How to Detox: 12 Healthy, Easy Ways to Refresh Your System

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Aaah, the cleanse.

By now, most of us have either attempted one or at least dealt with the hanger-induced rage of a mid-cleanse friend. Perhaps that friend was Beyonce circa 2006*, when she did the so-called “Master Cleanse” in preparation for her role in Dream Girls, drinking only a lemon-cayenne-syrup mixture, a saltwater drink, and herbal tea for a week straight.

Sounds pleasant, right? Yeah, not really. And while these more extreme versions will likely result in immediate weight loss, they can be dangerous if not done properly, and you’ll likely gain the weight back pretty quickly after returning to a normal diet.

Luckily, it IS possible to detox in a way that won’t make you want to throw things at strangers. A healthy detox is more gradual, and will leave you feeling energized, rather than depleted.

*Okay, so it was probably not Beyonce. You get the picture.

yogurt

So, what is a detox?

A detox, simply put, is a method of eliminating toxins. Though the body naturally detoxes on its own, you can lessen its workload and improve the detoxification process by 1) decreasing the toxins you put into your body and 2) supporting the systems that work to remove those toxins.

This is where a detox comes in! Benefits include restoring balance in your body, increasing energy, speeding up metabolism and strengthening immunity, just to name a few.

yoga

How to detox the right way

Instead of extreme, short-term cleanses with short-term results, aim for a gradual approach with long-term benefits. To get you started, we put together a list of 12 simple ways you can start incorporating detoxifying habits into your everyday routine.

Now, you do NOT need to try all of these at once. Choose a few (maybe even just one for starters!) that seem most achievable to you and go from there. (And, of course, consult your doctor if you have any questions about which kind of detox is right for you.)

lemon-water

  1. Start your day with lemon water or tea – Lemons are full of citric acid and pectin, which support digestion. Tea is tasty, makes you feel kinda fancy, and it’s ALSO rich in antioxidants.
  2. Avoid processed foods, refined sugar and alcohol – Don’t make your liver work any harder than it needs to by filling yourself with processed junk, refined sugar or alcohol. Reach for healthier alternatives instead. Which leads us to…
  3. Smoothies! – It’s surprisingly easy to throw together a great-tasting smoothie that’s also full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep you full longer and aid your digestive system. (Tip: the sweetness of pineapple totally cancels out the flavor of spinach in a smoothie, so you can reap all the benefits without feeling like you’re drinking a salad! Because, gross.)

lettuce

  1. Hydrate, a LOT – Duh. Water helps your kidneys and digestive system function properly by flushing out toxins. The Institute of Medicine suggests that women drink 2.7 liters per day (make that 3.7 liters for men). And no, alcohol does not count! Nice try, though.
  2. Incorporate superfoods into your diet  – Superfoods like spinach and kale are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and many specifically enhance liver function (cranberries, for example).
  3. Eat more fiber – A high-fiber diet means healthier bowel movements, which means fewer toxins. The Mayo Clinic recommends that women eat 25 grams of fiber a day and men eat 38 grams. Some awesome sources of fiber include whole-grain products, fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

workout

  1. Try probiotics – Probiotics are good bacteria that help the digestive tract and boost the immune system. Natural probiotics can be found in things like yogurt, kombucha, and miso. They’re also available in supplement form.
  2. Work it out – Yoga in particular is great for increasing circulation, which brings more nutrients to the liver. And regular aerobic exercise breaks down fat tissue that toxins are stored in, helping remove those toxins. Aim to exercise 20-30 minutes a few times a week, and don’t forget the tunes!
  3. Treat yourself to a massage – Massages stimulate the lymph system, making it filter waste faster and more efficiently. The perfect excuse to treat yourself.

sleep

  1. Get more sleep – Sleep lets your body rest and recharge, so that processes like digestion and detoxification can function smoothly during the day. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
  2. Get your zen on – Detoxing can be challenging or stressful at times, especially if you’re trying to give up vices like alcohol or sugar. You can improve your willpower by meditating, according to Stanford health psychologist Kelly McGonigal. Brain changes in the prefrontal cortex (which controls decisions and behavior), have been seen after just eight weeks of short, daily meditations.
  3. De-stress – Stress can take a toll on the digestive system, causing it to function below its full potential. Try to limit stressors and unwind in healthy ways, like exercise and meditation.

Detox Foods

Since healthy detoxing is largely about putting the right things into your body, here are some foods that will cleanse your system naturally and make you feel great! (Find even more detox food ideas here.)

