by local juice shops with discount codes for cleanses in the captions. Clearly, with all the juice cleanse-mania that comes with January, it’s easy to get sucked in.
So if you are currently holding a bottle of liquid vegetables in your hand, having ingested no solids for longer than you’d like to believe, wondering “How did I get here?” you are not alone. But we’re here to tell you, there are plenty of ways to give your body and mind a good reboot without surviving on liquified kale for longer than anyone should ever have to survive on liquified kale. We promise.
To detox, by definition, simply means to rid the body of or to abstain from toxic or unhealthy stuff for a period of time. Below, six ways to do just that while still maintaining your sanity.
1. STEP AWAY FROM THE DEVICES
If you find that your phone (or iPad or laptop or remote control) is glued to your palm at all times, it might be time to force yourself into a digital detox, for sanity’s sake. Start with simply turning your phone to “silent mode” for a few hours a night and see how your mental health benefits. Avoiding the not-so-subtle “bzzz” sound of a non-urgent work email delivered at 11 p.m. can work wonders for your mental health.
And while I am totally an advocate for taking some time to veg out in front of old reruns of Gilmore Girls, if that’s all you do when you get home from work every single night, try taking a break from TV for a few days. First off, research shows, the more television you soak in, the more you eat. And I’m guessing you don’t want to run into a “These sweatpants are all that fits me right now!” moment, á la Regina George, while in your “New year, new me” mode. Plus, with all that newfound free time, you’ll have plenty of time to throw down in the kitchen. (See number four.)
2. SHUT THE WORLD OUT FOR 90 MINUTES
If stepping away from your devices is way too difficult for you to do without actual physical barriers separating you from them, we’ve got the perfect way to shut yourself off: Step into a float tank at Flotation Philly or Halcyon Floats and close the door on the world for a good 90 minutes. It might be the shortest digital detox ever, but the effects of those 90 minutes, spent floating in salty water without any light or sound, will stick with you beyond the tank. (If the thought of doing this terrifies you, you can read about my first float experience before diving in here.)
3. ADD LEMONS, FERMENTED FOODS AND FRESH HERBS TO YOUR PLATE
Detoxing usually means ditching foods from your diet, but not in this case. Awhile back, we chatted with Jolene Hart, author of Eat Pretty, to get the lowdown on which foods we could add to our plates to make our skin look as Kardashian-like as possible — without, you know, springing for a live-in makeup artist. Turns out, many of the foods she suggests — good stuff like fermented foods, lemons and just about every fresh herb and spice around — work to clear skin by aiding the body’s natural detoxifying systems. So by adding these guys to your plate, you’re actually helping your body get rid of the sludge that could be causing breakouts and other unwelcome physical discomforts. You can check out Hart’s full rundown of foods to add to your diet for glowing skin here.
4. DITCH THE GROCERY STORE AND COMMIT TO YOUR LOCAL FARMERS’ MARKET FOR A WEEK
I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says “Happiness is knowing where your food comes from,” and I totally agree with those words. And along with making you happy, or at least making me happy, knowing where your food comes from also means you have a better idea of what went into making that food: Is it organic? Does it contain added hormones, antibiotics or other weird chemicals you aren’t into? Is it fresh? While Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are good for all sorts of things, shopping at your local farmers’ market makes befriending your local veggie or dairy producer (and proceeding to ask them all these annoying questions) way easier. And after all, eating good, real, unprocessed food for a few days straight is the perfect way to detox from the preservative-filled, who-knows-what’s-in-it food many of us are used to eating on the regular.
If you’re looking for a winter farmers’ market, a tip: Hydro+Pose Studio recently launched an indoor farmers’ market in South Philly.
5. GO FOR A RUN
The scientific evidence when it comes to how exercise impacts your body’s natural detoxifying systems is iffy, but what is not iffy is the boost exercise gives your brain. Take the runner’s high for instance: Science shows, when you go for a run, you release endorphins that make you feel calm and, eventually, totally blissful. And the effects of these endorphins can last for hours. So going for a run can help you ditch stress (so not healthy for the body) and simply make you feel happier. In other words, a run is the perfect detox from the not-so-nice feelings that can follow you home after a long day at work. And, lest we forget, running also makes you poop, which is one of the many ways your body naturally detoxifies.
6. DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE
Sometimes your space is more in need of a detox than anything else in your life. If you are a low-key hoarder and have held on to pretty much everything since the first drawing you proudly completed in pre-school — decades ago — it’s time to let some of that stuff go. Marie Kondo, the queen of tidying up, has some helpful advice in her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” to help you get started: As she says, “Discard anything that doesn’t spark joy.” Yes, you are right: It is harder than it sounds. But not nearly as mentally taxing as a juice cleanse, so there’s that.
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