The following is a guest post by Leah Vanderveldt, a Brooklyn-based wellness writer and recipe developer. You can find Leah’s blog here.
The idea of a cleanse of any kind makes me recoil a little bit. From no solid foods, to only raw foods, to designer juices — the concept of cleansing has gotten so singularly-focused and restrictive that it’s sometimes difficult to remember that our bodies are incredibly smart on their own. They’re capable of cleansing themselves hourly, daily, and weekly without drastic intervention from us.
We can’t underestimate the body’s ability to keep functioning, recalibrating, and cleansing itself. The only thing I propose by way of cleansing is to add a few simple things into our lives that support the detoxification and cleansing processes of the body. No taking anything away — just adding in a few foods and lifestyle habits to show ourselves a little extra love.
Here are my favorite ways that I help my body cleanse itself without actually going on a cleanse:
Cilantro, parsley, basil, mint — basically any fresh, leafy herb you can get your hands on — has powerful benefits and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cilantro and parsley, in particular are great for supporting the liver — one of our major cleansing organs — and helps aid the digestive system, another important player in daily cleansing). Basil is rich in vitamin K1, which helps keep our blood healthy, and mint helps digestion and can ease stress.
Toss these babies in salads, smoothies, dips, and sauces.
Whether it’s a walk through the park, a quick yoga session before the rest of the house wakes up, jumping on a trampoline, or going ham on an HIIT session — moving your body gets things moving IN your body. Movement gets things pumping, flowing, and (sometimes) sweating — which all aid the body in ridding it of those internal and external toxins we’re dealing with on a daily basis.
Lemon or lime — pick you favorite or alternate between the two. I know by now it’s an eye roll-inducing wellness “thing” to drink warm water with lemon in the morning, but doing this hits on a few different benefits. Drinking water with lemon or lime boosts vitamin C intake, supports the liver, and rebalances and hydrates the body after a night of sleep — all of this start your day on the right foot.
Give it a shot. If you’re like me, you’ll grow to love it.
This spicy gut-healthy combo is the perfect boost when I’m feeling a little lackluster. Fermented probiotic-rich Cayenne Cleanse kombucha with invigorating ginger, lime, and cayenne is one of my favorite ways to fire up my digestive system. Cayenne is a major metabolism-booster as is ginger. I love a little shot of it in the morning to get things going and it’s my favorite after-lunch treat to power me through the afternoon.
Sure, it sounds random, but foods like cucumbers, celery, romaine lettuce, avocado, and limes are great cleansers that are often overlooked — and happen to be perfect for the warmer months! These unsung crudites and salad greens are incredible for the fiber they bring to mix, plus their anti-inflammatory, liver-supporting, and hydrating properties.
I’ve been adding cucumber and celery to my morning smoothie along with pineapple, banana, and mint — they don’t affect the flavor and I end up with a cleansing smoothie filled with digestion-promoting fiber that tastes amazing. Avocado of course, is wonderful in/on most things, but you can’t go wrong with a simple toast situation.
I find baths to be restorative in general, but adding magnesium-rich bath salts to the mix supercharges your soak time and can help release tension and stress in the body, which is another great approach to cleansing. When we’re mentally and physically relaxed, we’re letting our bodies function at their best.
I hope you give one or a few of these a try to help support your body in doing all the incredible things it does for you all day every day.
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