Water serves vital roles in maintaining our health. Our blood is comprised largely of water and serves as a transport system that delivers nutrients to our cells and organs while removing waste through urine, perspiration and breath. Many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies also depend on water. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are broken down through hydrolysis reactions into smaller, more usable components such as amino acids and fatty acids.
Water is also vital in helping to maintain our body temperature. It enables the body to release heat when ambient temperature is higher than body temperature. The formation of sweat and the subsequent evaporation of water from the skin surface cools the body very efficiently.
But what if our water demands are exceeding the amount of water that we are taking in? When we lose just a mere 1 to 2 percent loss of body weight from water, we jeopardize our performance and ability to cool the body. This taxes our system as our hearts pumps harder, circulation slows and muscles fatigue more quickly. What if that loss creeps up to 3 to 4 percent? Now you’re in the danger zone for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and cramping.
Staying ahead of dehydration is key. Here are some tips to make sure your water levels are optimized. (more…)
For most people, the word “Detox” doesn’t exactly sound like a good time. But what if I told you that it can be? What if I told you that not only could you end up liking your detox but that it could change your life so much that you’d want to to do it again? Let me share with you what worked for me.
Step One: Fix Your Focus
Detoxing is all about letting go and getting rid of what’s not working. But all too fast, our brains associate letting go with deprivation. What do you mean I can’t have _______ (fill in the blank for said-vice here)? Instead of thinking about what is being taken away from you, FOCUS on what you are bringing into your body and life through nourishing foods and behaviors. Your body is the one beautiful thing that is specific to you so own it with love.
Step Two: Find Your Why
I love to dance (okay, that’s an understatement). Last year, I was honored to participate in a project featuring movement and restriction with four talented young women – half my age! And just like that, BAM! I had my powerful WHY. Declaring that I would like to feel less sluggish and blah could have been my goal, but it wasn’t inspiring. But this performance – my heart and head were all in. I wanted to feel a confidence in my body and an abundance of energy to take me through rehearsals and performances.
This year, my WHY will focus on reconnecting to my food intake and increasing my mind/body’s awareness of the benefits. I’m going for optimized health because I have no tolerance of any health symptoms with the super-noticeable differences I experienced when I reintroduced certain foods last year. An example…post nasal drip following eating wheat. Since last year, I have greatly reduced my intake of wheat, sugar and dairy, and have felt great! I can’t wait to see what else I learn this year.
So, find your WHY and let it lead your detox journey. Be definitive. Go beyond the basics of weight loss and increased energy. Once you connect to your WHY, let it be your guide and your motivator to keep you on track. Create visuals or written reminders of what you’re up to that you can place in frequently viewed areas like your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator door, or on your car dashboard. These gentle messages of inspiration will help to keep you connected to your WHY.
Step Three: Hydrate
Hydrating during your detox is key to minimizing some of the side-effects of the detox that can make you feel tired and run down. This can be different for everyone. I was more inclined to feeling hangry, experiencing brain fog and feeling more fatigued. I wanted to change this, so I drank more tea and infused water. This helped make me feel full and curbed my cravings for certain foods.
I like simple, so I made it simple. Hot water infused with lemon and ginger were a comfort beverage for me in the morning. Adding spices such as cayenne, cinnamon or cloves to herbal tea had a calming, soothing effect for me. This made for a great daily beverage or an evening after-supper libation. Room temperature water with a variety of lemon, lime, blueberries, raspberries, cucumber and mint were refreshing and revitalizing throughout the day. I encourage you to experiment (this is the fun part!) with this. You are sure to find one that suits you.
Step Four: Pamper
Pamper and reward yourself. That’s right; detoxing can be hard – especially if you have not experienced one before! In some cases, it can be a complete lifestyle change. At the end of each week (heck, every two days if you want), treat yourself to a luxurious bath, spa or massage. Sounds expensive? It doesn’t have to be. Make your own body scrub or create your own detox bath with what you already have on hand in your kitchen. Use sugar or sea salt with a base oil (olive oil or coconut oil) and add a few drops of essential oils…WA-LAH! Instant body scrub!
Unfortunately, I do not own a bath tub…yet. I have grandiose ideas of turning our unused milk house into a sauna and the bulk milk tank into a hot tub, but we are just in the fantasy ideas stage right now. Instead, I have decided to do hot/cold shower therapy in lieu of a spa bath. I started hydrotherapy by making the water comfortably hot for a few minutes. Then I would adjust the flow of cold water until it was almost intolerably cold. I would then go back to hot water once more and finish with cold. When I first started this, I was thinking that it was insane. After doing it twice a week, I found I could tolerate going from as hot as I could stand it to as cold as I could stand it. My body adjusted and was no longer shocked at the fluctuations in temperature. It was invigorating, calming and energizing all at the same time.
If showers and scrubs are not your thing, pick a reward that works for you. Take an evening stroll in nature, go to a movie that you’ve wanted to see (with your own healthy snacks!), order that mouth-watering salad from your favorite restaurant or buy those luxurious wool socks you’ve been coveting. Whatever it is, let it be a supportive assist to your WHY and motivate you to keep going and stay the course.
Step Five: Partner Up
Find someone to do the detox with you. Having a partner to share in the pains and gains as you go through a detox will provide you with accountability and the extra motivation/support you may need along the way.
Regardless, if you have someone to do it with or not, your detox will be a success if YOU make it so. Watch your front, because we got your back. We are just a phone call away should you want to discuss how you are feeling, have questions regarding food and drink intake, or just want to touch base.
FOCUS. FIND. HYDRATE. PAMPER. PARTNER.
Use these as tools to ensure a more successful detox. Good luck on your detox journey! If you are of the sharing sort, I would love to hear about your experience.
Take care, well wishes ~