With fall upon us and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s important not to neglect your health. Unlike the “laissez faire” attitude that seems to be the essence of Summer, Fall tends to be more regimented, with increases in workload, schools back in session and the reduction in daylight hours.
But before you put your wellness completely on the back burner, look into a fall detoxification program, whether you create it yourself or seek the help of a professional who can help you learn how to detox without putting your health in jeopardy.
There are some helpful detox supplements out there. But these supplements alone hardly do justice to a thorough, holistic detox program. Detoxing is not about taking a blend of herbs primarily thrown together because they have been shown to support the body’s organs of detoxification and elimination.
When you begin your detox journey, know that it will include detoxification of your physical body, as well as your mind and spirit. The benefits of detox are many and include:
- Improved overall health
- Improved immune and digestive function
- Possible weight loss
- Relief from allergies
- Improved stress response
- A more positive outlook on life
The season plays a major role in determining the type of detox you should undergo. Detox programs vary, however a Summer detox program generally includes eating lighter meal — primarily raw dishes and smoothies. A Fall detox program focuses more on nutritionally-dense stews, soups and root vegetable dishes.
The reason for the difference is two-fold. First of all, your body is better able to eliminate toxins and your liver’s ability to detox is increased when you eat seasonal foods. Produce that is available in the summer is not quite the same as what is available in the fall. Depending on where you live, summer produce tends to be lighter. It won’t weigh you down, so you can continue “moving.” Fall produce is earthy and more substantial.
The second reason has to do with the differences in your natural energy expenditure based on the season. During the warmer months, you tend to want to expend more outward energy. Cooler months are the opposite. Whether you realize it or not, you usually retreat inward and tend not to have as much energy as you did during the Summer.
Here are some basic recommendations for how to do a thorough, holistic fall detox:
1. Eat primarily whole foods.
Focus on eating foods that are not highly refined or processed. This means shopping the periphery of the store where whole foods are almost always located. Eliminate or minimize frozen dinners and packaged meals, even if they say organic.
2. Consume produce that is locally grown or organic.
Avoid foods that may be laden with pesticides and GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Shop at your local farmer’s market for foods that are in season where you live.
3. Consider eliminating meat and poultry from your diet, and include more fish.
Fish should be low in mercury. (You can find a list of low-mercury fish here.)
4. Incorporate nourishing, immune-supporting herbs, teas and broths into your diet.
Try my recipe for Medicinal Mushroom Stock. It’s a great fall detox recipe.
5. Increase your water intake.
You should be drinking at least half your weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 130 lbs, half that is 65 lbs. You would want to drink at least 65 ounces of water. Water helps to flush toxins out of the body.
6. Use non-toxic products on your skin.
Most conventional products contain toxins that are readily absorbed into the skin. (Read more about using clean, natural products that are free of toxins.)
7. Find effective ways to deal with stress.
Whether through meditation, exercise or prayer, take care not to let stress take a toll on your health. Evaluate how you live life on a daily basis. Is it fast-paced? Are you present each day? Or do you live for the past or future?
8. Consider whether you are an “–aholic.”
Are you a shopaholic, alcoholic, foodaholic, etc.? Think about how you can effectively move into a more balanced state.
By following a detox program prior to becoming overwhelmed with life, you may find that you are able to deal with the stressors that come your way better. Doing a thorough, seasonally appropriate detox and by eating seasonal foods while truly tending to yourself, you will find greater benefit from the detox program.
[ad name=”Ad Links Bot”]
Lissa’s passion for educating people about the healing powers of herbs led her to obtain a Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine from the Tai Sophia School of the Healing Arts. She has also studied nutrition and women’s health extensively, and has trained as a doula.
Have a question for Lissa? Send her an email and she’ll get back to you!