  • Ginger – Ginger aids in digestion and can even help relieve an upset stomach. Some say it also helps you feel fuller longer. Try it in tea form, too!
  • Beets – Beets are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help improve liver function.
  • Artichokes – The cynarin in artichokes stimulate bile flow, which aids digestion.
  • Milk thistle – Milk thistle is commonly associated with detoxing because it aids the liver in removing toxins from the blood.
  • Garlic – Garlic stimulates the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps facilitate the natural detoxification process. It’s also good for your immune system!
  • Dark, leafy greens – Superfoods like kale and collard greens are rich in chlorophyll, which has enzymes that aid in cleansing the blood.
  • Broccoli – Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage boost detoxifying enzymes, which help your body excrete toxins.
  • Raspberries – Raspberries are high in fiber, which is good for digestion. (Apples, blackberries, and bananas are also good sources of fiber!)
  • Kimchi – Fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt and sauerkraut are natural probiotics that improve digestive function.
  • Oats – Like raspberries, oats are rich in fiber, which is good for your digestive system and leaves you feeling full longer.

Remember: detoxing isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about giving your body more of the nutrients it needs in order to function at its best (and make YOU feel your best). So stock up on those superfoods, start planning your new workout routine (in style, of course), and tell Beyonce she can have that saltwater all to herself.

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Sources
www.nourishholisticnutrition.com  |  www.people.cornellcollege.edu  |  www.dailyhealthpost.com  |  www.livestrong.com  |  www.articles.mercola.com  |  www.draxe.com  |  www.shape.com 1, 2  |  www.mensfitness.com  |  www.mayoclinic.org  |  www.health.com 1, 2  |  www.oregonlive.com  |  www.scopeblog.stanford.edu  |  www.everydayhealth.com  |  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 1, 2 |  www.livestrong.com  |  www.womenshealthmag.com  |  www.nutritionfacts.org

How To: Spring Break Hair

Heading to a pool party or a day on the beach? This no-fuss look will stay in place all day so you don’t have to!

Step 1: Brush all of your hair to the back.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 2: Separate two side pieces from the front and twist both of them inward.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 3: Tie the two strands together in a knot, keeping them separate from the rest of your hair.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 4: Starting with either the left or right section, take a small strand of hair from one of the outer edges, and cross it over the opposite section of hair. Once you’ve added this strand to the other section, forget about it! You will always be working with just two sections, not three.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 5: Keep repeating this process from side to side until you reach the end.  As you work down, you can take smaller sections of hair if you want a tighter braid. Make sure you’re always taking strands from the outer edges.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 6: Tie an elastic band around the bottom, then gently pull the hair from the braid to make it a little wider.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 7: Give it a spritz of hairspray to set everything in place.

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 8: Add flowers, starting from the outside and working in. Secure them by pulling the stems through your braid.

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

Step 9: Go rock it!

How To: Spring Break Hair

How To: Spring Break Hair

Show us your spring break style on Instagram or Twitter with #AerieREAL

Want more hair inspo? Try learning a waterfall braid!

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Mardi Gras Treats

Treat yourself this Tuesday– no need to be in NOLA to celebrate Mardi Gras!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 6 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows
  • Purple candy melts
  • Star shaped silicone mold (optional)
  • Green, gold and purple sugar pearls
  • Green, gold and purple sprinkles

Mardi Gras Treats

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until they’re melted and combined.
  3. Remove mixture from heat and add it to cereal until it’s evenly coated.
  4. Coat a 13 x 9 inch pan with cooking spray, pressing mixture evenly into pan.
  5. Let cool and cut into small rectangles.
  6. Melt purple candy according to instructions and pour into molds.
  7. Reserving half, dip the treats into the melted candy, as much or as little as you’d like.
  8. Decorate using the cooled star candies, sugar pearls and sprinkles.

Mardi Gras Treats

 

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ERIN’S OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: STRONG. BEAUTIFUL. YOU!

Happy #NEDAwareness week! Celebrate your strong & beautiful self with OUR stylist’s outfit of the week.

ERIN’S OUTFIT OF THE WEEK: STRONG. BEAUTIFUL. YOU!Shop Erin’s Look: Limited-Edition NEDA Tee | Fleece Crew Sweatshirt | Chill Hi-Rise Legging | Happy Unlined Plunge Bra | Aerie Shine Boybrief | Round Sunglasses | Baseball Hat | Court Sneaker

This week’s look features our Limited-Edition NEDA Tee: shop it and we’ll donate 100% of sales to the National Eating Disorders Association, a non-profit that supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders. If you’re staying active with a NEDA walk this week, wear your Chill Hi-Rise Legging and layer with our Fleece Crew Sweatshirt.

As always, love the REAL you!

 

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#AerieSUPPORTS NEDA

We are SO proud to celebrate our third year partnering with NEDA, a non-profit that supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Aerie sponsors all NEDA walks across the country that raise funds for advocacy and educational programs and provide support for local communities.

#AerieSUPPORTS NEDA

We’re extra proud of #AerieREAL role model, Iskra Lawrence, who partners with the non-profit as a NEDA Ambassador. She attends walks throughout the year and shares her personal story about learning to accept her body and love her REAL self.

