Picture courtesy of calca.
Picture courtesy of calca.

It’s January! Let’s detox for 7 days!

I mean, we need to right? How else will our body clear out all the cakes, cookies and booze we had over the holidays?

Hmm….maybe actually I need a 21 day detox! That will do it! That will clean out my body! Maybe I’ll lose weight, gain a few IQ points and have more energy!

This is what I thought for many years, but I was doing it wrong.   Here’s why:

Detoxing is happening all the time.

 

 

It’s what our body does naturally and without our interference. Doing a detox for a short period of time might lead to some temporary improvements in how we feel, but who wants to feel better for a little while?

If  we want lasting improvements in how we feel, lasting energy and clear thinking, then the RIGHT way to detox is to adapt a detox lifestyle. This means you support your bodies ability to process and eliminate natural and artificial toxins (anything your body does not need to survive and thrive) EVERY DAMN DAY. It doesn’t meant we never eat a cookie or have a glass a wine again, it just means that we continuely strive to do two things: 1) reduce our exposures to toxins and 2), give our body what it needs to function at its best.

This post will help you understand how to do both and get the benefits of “detoxing” all year round.

 

Step 1: Reduce Exposure

First, the more toxins that you are exposed to, the more that needs to be processed, filtered and eliminated. There are some things that are outside of our control like air/water/soil pollution. But there are many things within our control. The less junk you put in, the less your body has to process and filter out.

Here are some places to look for toxin exposure.

Home Sources of Potentially Dangerous Chemical Exposure Indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality in most cases. The following is a list of the most common indoor pollutants.

  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Paints
  • Carpeting
  • New Cabinetry
  • Upholstery
  • Air fresheners/deodorizers
  • Pesticide use
  • Water damage/mold
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Attached Garage (and pesticides, paint, chemicals stored there)
  • Perfumes/fragrance
  • Particle Board Furniture
  • Gas appliances
  • Fireplaces
  • Scented Candles
  • Laundry Soap
  • Fabric Softener
  • Hobbies
  • Wearing shoes indoors
  • Showers with chlorinated water
  • Newsprint/Magazines

 

Food Sources

Food is a huge area of exposure–we are putting it in our mouth 3, 4, 5x a day! Reduce your exposure to herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics and steroids by choosing organic first. If you have limited organic dollar, spend it on pastured, organic meats and dairy first-especially butter!. Because most pesticides are fat soluble, they will accumulate in animals bodies. Thus when we eat that creamy yogurt or use non-organic butter, we are getting concentrated pesticides and herbicides.

Go here for a list of the “dirtiest” and “cleanest” (regarding pesticide) produce choices.

 

Toxic Lifestyle Choices

The other area is toxic lifestyle choices like being overworked or over busy, sedentary, overuse of alcohol, pharmaceutical or recreational drugs.

 

Internal or Emotional Toxins

Our feelings and emotions influence our bodies function. This is not woo-woo, unscientific fluff. Studies have shown that doing things like mediation and relaxation can influence the expression of our genes–everything from inflammation to energy to insulin sensitivity. Check your head and see if any of the following toxins are lurking there.

  • Betrayal of self including saying “yes” when we mean “no”
  • Relationship stress
  • Job Stresses
  • Not living your truth
  • Not speaking your truth
  • Negative internal self talk (self-violence)
  • Not maintaining your personal boundaries

As you can see, these are not habits and changes to make for a few days a year, but rather a way of living that minimizes your exposures to some of the most common dangerous chemicals.

 

 

Step 2: Support Your Detox Organs

The other major factor in how well your body detoxes year round is your nutritional status. You have 6 organs of detoxification–skin, kidneys, lungs, bowels, liver and lymphatic system.  They each play a part in reducing and eliminating harmful and every day exposures.  We need nutrients, vitamins, minerals and amino acids from our foods to supply each one of these organs, glands, tissues and enzymes with the building blocks to function correctly.

 

 

This doesn’t mean we have to shop at whole foods. 🙂

 

It just means that we eat the most nutrient-dense foods we can–these are usually whole fruits, vegetables (including roots and tubers), meats, nuts, seeds, dairy and grains if you tolerate them. The key here is that we eat them in their most unprocessed state. In other words, eat brown rice, not brown rice pasta. Eat real strawberries, not strawberry pop-tarts. Roast a whole chicken, not chicken nuggets.

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The fine print: Eat the foods you like and that like you back. In other words, don’t like asparagus? Don’t feel forced to eat it. Or love brownies like I do? Eat it in moderation all year long. That way we never feel deprived of it and end up binge-ing once our “detox” is over.  The other part of the “eat the foods you like and like you back” mantra is to eat the foods that you feel good on. If dairy makes you mucus-y, don’t it it. If you have Celiac, don’t eat gluten. If you have any known allergies or sensitivities, avoid those foods. 

 

Why do we need to do this year round and not just for a few days in January? 

Short term detoxes might make you feel better for a short term, but will unlikely result in any long term benefit. How do we get a body that handles toxins efficiently and effectively? We live this #detoxlifestyle and build a new body.

What do I mean by building a new body?

Our body is literally breaking down and building up (renewing) every single minute of the day. If we eat a less than optimal diet, our cells will use those less than optimal ingredients to produce new cells, thus producing cells that function less than optimally. This includes the cells in our livers, kidneys, skin and the other elimination organs.

When we start supplying our body with the full variety of nutrients (macronutrients, micronutrients and phytonutrients) it needs, we can build new healthy cells that work as they are supposed to. We can literally build a new body with the new healthy foods we eat.  We can build a liver that works more efficiently. We can build better skin. We can build improved lungs.

 

So, now is the part where I talk about laxative and purgatives….JUST KIDDING!!

 

It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to hang out near a bathroom for a week . It doesn’t have to involve deprivation and expensive supplements. It can be easy!

Here is how to start: Pick one thing from this blog and do it. Maybe you commit to buying organic butter. Or you commit to replacing your toxic bathroom cleaners with vinegar, baking soda and elbow grease. Just pick one thing at a time and work it until its easy. Then move on to the next until eventually your body, your home and your environment support your detox lifestyle and best health.

 

Please let me know what steps you are going to take first in building a #detoxlifestyle. Post below or come on over to my facebook page and let me know!

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Detoxing: You’re doing it wrong

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