I've dedicated the next 30 days to detoxing. In doing so, I've decided to write a series of blog posts about the process. In the first, " Why Detoxing Isn't as Scary as You Think," I wrote about how you can detox in a way that won't deprive you of food or leave you hungry, cranky, tired and dreaming of the foods you wish you could be eating.
Using a food-based detox to flush out your body and change the types of food your body craves is vital in this toxic world, especially if you have digestive problems. Good digestion leads to a healthy life. Why? Because good digestion leads to less inflammation and less inflammation leads to less disease, immune issues and chronic complaints. Let me say it again: If you decrease inflammation, you can prevent disease. Hippocrates said it best when he said, "All disease begins in the gut."
So, assuming this is true (and I do!), having a healthy and strong digestion is key. However, here's something they don't tell you: Even if you eat "clean" and only buy organic and hormone-free foods, you could still be exposed to toxins in the air you breathe, the water you drink and your stress levels. And by the way, just because you're eating well doesn't mean you're eating the right foods for your unique body.
But unless you feel ready to live in a bubble or a hyperbaric chamber, it's time to help yourself out by using some "daily detox." Detox is not a four letter word or anything to be scared about. Instead, it's exciting to think about your body and cells actually functioning and plump with nutrition. Contrary to popular belief, detoxing is not living only on juices, water, smoothies, salad or soup. It's about lessening the toxic load in your body, and taking out the proverbial garbage.
See, when faced with too many toxins, our bodies can't perform their jobs. The body cannot metabolize properly, detox properly, absorb nutrients and minerals, or stay hydrated. It's a vicious cycle. Detoxing is necessary to be healthy, happy, disease-free, and to reduce the amount of inflammation in the body. We all have some low-level inflammation because that's the nature of living in this day and age, and it can totally stress us out.
Every time we stress out, we create acid in our body, and our body is forced to pull minerals to buffer the acid waste. As a result, our liver, lymph and kidneys begin to work hard to filter out the toxic load. This is all well and good until our body is tired and clogged. When your digestive system is not working properly and can't break down food effectively, then it can't focus on getting rid of toxins. That means we can't get rid of bloat, fat, skin breakouts and all that crud that keeps us tired.
Essentially, toxins drive inflammation, which drives weak digestion, which results in:
-- Difficult weight management
-- Low energy
-- Low sex drive
-- Bad skin
By detoxing, you will improve digestion and therefore free your body of inflammation and toxins. Sounds better than taking a plethora of medications, huh? We need to begin eating whole foods that promote detox in a safe and natural way. Here's how:
1. When you wake up, drink warm or room-temperature water with lemon and 1 teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar (if tolerated) and add a dash of cinnamon or cayenne.
2. Start your day by being positive. Find a daily affirmation that gets you fired up. I love Louise Hay, Gabrielle Bernstein and Marianne Williamson.
3. Drink fresh, green juices or make your own green juice with 1 tablespoon of chlorophyll, lemon, lime and water.
4. Aim for one meal that is super easy on your digestion per day. Try a smoothie, green juice, or soup to give your digestive system a rest.
5. Get moving. Exercise is one of the best ways to detox your body.
6. Drink plenty of water and add lemon, lime or grapefruit to flush the toxicity.
7. Skin brushing is my favorite way to support the liver and get rid of those toxins.
8. Be happy and grateful for life.
9. Seek the help of a professional. As an integrative health coach, I spend 90 percent of my time customizing detoxes for individuals or groups based on their goals, budget, lifestyle restrictions and time. You can contact Whole Green You for a complimentary 30 minute assessment to get on your way to health.
Sarah Haskins is the founder of Whole Green You, a holistic health coaching practice that specializes in helping busy men and women around the country increase their energy, improve their relationship to food, lose weight, deconstruct and control cravings, and reduce their toxic load. As a U.S. Army veteran with 11 years of active duty service to her country, Haskins' holistic nutritional approach has been implemented with many U.S. Army soldiers to enhance their focus, energy and athletic ability both on and off the battlefield.