Attempting Sober October? Us too. But if we're really going to go through with this and go an entire month without a single glass of wine, we might as well make it worth it and really ramp up the effects of our new (albeit temporary) teetotaler state. And it's the same answer we keep coming back to: full throttle detoxing.
Now, it's important to give our bodies credit here: They are constantly detoxing—that's their job. Right now, many of your organs are working tirelessly to flush your body of anything that might do it harm. But when we subject our bodies to abject amounts of toxins (that's where the alcohol comes in), our bodies have an even harder job to function.
So now is the time to give our inner cleansing systems a helping hand and offer them support by making just a few small changes. Keep scrolling for seven detox support tools that come 1 November will make that glass of malbec even more worth it.
It sounds obvious, but there's nothing more vital than keeping your body hydrated. But it's important to drink it slowly throughout the day to keep your body in constant supply. The Mayo Clinic recommends a daily target of nine cups for women (two litres); however, many factors affect hydration, so if you work out, drink lots of caffeine or plan to spend your day in the sun, up your intake. Water’s benefits are nearly endless—detoxification, weight loss, fatigue relief, headache prevention, and better skin health and digestion.
Yes, it makes your water look weird, but adding a few drops of this green pigment (the one that’s responsible for photosynthesis, if you happen to remember your primary school science lessons) can help control hunger, cravings and even body odour. It’s a super-potent antioxidant that promotes healing and cleansing, binding itself to the traces of heavy metals within your body and rinsing them away.
Start or end your day with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Known to speed your metabolism and regulate yeast overgrowth (aka candida), coconut oil is great in coffee, tea or a smoothie. To maintain gut balance, incorporate coconut oil into cooking, or take a spoonful daily. And don’t forget a probiotic, too!
Okay, it doesn't sound ideal when you have late dinner plans with friends or an early start, but many studies have suggested that fasting for 12 hours between your evening meal and breakfast the following morning can help detox the body. The first six to eight hours after eating dinner, your body is focused on digestion; however, the last four hours are dedicated to detox and are also the most effective fat-burning time. Eating too late can cause leptin to signal to the brain that no energy is required, and thus no fat burning will occur until early morning hours, if at all.
Getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy (although we've discovered some genius tips, here), and we're constantly hearing that we aren't getting enough. The answer lies in blocking out the light. In theory, it’s a great idea to stay on a circadian rhythm and we'd all rather wake up via sunrise, rather than that irritating iPhone alarm, but any light in your bedroom (including light from a street lamp, mobile phone, or TV) could be preventing you from getting cleansing sleep. Benefits of sleep include (but aren’t limited to) regulating hormones, curbing appetite, lessening inflammation and stress, lowering depression, spurring creativity, and improving memory and overall outlook on life. Try black out curtains or a light-blocking eye mask.
Just taking a few minutes to dry-brush your body in the morning or the evening (before you shower is best) removes dead skin cells from the surface and will boost blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
Infrared saunas or cryotherapy are both great ways to challenge your metabolism on an off day or try a yoga class in a infrared-heated room, such as the one at Good Vibes yoga in London's Covent Garden. Depending on what you choose, benefits can include weight loss, sweating, muscle pain and inflammation relief, improved immune system and complexion, and can reduce the appearance of cellulite.