I always enjoy the holidays: the food, the fun, the vacations and the celebrations. It’s a time to be with family and friends and…it’s a time to eat…a lot. I admit that I indulge in holiday goodies right along with the best of them. And as I get settled into the New Year, like so many others, I realize it’s time to get back on track with my health, shed a few pounds and get clear on my goals.

What I love about the work I do, is that often, my goals are so like those of my clients. I want to feel my best, to do rewarding work and to make a difference.

And most of all, I want it to be simple and enjoyable. Because that’s what life is about, isn’t it? So one of the things I reflected on, while on vacation during the holidays is this idea about New Year”s resolutions.

When we make New Year’s resolutions, we are often creating a big, long list of goals that many times, simply adds to the long list of “to do’s” we never seem to have time for anyway.

So I committed to make my New Year’s resolutions – and health in general for my clients, and myself much simpler this year.

New Year’s Resolution #1 – Set Your Own Pace for Good Health

First of all, let’s think about a healthy mindset or attitude, if you will.

When it comes to good health, it seems like most of what we hear or read about are these “all or nothing approaches.” In 2009, I resolve to throw those out. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be a little better here and there.

For example, if you had a bad lunch, have a healthy dinner. It’s as simple as that. Instead of having to be perfect all day, you move the dial a bit higher one meal at a time.

Any day, week or year is full of challenges and opportunities, so how about focusing on each day, each meal, and each moment as an opportunity to do something a little better than you did before?

For too many people, this idea of “being healthy” becomes something that’s unattainable. Set up your own goals! Decide what feels right for you. Instead of worrying about the past, trust that you’re working in the right direction.

Make sure your intentions are going in the right direction. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can decide what level of effort works for you. Once you accomplish that, then think about moving up a level. Health is not about perfection; it’s about taking steps that feel right to you, at your own pace.

New Year’s Resolution #2 – Decide to Detox

We live in a toxic world; it’s an unfortunate fact. Everything from your food, water, the environment and even your home, has toxins. We can’t escape them.

Let’s look at one small example: lawn care products. For the last 50 years, people have been spraying toxic chemicals on their lawns to make them greener. In fact, about 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides are used in America annually. 1 Instead of breaking down, these toxins are accumulating as the years pass. We are the next generation in the toxic world. Generations before us didn’t have as much toxicity and generations after will have more.

Detoxing is more important than ever because our generation has to go a step further than the one before. We have a responsibility to clean up the world and we can start by cleaning up our bodies to feel our best.

But the good news is we can make changes that drastically reduce our toxic burden. We can detoxify our bodies, detoxify our homes and chose toxin-free personal care products to boost our health, energy and longevity.

And there’s one more, critical step you can take to create and maintain your best health. You can resolve to detoxify regularly.

After the holiday indulgences, my wife, Dr. Ingrid Maes, and I decided to commit to our own detox program. The thing about a detox program is that it works on all levels, mind, body and spirit. As toxins release from your body, you may notice that you think more clearly, feel more energy and experience more joy.

There’s a reason for that! Detoxification is about removing the toxic burden from your body. Think about carrying something very heavy for a long time and then putting it down. There’s tremendous relief. You can move more freely. Detoxification works in much the same way.

What is a Detox Program?

A detoxification program is a focused set of actions with the specific goal to reduce the toxic load in your body. Typical detox programs last anywhere from a week to six months and focus on cleansing your major organs of detoxification:

  • Skin
  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Intestines

Detox programs often use a combination of healthy food, exercise, breathing and all natural herbal or botanical supplements to open up your detoxification pathways.

How to Begin A Detox Program

First and foremost, it helps to have guidance in any detox program. This is why we started the New Year, New You Detox Program at PureBalance Natural Health Center. We have many detoxification assessments and therapies for our clients, but we also began to get requests for detox guidance from people outside our local area.

Our New Year, New You Detox Program is a way to get low cost guidance for your detoxification program over the phone. Because we believe in starting where you are, instead of offering programs “for the masses,” this program is customized for your specific detox goals.

Whether you do our program or another, getting guidance can help you identify what the appropriate level of detox is for your current health picture.

A typical detox program might start with cleansing your intestines, with a small amount of focus on your liver and gall bladder as well. This would include making dietary changes to support opening these detoxification pathways.

From there, you’d focus more on your liver and gall bladder, then your kidneys, then skin and lungs.

In addition to diet and supplements, excellent cleansing practices include: dry skin brushing, rebounding (jumping on a mini-trampoline to help your lymph cleanse) and doing deep breathing exercises to cleanse your lungs and strengthen your diaphragm and core.

Some detox programs focus only on one organ, like the large intestine, for example. These can be very valuable and we encourage our clients to move toward a full body detox at least once per year.

How Often Should You Detox?

How often you detox depends of your current level of health. Some people like to do one detox program per year, while others like to detoxify four times per year – one with each season.

I recently realized it had been a year since my last detox and since starting my own detox program this year, I feel so great that I’ve resolved to do a personal detox program at least 4 times per year.

Maintaining your improved health after your detox is easy if you focus on making one better decision each day. Keep it simple; maybe start by choosing cleaning products and personal care products that are toxin free to replace the ones you used to use.

The detoxification protocols I recommend in the New Year, New You Detox Program are not system for the “elite.” This is detoxification for REAL people…for everyone, from beginners who’ve never heard of detox to those who are committed to regular detox.

Who Needs to Detox?

Everyone needs to detox, even people eating healthy and exercising regularly. As long as there are toxins in the world, we can all benefit from a detoxification program.

What Are the Benefits of a Detox Program?

There are many benefits of a detoxification program. Some of them are:

  • Increased energy
  • Better immunity
  • Weight loss
  • Reduction or elimination of symptoms like: headaches, skin problems, respiratory problems, digestive problems, insomnia, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
  • Better memory and concentration

New Year’s Resolution #3 – Make YOU Your Top Priority

It’s important to take time out for your detoxification program, so resolve to make YOU your top priority and take a few things off your “to do” list. You deserve to feel your best and experience the renewed energy and enthusiasm that comes from detoxification.

Here’s to a healthy, happy 2009!


1 Laudable Lawn Care: “3-H Lawns”: Healthy for Humans and Habitats. Nature Center at Shaker Lakes.

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