5 Ways To Clean Your Body’s Engine
Just like a car engine, your body works best when it’s clean on the inside. So it should be no surprise that we need to limit (or, gasp! eliminate) consumption of anything that pollutes it, including coffee, alcohol, processed foods,… the list goes on. In a day and age of go-go-go, it’s easy to lose balance and grab something for a quick pick-me-up. Unfortunately that pick-me-up often leaves us worse for the wear.
Despite being health conscious and eating fresh whole foods galore, even I go a little overboard. Sometimes I’ll have too many glasses of wine or chow down on a seemingly delicious bag of chips. When I wake up the next morning though, I feel it! I’m exhausted, sluggish, sore, bloated, and brain fogged. I may have even put on some unwanted weight.
This is a result of the body trying to get rid of the toxins put into it. We’ll call this a hangover using the definition of “something remaining behind from a former period or state of affairs“.
A one-day binge results in a hangover the next day, but, you don’t need to go overboard in one day to have these effects. While the process is more extreme with a one-day binge, enough bad stuff accumulated over time will still leave you feeling less-than-stellar.
When bad stuff is put into your body, it needs to divert energy from other automatic bodily functions while it tries to clean up the mess you made. Less energy, oxygen and nutrients are supplied to your brain, muscles, and nervous system, as they are instead directed at finding and eradicating the poisons and chemicals.
It doesn’t matter if the source is alcohol, food, or something else. How your body works through the eradication and healing phase is basically the same:
- Search for bad stuff
- Eliminate bad stuff
- Replenish good stuff
I’m sure you have heard of many ways to cure a hangover or detox your body. Many of them are no good, as they just add to the toxic waste already accumulated, and make it harder (if not impossible) for your body to find a healthy, happy balance.
- Drink coffee. Bad idea, as it makes you more dehydrated and slows down, or even stops, the search-eliminate-replenish process. And now, your body needs to add that coffee to backlog.
- Eat greasy food (e.g. chips, fries, pizza, burgers,…). Another bad idea. While the food might soak up any remaining accessible alcohol, your body now has even more toxins to get rid of. You have also increased your level of dehydration.
- Drink/eat what led to the hangover to begin with. Yes, again a bad idea. You still need to get rid of the toxic waste, and you’ve just put the process on hold all over again.
What Does Help?
There are a number of things you can do that really will help, as they eliminate and/or reduce the symptoms and speed up the healing process. Each approach below is an instinctive craving for our body to get what it needs to clean itself out and heal. Add one approach to your daily routine every week to speed up your body’s recovery and healing process.
Also spend some time connecting with your body and sensing what it asks for, separating this from your emotions, habits, and usual comforts. You will soon hear your body’s requests and start providing it with what it needs to search-eliminate-replenish itself back to a healthy balanced body.
1) Drink lots of water
This should be no surprise! Your body needs water to function, period. Optimally, your body is comprised of 50-60% water. Without adequate water levels, your body automatically slows down different systems, resulting in the awful side effects noted above. It will also be unable to flush toxins out of the body in a speedy manner.
Drink an additional 1-2 litres of water each day to help your body regain proper function and quickly flush out the bad stuff.
2) Do some light exercise
Moving your body helps pump oxygen into your blood and increases blood flow, which in turn allows all parts of your body to operate better. Each part is then able to do it’s job in the search-eliminate process. Don’t push too hard though – you want your body to focus on cleaning itself, not on keeping up with a challenging workout.
Walking, basic yoga, and light body weight exercises are all good choices.
3) Eat fresh whole foods
This means food that has been grown in the ground or on a plant – NOT food from a box, jar, can, bag, or animal. Fresh whole foods are jam-packed with micronutrients, the building blocks your body needs to properly function. Micronutrients are all the vitamins and minerals that your body extracts directly from fresh whole foods to nourish and cleanse your body with. They do not need to be broken down or translated into something else to be effective. Processed foods and animal products are very hard for your body to break down and transform into something useful.
Choose to use your body’s limited energy on nourishing and cleansing itself by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and small amount of nuts, seeds, and legumes.
I’m sure the last thing you want to do when you feel unwell is get hot and sweaty, but it’s a surefire way to get toxins out of your body fast. Sweating is the body’s natural way to cool itself down and expel bad stuff.
Do some light exercise, use a sauna for a limited time, or even sit outside on a hot day. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking even more water to replace the water released through your sweat.
5) Drink fresh juice or a green smoothie
Fresh juices and smoothies are a secret weapon for cleansing your body and improving hangover symptoms.
Freshly pressed fruit and vegetables will quickly nourish your body with loads of vital minerals, vitamins, and water. They are a powerful way to dramatically speed up the search-eliminate-replenish process.
Make your own fresh juice at home, or buy fresh juice at a juice bar. Don’t buy it prepackaged from a store.
Freshly blended smoothies made with leafy greens, fresh fruits, and water will have a similar effect. As they contain all the fibre of the produce, green smoothies are powerful cleansers, that will also provide a high level of nourishment.
Make green smoothies fresh in your blender using only water, leafy greens, and fruit.
With five powerful, effective, and healthy ways to clean your body’s engine, you have no more excuses for not helping your body recover and heal!
What have you done to clean your body’s engine? What has your experience been? What has worked and has not worked?
Share with us!
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