As the summer months wear on, it’s a great time to refresh and energize to prepare your body for the fall season. Although most detox plans are geared towards the change of seasons during the springtime, a summer detox may be just what your mind and body needs with the constant weather changes. During a hot, and often humid summer, our bodies can become overloaded with fatigue, heat-related stress, and toxins from overworked (or under worked) muscles. A detox plan over a few weeks will help you gently and steadily create balance for both your mind and body.
The most natural approach for a summer detox involves fresh wholesome food, and a variety of drinks and smoothies to maximize your fruit and vegetable intake. Summertime is a great opportunity to try a variety of foods in season; incorporating them into your own customized detox plan couldn’t be easier!
Choose from fresh and organic items when possible, as your summer detox will be best completed when there is wholesome, natural, and low-processed food involved. Changing your eating habits slowly is always your best option, as too many sudden changes will only cause more stress on your system. The body can become very efficient during and after a detox, so do makes sure that your plan is short-term and will accommodate well when you move back into your regular food intake.
Detox diets can seem overwhelming and many people do not choose them for the types and tastes of natural food sinvolved. Still, you don’t have to be one of them! A detox diet composed of the following key items will set you on your way to a total body ‘flush’ that will reinvigorate, reenergize, and diffuse stress naturally. Include the following key items into your plan, and stick with it for a series of at least 1-2 weeks:
Cucumbers and fresh leafy greens: the naturally-occurring antioxidants and water-based components of both of these foods will help keep you hydrated, well-nourished, and strong. Opt for spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and field greens at any opportunity!
Tomatoes are not only great cancer-fighting agents, but also offer high levels of lycopene. Rich in antioxidants, tomato juices, purees, and diced versions are easy to incorporate into your daily menu. V8 has recently introduced a line of organic vegetable juice blends that can provide some tomato-intensive drink options.
Start the day with a fresh smoothie: Incorporate your favorite seasonal fruits with ice and fresh yogurt for a delicious treat to jumpstart the detox process. Bolthouse Farms offers some great natural blends of fresh fruit, vitamin infusions, minerals, and hard-to-find nutrients in liquid form such as Kale and asparagus.
Lemon water: Infuse your own water with a squeeze of lemon and fresh mint for a healthy twist. Aim for 6-8 glasses each day. A fresh glass of lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to start the detox process; if you can get up early enough, try this before sunrise for a few consecutive days and you’ll notice some big changes.
Fiber: Make sure to eat plenty of grains such as oats, bran, and seeds. Natural oatmeal is a wholesome and nourishing diet staple, and can be included near the end of your detox cycle. You can get plenty of fiber from fresh vegetables, as well as leafy greens such as spinach. Fiber-infused cereals such as Raisin Bran and Grape Nuts are a healthy option, but different tastes mandate various choices.
Caffeine: If you really can’t live without coffee, turn to Green Tea instead. A variety of organic and flavored options are available at almost every grocery store, and green tea provides antioxidant benefits along with a milder but effective form of caffeine. The Yogi Tea brand, as well as the organic Numi tea line are healthy choices that come in a vareity of flavor infusions.
Limit excess sugars, and alcohol: Enjoy all of your favorite sweets and treats in highly moderate forms, if at all, during your detox. The idea is to keep your internal ‘engines’ as clean as possible. You won’t be able to do this effectively with toxins from sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Instead, choose fresh ripe fruits and yogurt to curb your sweet tooth.
Exercise lightly when you eat less to avoid too much stress on your system. A detox is a great time to learn stretching and breathing exercises such as yoga, pilates, or meditation. You may notice a dip in energy levels at the beginning, but as the days go by you will feel more energetic and strong. Remember to get plenty of rest, and enjoy the greatest gift of summer in the process: time in the sun!
Remember that you are reinvigorating and replenishing your vital resources; let your summer detox guide you towards a better eating lifestyle over the long term, and you’ll feel better, feel lighter, and be more motivated to improve your eating habits.