#AerieSUPPORTS NEDA

This year, we brought back our Limited-Edition NEDA Tee, and it’s going fast! Shop now and we’ll donate 100% of sales to NEDA. Earlier this month, we met our goal of donating $25,000 from Aerie and American Eagle Outfitters credit card sales to NEDA, and this Sunday 2.26 we’ll be matching all sales made at our SoHo pop-up in NYC (up to $10,000) in donations to NEDA. 

#AerieSupports NEDA
“Aerie’s dedication to socially-responsible campaigns is inspiring,” said Claire Mysko, CEO of NEDA. “In a world where girls and women continue to struggle with negative feelings about their appearance, Aerie is creating needed change by celebrating diversity and promoting positive body image. We thank Aerie for their continued support of NEDA and their commitment to fostering strength and confidence in their customers.”

Check out www.Aerie.com/AerieSupports and www.MyNEDA.org to learn more about NEDA and for additional resources. And always remember to love the REAL you!

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San Francisco Travel Style with Om & The City

My trip to San Francisco was a rather spontaneous one, but those are always the best, right?! With little to no planning, my boyfriend and I packed our bags and flew cross-country with one small carry-on in hand (yes, we did indeed share). Packing light with lots of versatile layers was essential for this on-the-fly trip – check out my top 5 favorite things about the lovely land of SF.

The Food

Mmm… the food in SF was so delicious. I’d have to say my favorite spot, though, was Cafe Réveille in Mission Bay. If you visit, you MUST go for brunch and get the pancakes! With the sun out, it was the perfect weather to nosh outside while wearing a cozy sweater. Enjoying a tasty breakfast outside in the middle of February was certainly a nice break from the cold winds in NYC!

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Daytime Look

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Best Food

Brunch at Cafe Réveille

SHOP THE LOOK: Choker Neck Sweater | Cat Eye Sunglasses

The Sights

San Francisco may only be 7×7 miles, but there are enough beautiful spots to enjoy for a lifetime. From exploring the lively hipster streets of Mission and The Castro to hailing a cab up to the luxurious homes in Twin Peaks, you certainly can’t beat the views.

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Daytime Look
Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Daytime Look

Exploring around Mission

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Explore and Adventure Look

Overlooking the beautiful city of San Francisco

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Explore and Adventure Look

SHOP THE LOOK: Denim X4 Hi-Rise Jegging | Soft & Sexy Patch T-Shirt
Textured BackpackBomber Fleece Hoodie Jacket  | Tretorn Avon 2 | Rose Quartz Art Deco Pendant

The Coffee

Oh my goodness, the coffee was incredible. I must have downed AT LEAST 3 cups a day, which is a lot for me. Favorite spot? Philz Coffee, hands down. You have to try the Mint Mojito… it’s their most beloved concoction there. My runners up would be Four Barrel and Ritual Coffee Roasters!

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Coffee Date Look Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Coffee Date Look Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Coffee Date Look Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Coffee Date Look

SHOP THE LOOK: Denim X4 Hi-Rise Jegging | Tretorn Avon 2
Oversized Embroidered Denim Shirt  | Rad Pin Pack

The Nature

I can see now why people flock to the west coast for their fill of nature! The parks are gorgeous – my favorite was Dolores Park. Also, the type of trees and plants in SF are so much different that the ones I see in NYC. I had never seen such giant succulent before. We eventually stumbled into a neighborhood park with a swing hanging on a tree. I don’t care what people say, you’re never too old to play on a swing.

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Explore and Adventure Look Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Explore and Adventure Look

SHOP THE LOOK: Choker Neck Sweater | Tretorn Avon 2 | Denim X Jegging

The Date Nights

The golden hour in San Fran is unreal. It is the perfect ambiance for an early evening date night. Since most of the restaurants close around 10pm, we started our date early and ended up making our way to an ice cream sandwich shop called Cream. Dessert before dinner = 👌when you’re on vacay! I loved wearing such a pretty, fluttery dress and throwing on the bomber jacket when the sun went down!

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Date Night Look Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Date Night Look Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Date Night Look

I had such a blast exploring San Francisco, and I loved sporting my #AEOSTYLE every step of the way. The versatility, livability and effortless style is exactly what I’m all about.

Om & The City San Francisco Travel Guide: Date Night Look

SHOP THE LOOK: Bomber Fleece Hoodie Jacket | Tretorn Avon 2
Textured BackpackAEO Tiered Lace Overlay Dress

Be sure to follow Jules on Instagram @omandthecity & on her blog omandthecityblog.com!

Photography by @vmorris41 | victoriajanephotography.com

What are you wearing on your adventures? Show us using #AEOSTYLE and #WeAllCan for a chance to be featured in our Style Gallery.

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