Detoxing Away the Winter Blues

detoxing-away-the-winter-bluesHippocrates once said – “Consider the seasons of the year and what each of them produces.” A detox, undergone once with each season, helps to cleanse our bodies of the toxins that accumulate each quarter from environmental factors, stress, and lifestyle choices.

Winter is also a good time to do some work on detoxing the mind by getting rid of harmful thoughts and emotions to ward off the blues. One way to do that is by changing the way we eat, which can have enduring mental effects like a calmer mind, more focus and a better mood.

As a the time of nourishment and restoration, a detox program undertaken during winter can lead into feeling lighter, healthier and mentally balanced when the balmier days of spring begin.

The main focus of a winter detox is simple, nutrient dense foods including healthy fats and spices that keep the body warm and energetic.It is also a time when we focus on eating foods that recharge the kidneys and adrenals – the two central organs of winter. By supporting these organs you’ll tap into your innate ability to reinvigorate, re-inspire and renew yourself and your immunity against colds and flu through the winter months and well into spring.

Located near the middle of your back, your kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs responsible for clearing waste from your body. Each day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to help remove about two quarts of excess water and waste products (from food and normal breakdown of active tissues).

The adrenals are responsible for the production of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Stress is a common trigger of this response, especially in a “fight or flight” situation. Should the adrenal glands become activated repeatedly without sufficient time to rest in between, the body becomes tired and the immune system suppressed. Commonly referred to as adrenal exhaustion, this condition may be improved through a detox program to strengthen and purify the adrenal glands.

Some Tips for a Successful Winter Detox

  • Minimize raw foods
  • Maximize cooked and warm foods
  • Enjoy healthy stews and soups
  • Listen to your body and nap/sleep when you feel tired
  • Increase warming activities like saunas, exercise, and hot tubs
  • Have a detox buddy to help you stay motivated and to share recipes and food prep

So go ahead and take the time to help your body and mind achieve optimal functioning by spending a week or two, going through a detox before spring.