About this time, 2 years ago, I worked alongside the health and wellness director at the YMCA. It was also about this time, 2 years ago, that I was freaking out about bathing suit season and had started a crazy fad diet (aka, I was starving). I noticed my boss ate all the time but was super fit, so with my starvation brain, I asked her, “how do you eat all the time and look so good?” (quick tip, don’t ever tell your boss she eats all the time) Ok it seems silly, but what happened next changed my life. She sat me down for a little over an hour and explained how the body works. She explained why we need fluids, food, exercise, and why being skinny should never be the end goal. That day, something clicked and I knew I had to make a permanent change that didn’t involve eating grapefruits all day or taking diet pills (yuck!).
Now, 2 years later, I have become a “runner” (not fast, but a runner none the less), I continually educate myself on being healthy vs. skinny, and I feel the best about myself that I have in years. All of this is not meant to be a humble brag (I promise). I certainly do not know it all, but (here comes cheesy), knowledge is power (that’s how things changed for me). If you do something that makes you feel better, you should share (good friends do that!), so I wanted to share a little information with you guys about how to keep your body cleansed and feeling good naturally.
First things first, drink plenty of water. I know it seems simple, but staying hydrated does so much more than just quench your thirst. For men, drinking about 13 cups of water a day and for women, drinking about 9 cups (with no additional exercise) keeps your digestive system functioning properly, flushes out toxins (ever had a kidney stone? not pretty), reduces bloat (always a great thing), and keeps your skin clear and fresh. If you don’t want to just drink water (not everyone is a fan) you can drink a cup (or 2) of herbal tea or freshly squeezed juice as a substitute.
Next is the heavy hitter, but is pretty simple as well, eat your super foods. You may not know a lot about what super foods are, so I’m going to share a little information with you about some delicious foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet and what they do for your body.
ginger: Helps with digestion and bloating. Easy to incorporate into a stir-fry dish.
artichoke: Protects the liver and keeps the kidneys functioning properly. You can steam these and dip leaves in a yummy sauce.
- parsley: Helps kidneys flush out toxins and is rich in antioxidants. Easy to sprinkle on dishes.
- olive oil: Rich in antioxidants. Swirl in a homemade soup for depth of flavor.
- apple: Cleanses the liver and kidneys. Slice up and eat as a snack.
- leafy greens: Cleanses the digestive tract. Make a salad! (that was easy)
- onion: Assists the antiviral protection. Easy to add as a topping or as part of a salad.
- rice: Brown rice cleans the intestinal tract and helps stabilize blood-sugar levels. Easy to cook and eat as a side.
- broccoli: Helps liver expel toxins. Steam and eat, its delicious!
- cranberry: Destroys harmful bacteria in the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract. Delicious in water or cooked down into a sauce.
- lemon: Helps release enzymes which help detoxify the liver. Add into water or as flavoring for fish dishes.
- tomato: (a personal favorite) Helps prevent several diseases and is rich in lycopene. Just cut up as a side or make a soup.
- yogurt: Live cultured yogurt has probiotics that help prevent fungal infections and keep intestinal functions. Eat as a breakfast with granola.
- asparagus: Helps maintain healing bacteria in intestines. Grill with lemon juice and olive oil (look at us packing in the super foods!).
- garlic: Helps fight toxic microorganisms. Mince and use to flavor any savory dish.
- quinoa: A great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals while also keeping digestive system function properly. Cook as a base for vegetables or make a salad.
- seaweed: Helps alkalinize the blood and strengthen digestive tract. Make brown rice sushi with seaweed wrapper (or just flip over in a canoe, jk!).
- carrot: Rich in antioxidants; an antifungal and antibacterial as well. Slice up and eat with healthy dip.
Keeping your body regular and flushed is really the repeating factor here. When your body is functioning properly, healthy typically means fit and we all win there. Hopefully, as the warm weather nears, you use this as a reference to help get you to where you want to be in your skimpier items. Feel free to write to me and let me know how getting healthy helped you!