Detoxing can be a fantastic way to clean up your health, energize and reboot your body. But let’s face it, sometimes the thought of drinking juice for the length of a cleanse can sound downright boring! And fasting can be hard, but cleansing your system doesn’t mean you have to suffer. You can detox and still enjoy regular meals and solid food. Here’s how:

1. Think Whole, Clean Foods

The first step in any cleanse is to cut out the artificial junk and fillers. That means no sugar, processed flours, chemicals, or anything unpronounceable in the ingredient list. As a matter of fact, if it comes with an ingredient list, nutrition label or any branded wrapper at all, you’ll probably want to avoid it. You want to focus on fresh, clean, foods that are as unadulterated as possible.

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2. Stay Close to the Source

A good rule of thumb is to choose foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Rather than artificially sweetened apple sauce in a jar from the grocery store, opt for an apple off a tree (preferably a local one). Instead of cooking spinach, roasting cauliflower or baking zucchini, try raw versions or lightly steam. Season with a pinch of sea salt, if anything, but focus on the simple, fresh flavor of natural food. Pick up some whole foods and check out our recipe section for dozens of ideas!

3. Eat Intermittent Meals

While not technically fasting, skipping a meal or two can still help your body reap all the benefits of a fast, giving it time to heal and flush out toxins. Instead of the regular three meals a day, swap your lunch for a mini water fast, or hold off on eating until dinner time. Your system will welcome the break! Remember to choose fresh, clean foods when you do eat!

4. Water, Water, Water

We cannot say enough about the benefits of water for the body! Drinking ample amounts of water flushes out toxins, improves concentration and mental clarity, moisturizes skin, removes the by-products of fat and reduces hunger, which can promote weight loss. Give your body ample hydration it needs to heal!

5. Keep It Simple

Many of us often enjoy making complex recipes and elaborate dishes, but during a detox, simple is best. Focus on mono meals: eating one simple food (to satiety) at a meal, such as a bunch of bananas. Need a little more variety? Try food combining, where you eat foods that digest similarly at the same time to stress the body as little as possible. Check out this handy chart to learn which foods combine well.

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Detoxing your system can do wonders for your health, your mental clarity and your happiness, but not if you are feeling anxious, stressed or apprehensive about it. Always listen to your body and take it slowly if necessary. Happy detox!

Image source: tom tom/Flickr

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