By featured contributor, Dr. Alejandro Junger

dr-jungerHow does a discerning gentleman such as yourself get ready for the brand spanking newness of 2010?  By getting squeaky clean, starting from the inside out.

No matter how many better-for-you-than-the-alternative-but-still-sweet-vegan goodies you scarfed down this holiday season, there's hope for squeezing into those animal & eco friendly duds you got for Christmas or Hanukkah and feeling your overall fabulous (yet manly) self.

All of you gentlemen out there want pretty much the same things: to get rid of that spare tire or beer belly, look in the mirror and see clear, chiseled features, hear the women in your lives exclaim over how good you smell, alleviate depression (common with the lack of sunlight this time of year), feel sharper and stronger, have clear thoughts and increased stamina, as well as lower your risks for possible diseases and health problems in the future.

You know that to accomplish all of this, a detox is definitely required, and before you write them off as too expensive or complicated, think again, because a detox is something you can easily do at home with a bit of advice and some motivation.  So here you go: Consider this a house call/kick-start from your very own personal detox specialist!

1. YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE, SO CLEAN THE HOUSE! Literally, by getting rid of toxins from as many areas as you can.  Consume, bathe, slather, sleep on, wear and generally surround yourself with as many organic and all-natural products as possible.  Yes, it's incredibly important to eat chemical-free foods (local and seasonal as well) but don't forget about your cleaning products, or the sheets you spend 1/3 of your time in (maybe more if your new clean habits increase your stamina and suddenly magnetic attractiveness!), or the shaving lotion, cologne and toothpaste you use.  Our skin is our largest organ and if toxins are going on it, you can rest assured they're doing harm in your body as well.


2. LOVE THOSE GREENS. There was a reason Olive Oyl was enamored with Popeye.  He loved his green vegetables and had the muscles to prove it.  Dark green vegetables are powerhouses of energy, vitamins, minerals, mood-boosters, immune system strengtheners, weight loss tools, and basic overall miracle workers.  They are tools that no man should be without on the road to optimal health and vitality.  Raw, juiced, steamed, sauteed, blended; however you eat them, just make sure you are!


3. BE THE STRONG, SEXY, SILENT TYPE. It works for rugged cowboys, and it will work in more ways than one for you. When you find time to be quiet as often as you can throughout the day, you are alleviating the stress and anxiety that builds up from normal everyday life.  Stilling the mind works the connection between mind and body and when your mind is calm, quiet, strong and regenerated, your body immediately follows.  Nothing fancy, just a few minutes a day, so instead of zoning out in front of the tv, lie, sit or stand with your eyes half lowered or closed and let your thoughts simply fall away without control or stress or pressure to do anything in that moment except BE.  When you're called out for being lazy and unmotivated, invite whoever it is to join you and raise the peaceful love vibration of the world, so suddenly you have entirely universal and unselfish results for what started out as sort of a self-serving act!  Oh and don't forget your beauty sleep either. . . most of us need roughly 8 hours to have the best skin, metabolism, immunity and overall mood possible.  Winter is the perfect time to become a bit more bear-like and hibernate more than usual, it actually harms our health to fight nature as we do, working like crazy even when the sun is telling us to slow down a bit.

4. LOSE/HEAL YOUR GUT. When you work to promote optimal gastrointestinal health, you simultaneously streamline your size as well. . . a healthy gut is usually not a bloated and extended one so take a daily probiotic, eat lots of fermented foods (miso, sauerkraut, spicy kimchi, kombucha), and make sure you're staying well hydrated with plenty of water.  Also don't forget to move around.  Walk, run, stretch, lift, swim, climb stairs, play with your kids, play pickup ball games, have sex, cook a meal, hug everyone. . .any kind of movement benefits you in more ways than one, between losing extra weight, acting like happy pills, and making human connections.

So what are you waiting for?  Get busy cleaning up your act this January. . . and get your sexy back.
Dr.  Alejandro Junger lives in New York City, where he practices at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and at the Akasha Center in LA.  He is the Director of Integrative Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital.