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Slow Living | 3 Ways to Detox This Fall

By Heyitsmekylie

Fall is a great time of year for detoxing your life. As the seasons transition, so do we. Our lives often get a little bit less busy, as we unwind from the summer months and ease into the cooler weather. Sometimes, Fall means new jobs, new schools, or returning to those same activities we always do this time of year. It’s a natural time of year to want to want a fresh start, live more slowly, more mindful, and take time for ourselves. For me, summer is the busiest time of year, both at work and socially. Fall, though, is my favourite. I find a bit more time to breathe, to reflect, and to focus on myself. It’s a time to help me get prepared for the Winter cold, when sustaining a healthy mind and immune system can often be difficult. 

Detoxing doesn’t have to mean a cleanse of a diet. It doesn’t mean that you have to drink smoothies or salads for a week straight – it can mean so much more. Here are my favourite ways to detox, and what I plan on doing this Fall. I’m already a little late! 

woman laying on yoga mat, grateful

Slowing Down

The first step for me, is to slow life down and do my best to reduce stress and over-activity of my mind. Personally, I find myself getting caught up with taking on too much, also known as “multi-tasking”. I think that our society pushes for this a lot, but in the attempts to get as much done as quickly as possible, we leave ourselves with little room to get bored. With boredom, comes creativity. When we task ourselves with so many things at once, it is unrealistic to imagine that we can do each and every one of those things as best we can. Instead, we do each of those things mediocrely. 

Boredom gives our minds the space it needs to think outside the box.

Overloading our minds with information leads to stress, therefore increasing cortisol in our bodies. The effects of increased cortisol are not good, and it can lead to various health issues such as irregular menstrual cycles, insomnia, indigestion, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, etc. While there are treatments for these symptoms of stress, it does not correct the cause. How can we get rid of the stress? Slowing down. This could mean saying no to activities that drain you of your energy and attention. It could also mean taking time to exercise through the activities that you love. My personal Fall favourites are going on hikes and doing yoga. For you, it could mean going to the gym, exercising your mind through meditation, or reading.  

Fall is a great time for a fresh start and a fresh mind. Live more slowly. 

Eating Seasonally

This one has been relatively new for me, but it is something that I’ve thought about for a long time. 

The definition of seasonal eating is basically exactly what it sounds like – eating with the seasons. When we eat seasonally, we cook and eat foods that are harvested in the same season (or we store/preserve foods from the previous season). For the most part, vegetables, fruits, and other crops grow at certain times of the year. A lot has changed in this century, as globalization has changed food supply quite a bit. Now, most veggies and fruits can be found year-round. However, with that, we’ve lost sight of the importance of eating with the seasons and the benefits it can have on our health, the environment, and on our wallets. 

It’s not to say that eating these global foods is unhealthy, especially if they are also fruits and vegetables. But, it has been shown that people eating “seasonally” are more likely to choose an abundance of fruits and vegetables. 

Eating seasonal foods means that there is a good chance that those foods are fresher and higher in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you think about it, when food has to travel from one side of the planet to the other, it’s going to take much more time to get there and those vitamins and minerals will be depleted. Also, seasonal food often means local food and buying fresh produce, especially if you’re attending local farmers markets. 

For Ontario (October – November) this is the time of year for sweet potatoes, pears, apples, zucchini, tomatoes, and more. Once Winter hits, that’s when we get into root veggies and squashes – so good! 

Eating seasonally lessens your environmental impact because the produce isn’t shipped across the Country. If you’re able to buy local food – or at least food grown in Canada – there is far less distance to travel (aka emissions) and you are supporting the local economy. Eating with the seasons is another way we can all do our part (large or small) to reduce negative impacts on our natural environment. I do not believe this is the sole solution to fighting climate change; however, it can be part of a multi-product approach and can be seen as a starting point to changing current food consumption patterns. 

Eating seasonally can also be very affordable because you are more likely to choose whole foods and plant-based foods at that. You don’t need to buy fancy goji berries, tropical fruits, or other superfoods. If you avoid packaged foods (even if they are healthy), your wallet is going to be much heavier, in a good way! 

