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Detox Without Fasting: 2 Easy Plans
Now more than ever — because of the toxic world we live in — it's smart to take advantage of your body’s detoxification pathways.
These tips will help you make the most of the simple things that are part of nature's detox plan.
You need a daily detox
Good health depends on the body's daily body detox cycles. In the evening between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., the liver begins its daily washing cycle. Studies have shown that the liver secretes more glutathione peroxidase and other antioxidants at night. It's like the janitor that comes in every evening and cleans the floors and washes the windows.
Many of us are just getting started at 10 p.m. and find ourselves with a second wind — experiencing the best energy of the day. It is natural for the detox process to gently stimulate the nervous system, and in many cases this stimulation can wire us well into the night. To let the liver do do its job in the evening, it is best to get to bed early before the "janitor" arrives.
How to detox just by sleeping
So for the best and most effective daily detox, try to get to bed before 10 p.m. and see how you feel the next morning, compared to when you went to bed late. Or try this “daily detox” sleeping test:
Pick a weekend night and go to bed at midnight; try to sleep till 10 a.m. the next morning, and see how you feel.
The next night, go to bed at 8 p.m., get up at 6 a.m., and see how you feel.
Most likely, you will feel much better on the second day when you got up at 6 AM. Both nights, you got 10 hours of sleep. The only difference was when you got the sleep.
When you are asleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m, the body can naturally prepare you for the next day with its daily detox cycle. Don’t miss it!
Try a seasonal detox, too
Birds fly south, whales migrate, leaves turn red and fall off trees. Humans simply put on or take off a sweater. But our survival, just like the birds', depends on being connected to nature's cycles — and that includes detoxification cycles.
In the winter as the weather gets cold and dry, nature provides a harvest of nuts, grains, and ingredients for soups and stews. This is a nature-compatible higher protein, higher fat diet. This is why squirrels eat nuts — the nuts act as warming insulators for the long cold winter. This high-protein, high-fat time of year is when we store minerals, vitamins and nutrients as preparation for nature’s new year starting in the spring.
Spring's first line of duty is to detox all of the excess fats and proteins (including holiday food) we stored all winter. It is nature’s weight loss season. The first foods that are harvested in the spring are the bitter roots like dandelions and the florescent green spouts that fill the valleys every April and May. Bitter roots sweep excess mucus out of the sinuses and intestines, and chlorophyll-rich sprouts fertilize the gut to re-establish natural intestinal flora (good bacteria).
Next comes an abundant harvest of leafy greens and berries. Leafy greens are wonderful alkalizing lymph movers and blood cleansers, and berries are detoxing antioxidants to finish the spring cleansing process.
Tip for making the most of nature's detox foods
Despite these natural detox resources sprouting up all around us, most of us rarely eat enough of these spring-harvest foods to get the benefits of nature's new year detox.
This spring, take advantage of nature’s detoxification season with a natural body cleanse. Eat more greens, sprouts, bitter roots, berries and cherries. And if you want to do a pre-holiday detox, just eat more of these cleansing spring harvested foods for a week while you eat less of the foods on the winter harvest grocery list.
Try using the seasonal grocery lists in my book The 3-Season Diet. You'll also learn about other ways tuning in more to nature's cycles, a cornerstone of Ayurvedic medicine, can help you treat and prevent many illnesses.
From the 3-Season Diet by John Douillard, D.C., Ph.D. Douillard is an Ayurvedic practitioner in Boulder, Colo., and the author of several books on Ayurvedic health and fitness. Look for Douillard's Gaiam DVDs on Ayurvedic detox, stress relief and weight loss in March 2008.