It’s a New Year!
Welcome to a clean slate, a renewed opportunity to have your best year ever! For most of us this means a tradition involving a brand new set of resolutions. I have a number of things I want to focus on; a few things I want to do better, and a few things I would like to learn to avoid.
One of the most common resolutions is to get fit or lose weight. If you are someone who wants to make a change in the way you look and how you eat this year I want to talk to you!
How to Detox your New Year
You see, there are good ways and bad ways to change the way your body looks. There are many “get thin now” schemes out there at this time of year that can easily romance you away from the slow and steady method everyone knows is right. One of the biggest traps in the diet industry is the notion of “detox.” I hate that word and I wish we had another one that would work better.
The Detox Lie
We choose every day how we will build our bodies tomorrow. Will you build your body from synthetic colors and chemicals or whole fruits and vegetables? Every mouthful is a simple choice when you get down to it. The detoxification culture dangles the lie that in one weekend you can purge all your bad choices at once and start over with a clean slate. It is not only a mission impossible, but it is also not an appropriate way to treat your body. The torture of purging does not typically do anything more than clean out the digestive system. If you truly want to improve the living conditions inside your body you must improve the cells of all your body’s organs. This is a much longer process.
Be patient! Learning how to detox involves learning to understand that detoxification is a total lifestyle change that restructures your diet, personal and medical care, as well as removing your emotional stressors. There are ways to move the process along a bit. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), chlorella, dandelion, (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) are some examples of gentle herbs that can help with detox. One of my favorites is an ayurvedic compound called triphala. (Find triphala powder here.)
Triphala for Detox
Triphala literally means “three fruits.” It is a compilation of the fruit of the amalaki, bibitahki and haritaki trees that typically grow near the base of the Himalayas.
Several known properties and benefits of Triphala:
- Improves digestion
- Regulates bowel function
- Reduces serum cholesterol
- Improves circulation (potentiates adrenergic function)
- Contains 31% linoleic acid
- Exerts a marked cardio-protective effect
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Improves liver function
- Has proven anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
The compound works by balancing the digestion. The list of benefits are impressive and seems too good to be true. Many of the most common degenerative diseases of today have their roots in digestive dysfunction. When we address the problems in the digestive system first, the long list of positive changes above are not out of the realm of possibility. Weight loss is often a nice bonus to these improvements, but should never be the focus.
Triphala is traditionally taken about half an hour before bed and the dose is 1 teaspoon. The most readily available source is to take in powder form, mixed with water. Our farm also created a delicious triphala (tummy love) honey spread. It’s one supplement I use almost every day.
How about you?
Were you planning a detox for the New Year? How will you go about it?