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If you started the year with the intention to put yourself and your well being on your to-do list, then you are in the right place, especially if you are still feeling sluggish, overweight and tired from the Christmas and New Year excess. To help you get in the groove for a healthier happier 2012, we are kicking off the season with a series of posts looking at cleaning your insides by detoxing. In the previous post we looked at the seven benefits of going on a detox. Today, we look at three common mistakes you must avoid which can make or break your intentions to stick with your detox.
What Is A Detox?
As a child I remember my mother boiling up her home made version of senna pods and giving me and my brother spoonfuls of the concoction to drink every Christmas and Easter school holidays. As you can image, I hated it. The taste was bitter and as the mixture was a laxative it meant I couldn’t go out and play with my friends, just in case I got the runs and had to rush to the toilet. Yet despite our protestations and promises that we would eat our greens, mum insisted in giving us our regular “cleanse and wash-out” as she called it.
At the time, I didn’t appreciate the importance of this practice, and its only as I grew up and embraced more healthier ways of living I realise the value of a regular “cleanse and wash-out”
Nowadays, I call my mum’s cleanse and wash-out, a detox or mini cleanse! Yet the purpose is still the same – to give the body a chance to rest, heal, cleanse and eliminate the build up of toxins, stimulants, and waste matter in the body.
You are affected by the environment you live in; your senses are constantly exposed to toxins in the form of preservatives and pesticides used to produce your food, the make-up and skin care products you use filter through your pores and add to the build up of toxins naturally produced by the body as a result of digestion and respiration.
When Was Your Last Body MOT?
Your body is a marvellous piece of machinery, yet it is so easy to take the body for granted and not realise how important it is to give it a cleanse and service. You wash and condition your hair, cleanse your face, steam clean your oven, take your car in for a yearly MOT and regular service, yet when it comes to your inner body, it gets a poor service. When did you last have a whole body MOT?
Your Body Has An Inbuilt DIY Detox System
Your body has natural built in systems – the lymphatic system, your liver, kidneys and colon to cleanse itself from bacteria and pollution yet our senses are continually bombarded with noise, grim and dust from external factors which effect your body’s ability to effectively remove toxins and waste matters.
A detox gives your body a helping hand to remove toxins from your body, and gives your vital organs and digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate.
Problems With Detoxing
It sounds simple to do, yet all too often, I hear from my yoga students that they brought a three day home detox kit or decided to cleanse for a day yet after a few hours they gave up as they hadn’t expected to feel so unsupported, hungry, tired, and constantly craving food.
Three Mistakes To Avoid On A Detox
To avoid falling into this trap, here are three things you must do to prevent disappointment and help you stick to your detox programme.
You Do Not Set Aside The Time To Detox.
Although eating is something you do every day, when you detox your relationship to food takes on a whole new meaning. To get the most out of your detox you require time and space to prepare your meals, to sit quietly, chew your food, sip your juices, meditate upon your relationship with food and explore what is going on inside your body and accompanying thoughts. All this takes time. And time is one thing you don’t have to spare.
Yoga Detox Helpful Solution
To successfully complete your detox, especially if you are new to the experience, you must set aside the time to fully focus and do your detox. This means doing your detox at a time when you are less likely to be disturbed at home and/or required to complete major projects at work. You may find it easier to do your detox over a long weekend when your children are away on a school trip or on a weekend sleep-over.
If you have a demanding job and your schedule is just too busy to squeeze in a detox, have you thought of participating in a long weekend or even week’s detox retreat or detox holiday? A couple of my yoga students go on regular yoga detox holidays as it gives them the space to go deeper into their yoga practice, rest and receive therapeutic bodywork treatments and nutritional advice and support throughout the whole programme. If you Google “Detox Retreats” or “Detox Holidays” you will get a list of what’s available. Don’t worry if you haven’t gone on a detox retreat and aren’t sure what to look for. I will cover that in a later post.
You Don’t Know What To Eat And Do Not Stock Up In Advance To Do Your Detox.
Generally, when you detox you eat foods which are naturally healthy and wholesome. For some of you, especially, if this is your first detox, you may be unfamiliar with some of these foods and have no idea how to prepare them or what to look for. Also, if your regular diet consists of caffeine, highly processed sugary and fat-laden take-away foods it can be quite a shock to your system to suddenly have to cook and prepare foods in a different way.
Yoga Detox Helpful Solution
Take your time, if you are thinking you might go on a detox, spend a few extra minutes in your local whole food stores, talk with the store assistant, find out from them what foods are good to help you cleanse your body , how to cook them and you could even buy a few products which you normally don’t buy. For example if you have never tried herbal teas, buy a packet of peppermint herbal tea and try it out; fruits, buy a fruit you don’t usually eat, just to get the experience of eating something different.
And when you decide to start your detox, make sure you stock up on enough food so that you don’t have to rush out and buy something or worst, feel peckish and don’t have a suitable substitute on hand to snack on. A detox isn’t a punishment, it is simply another way to rest and nurture your body. Even if you are doing a one day detox, it is essential you have all the essential foods, juices, herbs and fruit you need to last you throughout the day. If you are not sure what foods are suitable to use to detox, again, don’t worry. I will cover that in a later post.
To avoid crashing out on your detox, make sure you stock up and have to hand all the ingredients you need to use before you start your detox. This includes any “pampering extras” such as a skin brush, candles, a journal, relaxation DVDs or visualisation cds.
You want to make your detox period as stress-free as possible. Popping out to your local supermarket to buy your next meal leaves you vulnerable to temptation and can destroy the peaceful vibe you are trying to create.
Mistake # 3
You Lack Support – Friends and Family Members Do Not Understand What You Are Doing.
It can be a lonely time being on a detox. Food and eating form a large part of your identity and cultural heritage. If you step out from your usual family/friends’ eating habits, you run the risk of ridicule and alienation from your family; for example, if your usual pattern is to have a cup of coffee and doughnut with your work colleagues at tea break, they may not understand when you say No thanks, I am drinking fennel tea and having an apple for my snack…
Yoga Detox Helpful Solution
Your family and friends love you and want to help you, but if you are still preparing their meals for them or eating with others who don’t follow your detox diet it is hard to maintain your motivation to detox.
To minimise this, take time to explain to your family what you are doing ….you are not on a starvation diet just eating more simply for a few days. If you can invite friends and loved ones to join you in your detox, that’s great, that way you can share your experiences and gain support from each other. Better still, go on a Yoga Detox holiday, that way you are guaranteed to be surrounded by people on a same vibe as you.
So, to prevent you falling off the wagon avoid starting your detox in the midst of a busy period at work, make sure you stock up with wholesome foods and enlist the support of friends or family to help you stay accountable and focused on your detox intentions. By following the above 3 helpful Yoga Detox Solutions you are more likely to stick with your detox programme. I can’t wait to hear your views about these mistakes.
And finally, what are your thoughts about detoxing..have you tried one yet failed to finish? I’d love to hear your experiences. Share your thoughts in the comment box below and remember to share the Twitter love:)
If you are thinking of how to shift the last few pounds in Christmas weight or you feel sluggish and tired and a detox is something you might consider, sign up to my newsletter or RSS feed to instantly receive the next update where we will be looking at what foods you should avoid when on a detox. All part of your healthier happier more Marvellous You 2012 plan!
Image with thanks Sergiu Bacioiu via flickrr
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