I thought my family and I might benefit from a detox after the holidays, seeing as how much food we ate in a short space of time.
Babe, let’s skip meat for two weeks…”
If you’re thinking my husband’s face drained of colour, you’re absolutely right. My husband loves him some chicken. As anticipated, we ate a lot over the last few days. Holiday spread for breakfast, lunch and dinner until it was all gone. After which, I found myself feeling pretty heavy and bloated. I recall him saying the same as well. It’s kind of that feeling I get when I’ve been on vacation, and just stuffing my face willy-nilly. So I figured a detox after the holidays should be a welcomed kickstart of the digestive system. So I thought hey, that would be great. Although to be honest, cutting out meat is not the most appealing way to go.
Caribbean Nationals Assemble!
The Worse it Tastes, the Better it is.
Caribbean nationals were bred and groomed for this. For us, back to school doesn’t just include new uniforms, books and stationery. It also means that our parents are eyeing us for that annual/bi-annual ‘washout’. A session of drinking bitters for de-worming and rigorous colon cleansing. Summertime means you’ve been eating too much junk, and taking bitter teas, worm medicine and the like is what is needed to rest your system. Your ‘bitters’ may be a concoction of bitter herbs and medicines or more recently, brands which make medicine to help children pass worms. Oh, and if you die from the sheer bitterness in the taste or expelling your existence through the latter end of your bowels, all the better! That means it’s working!
As adults, we can now appreciate the intention and occasional need to give our digestive systems a helping hand. What with all the processing of modern food options, it’s nice to sometime give your body a nice natural detox after the holidays.
1. Drink Warm Lemon water
I start my day drinking a glass (or a bottle) of water. for the next week or so, I’m going to amend the water to being warm and including lemon. Ideally, lemon water ig good everyday, but let’s be real, don’t have that kind of dedication through my day to day living. However, you know, maybe you do. Go for it! Start with hot water and fresh lemon. It gives you an opportunity to hydrate first thing in the morning and go straight into your day before having breakfast (or in my case have coffee).
Detoxing with juices is very common. You can choose to go on a ‘juice cleanse’ where you consume only juices for a pesos of time or you can just add natural juices rich in vegetables and antioxidants. Usually, this is where you add a little water ad consume the juices from fruits and vegetable unsweetened. Consuming your juice with or without the pulp is a personal preference but, I think it’s good to have the pulp if you can tolerate it.
3. Take Bitters
As previously mentioned, ‘bitters‘ refer to a concoction of botanicals, like herbs, bark, roots, and fruit (which are usually bitter in taste) for the purposes of curing ailments naturally or cleansing the digestive system. The practice itself is as old a time, but culture vary adding sweetening agents to help it ‘go down easier’ is common. You can find shelf bitters that are specifically made for the purposes or detox or do some research and make your own teas. I don’t profess to have any recipes of my own, I just ask the older women in my family.
4. Eat/Drink Aloe Vera
I specifically remember a time when my oldest, younger sister and I were the only two children my parents had and boy, when the aloe came out for back to school, she would bawl bloody murder, taking no less than hour to swallow her cut. Through the tears, gagging and plotting to spit it down the toilet and say we ate it, but the threats of having to eat two cubes if we tried it, the memory is quite vivid. Back then, consuming aloe vera gel or juice was linked to detoxing. Caribbean and Africa nationals believe it cleanses the body of impurities, thus contributing to our overall health.
As adults, we are better able to weather the taste. You can cut a slice of the aloe vera ‘flesh‘ and swallow it, or you can extract the juice and add other variants to mask the taste. Either way, your digestive system will and you. Your skin too!
5. High Fibre Diet
You can also choose to make tweaks to your diet to detox. When you intentionally adding healthy amounts of fibre to your diet, you are simply giving your body the ammunition it needs to do what it was built to do. Fibre naturally cleans and promotes the elimination of toxins from your gastrointestinal tract. Fibre absorbs potentially harmful compounds, such as unhealthy fats before they can be absorbed by the body.
Adding fibre to your diet is simple. Just add fibre rich components like wholegrain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, wheat bread, berries, pears, melon and oranges, beans, nuts, dried foods , etc.
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How do you detox? Do you ever feel the need to? Let me know in the comments!