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A detox is about discipline, focus and your health. Preparing and following through is essential both for your body and mind.

For a few days before you start your detox, begin to reduce your intake of caffeine, sugar, wheat, dairy, and alcohol, to lessen the likelihood of headaches and other uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that usually occur the first two days on a detox.  Eat light, focusing on raw greens, steamed vegetables, legumes, beans, and raw nuts.

Read through your plan and gather any supplies you don’t have on hand. Dine on steamed organic veggies, and head to bed early. You’ll need a full eight hours of sleep the night before you get started; research points to a link between lack of sleep and adrenal stress, blood sugar irregularities, and weight gain. It can also be helpful to minimize use of chemical-based household cleaners and personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes), substituting natural alternatives.

Other important ways to take good care of yourself:

  • Drink at least two quarts of water daily.
  • Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
  • Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions. Consider taking a gentle or restorative yoga class or plan time for a relaxing massage.
  • Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
  • Take a detox soak bath, especially the first 2-3 days of the detox. Hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin. Epsom salt augments this detoxification by causing you to sweat. Other salts—all highly alkaline and cleansing—used in baths include sea salt and baking soda. Combine all three – two cups of Epsom salt and one cup each of sea salt and baking soda, add a few drops of lavender essential oil and enjoy relaxing in your tub.

Stay motivated. This is the perfect time for you to reevaluate your relationship with food as well as your self-control issues. On a detox, you will learn the difference between physical hunger and mental hunger and you’ll see that about 90% of the time you are only mentally hungry. Cravings are a normal part of detoxing. So find other things to do to keep yourself from thinking only about what you will be eating next. Begin to relearn your habits and find other ways to satisfy yourself. Food is often anemotional filler. Take this time to start to break the control that food can have over you. And remember to love yourself enough to want yourself to be healthier and happier at the end of the process.

Don’t do yourself a disservice by cheating. You have nothing to gain from that. After a detox you’ll feel so empowered. You’ll appreciate yourself and your cleaner, healthier and even a little thinner body more. You may not want to go back to eating some of the things you have given up and may also find some great alternatives in the healthy foods section of the supermarket.

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