6 ways to kick-start your detox program

Advice from the natural health experts

Bright eyes? Clear skin? Toned tum? Our natural health expert shows you how to make the most out of the new season, writes Catherine Kladakis.

1. The Chinese Medicine Doctors: Eat seasonally

“In spring we should eat foods that assist with detoxification,” says Karina Stewart, a doctor of Chinese medicine from Kamalaya spa resort, Koh Samui.

“Slightly bitter and sour, mildly sweet and pungent flavours are recommended to maintain a personal spring from the body.”

In line with the light and bouncy energy of spring, swap heavy meals for lighter ones and limit cooking time through steaming and sautéing for better digestion. As spring relates to the liver in Chinese medicine, foods should be eaten that support this hard-working organ. 

2. The Naturopath: Back to basics

Contemplating yet another fad spring diet? No thanks. It might sound ultra boring, but cutting out processed foods and replacing with simple, real food is the way to go – whether you are trying to shift those winter kilos or improve your health.

“The whole point is to get the right nutritional building blocks to provide the right fuel to support and cleanse your body,” says naturopath Anthia Koullouros.

“Eat mainly plants, particularly organic fruit and vegetables, along with wild fish, small amounts of grass-fed animal protein, quality pastured eggs and dairy, nuts, grains, seeds and beans.”

Beyond a flatter tummy, clearer eyes and a glowing complexion, stripping your diet (and lifestyle) back to basics will help improve digestive function, skin disorders and reduce the toxic burden on the body.

3. The Mind Specialists: Detox your mind. Reset your goals

Spring is the perfect time to clear out the elements in your life that don’t serve you and replace them with new habits and aspirations.

“Release self-hate,” says mind detox therapist, Debbie Spellman. “You need to spend the rest of your life with yourself, so it’s time you became your own best friend. Start by changing the way you talk to yourself, and challenging your negative thinking. Most importantly, give yourself permission to fail. Life is a journey and many of our best learning comes from what we perceive to be our biggest downfalls.”

Let go of the past.  “Replaying the story of what happened (past failures, mistakes, hurt, etc.) will only keep you stuck in a cycle of fear and negativity and prevent you from moving forward and reaching your full potential,” says Spellman. “On a piece of paper, make a list of everything in your past that you feel you are still holding on to. Look at each event and come to a place of acceptance and forgiveness of both yourself and others. You are not your past and at any point you can choose to create a new future by focusing all of your energy on the present.” 

Declutter to move forward. “Often, our physical environment is reflective of what is going on in our heads,” says psychologist Sarah Jayne McCormick. “If your home or desk at work is cluttered, it’s possible your head might be, too. Having a tidy-up or clean-out is symbolic of letting go of thoughts that are not useful anymore and will help you to start afresh.”

Goals, goals, goals! “Any new beginning is the perfect opportunity to reflect on setting some goals to help you get to where you want to be in the next few months,” she says. “Set goals that are SMART – specific, measurable, attractive, realistic and time bound.  If you are armed with a good set of goals, getting in touch with your values will really add strength. Write down a list of five core values and keep them in a visible place to act as reminders to see you through the times when life is more challenging.”

4. The Skin Specialists: Reveal your inner glow

Spring is an opportune time to detox and revitalise your skin so you can kickstart the new season by feeling fabulous about yourself. 

Exfoliate. “The outer layer of skin is a roof of dead skin that only thickens as you age,” says Chris Tsioutis, integrative doctor and dermatologist. 

Try an exfoliant containing AHA (alpha hydroxy acid – at least five per cent), glycolic acid, lactic acid, or BHA (beta hydroxy acid). Salicylic acid is good for those with blemishes while a gentle exfoliant may be more suitable for those with sensitive skin.

The natural facelift. “The secret ingredient is an egg white,” says Dr Tsioutis. Take the egg white and spread it on your face and neck. Let it dry, and after ten minutes, rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry. 

Mud, glorious mud. Just like a personal trainer makes you sweat, tone and sculpt, so does a good mud mask for your face. Happy Skincare’s organic Pig In Mud Mineral Mask helps to detox, smooth skin and minimise pores.

“You always look how you feel so choose a positive internal dialogue and organic skin formulations that make you feel great about yourself and the way you look,” says Lesley Scott from Australian Bush Flower Essences. 

5. The Yoga Teacher: Rejuvenate your body

“A daily meditation practice that includes pranayama can make such a profound difference in your energy levels and vitality,” says yoga teacher Claire Obeid. 

“It will help the central nervous system switch to para-sympathetic mode (rest and restore) for true mind and body rejuvenation.”

6. The C.H.E.K Practitioner: Learn to breathe and exercise efficiently

Forget sit-ups. If you’d like toned abs and a banging body in time for the warmer weather, you might want to take note of C.H.E.K practitioner and exercise coach Leila Lutz’s advice.

“Correct breathing (along with proper nutrition) is the key to a flat stomach,” she says. To breathe correctly, inhale into your belly so you push your navel out. Use your naval to push the air out as you exhale. To aid digestion and increase the balance of your third chakra, take a deep inhale into your belly. Exhale forcefully through your nose or by pursing your lips like a trumpet player and by pumping your stomach muscles. Make sure you keep the rest of your body still and only your stomach is moving.

NEXT: Spring detox foods>>


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