We all need a break from time to time to rest, relax, rejuvenate and re-energize our mind, body and spirit. Maybe we think of that time as something well do on our next vacation, when we are not overloaded with our day to day stresses. With a vacation, you return feeling refreshed, enthusiastic and ready to seize the day!
But what happens when you cant take a vacation? Dont worry! Ive got you covered.
Just like we need a break from the daily grind, so does our digestive system. Its constantly hard at work for us and can greatly benefits from a little vacation of its own; a rest from having to break down and digest our daily meals every single day. Fasting is an excellent way to give your system the rest it needs, but not all detoxes are created alike. This one is a tough one (not exactly for the beginners), but its also fairly easy once you commit and honor your bodys need to really rest, from the inside, out.
So, lets get started.
I have struggled for years with IBS and food sensitivities. I would do my best to keep my tummy troubles under control by eating healthy, but now that I have been traveling in Europe for nine months and have been at the whim of eating what is provided to me by my hosts, my digestive system has been screaming, HELP ME! HELP ME!. Therefore, I started off the New Year with this 3 day detox and I can honestly tell you that I feel amazing!
My budget as a backpacker is pretty much non-existent, so I put together some cheap and easy detox techniques Ive used in the past, that can pretty much be done anywhere!
- 4 lemons $2.00
- Pink Himalayan Sea Salt approx. $.25 per tablespoon (you will need 4 = $1.00)
- Grand total = $3.00
NOTE: No food or drinks (aside from water with lemon) will be consumed throughout the detox.
TIP: Start the 72 hour fast after dinner (7pm). Therefore, on Day 3 you will end your fast at 7pm.
Salt Water Flush:
- Why? If you arent pooping daily (1-3 times), then you arent regular. The waste can get stuck in your colon causing you to gain weight, create a toxic burden and feel like crap (pun intended).
- What? A Salt Water Flush is a natural, easy, and cheap way to cleanse your colon.
- How? Do it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Mix 2 tablespoons of unrefined sea salt (I like pink Himalayan sea salt) with 32 oz. of warm water. Shake it up. Drink it down (It can be a bit of a challenge. Pinch your nose if you have to). Stay near a bathroom for at least a period of 2 hours. What happens is NOT pretty but it feels great to get rid of the gunk in your trunk. Place your feet on a small stool if available, as it helps open up the colon and ease the passing of your bowels.
- Note: Many articles on the internet say to use 2 teaspoon of salt for the flush. Ive found that this doesnt work for me and that 2 tablespoons is far more effective. For your first time try out 2 teaspoons and take it from there.
Post salt water flush, drink warm water with a slice of lemon, as it help flush out toxins and is an excellent source of vitamin C (make sure to cut off the peel if not organic if it tastes bitter to you).
Take a hot bath and relax while reading something motivational or inspirational. Refrain from using any unnatural shower products, as they are loaded with toxins and chemicals. A great alternative is baking soda for shampoo (you can exfoliate with it too!) and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. Avocado is great for face masks and unrefined coconut oil is the best for moisturizing.
If you can brave another salt water flush in the morning, go for it. It should be a bit easier because there is no new food sitting in your colon.
Go for a gentle walk outside and stretch lightly before and after. Breathe in that fresh air!
Get ready to take another bath by dry brushing before you get in the tub, which will remove dead skin cells and stimulate your lymph system to release waste products. I didnt have a proper brush so I used my hairbrush covered in a dry towel. You can find these at health food stores, or even online!
Today is all about relaxation.
You may feel a bit weak, so refrain from any quick movements. I managed to take a small walk outside, so if you feel up to it, step outside for some fresh air.
If you must, eat a tablespoon of coconut oil to get some healthy fats and calories into your body.
When it is time to end your fast, choose something fresh and natural to begin with, such as a green juice. I chose to eat a half of a green apple with a half of an avocado sprinkled with Himalayan salt and ground pepper.
Over the next few days, focus on eating raw vegetables and fruits. Pay attention to how your body reacts to each new food you eat. If you had any prior food sensitivities, adding them in one at a time (waiting 72 hours before each new food) will help you identify the culprit.
Things you may experience:
Not so pleasant
- Headache especially if you are a daily caffeine drinker.
- Weakness limit any extreme movements or exercises.
- Hunger I didnt feel truly hungry until day 3. Drink water anytime you feel hungry!
- Fatigue If possible, sleep a bit longer during the fast (at least 8 hours) and rest when you need to.
- No more bloating After the first day my stomach flattened a bit.
- Reduction in gas farting/burping.
- A lifted spirit You are doing something incredible for your body. Processed food can make you feel down and lethargic. By eliminating these foods, your body will lighten up!
- Better skin I get clogged pores and pimples here and there. I had NO new breakouts during the 3 days and my skin had a nice glow!
So aside from giving your digestive system the break that is needs, why do this 3 day detox?
Research shows that fasting for 72 hours has the power to regenerate your entire immune system. For more information, read this awesome Fitlife.tv article.
This detox will be a bit of a challenge, but the benefits far outweigh the slight discomfort you may feel for 3 days and your body will thank you. As will your mind! If you try this, I would love to know what you think.
Please keep in mind if you are dealing a chronic health issues I highly recommend you work with functional medicine doctor and get his or her guidance before engaging in any alternative practices.
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into reality when she stepped on a plane to London, April 17, 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life. Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
Image Source: Trusper, Almasryalyoum, Himalayan Salt Boutique, Prevention, Photl