There are many fad detoxes out there. Most, if not all of them, are miserable. I’m talking from firsthand experience over here. I’ve done almost all the major fad detoxes out there except a water fast. I have to tell you, I was miserable doing them. I felt awful, I was starving, and it just wasn’t pleasant. I didn’t feel any healthier on the other end. I felt hungry, then would have a migraine from eating too much. Now I’m not saying detoxes don’t have their place. Personally, I prefer to do something more gentle. I also understand that detox isn’t a one-time event, but something our bodies do every single day. It’s about supporting this daily process to make it as efficient and effective as possible. Gently detoxing is more effective in the long term, and life is more pleasant in the process.
With that being said, here are 5 simple steps to a detox lifestyle.
#1 Clean up your body products
Conventional body (and beauty) products are full of chemicals that are carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting. For example, take parabens. Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in cosmetic products. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, they do more than that. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, and facial cleansers. You can also find them in food and pharmaceutical products. You also need to be concerned with fragrance, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), toluene, and propylene glycol. To learn more about what’s in your products and your options for replacing them, head over at the EWG Skin Deep Database.
You don’t have to toss everything in your bathroom, instead, I suggest replacing things as you run out. Small changes made over time add up to big changes more quickly than you’d think.
#2 Cut The Junk
Seriously. Stop buying junk food. Processed foods are full of food coloring, preservatives, glyphosate (RoundUp), added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and inflammatory oils. Food colorings are associated with ADHD symptoms, outbursts and behavior issues in children (I’m sure adults too), allergy-like symptoms, vertigo, skin rashes, hives, and more. Glyphosate attacks the healthy bacteria in our guts leading to things like leaky gut, autoimmune disease, nutritional deficiencies and much more. One of the easiest ways to give your body a break is to snack on an apple with almond butter instead of a bag of chips.
#3 Change Up Your Water
We all know tap water is full of all kinds of contaminants including pharmaceuticals like birth control people are processing out of their bodies or even dumping down the toilet, chlorine, lead, mercury, PCBs, pesticides and herbicides, fluoride, and MtBE. Then of course bottled water contains plastic that gets into our system, plus BPA and whatever other chemicals are in plastic. One of the easiest changes you can make is to drop the one-time use water bottles and switch to a Reverse Osmosis system and add trace minerals back into your water.
#4 Get Moving
There are three major ways that exercise aids in detox. First, it helps our lymphatic system move things out. Our circulatory system which has the heart to pump everything through, but our lymphatic doesn’t. Exercise, especially bouncing type exercises, are how the lymphatic system is able to help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials, and is then able to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body.
Second, our skin. When our other detox pathways (liver, kidneys, and colon) are not excreting toxins quickly enough, our skin helps the body out and gets rid of toxins through sweat.
And third, exercise helps gets our colon moving. As much as people don’t like to talk about it, not having a bowel movement 2-3 times daily means all the toxins the body is trying to get rid of, get reabsorbed. When we exercise, our internal organs get massaged and stuff starts bouncing around and then wants to get moved out. A great way to help your body detox! It is recommended that move with intention for 30 minutes daily (think walking) and intensely exercise at least 3x per week (like running, tennis, or strength training).
#5 Eat More Dark Leafy Greens
The dreaded greens. For some strange reason, people don’t like green food. They truly don’t know what they are missing out on! Not only are these foods beautiful, when done correctly, they taste amazing, and of course are packed full of nutrition. The chlorophyll (what makes greens, well, green) helps bind to and rid the body of environmental toxins, heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides. The phytochemicals in leafy greens help balance our hormones, especially reigning in our estrogen overload. They also help support the liver (our master detox organ) in both phase 1 and 2 of the detox process. Green smoothies, salads, and lettuce wraps are all simple and delicious ways to get more greens into your diet.
It’s all about small, simple changes, that add up over time. If you interested in getting a jumpstart on a detox lifestyle, check out my 5-Day Detox. You will receive a 5 day meal plan with shopping list and recipes, plus an in-depth explanation where toxins come from and how the detox process works.
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