In the world of work, competition can be fierce. To stay on top in your career, you may be doing things like subscribing to trade magazines, attending networking events, or perhaps even going back to school to obtain a higher degree. Those are all steps that can help you succeed -- but what about how you’re treating your bod and brain?
Studies have shown that regular exercise, a healthy diet and brain-boosting foods can have a significant effect on your cognitive function. When you’re thinking faster and more clearly, you’ll be able to come up with new ideas, solve problems at work and do all sorts of tasks with more efficiency. And doesn’t that sound like it will help your career?
While you could simply start eating healthier over time, a lot of people benefit from doing a detox or cleanse protocol to jumpstart their health. Naturopathic doctors routinely prescribe detoxification diets for patients with gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune disorders and environmental exposures, but they also prescribe them as a general preventative for otherwise healthy patients. Wherever you fit in, then, you’ll probably be helping yourself -- and your career -- by trying one.
Resolve to try a "detox" plan for five days, 10 days or even a whole month; just start out at a time when you won’t be traveling for work or dealing with a holiday or other special event.
Here are a few tips to get started.
Cut the crap. Most detox protocols start out by cutting out some of the worst-for-you foods, including caffeine, sugar, alcohol, wheat, soy, corn, dairy and red meat. All of these foods can create an inflammatory response in your body, and that makes it tougher for your liver and kidneys to do their important detox work. Don’t worry, there really are foods left in the world that you actually can eat.
Focus on whole foods. When you take out all of the above foods, what’s left? In short, everything that’s at the center of the grocery store. The outer areas of the store are where you’ll find fruits, vegetables and lean meats like turkey, chicken and fish -- organic, of course, to avoid the adverse health effects of antibiotics and synthetic hormones. For breakfast, think fruit smoothies with nut or coconut milk. For lunch, you might eat a delicious salad dressed with olive oil. For dinner, a lean piece of fish with steamed vegetables. Because your body is getting the nutrients it really needs, you’ll probably find that you’re less hungry than you thought you’d be.
Consider a liver-supporting supplement. From powders to smoothies to pills, liver-supporting products abound. Talk to your doctor, a nutritionist or a naturopathic physician about getting something that helps the liver do its job.
Get some exercise. You probably won’t feel like running a marathon while you’re detoxing, but moving your body a little bit every day will help the detox process.
Sleep a little extra. Sleep is restorative and can also aid the fat-burning process. If you’re feeling tired while on this plan, take it as a sign that your body is doing the work it’s supposed to do.
Start on the weekend. The first couple days, you probably won’t feel like doing much, so it’s best not to start out on your cleanse on a Monday. Ease into it on a Saturday, and by Monday you’ll probably already be feeling positive effects including increased energy and improved mood.
It might be a hard road the first few days, but stick with it for at least five and you’ll probably find that it’s helping you stay on top of your tasks and generally feel more productive at work.
Image courtesy Spinster Cardigan, Flickr