Natural Products

Another thing that I’ve been slowly transitioning into is being more conscious with what I buy and what those products are made out of. Within the last few years, and more so in the last several months, I have started to make an active effort to buy items that are natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic. From cleaning products to skincare. Click here for a previous post on my natural (ish) skincare routine (https://heyitsmekylie.com/blog/beauty/natural-skincare-routine/

The most important takeaway in all of this is that a fall detox, or any detox for that matter, should not be about perfection. It is about progression. Especially when making the switch to natural products, it is understood that it is going to take some time. Some people may go about it by tossing all their old products, while others are going to use what they have until the products are empty, and then slowly transition. I personally do the latter, as I hate wasting things. Switching to a cleaner face wash or natural deodorants are a great way to start. I personally have been loving the routine brand in the scent Johnny’s Cash. It has notes of cedar, pine and lumberjack and blends into your skin like a dream!

routine cream deodorant

Whether it is slowing down, eating seasonally (and whole plant foods), or making the switch to clean beauty/skincare, there are so many ways you can detox your life this Fall and prepare for the Winter months ahead. What are your favourite ways to Fall detox?

~ Kylie

Gratitude. You hear and see slogans everywhere these days touting “choose happiness”, “happiness is a choice”, “be grateful.” But is it that easy? Can you just flip a switch and MAKE an emotion happen? When things are going well in your life its easier to feel that. Sometimes everything is going right yet we still can’t tap into that emotion. “What’s wrong with me? AM I BROKEN?” There’s a missing piece here. We can have everything in this world handed to us on a platter and still be void of happiness if we’re not reflecting on our life and what a blessing the little and big things can be.

So what do you do when everything is going wrong? Maybe you don’t think you have anything to be grateful for? Maybe the world has taken everything from you. Sometimes when we’re down the last thing we want to do is be positive. It seems fake, unrealistic, and downright annoying. You want to listen to that depressing song, treat your body poorly and numb it with vices. Sometimes it feels good to relish in those terrible feelings whether we realize it or not.

Some people have it rougher than others, there’s no getting around that. Its true that ALL of us will experience ups and downs in our life. But how to do we cope with the bad. How do we “choose happiness” when everything is dragging us down? Well, we can train our brains to think. We train them to be depressed, we train them to be happy. The training is a daily practice. If everyday we are reflecting on the bad, the negative and depressing, it starts to become our reality. Those synapses in our brain become stronger and stronger until its a constant wheel in motion. The negativity train starts to run without us even conducting it anymore. Its a common human trait to complain. We think its conversation. Its normal. But who has a daily conversational habit of gratitude?

What if every day you got out the pen and paper and wrote down the things that you were grateful for. The little, the big. Maybe your life is so shitty that there’s only 1 or 2 things on that list? Well…focus on it. Get creative with the detail. Don’t just say “your family.” Write my uncle Larry is hilarious when he embarrasses my aunt and I get a kick out of it. I’m grateful for pumpkin spice everything. I’m grateful that i’m not in physical pain today. I’m grateful that I have 2 legs to stand on. I’m grateful that I didn’t live through WWII. I’m grateful for little kids laughing, or my favourite song. Don’t be fake about it. If you’re not actually grateful for that thing, don’t put it on your list. If your family pisses you off, emit it from your list. Be true, be authentic.

The options are limitless.

Personal development guru Tony Robbins was beaten relentlessly by his mother when he was a boy. When the now billionaire shared his gratitude list he mentioned his mom. He told her he was grateful for her because she made him the man his was today. An initial reaction to that statement is usually met with anger. When you think about it, it couldn’t be truer. She was responsible for turning him into the man he was today. He set out a new path for himself and his future family to do better, to be better and to help others who needed help. Not only did he find forgiveness for her, he found gratitude. “Gratitude is the antidote” he says and includes this ritual into his life daily.

Slowly but surely you’ll start to grow new eyes. Your positive synapses in your brain will get stronger and that old train will crash. A new technology will emerge in your head and you’ll be headed in a new path. Maybe you only have ONE thing, or ONE person that you’re grateful for. Maybe thats all you need. That’s the starting point to a new understanding and new you.