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Self-Care for the New Year

By Sonja Fung, ND
January can be a good time to commit to a cleanse.

Are you ready for a “new you” this year? It may be no surprise that the all-time leading resolution is to lose weight and get healthy. After indulging in festivities for the past four months, all those tasty, sugary treats and drinks have probably found their way to your waist line.

We all tend to gratefully overlook all the sugar, carbs, and alcohol during celebrations; however, our bodies still feel the impact of the resulting added stress and inflammation. Sugar pushes all the good-feeling buttons in our brain and gut and makes it that much more addictive and harder to quit. Sometimes, even the best of us need a little help over the sugar detox hump.

What better way of jump-starting the New Year than with a reboot to clean out the old and bring in the new? A nutritional detoxification program is an effective way to remove everyday stress and toxins and restore gut function – especially after the holidays.

Think of a nutrition reboot like an oil change. Your car won’t function optimally and efficiently when its oil is old and sludgy. Your body’s major detoxification organs, including your liver, kidneys, colon, and skin, function in the same way. Like any type of filter, if not maintained, it will eventually clog, and the detoxification process backs up, recycling toxins back into the body.

Effective cleansing programs can help with weight loss, increase energy, eliminate inflammation, normalize digestive function, improve sleep, and reduce joint pain, headaches, and other chronic disease symptoms. With a structured detoxifying program, many people can identify and eliminate specific chemicals and/or foods that cause inflammation and immune imbalances in their body.

While some prefer a three-day juice cleanse, your body needs time to reset for lasting change. It takes 21 days to form a habit which is the recommended length for a detoxifying cleanse to reset your taste-buds, get rid of sugar cravings, and get onto a healthy eating plan to stay with you throughout the year.

You can do a 21-day program on your own at home or by joining a group. A group program has the advantage of accountability and the support of others throughout all stages. Studies have shown that people who participate in a group are much more likely to successfully follow an entire protocol and report better results.

Putting in the time now while you’re motivated will serve you best in the long run. It is also important to note that those with health issues should be screened before starting any program to determine if it is safe for their body.

Start your New Year with a self-caring oil change and get ready for the New You!

Dr. Fung is a primary care naturopathic doctor with a focus on integrative cancer care and PRP regenerative joint injections at Live Well Clinic in La Quinta which also offers a 21-day Nutrition Reboot program starting January 17. For more information, call (760) 771.5970 or visit www.livewellclinic.org.

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