Who Needs Detoxification:
Almost everyone can benefit from detoxification these days. Most cultures have a routine to cleanse themselves and give their bodily functions a rest periodically. Even those that eat a wholefood diet, full of fabulously organic fresh fruits and veggies, avoid excess food, stress, toxins need to detox although they might need to detox less often. Most of us would benefit from annual deep detoxes (totaling 21 days in length) along with several shorter one to two day detoxifications several times a year.
- Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity:
- Joint Pains
- Skin Rashes
- Frequent Colds
- Inability to Lose Weight
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Gas or Bloating
- Irritated Eyes
- Sore Throat
- Immune Weakness
- Indigestion, Reflux
- Environmental Sensitivity
- Food Sensitivity
- Mood Changes
- Brain Fog
- Focus Issues
- Muscle Aches
- Sinus Congestion
- Bad Breath
- Circulatory Deficits
- Hormone Imbalance
- Frequent Infection
- Autoimmune Disease
- High Blood Fats
Goals of Detoxification:
- Decrease Inflammation
- Improve Digestion Absorption, and assimilation (Heal the Gut)
- Improve Immunity
- Support and Improve Detoxification Pathways
- Nourish and Heal at a Cellular level
- Decrease Symptoms
How Do We Accomplish This?
- Decrease Toxic Exposure (If You Can)
- Remove Inflammatory Foods and Toxins
- Improve Detoxification Pathways
- Resolve Constipation
- Feed the body (Proper Nutrition)
- Hydrate the Body
Preparing for detoxification:
This is an excellent time to ease your body into the early stages of detoxing. The transition is easier for your body if it is gradual. How you react to your detox program will depend on your level of toxic exposure, your ability to detoxify, and your current diet and lifestyle.
Focus is on preparing your body, mind, family, and kitchen for detoxification, decreasing exposure to toxins and making healthier diet and lifestyle choices.
Here are some activities of focus during the first week of planning:
- Review what chemicals are in your home, one of the greatest sources of toxic exposure (household products.) Consider green products or have fun making your own (with your family, friends, or by yourself) that are safer for the earth, and therefore safer for you and your loved ones.
- Start cleaning out your pantry of unhealthy, tempting foods.
- Begin eliminating dietary sources of toxins; such as fried foods, processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners. Many of these substances are toxic in themselves, as well as having a negative effect on our detoxification ability, and are linked with many other adverse health issues.
- Begin eliminating common food allergies such as; dairy, and gluten containing grains (wheat, barley, rye, oats, and spelt these have been found too harsh to digest.)
- Enhance your diet with increased organic raw or lightly steamed vegetables and fruits (support your local farmers.)
- Pay attention to protein sources in your diet (very important) and focus on eating healthy protein choices in the morning and throughout the day.
- If you do not already have an exercise program, begin some moderate form of exercise that you will enjoy. Exercise is a necessary part of a healthy detox program. This is a great time to start a new healthy habit.
- Having adequate bowel movements (1-3 soft and easy per day) is a necessary prerequisite for detoxification. If you are at all constipated or feel that you are having incomplete bowel movements, try drinking a lot of water, mild- moderate exercise, increasing fiber ( such as slippery elm), 150 -200 mg Magnesium citrate before bed, or fish oil.
- Drink filtered water and minimize exposure to plastic chemicals by limiting use of plastic bottles.
Many of the illness so common in America today are associated with short and long term congestive patterns caused by being overburdened with an excess of food, toxins, or stress. When we detoxify we lower the total burden and we are more able to handle the stress we encounter without moving into disease. The body’s natural state is health. If disease is present, we should look for the cause of that disease. Excess and toxicity are often at the root of the problem.
Food Intolerance/ Candida Overgrowth
Toxicity is often related to food intolerance and/ or Candida overgrowth. This program is designed to address these issues. The diet eliminates the foods which are most commonly associated with food intolerances. It also eliminates sugar and many of the processed foods associated with Candida and bacteria overgrowth. If you believe that you have a problem with food intolerances or Candida your program can be modified to better suit your situation (research information on Candida before you begin.)
Other Medical Conditions
Detoxification supports better digestive and detoxification functions, and therefore supports overall health of your body. Detoxification, if done correctly and safely, may improve a number of symptoms associated with other diagnosed medical conditions. Detoxification is contraindicated in pregnant and nursing women (*** don’t detox if you are pregnant or lactating****), children, cachexia (wasting), and organ/ system failure.
Basic Foods to Avoid
- Caffeine- coffee, black teas, soda, chocolate
- Green tea is allowed if you cannot do without a caffeine source
- Sugar, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup
- Wheat and all gluten containing foods including wheat, rye, oat, barley, and spelt
- Cereals, pastas, and breads are allowed if they say “Gluten Free”
- Dairy- milk , yogurt, cream, butter, ice cream, cheese, cottage cheese and any product containing whey or casein
- Oranges and Grapefruits( only if they bother your tummy)
- Tomatoes, tomato sauce, eggplant, green and red peppers, All night shades including but not always potatoes ( purple or other colors other than white are allowed)
- Beef, pork, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, chicken, and turkey ( eat only free range if you can)
- Shellfish, tuna, and other large fishes, Florida caught (fish high in mercury) (In 2000 48 states issued a health advisory limiting consumption of local fish due to the high contents of organic mercury. Also, the American academy of Pediatrics now recommends limits for pregnant women and nursing mothers and seafood intake. They found mercury excreted in 5 % of mother’s breast milk (that was then the numbers must have increased by now in 2012.)
- Soy(produces a great deal of phlegm, increases estrogen in the body)- tofu, soy milk, tempeh, textured vegetable protein, soy protein, edamame
- Refined oils (use only expeller pressed oils), butter, margarine, shortening
- All processed foods that contain artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives
- Any food to which you have a known allergy or intolerance
- Any food you eat every day or you crave
Steps for Success
- Lots of water
- Good bowel movements
- Plan your Diet Modifications and Meals
- