After doing a cleanse, I’m motivated to eat healthier, and not emotionally. Cleansing is like my meditation. It makes me stop, focus, and think about what I’m putting into my body. I’m making a commitment to my health and hitting the reset button.
–Selma Hayek, actress
If you’re starting to think, “Oh **** (add expletive here), it’s already February, and I still haven’t cleaned up my diet, (and I still feel tired, brain-fogged, fat, and blah)”, then I invite you to explore the value of doing a gentle detox.
Unless, of course, you want to continue to just “get through the day” and stay stuck on the same old patterns and treadmill, going round and round, but never getting where you really want to go—(healthy, happy and productive). But, if you don’t want to let another year pass by clouded by fatigue, brain-fog, and the blahs, and you’re ready to learn how to Thrive vs. Survive, then I hope this blog gives you a jump-start. This month, I will be blogging a lot about the importance and value of Gentle Detoxing, so you can kick your old, tired self to the curb and allow your new energized self to emerge and start showing up the way you want her to.
While the idea of cleansing can be intimidating, please don’t give up on detoxing altogether because there’s a gentle way to detox that does not involve just juicing for weeks on end. You can detox effectively while eating healthy, nourishing foods, and removing inflammatory and processed foods that create toxic buildup in the body and adding some cleansing herbs and essential oils.
The Truth about Detoxification
Here’s the truth about why detoxing your body on an ongoing basis is not an option if you want to be healthy and avoid or reverse disease. In this blog, I’m going to share with you what detoxification is, 3 top reasons why it’s important, and 3 detox tips. I hope it inspires you to rethink detoxification.
What It Is
Detoxification is the process of removing harmful and toxic substances from the body (as well as substances that affect your mind, body, and spirit) to improve health and heal from disease.
Detoxification provides support for the elimination of accumulated harmful toxins, improves digestion (the key component of autoimmunity), cleanses the lymphatic system, and improves the function of the body’s organs (liver, kidneys, colon, urinary track, and digestive tract or gut).
Why It’s Important
Over 80,000 Chemicals in the Environment
In his article, “Autoimmune Disease: How to Stop Your Body from Attacking Itself,” Dr. Mark Hymen writes, “Over 80,000 chemicals have been introduced into our society since 1900, and only 550 have been tested for safety. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 2.5 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released yearly by large industrial facilities. And 6 million pounds of mercury are poured into our air every year. In fact, a recent government survey – found an average of 148 chemicals in our bodies.” In addition, over 10,000 food and chemical additives have been identified, and it is estimated that the average American consumes approximately fourteen pounds of additives per year.
One way this huge load of environmental toxins causes autoimmunity is by creating free radicals (cells missing a chromosome due to damage from toxins and stress) that “look” for other cells to “steal” a chromosome from, thus causing more cellular damage. All these damaged cells are no longer recognized by the immune system, which then creates antibodies against your own damaged cells because they are no longer recognizable and are seen as intruders.
So, what happens is that Toxins accumulate in your body over time, and when your overall toxic load (the total amount of toxins stored in your cells, plus the toxins in your bloodstream) becomes so high that your liver is unable to process and neutralize them all, the excess toxins spill over into your bloodstream where they are then attacked by your immune cells. This causes chronic inflammation, more cell damage, and increased attacks on your own body, which often results in autoimmunity.
How Toxins Damage Your Cells
Probably the most important thing I learned from the alternative doctors I worked with to reverse my MS, was this little understood, but profound explanation of what causes all disease:
The number one cause of disease is poor cellular health. Your body is made up of trillions of cells (which started with just two single cells at conception and multiplied according to the instructions in the DNA inside your cells to trillions of cells). So, each cell has a job to do, a function to serve (IE: heart cells, brain cells, liver cells) but, in order to be healthy and do its job, each and every cell in your body needs the following to not only thrive, but survive:
(a) Oxygen, water, nutrients and healthy chemical messengers (neurotransmitters and neuropeptides). These 4 elements provide the cells with the instructions they need to perform their jobs well and keep you healthy and happy.
On the other hand, poor cellular health is caused by the following:
(b) Toxins (from food, chemicals, stress, heavy metals, metabolic processes, environment, mental, emotional, relational, spiritual). Currently, there are over 80,000 toxic chemicals circulating in the environment, plus the ones we produce right inside our bodies, and including the ones created by negative mental, emotional and spiritual thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes.
Our bodies cannot get rid of these toxins fast enough, so they’re stored in the tissues and cause free radicals that damage your cells. Then, your cells’ DNA is damaged and cannot perform its function well, or even adequate oftentimes. This all leads to a breakdown of the cell, the organs, and the body = disease.
This is why detoxing your body periodically by giving it a rest and the foods and supplements it needs to detox is crucial to create optimal health and prevent and reverse disease.
3 Tips to Detox Your Body
1. Avoid Inflammatory Foods. The main ones are:
- Gluten – bread, crackers, baked goods, etc.
- Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
- Sugar – white sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar, etc.
- Soy – including tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame, soy sauce, tamari, etc.
- Caffeine – coffee, black tea, green tea, energy drinks
- Anything processed
For people with Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases, add the following foods to this list:
- All grains
- Nuts and Seeds
- Condiments and Spices: barbecue sauce, cayenne pepper, chocolate (unless it’s 88% cocoa or more) ketchup, paprika, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, tamari, teriyaki sauce).
Follow this elimination process for at least 28 days, to give your body a rest, help the cells to detox sufficiently, and allow your gut to heal.
2. & 3. Nourish Your Cells. See section above: “How Toxins Damage Your Cells”.
Breathe: (#1 need of the cell: Oxygen.) Pay attention to your breathing and learn how to breathe deeply and slowly. Try meditation, yoga, walks in nature, or anything that relaxes you.
Drink Water: Drink lots of water to hydrate your cells. Water also carries nutrients to the cells, and flushes fat and toxins from cells. Drink half your weight in ounces of water daily. (You can add fruit to make infused water that tastes great and also boosts detox.)
I like what Kris Carr says about detoxing:
There’s a great metaphor that one of my doctors uses: If a fish is swimming in a dirty tank and it gets sick, do you take it to the vet and amputate the fin? No, you clean the water. So, I cleaned up my system. By eating organic raw greens, nuts, and healthy fats, I am flooding my body with enzymes, vitamins, and oxygen.
—Kris Carr, Wellness Advocate and Cancer Survivor
I hope you will take some of these steps and start cleaning out the toxins that are making you feel tired, sluggish, bloated, brain-fogged, fat, etc! Enjoy and let me know how you’re doing while implementing these tips! Post your results on my Facebook page so others can benefit from your courage!
P.S. Be on the lookout for notification about my FREE upcoming webinar, “Exhausted to Energized in 10 Minutes a Day: The 3 Simple Solutions to Double Your Energy and Focus,” where you will learn much more about detoxing for energy, clarity, weight loss, happiness, and more.
Have a beautiful, nourishing, clean-eating week!