Patients come to me seeking "detox" at this time of year when they feel groggy, tired, congested, fed up, sun deprived, and have reached for one too many glasses of wine or cookies over the holidays. They ask what products they should take, what foods to eat and if a liquid diet is the answer to get rid of the yucky feeling and the holiday "bloat."
Though nutrition is key to a proper detox, what is equally important is whether you are digesting your life or not. Is life nourishing you or eating you alive? Are you satisfied and fulfilled with the life you have created? If the answer is a repeated negative, then perhaps it's time for deeper type of detox called "Self-Reflection."
1) KNOW YOURSELF:
Are you the "cold turkey" or "process" type when it comes to letting go?
Can you cut out coffee and never look back? Do you need to reduce by 1 cup daily or replace with green tea first? Maybe you ignore side effects and keep going?
Can you cut out a toxic ex-partner out of your life, cell phone and social media platforms, or do you need to keep them as a friend on Facebook, look at their old photos, process on the phone for a month and then let go?
Knowing your type will make the way you approach all needed changes a lot easier.
2) GET RID OF POISON:
What's the most toxic habit, thought, person or food in your life right now?
What's that something that drains you, the sticky thing that haunts you at night and is hard to let go of? That thing you want to stop, know you should stop, try to stop but keep doing because it's "hard" or feels "good" in the moment?
Wine as hydration? Eating cookies in the middle of the night? Smoking cigarettes in secret. Being a pack rat? Enduring a job you dread and hate? Staying in an abusive friendship or relationship?
This thing is where you start.
We all have different poisons. Focus all your energy on your No. 1 thing and learn ways to either cut it out or to take steps to ease it out of your life. Be ready to face the discomfort of change, it shall pass. Find support.
Once you rid yourself of the main poison, the energy you get in return is powerful.
3) WHAT DO YOU LOVE?
Imagine if everything in your life and everyone in your life brought you happiness and excited you.
Apply this to your closet, your refrigerator and your job as well.
What if you never have to wear something you "hate" because the only things you keep in your closet are there because you love them? Want to know a secret? Do the same with the friends you choose and your food. Only keep foods around that are on your nutrition plan, so at least you have a "pause" before you go choose to buy the pint of ice cream at midnight.
Get rid of food, clothes and people you are "allergic" too. Do what you love. Listen to the whispers of your heart you dismiss. Surround yourself with what you love to feel alive.
4) WHAT DO YOU TELL YOURSELF?
What lingo do you hear on "repeat" in your head? Before you sleep? When you wake up? Negative talk? Pay attention to what you hear when you are silent that you usually try to drown out.
Thoughts are powerful.
Jot down the top three statements that show up in your thoughts. If these thoughts are not moving you towards your goals, take time to change them to cleanse your mind, and what you say to yourself.
5) CLEANSE CLUTTER:
Cleanse your home. Create the following piles for everything in your home and office: 1) Trash 2) Donate 3) Keep. Create a new place for everything you keep. Play music you love while you clean and make it fun. Hire professional help or ask a friend to assist if you need support in the process.
Cleanse the clutter of your body. Winter is a heavy, dark time. Eat more cooked greens, drink cleansing soups. Reduce heavy/toxic foods: fried, saturated fats, dairy, sugar, soda, alcohol, grains. If you overindulged recently, do a two week detox to reset your body. Increase your water intake, especially in the morning.
Cleanse your products. Rid your cabinets of chemical-laden supplies and replace with natural options. Throw out expired makeup and medication.
Cleanse your tech. Delete outdated contacts on your phone. Clean your desktop and phone of unneeded apps and documents.
Creating space to reflect is the initial step to detox your current patterns, and create the new habits you want. The beginning of a new year is the time to start over, when a natural reset button is ready to be pressed. So the next time you reach want to reach for the latest juice fad, take some time to look inward first.