How To Do a Mini-Cleanse Every Day
Your body has an amazing ability to get rid of toxins in several ingenious ways. Your liver breaks down toxins, while your digestive system eliminates them. Your kidneys pull waste products from your blood stream and eliminate them in urine. You release toxins through your skin when you sweat. You even release toxins when you breathe deeply.
Certainly, doing a dedicated liver-cleanse once or twice a year is a wonderful thing for resetting your health. But what if you can do a mini-cleanse every day, so that toxins don’t accumulate as much over time? What would a daily mini-cleanse look like? Let’s start with the easy steps.
Drink enough water every day
One of the most important things you can do to support your detoxification systems is to drink plenty of filtered water. Aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces every day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink at least 70 ounces of water per day. This water is needed to support all cellular processes so the body can efficiently do what it is designed to do.
Practice deep breathing every day
You also support your detoxification systems by mindfully taking deep breaths throughout the day to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream through the lungs. This can be as simple as taking several deep breaths every hour, or it can be through focused activities like exercise, meditation, and yoga.
Break a sweat, no matter how cold it is outside
And speaking of exercise, working up a good sweat every day also releases toxins. In addition to vigorous exercise, this can also be done by heating the body in a sauna or hot bath. I’m not just talking about a little “glistening.” I’m talking about a full-on dripping sweat where you need a towel to wipe off your forehead before sweat drips into your eyes. It doesn’t need to last long – even 15 to 20 minutes is beneficial.
Now here is where it tends to get a little more complicated for people.
Eat a detoxifying diet every day
This is absolutely key. Besides drinking enough water, the most important thing you can do to support all of your detoxification systems is to eat a detoxifying diet every day. You may think it sounds complicated, but it’s easier than you might think. You just need to keep certain guidelines in mind.
Let’s start with some general guidelines. Remember, the goal is to keep toxins from accumulating in the body. This is accomplished in two ways.
Number One: Don’t eat toxic foods in the first place!
This means eating whole unprocessed foods. Look for foods that have fewer than five total ingredients. Look for foods that have ingredients that you recognize. Avoid foods that have a long list of chemical names in their ingredients. Buy organic and non-GMO foods to minimize pesticides (see the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists at https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php ).
You want the most nutrient-dense, highest quality foods fueling your body. Let me be more specific about what I mean by highest quality foods.
- Eat a variety of proteins (organic/pastured/wild-caught is best). This includes chicken, fish, shellfish, grassfed beef, natural/pastured pork, lamb, bison, turkey, game meat, eggs, beans, non-GMO tofu or tempeh (if you tolerate soy).
- Eat tuna no more than a couple of times per month because of mercury content.
- Organ meats (like liver) are some of the most nutritious foods available. People tend to turn up their noses at organ meats, yet they were the most prized meats in our ancient ancestors’ culture, and skeletal muscle meats were eaten last.
- Eat free range, organic, or pastured eggs.
- Add daily seeds and nuts. Nuts can harbor mold so refrigerate them.
- Eliminate processed seed and vegetable oils (soy, corn, canola, vegetable). They’re rancid and inflammatory.
- Use coconut, avocado oil, extra-virgin olive oil, organic or pastured butter, ghee or lard (bacon fat) for cooking. Flax and nut oils should be refrigerated and only used cold.
- Eat plenty of avocados, olives, coconut, nuts and seeds.
- Your primary source of carbohydrates should be vegetables. All types, and all colors of the rainbow.
- Eat a wide variety of vegetables to get a full array of nutrients.
- Minimize any foods made with refined grain flours (bread, pasta, tortillas, most crackers, cookies, cakes, most cereals). These are processed foods, not whole foods.
- Substitute starchy vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips) for bread, pasta, and refined grain products. Think zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash instead of pasta, cauliflower rice instead of white rice, baked sweet potato rounds instead of toast.
- Beans and whole grains (e.g., brown rice, traditional oats, quinoa, millet) are good sources of nutrients and fiber. However, be aware that they can negatively affect blood sugar in some people, so smaller portions may be a good idea.
- Eliminate sugar as much as possible. Read labels! Aim for less than 5 mg “added sugars” per day.
What should your plate look like?
- 50-75% vegetables
- 25% protein
- 2-3 tablespoons fat (coconut/avocado/olive oil, butter, avocado, nuts/seeds and their butters)
Number 2: Eat the specific foods that support your liver – every day!
Following the guidelines above will help keep toxins out of your body. But there’s more that you can do to help your body get rid of toxins. There are many specific nutrients to help your liver dismantle toxins and help your digestive system eliminate those dismantled toxins. You can supply these by eating certain foods each day.
- Eat two or more full servings of detoxifying vegetables and fruits per day
- Alliums – Garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, green onion
- Cruciferous – Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, mustard greens, turnips, rutabaga, bok choy, broccoli sprouts
- Other leafy greens, raw or cooked – Swiss chard, beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, spinach, darker lettuces
- Berries (organic/frozen)
- Eat fermented vegetables – these are found in the refrigerated section of the store, not in the canned section. Sauerkraut, pickles and kim chi contain beneficial probiotics to support your digestive system.
- Other detoxifying additions:
- Turmeric spice
- Organic coffee
- Organic green tea
What Does This Look Like Every Day?
Maybe you’re used to eating cereal and toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta salad for dinner. But now I’m suggesting that you should minimize flour foods. Then what should your detox-supporting meals look like? Here are some examples.
- Choose your protein
- 3 vegetables, one starchy. Or a big dinner salad with 3-4 vegetables.
- Go with a theme, using the seasonings that go with it – e.g., Italian, Asian, Indian
- Add a serving of fruit
Breakfasts should be lower in carbohydrates, and higher in protein and fat, to keep your blood sugar level all day.
- Leftover dinners
- Homemade Soup
- Eggs and sautéed vegetables
- Egg casserole
- Breakfast meat
- Sauteed greens or asparagus or any other quick vegetable added to any breakfast
- Sweet potato toasts (precooked slices of sweet potato) with nut butter and mashed avocado
- Sweet potato or butternut squash hash
- Chia pudding made with canned unsweetened coconut milk, with added berries, coconut flakes, and nuts. Google “chia pudding recipes no sugar.”
- Oatmeal – steel cut or traditional rolled. Not instant, not flavored, not sweetened. Add plain whole fat yogurt, berries, coconut flakes, nuts and seeds.
- Dinner leftovers
- Batch-cooked roasted vegetables
- Homemade soup
- Meal salad (include a protein like meat, fish, nuts/seeds or eggs)
Finally, plan ahead to make sure you stay on top of your daily detoxifying food habits. Make a weekly meal plan and build your shopping list around it. Then cook larger batches of foods so that your refrigerator is full of spot-on choices.
Weekly Meal Planning Considerations
- Choose which detoxifying vegetables you will eat each day
- Choose which leafy greens you will eat each day
- Choose which breakfast foods you will have available to eat for the week, and make a breakfast plan
- Choose which healthy snack foods you will have on hand
- Make sure to put fish on the menu 2 times (includes shellfish)
- Make sure you have a variety of nuts and seeds (preferably raw) available for snacks and salads
- Be sure to have some type of fermented vegetables on the shopping list
Doing a mini-cleanse most days can easily become part of your routine. Most importantly, it will help your body efficiently get rid of toxins and keep running strong in spite of what’s going on in the world around you.