I think at this point we are all a bit tired of hearing the terms ‘detox’ and ‘cleanse.’ They tend to pop up around Spring because this time of year suggests renewal and new beginnings. Certainly, an occasional cleanse to give the liver, kidneys and digestive system a break is a great idea but I think a healthier and more realistic approach would be to consider your overall health and lifestyle and make a list of the things you need to improve. We all have them – less cheese and chocolate, more exercise, less coffee and alcohol, more water and more sleep. Those recurring “must do’s” that we never fully get around to somehow. And guess what – they all affect the skin!

So I am going to suggest six easy steps that may help you. Maybe you are already doing these things but then, maybe not!

Exfoliate the body – get that dead winter skin off with some vigorous dry brushing, followed by a good soak and scrub session in the bath tub. Then slather on a body lotion. Gently exfoliate and moisturize the face too. (No dry brushing please!)

Get a professional pedicure. Start prepping for those fit flops ahead of time and for the extra hiking and time in the gym that you are now planning to spend. Comfortable feet making exercising much more fun!

Check your supplements. Make sure you have vitamins E, C and zinc to boost the skin’s immune system and fish or flaxseed oil capsules and probiotics for your internal immune system. Add Milk Thistle if you want to do a gentle liver cleanse.

When you go grocery shopping add the following to your list: asparagus, blueberries, pineapple, cinnamon, grapefruit, beets, and pomegranates. All of these fruits and vegetables are loaded with anti-oxidants that aid digestion, give you lots of energy and radiant skin. I know cinnamon is not a fruit or vegetable but it is great for the heart and circulation which you need to stimulate on a regular basis to maintain good health.

Drink a green juice daily with lots of water to aid elimination and overall bodily function. Leave out the alcohol for at least one month.

Keep the diet light – avoid meat and dairy (use almond or hemp milk instead) and stick with fish and legumes, nuts and green vegetables for protein for at least three weeks.

The general idea here is that without doing anything too drastic you will develop healthier habits that make you feel and look better and that you can stick with year long.

We all tend to commit to a refreshed resolve at the beginning of each year regarding our diets and life style. And I have already blogged about many aspects of how to go about this. So I thought a quick re-cap and a short plan of action might be timely.

Sugar Busting.

Sugar is now considered by many experts to be a key factor in aging because of the additional free radical activity it causes and because of its ability to deplete the immune system by reducing the germ gobbling capacity of our white blood cells.

So the first step to getting healthy for 2013 is to cut back on sugar. Start by reading food packages to check the glycemic index they contain. This includes everything from ‘healthy’ juices to bread. Sugar shows up in surprising places so you really have to develop some serious sleuthing techniques. Try to eliminate as much starch and as many simple carbohydrates as possible.

Load up on vegetables and fruits, particularly apples and berries, and if you crave something really sweet, stick to dark chocolate. For more information on sugar and the effect it has on our bodies read my blog “The not so sweet side of Sugar”.

Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle.


Take some time out from alcohol. This is another source of sugar that really works the liver so to detox well we have to give the liver a break. Start each day with a big glass of water – room temperature or warm with a squirt of fresh lemon in it. Continue to drink water throughout the day.

Limit the amount of caffeine you drink – maybe to one caffeinated beverage a day – supplement with fruit teas, green tea, dandelion tea and ginger root. Juicing is a great way to cleanse out inner organs. Celery, kale, cucumber, watercress and beetroot are fabulous diuretics and these same vegetables can also be made in to a nourishing soup.

Take those vitamins.


Everyone tends to have a certain regimen in place but to start the New Year off on the right foot, check you have included C, zinc, the B family (particularly 5 and 12), fish oils, milk thistle and a good probiotic in the mix (make sure the cultures in the probiotic number in the trillions).

Keep moving.


We live in a great place for getting out into nature if you are not a gym rat or like attending classes. Mix things up to keep it interesting – 3-4 times a week for at least 40 minutes for maintenance; more often if you have some pounds to lose.

Rest up and play lots.

Check out my most recent blog “Sleeping beauty (How sleep affects your skin)” to bone up on the importance of sleep and how it affects your skin and the aging process. But bear in mind, rest is just as important. Cultivate hobbies and interests outside of work, like reading and gardening. Schedule social time with friends and loved ones and quiet time and spa time for yourself.

Your mind is a powerful tool. When you feel your life is in balance because you are working, resting and living well, you feel more positive about everything. It has been proven that optimists live longer so I really recommend you make the effort to treat yourself with care. I guarantee your efforts will result in more energy, a slimmer waistline and a more focused, fulfilled and happier life.