Even though I’m not headed back to school, the end of summer always makes me itch for new clothes and freshly sharpened pencils. What about you? Could you use a fresh start? Maybe a little detox from summer BBQs and vacation food? The change of season is a perfect time!

So, what does it mean to “detox” exactly? What are these “toxins” that we need to get rid of anyway?

Some toxins come from our diet, like pesticides on food. Others are from lotions or household cleaners that touch our skin. Still others are from car fumes, prescription drug residues or cigarettes.

Bad Summer Food Choices? Seven Ways to Get Healthy Again

Detoxification is a natural process our body uses to stay clean on the inside. But sometimes our system gets backed up. There are lots of boxed kits and fancy detoxification methods out there. Before you spend big bucks, help yourself detox naturally with these seven tips:

1. Dine before nine.
Imagine the janitor trying to sweep and mop while the kids are still in school. It doesn’t work—he has to come back later when school is empty. The same is true for your digestive system.

2. Go meatless one day a week.
You don’t need to become a vegetarian to enjoy the benefits of less meat in your diet. Since meat is harder to break down than veggies, it tends to stick around longer in your system. Try to go meatless one day of the week, and see how you feel.

3. Twist and shout.
How do you clean a dirty dishrag? You dunk it in water and wring it out! Try this method with your body by working up a sweat doing whatever exercise you love, then remember to breathe and do simple twists to give your internal organs a gentle wringing out.

4. Eliminate soda.
Water is vitally important in keeping clean on the outside and inside. Not only should you drink more water—you should drink less of everything else. So instead of soda, fill up your water bottle, and you’ll help your body get clean. You’ll also save a few bucks!

5. Trade drugs for hugs.
Do you pop a pill at the first sign of a headache? Try to cut back on the amount of drugs you put in your system. Maybe you’d feel better having a glass of water, a calming walk around the block, or a snuggle with your partner.

6. Keep your skin clear of impurities.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. In Ayurveda, (an ancient form of medicine from India) it is said that you should use nothing on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. Keep your skin clear of impurities by buying products made with natural ingredients you can pronounce. Instead of moisturizer at night, try rubbing organic coconut oil into your skin. It’s completely natural and smells terrific.

7. Remember: dark, leafy, and green.
Dark green vegetables like broccoli and kale are known for their ability to detoxify the body. That’s just one of hundreds of reasons to eat more of these incredible vegetables. An easy way to prepare them is sautéeing in a little olive oil with salt and pepper. Not enough for you? If you really want to purify, try eliminating sugar and processed food from your diet. The more you clean up your food—the cleaner your body will be! You’ll feel terrific and have more energy than ever before.

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