Detoxifying lifestyle…

I admit the first time I did a juice fast I wanted to drop a few pounds. And it continues to be a perk of cleansing, but there us so much more to it. Detoxing was never meant to be a 3-day crash diet, but a daily lifestyle to help your body function at its optimal level. Besides the fact that juice cleanses make me feel great I wanted to research why. In my research, I’ve learned that our bodies store excess toxins (most commonly in fat cells) and the only way to flush them out is with a detox regimen. Specifically, alkaline liquids are great at doing this job. An alkaline liquid is any liquid with a pH over 7.0 (anything under pH of 7.0 is considered acidic). Maintaining a slightly alkaline pH is important for optimal health.

The most commonly found toxins… 

  • Metals… like lead and mercury
  • Chemicals… like parabens and BPA
  • Pesticides… from the food we eat

Flush it out with these alkaline liquids… use as a part of a daily regimen 

  • Warm water with lemon… As easy as it sounds. Boil water and add the juice of 1/2 lemon. Drink every morning before you have breakfast, brush your teeth, or drink any other liquids.
  • Apple cider vinegar… The natural enzymes in ACV naturally helps to balance your bodies pH. It helps stimulate cardiovascular circulation, detoxify the liver, and cleanse the lymph nodes. Add 2 tablespoons of ACV to 16 oz. of water. Add honey if you need to add flavor and sip throughout the day.
  • Green juices… When you juice fresh fruits and vegetables nutrients are absorbed quickly and efficiently. Your nutrient intake is also increased exponentially. Put simply, you will eat more quantity and a wider variety of vegetables in juice form than you would if they were in their original solid form.
  • Super greens… Kale, spinach, and broccoli, oh my! Super greens are a type of green produce that are very dense both in color and flavor. This is due to their high nutrient content. Super greens are usually very dark in color, such as kale, spinach, broccoli, and chard. Benefits of super greens include that they are high in phytonutrients, are a good source of fiber, provide digestive enzymes and help to heal tissues.
  • Salads… Make a salad out of those super greens!

So no, you don’t have to juice fast to get the healthy rewards of detoxing. I do like to juice cleanse every once in a while, but these detox lifestyle remedies are a great way to keep my body happy in between cleanses.

Preventative strategies… keep the toxins out

  • Eat real, whole foods… such as fresh produce, eggs, milk, whole grain rolled oats, etc. These foods are not processed or minimally processed and thus easier for your body to absorb nutrients and digest.
  • Buy seasonal, local, organic produce… Hello farmer’s market. Foods sold at your local farmers market are not only usually organic/mindfully grown, but they didn’t have to travel half way across the world to get to you.
  • Wash your produce… Washing helps to get any left over chemicals/pesticides off of your non-organic produce.
  • Get good sleep… 7.5 to 8.5 hours each night. Adequate sleep improves mood, immune function, and overall performance.
  • Exercise regularly… Yoga anyone? 30 minutes a day is all you need! Exercise improves mood, flexibility, strength, and even detoxification!
  • Drink lots of water… Water naturally flushes your system… And you’ll feel much better at the end of the day than if you drank soda all day.

Happy detoxing,

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Detox without the fast…

I’ve had some people tell me that they just cannot juice fast, “I have to eat!” (which I totally understand). Juice fasting is not for everyone, mostly for health reasons. But health reasons or not, I was inspired by Vegetarian Times to let you know how to detox your body without a juice-fast. Of course, adding juice to this cleanse will not hurt! Juicing along with other diets is always welcome!

Detox your diet… 

Detox diets have become an enduring trend among health-conscious consumers—and with good reason. “Consuming products such as dairy, gluten, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can burden the system and cause reactions as varied as headaches, digestive upset, tiredness, cravings and increased susceptibility to colds,” says Cathy Wong, ND, CNS, author of The Inside Out Diet: 4 Weeks to Natural Weight Loss and Total Body Health and Radiance. But by focusing on fresh, whole, unprocessed foods and eating “clean” many of these health problems disappear, says Wong, who offers these detox diet tips:

1. Clean up your act... For the next seven days, steer clear of caffeine; alcohol; sugar; gluten; and meat, eggs, and dairy products. Why ban these bad boys? Many of them (alcohol, caffeine, animal fat) are acid-forming—preventing the body from functioning optimally—and can interfere with liver function (alcohol) or upset the body’s energy levels (alcohol, caffeine, sugar), says Wong. Plus, food sensitivities or intolerances to gluten and dairy in particular can cause a multitude of health woes. “Food intolerances also place a greater demand on the liver and, over time, can place great stress on the body and increase blood sugar, cortisol, and insulin,” Wong says.

2. Eat light—and right... Your diet should now consist of foods that promote digestion, are anti-inflammatory and/or have liver-protecting properties. On that list: fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, raw nuts and seeds (unless you suspect an intolerance or allergy), gluten-free grains (such as brown rice and quinoa), healthful oils (such as olive, avocado, and almond) and detoxifying seasonings (such as ginger, turmeric, cilantro, and cayenne). Wong especially recommends broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, and other cruciferous vegetables because they contain compounds that speed up detoxification.

3. Opt for organic... The last thing you want when detoxing is chemicals in your food—which is why Wong recommends eating organic as much as your budget will allow, with a particular emphasis on the foods on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list (find it at ewg.org/foodnews) as well as corn and soy (high on the risk list of genetically modified organisms). Can’t find organic? “Thorough scrubbing and using a natural fruit and vegetable wash can help remove some of the pesticide residues from conventionally grown produce,” Wong notes.

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4. Ease in and out... Try to plan your detox for a week when you’ll be able to get plenty of rest. “It’s common to experience headaches, bloating, and tiredness a few days into the cleanse,” says Wong, who recommends Beano for gas and says it’s OK for coffee drinkers experiencing headaches or fatigue to replace their java with green tea (“Try to limit consumption to 1 to 2 cups per day,” she advises). After the cleanse, introduce foods back into your diet gradually—not just for the sake of your system, but to better understand which ones might be best left out for good. “Keep a food journal, noting reactions to any foods such as dairy and gluten,” Wong says.

More detox ideas by Cathy Wong… there’s a lot more you can do to expedite the elimination of toxins from your system. So add the following steps to your regimen, as outlined by Cathy Wong, ND, CNS:

1. Drink up… Strive for at least eight glasses of water a day. “Staying well hydrated can help remove metabolic waste from the body and prevent constipation, hunger, and tiredness,” Wong notes. “Noncaffeinated herbal tea, fresh vegetable juice, and soup also count toward your fluid intake.”

2. Get moving… Now is not the time to take on an extreme workout program, but Wong recommends about 30 minutes a day of light to moderate activity such as walking, stretching, and yoga. “Exercise boosts circulation and improves digestion, which promotes the elimination of toxins from bowels,” she says. “People also tend to notice that they sleep better and have an improved mood, which helps them to cope during a detox diet.”

3. Scrub-a-dub… Use a natural-bristle brush on dry skin before bathing, and then try a contrast shower, alternating bouts of the hottest water you can stand for three minutes followed by 30 seconds of the coldest water you can handle. “Toxins are eliminated through skin, so dry brushing and contrast showers can help promote circulation and allow toxins to escape,” Wong explains.

4. Supplement your system… A variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, magnesium, and selenium help support the detoxification process, so Wong suggests taking a good multivitamin. “I also recommend 200 milligrams of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which protects cell membranes from oxidative damage due to toxins,” Wong says.

More about Cathy Wong… www.CathyWong.com 

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References… Vegetarian Times