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Shape Up: Pre-Wedding Detox Basics

We're not talking cabbage soup diets here. To get the lowdown on detoxing before your wedding, we spoke with detox expert and author of The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps, Brenda Watson, CNC. Here's the scoop.

Photo: © istockphoto.com/knape

What is detoxification?

Detoxification refers primarily to the body's natural and constant process of getting rid of waste and harmful toxins. These include both internal toxins -- the by-products of everyday bodily functions such as respiration and digestion -- and external toxins, such as pollutants, pesticides, and heavy metals that are found in our air, water, and food.

How does it work?

For a pre-wedding detox, a traditional or natural health-care provider will apply treatments and give you special regimens to help support the structure and function of the body's natural detoxification methods. In this sense, detoxification involves taking an active role in stimulating the body's innate ability to cleanse itself and embark on a path toward physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. It can also be less formal and include eating better, hydrating and getting more exercise.

What are the benefits of detoxification?

The goal of detoxification is to clean up your body at a cellular level and support its natural daily functions so you have more energy and feel better. An effective detoxification program may help address a wide variety of health problems, from poor digestion to allergies, weight gain, chronic illness, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure -- although not all research supports this.

What are some resources for getting started?

For more information on detoxification, Watson suggests the following sources:
  • International Association for Colon Therapy (I-ACT)
  • American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM)
  • Genova Diagnostics
  • Doctors Data
  • Detox Strategy
  • The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps, Brenda Watson, CNC

Simple ways to detox?

In her book, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps, Brenda Watson's RENEW program (Reduce, Eliminate, Nourish, Energize, Wellness) begins by helping you implement simple changes in your daily routine that will affect lasting change. Here are a few suggestions from her book:

  • Stick to a healthful, high-fiber diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, and eliminates processed and refined foods. Drink only filtered water and avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol.
  • Replace chemical-laden household cleaners and personal care products -- as well as home furnishings, clothing, and other items -- with natural products that are free of harsh chemicals and unnecessary ingredients.
  • Nourish your body with beneficial vitamins and nutrients, including antioxidants, amino acids, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), as well as probiotics, digestive enzymes, and beneficial greens.
  • Adopt a regular exercise program that includes aerobics, muscle boosting exercises, and mind/body activities to stimulate lymph flow and enhance both the cardiovascular and immune systems.

-- Tia Albright

See More: Getting in Shape