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7 Ways to Detox after the Holiday Season without Dieting

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Though in recent years Thanksgiving has been getting a makeover with healthier options, typically we still eat simply too much.

It’s important for us to cleanse our body regularly (not just after Turkey Day). There are simple ways to cleanse the body everyday that can be invaluable throughout the holidays and to prevent the typical 10lb winter weight gain.

Here are some great and easy ways to detox, without dieting:

      1. Just incase you’re not convinced that practicing meditation is a way to shed weight, one study may provide some insight. Researchers at UC San Francisco conducted a study on the weight-loss potential of meditation in 47 overweight women. The group that was taught mindful eating and a established a daily meditation routine, ‘showed significant reductions in their cortisol levels (high cortisol levels are a side effect of stress).’ The women who reduced their stress were also more likely to reduce their belly fat too.

A meditation researcher at Brown University, Dr. Catherine Kerr, commented on the study: “These findings are consistent with numerous brain studies showing that this practice of attending mindfully to present moment experience brings about changes in brain areas responsible for body sensations, especially body sensations related to hunger and craving (in the brain area called the ‘insula’), the idea here being that daily practice actually trains your brain to help you tune in to your body in a more healthy way.”

Cleansing should be all encompassing and not just physical, it is also a mental and spiritual process as well. A simple mediation exercise even for just 5-10 minutes a day can drastically transform your life from the inside out. Meditation is a way of purifying the mind, changing negative thought patterns, and connecting the body, mind, and great spirit. So, for Thanksgiving, use meditation not only as a way to extract that extra piece of pecan pie from the body, but also to cleanse the mind of the guilt of eating WAY to much of it (lol).

  1. Drink ginger tea. There are so many health benefits of eating ginger, but among the most favorable is increased digestion. In Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science) there is a concept called “agni.” Agni loosely translates to ‘digestive fire’ and is the source of healthy digestion, elimination, and also bountiful health in general. That inner fire, burns up all impurities, leaving the body rejuvenated and restored. Ginger is known to increase agni and also does a great job of keeping you warm during the winter months. Just chop the ginger root into slivers and boil. Steep for 20 minutes and drink as a tea with lemon throughout the day. If the taste is not your ‘cup of tea’ then add some raw honey or simply use ginger in a spicy soup or curry instead.

  2. Cayenne pepper. Cayenne is a great way to stimulate agni and also lower blood sugar levels. It is also a remedy for constipation, which is a common side effect of overeating (especially during Thanksgiving.)

  3. Coconut oil. There was some confusion in the past about the high fat content in coconut oil. That was before people understood those wonderful Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) – abundant in coconut oil. MCFA’s actually boost cardiovascular health and promote weight-loss. Ayurveda also states that taking coconut oil makes the colon more slippery. In the colder seasons this can be a problem for many, especially the more dry vata (air element constitution) types and can provide lubrication for increased movement in the digestive tract.

  4. Activated charcoal. Dave Asprey, health expert and founder of The Bulletproof Executive, states on his website that, “Today, beyond use in hospitals as an antidote for drugs and poisons, activated charcoal is a global remedy for general detoxification, digestion issues, gas, bloating, heart health, and anti-aging. It is a part of my mold toxin detox protocols.” Activated charcoal is so powerful in removing toxins, that it is one of the #1 antidotes for poison in hospitals.

  5. Dry skin brushing – Dry brushing the skin is a way to stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory system – both paramount in detoxing. Garshana which is also an ayurvedic term meaning “rubbing” or “exfoliating” is a common procedure for various ailments. Garshana is used before therapeutic massages to prepare the body to absorb the massage oils for supreme purification.You can buy these dry brushes at any health food store or in a crunch, simply use a dry washcloth before you hop in the shower.

  6. Steam rooms and saunas are not only good for shedding excess water weight, but also for extreme cleansing. The next step in an ayurvedic treatment after garshana (dry skin exfoliation) and applying oils – is sweating. It is believed that the amma (toxic waste by-product) binds with the oil and then is sweat out through the pores. Our skin is the largest organ of detoxification and through sweating, the toxins are released and good health revealed! Whether hitting up your local ‘Hot Yoga’ class or hiking in the summer, don’t be afraid to break a sweat – it’s good for you.

  7. Drink lots of water. After a good sweat, it’s time to hydrate. It is estimated that a staggering 75% of North Americans are chronically dehydrated. Also, when the thirst mechanism is very weak it is often mistaken for hunger (which makes over-eating more likely). Though it seems counterintuitive, the best way to combat excess water-retention is to provide the body with fresh water, so that any stored water can be released.


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