So for those of you who are doing Dry July, or for anyone who is currently on (or considering) a period of alcohol abstinence, I thought I would just jot down some additional things you might like to be doing to assist in a bit of Bodily Spring Cleaning, to go alongside that beautiful rest you’re giving your liver’s from the burdens of alcohol.
Now, I’m not presenting here a full-on detox plan. Did you know?- there are some factors that would make a detox a bad idea for some people; these include pregnancy (though its often beneficial as part of a pre-conception plan prior to pregnancy), breast feeding, chronic illness and being on certain medications. With my patients the type of detox I put them on is often tailored to them as individuals, based on their existing diet, lifestyle, health etc. If you want more specific detox advice by all means contact me.
So, here are just a few generic gentle tips to ease you on your way to a bit of Dry July cleanliness. And yes, most of it is common sense knowledge – but that’s what I like, common sense, practical, sensible health information that is achievable, affordable and effective.
My biggest tip of all is this:
- embrace this process as an opportunity to discover new beverages, new foods, new ways of doing things, new ways of feeling, general tip-top all round, good newness; as opposed to feeling like you’re missing out on things you’ve been used to. Rejoice in the satisfaction and sense of fulfillment that being creative in this process brings. Embody the positive aspects of giving yourself health; building a positive mindset will make it much more likely that you will succeed at making more healthful choices.
Some other tips which you may like to incorporate:
- start the day with the juice of half a lemon squeezed into a glass of warm water, drink it swiftly rather than sipping it over a period of time. This will kick start your metabolism and get your digestive juices flowing, as well as cleansing the liver. If you’re concerned about the potential acidic effects of the lemon juice on your tooth enamel then make sure you drink this before you brush your teeth, if you like, you could also drink it with a straw if you’re really worried.
- keep well hydrated – aim for 2 litres of filtered or spring water per day. I like warm best, I believe the body likes it to, half from the kettle + half from the filter jug. Sometimes when you get the exactly best temperature warm water can taste like nectar – honest! experiment, try it! You can try flavouring your water with slices of fresh lemon, lime, ginger or mint leaves, if you want to be a little bit fancy. You can also drink herb teas and include this in your water count.
- enjoy lots of fruits & vegetables (organic where possible), enjoy a multitude of rainbow colours to get maximum antioxidant nutrient content.
- increase fibre – fruit, veg, wholegrains, legumes.
- increase consumption of wholegrains, choose ‘brown’ alternatives to ‘white’, when choosing bread, pasta, rice etc Try grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet.
- avoid refined sugar, cakes, biscuits, store bought condiments and sauces, which frequently have ‘hidden’ sugar added – watch out for words such as sucrose, fructose, maltose.
- avoid processed and convenience foods.
- minimise saturated fats.
- avoid alcohol (obviously you will already be doing this if you are Dry July’ing).
- avoid caffeine and caffeine containing products – coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate. Try alternatives to coffee such as dandelion or chicory root tea.
- avoid soft drinks, cordials, fizzy and scarily coloured ‘pop’ (as we used to call it when I was a kidlet).
- embrace home cooked, tasty meals using fresh produce
- consider investing in a slow cooker – and a slow cooker cook book (such as this one) – conveniently delicious. The ingredients work it all out in the pot, they have heaps of time to work out how to be-friend one another and work alongside each other, resulting in good, digestible nourishment.
- avoid exposure to environmental toxins, including smoking; reduce your use of personal care products, cleaning products (seek environmental alternatives or be resourceful with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda); generally minimize your use of synthetic preservatives, flavours, chemicals etc.
- dry skin brushing – using a natural bristle (not nylon), long handed brush on dry skin, in sweeping strokes up your body, working towards your heart, brush your skin for 3 minutes or so before getting into the shower, this assists your lymphatic system in eliminating toxins and will help reduce the risk of skin outbreaks.
- hot and cold showers – before you get out of the shower, turn the temperature down to cool for a minute and then return to warm, to cool, to warm. After you’ve been doing this for a couple of days be brave and try alternating between warm and COLD! The alternating temperature helps stimulate circulation.
- moderate exercise – will keep your circulation going and help elimination of those toxins as well as releasing ‘feel-good’ endorphins.
- you may want to use this time to do a bit of ‘mind detox’ too – you may feel inspired to let go of some thoughts / feelings that you feel no longer serve you. Enrol in a meditation course, read that book that you know is going to be inspiring but you’ve not quite got round to buying / reading yet and take time out for yourself and relish in some rest & relaxation. Identify and celebrate some of your bestest qualities. Doing some cleansing of the bodily kind can have a very positive effect on clearing some mind junk too and installing some new & supportive behaviours.
Go to it Dry July’ers! Enjoy!
Want to support Pip (Meet me at Mikes super crafty lady) in her Dry July charity fundraising challenge (and go in the draw to win some Crafting Health therapeutic, tastea herbal craftTEAs too?) then check out Pip’s blog here.