By Saimaa Miller
Detoxification is the ultimate anti-ageing tool. Naturopaths believe it’s essential to have a healthy body, mind and spirit. It’s the key to unlocking that youthful glow and is the recipe for boundless energy.
Detoxification simply means assisting the body to purge toxins that may have accumulated in different types of cells. By throwing out the ‘garbage’, you’ll make your bodily processes more effective. Detox from time to time will help your body cope when you do indulge in a gourmet meal, fine wine or one too many chocolates.
Here are my top five detox tips to help you beat those winter blues and get your wellness back on track this summer.
Move it or lose it! We’re designed to move, not sit at a desk all day. Movement eases tension, boosts circulation, stimulates metabolism, releases endorphins, fires up the libido, wards of disease; the more you move, the more enriched your life will be. We all know how good exercise is for us, but we are so good at finding excuses not to do it. Exercise should be a habit, just like flossing or checking Facebook. Exercise can be anything you want it to be; the more variety the better. Some days you’re itching to put on your sneakers, other days you would rather defrost a fridge than exercise. I get it. Even on the difficult days, just try. Do Something. Consistency is key.
The art of a successful detox is planning. From preparing your mind by setting goals and clearing your work and social calendars as much as possible, to preparing your body by shopping before you start and clearing your pantry and fridge of the things you might crave during the detoxification phase. Enjoy a nourishing, wholefood diet ensuring adequate protein, healthy fats, a small amount of fruit and unlimited salads and vegetables. Increase consumption of alkalising greens, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley, barley, alfalfa, chlorella and spirulina.
An easy way to detox the skin is by dry brushing with a vegetable bristle brush before a shower. This stimulates the lymphatic system, enhances circulation and exfoliates dead skin cells. I also recommend bentonite clay and detoxifying oils. Massage is pampering and therapeutic, improving circulation and lymph flow, relaxing tight muscles and de-stressing your body. Feed your skin from the inside out, with foods rich in antioxidants beta-carotene, zinc and vitamins A, C and E. Include healthy monounsaturated fats, such as avocado and olive oils and coconut-derived products.
Silica-rich foods include; leafy green vegetables, cucumber, millet, oats, onions, rice, whole grains, alfalfa, barley and beetroot. Replace posh lotions with cups of green tea and rosehip tea. Sweat a lot to clean skin cells. Jump in the ocean as often as possible. It’s one of the best things you can do to recharge and revitalise your skin. If you can’t get there, a salt bath (Epsom salt, sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt at my favourites) is the next best thing.
Sure it’s great to cleanse your body, however, detoxification is also about slowing down, relaxing and coming back to a sense of self. It’s a time for reflection and contemplation; re-evaluation where you want to be and what ‘stuff’ you need to let go of. Take time to do things that make you happy. This will vary from person to person. Spend time with family and friends, meditate, read a book, sit in the sun or have some quiet time to yourself (a hard feat in a busy city we know).
Keeping a journal whilst you’re on a detox is a great way to track your symptoms, as well as your emotional state of being. Jot down any physical symptoms you’re experiencing, as well as how they are affecting you mentally. It is common to feel tired, cranky and emotional during a detox. Acknowledge and accept these emotions and know that they will pass. Identifying and accepting negative emotions can be confronting and somewhat tricky. A helpful way to release old stress is to write a letter directed to the person your emotions are targeted towards (don’t worry you don’t have to send it). This allows us to freely express ourselves without interruptions or fear of confrontation.
Saimaa is a naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and health coach. Her early training, following traditional natural medicine philosophy, was primarily through apprenticeships with masters within the field. She went onto complete her naturopathic training at Nature Care College in Sydney, receiving the Excellence in Nutrition Award upon graduation in 2004.
Saimaa founded The Last Resort Organic Detox Spa in January 2005. Her client base includes everyone from local and international celebrities and sportspeople, to anyone seeking better health. Over the past eleven years, thousands of people have consulted Saimaa for health advice, and embarked on her nutritional and detox programs with outstanding and life-changing results.
Saimaa is an innovative leader in the health industry and her book, Aussie Body Diet (Penguin, 2013) is the result of extensive research, and direct experience through treating everyone from children to the elderly. This book has already been printed in French and the UK edition was released in January 2016. She is currently writing The Health Manifesto, due for release by Pan Macmillan in 2017.
For more information, visit www.saimaamiller.com