Most likely when we hear the word “detox” we think of Hollywood stars checking into fancy resorts to recover from their lifestyle excesses. Truth is that we all need to detox on a regular basis to protect ourselves from accumulating an ever-greater body burden of chemicals from plastics, pesticides, organic solvents, heavy metals, etc. Spring and fall are the best times to enter a period of conscious eating and liver support to help your body clear out some of the unwanted “freight” we’ve taken on board.
Detox programs and “cleanses” abound. Avoid approaches that include laxatives (herbal or otherwise) or overly aggressive ways of pushing detox. The first time you detox it’s best to use a mostly food-based approach so you can start gently. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your body’s ability to off-load toxins (it will feel like headache and flu).
Pick a three-week period for your detox when you can be focused and committed. Here’s a simple approach to start with:
• Start with cleaning up your diet: lots of fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, filtered water, clean protein from pastured animals and wild fish.
• Emphasize foods that support your liver: beets, artichokes, garlic, dandelion and other bitter greens, lemon juice, etc.
• Set aside inflammatory foods such as wheat, sugar, alcohol and dairy for your “spring cleaning”.
• Provide support to your detox pathways with gentle liver support herbs such as burdock, milk thistle and other herbal allies.
• Commit yourself to 30 minutes of daily exercise such as walking.
There are many levels of detox—it’s just like peeling an onion. Aim to remove only a few outer layers the first time you do it. The second time around you can go deeper. In the meantime, learn how to minimize your ongoing exposure from everyday sources such as the water you drink (see “resources” for water filter recommendations), your personal care products (go to www.ewg.org to learn which products are pure), and the food you eat (hint: organic food is not only richer in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but also reduces your chemical exposure from food – one of the greatest inputs into your body as you eat several times each day!)
You will be pleased—and maybe surprised—at the benefits to be gained by undertaking a careful, appropriate detoxification program. Renewed energy and concentration, improved skin, clearer breathing, better sleep, improved digestion, and losing a few extra pounds are all common outcomes after a good detox. Whether you go it alone or join a group, it’s an experience you will want to repeat for your own continuing good health and well-being!
Check out the detox program we offer seasonally to see if it might meet your needs. It’s called “Dump The Junk” and we’ve been seeing great results for 5 years with this individualized, science-based program.
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