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12 Steps to a New You: February: Detox your Body & Mind

Detoxing is all the rage -- whether it’s a juice cleanse, a restrictive diet (options range from a pineapple-only diet to going vegan), or a tea regimen, there seems to be no shortage of quick fixes for getting a healthier body and fast track to peace of mind.

But the truth is, there aren’t any immediate, quick fixes to “detox” and your body does most of its own detoxing naturally. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue on your journey to a new you! There are ways to hit reset and promote your body’s natural processes -- here are seven great tips.

Reduce Sugar Intake

Natural sugars are great and eliminating sugar entirely isn’t good for you, but nowadays, most of us consume way too much sugar on a daily basis. Work on reducing your sugar consumption -- cut out or limit dessert and be sure to be on the lookout for products containing artificial sweeteners and ditch those from your diet.

Reducing sugar can help speed up your metabolism and diminish fatigue. Those that consume excess sugar increase their risk of being overweight, which can lead to diabetes and other health concerns. Reducing sugar can be a positive life change, whether or not it’s temporary.

Hydrate!

Water is your body’s best friend. Doctors advise we consume 8 glasses of water a day, but most of us fall short of that advice. Try to up your water intake -- start by replacing soda and juice with water during the day to both eliminate artificial sweeteners and swap water for potentially dehydrating substances.

You can try adding lemon or cucumber to your water to enhance the flavor and add the natural health benefits of those fruits and vegetables. A lot of health complaints can be linked back to dehydration so if you really want to detox, start by massively increasing your water consumption.

Get on Your Feet

Exercise is key to your body’s natural detox properties. It helps promote circulation of the blood and lymph systems which affects every aspect of your body from improving digestion to lubricating joints to promoting overall strength. Sweating is one of your body’s natural ways to release toxins, so engaging in exercise is an easy way to detox and help your body jump start other beneficial processes.

Have a Cup

As stimulants go, tea is much better for you than coffee. Its type of caffeine is easier on the system and many teas are naturally full of antioxidants. Herbal teas can help you stay hydrated and promote the flourishing of antioxidants in your body. Drinking tea will also help you stay full, so if weight loss or cutting cravings is part of your goal, tea can be a natural nutritionist.

Go Green

A balanced diet is key to maximizing your health, and the best way to promote your health is to prioritize a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that is supplemented with whole grains, beans, and legumes. You can promote the natural detox properties of your body by eliminating processed foods from your diet and choosing healthy foods rich in micronutrients and other restorative properties.

Don’t ignore the benefits of protein, amino acids, unsaturated fats, and more in foods like meat, fish, and cheese -- everything in moderation is key to help bolster your immune system which is the best detox system around.

Get a Breath of Fresh Air

Don’t forget that managing what goes in your body goes beyond what you eat and drink. We face a lot of obstacles from allergens, pollutants, and more in the air. To detox your nasal passages and breathe more easily, start with a Neti Pot to flush your sinuses and breathe naturally.

Make sure you also test your surroundings, especially your home, for harmful substances like asbestos and radon. Install a carbon monoxide detector to protect yourself from deadly toxins. Consider investing in an air purifier or humidifier if you want to more closely monitor the air your breathe at home.

Pamper Yourself

Relaxing, whether you have the dollars to visit a real spa, or just treat yourself to a DIY spa day at home, is key to hitting your own personal reset button. Meditation is the most proven method of detoxing to help clear your mind, which, in turn, will have many beneficial effects on your body.

Try to rid your mind of negative thoughts, anger, anxiety, and grudges -- clear away bad thoughts and focus on goals and aspirations by writing in a journal. Find a meditation practice or breathing pattern that helps calm you -- simply taking deep breaths is a great way to oxygenate your blood and fortify your body and spirit. A trip to the sauna is a great addition to this as sweating is a great way to detox (if you can’t get to a sauna, have a long soak in a hot bath or shower). Finally, exfoliating and massage can help improve circulation, remove toxins from your skin, and more.

There is no quick detox fix--crash diets, juice cleanses, and extreme methods like enemas and colon cleanses are more dangerous to your body than restorative. While you may feel your mind clears after one of these detox methods, they do not have lasting measurable effects. The best way to detox is to engage in one of these seven natural and less extreme methods that are really more of a way to integrate a detoxifying lifestyle than a magic solution.

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