Cleansing Made Easy: 4 Tips Anyone Can Do

January always seems to rush by as we transition back to post-holiday life. And those worthy resolutions we swear we're going to stick to this year can be left in the wake of our other priorities as life so often sweeps us up in a frenzied fashion. A healthy body—a most common resolution—is vital to a healthy mind, healthy relationships and a healthy home. But sticking to a diet resolution can soon become unrealistic, unappetizing. So instead of vaguely resolving to lose a few extra pounds, or "eat better," why not give yourself some healthy goals you can really honor?

Cleansing can sound a little scary if you've never done it before, but it can actually be very easy. While there are some extreme cleansing programs like fasting and herbal detoxes, you can greatly improve your health with relatively simple changes that will make you feel lighter, clearer and more vibrant in no time. Here are four you can get started on anytime of the year (but we recommend now):

Up your water intake: We all drink water, or at least, we all should. It's not only vital for hydrating our entire body so that it functions properly, but it is critical in moving toxins out quickly too (like the fruitcake and eggnog most likely still lingering in your system). If you sleep eight hours (as you should!) that means you're waking up dehydrated, which slows the elimination and detoxification process. Start every morning with at least 8 ounces of spring or purified water. Add the juice from a lemon or lime to increase your hydration and help the cleansing process. And make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your day, preferably not with food, but rather an hour before or after.

Freshen up: Trading in one cooked meal a day for a fresh raw salad and some fruits will improve your health in a number of ways. First, you're getting lots of enzymes that can be killed through heating. Enzymes help the body to break down toxins and move them out. Fresh fruits and veggies also contain lots of antioxidants that can also help to stop (and even reverse) the damage caused by free radicals (toxins that can come from a variety of sources). Raw fruits and vegetables also contain lots of water—which ups your hydration. They are fiber-rich, which improves your elimination and helps you to feel full and energized.

Skip the junk: Of course, it's easy to grab a sugary energy bar, a muffin or some other carb-heavy processed foods when you're hungry and in need of a boost. But research shows that refined carbs make you gain weight, and they lead to an inevitable crash that leaves you searching for the next boost. It's an unproductive cycle, so skip the junk and opt instead for superfoods like chia or hemp seeds (literally, a few spoonfuls will deliver noticeable results, or mix them into a smoothie), raw nuts, or even a bowl of oatmeal or brown rice.

Consult with a specialist: Environmental toxins, food sensitivities and other factors can cause us to feel unhealthy, lack energy and even struggle with our weight. A naturopath or holistic health practitioner can help you to identify possible sources of toxins in your body and set you on a course for healing that may include herbs or supplements to enhance the work of a cleansing diet.

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