Forget detox. Nourish yourself.

The word "detox" can conjure up strict ideas of going without and raging hunger, not to mention headaches and skin breakouts. But say the word "nourish" and what comes to mind is balance, wholeness and wellness.

"Doing a spring clean for your body doesn't mean you need to go without. It means filling your diet with nutrient-dense, delicious foods so you forgo the refined, sugary foods we can so easily become addicted too," nutritionist Michele Chevalley Hedge says.

"When we try to deprive our bodies of foods, as some detox programs do, we inevitably see a rebound effect weeks later."

Nourishing yourself comes in many forms, but one of the most basic things you can do is eat. "When we nourish ourselves properly with wholefoods, an amazing transformation takes place: digestion is lightened and therefore energy is increased," Chevalley Hedge says.

"We eat every day, all day long. We eat while watching the TV, in the car, on the bus. We microwave our dinners and mindlessly snack while doing work ... we have lost our connection between what we eat, why we feed ourselves and how we feel. Eating well can be a profound catalyst for self-esteem, vitality, and productivity."

5 simple steps towards nourishing yourself

  1. Lighten your digestion: Have a week of meals and snacks without any processed foods, dairy, red meat or wheat.
  2. Clean up outside while you lighten inside: De-clutter your workspace and your pantry so your physical environment reflects the inner work of lightening up and letting go of what you do not need.
  3. Find some simple meal ideas: Cooking a healthy meal can be done in less than 20 minutes.
  4. Take time to be in the sunshine: The world will not collapse if you use 15 minutes in the day to sit or walk outside. Nourish your mind with a silent break. Get rid of the monkey chattering in your head and reflect on what is good in your world.
  5. Turn down the noise: If you reduce the external stimulation in your life - TV, radio, phones, computer - there might be more space for your own energy, thoughts and creativity.
By Kelly Chuculba, Body & Soul

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