By Deva O'Donnell
The traffic is unbearable, the charity events are a buzz, and the beaches are swamped….simply put, it’s “season” in Sarasota. For me, that means my life is a little chaotic on the social realm. Between the alcohol at all the gatherings I’m attending and the running all over town eating poorly, I’m left feeling blah.
And taking care of myself has become much more of a priority as I quickly approach 30 years old. It’s scary to notice that I am not bouncing back as easily as I used to when I was a fresh-faced 22-year-old. That’s why, in the last year, I’ve gotten pretty serious about incorporating more exercise and clean eating into my lifestyle, and it’s really made a difference in the way I look and feel. But I’m not one to be super-strict on myself, and life happens—so I think about what I can do more of to maintain my mind, body, and soul.
Enter: detoxing and cleanses. Honestly, I’ve never done them. I always viewed them as a trendy bandwagon that everyone jumped on because their favorite celebrity was doing it. I’m sorry, but only drinking water with lemon and cayenne pepper and not eating for 10 days does not sound healthy! But I recently started doing some research and was surprised to see that there is a plethora of different ways you can rid your body of impurities and flush your system. Detoxing and cleansing is like hitting your own internal restart button—it’ll leave you feeling more energized, lighter, cleaner, and just all-around healthier. Sounds great, right?
Type “cleanse” or “detox” into Google and you’ll get pages upon pages of cleanse recipes and detoxing kits. But after some digging, I actually learned a couple of things that I found really interesting.
1) Greens: Juicing has become huge lately. Whether it is a fad or will stick around, I don’t know. What I do know is that our body craves foods in every kind of color, and people find that juicing is one of the easier ways to obtain the nutrients that will help clean out your system.
I learned that greens like kale, spinach, and most importantly parsley (which is a diuretic and kidney cleanser) and cilantro (a heavy metal detoxifier) are great ingredients to focus on.
2) Oil Pulling: You’re probably wondering what in the world this is and how it will help you cleanse. I was, too! Believe it or not, oil pulling has been around for years. It is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that pulls toxins from your body through your mouth. It’s a very simple process that basically involves you putting anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swishing it around for 20 minutes. I’ll be honest with you: I tried this the other day and almost threw up when I put the spoon in my mouth, but after a few minutes it wasn’t that bad. I highly recommend using organic coconut oil, but you can also use sunflower oil or sesame oil. And the best part? Not only is oil pulling a general detox, but there is a slew of other benefits. It will whiten your teeth and get rid of bad breath, get rid of acne, help with sleep issues, manage hormonal imbalances, and supposedly even cure a hangover and migraine! (And a tip: When you’re finished, do not spit the oil in the sink. It will eventually solidify and can clog your pipes.)
3) Tea: Who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of hot tea from time to time? It’s no secret that green tea has been proven to have many health benefits. There are also a number of teas that have been specifically made just for detoxing, too. The combinations of the herbs are mostly inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. Specifically, teas with the schisandra berry are recommended. This berry has many health benefits in and of itself, including promoting healthy liver function.
So if you’re willing to try something new that will help give you the rejuvenation you need, check out one or all of these options. And as always, before changing your diet please consult your physician. In the meantime, bottoms up!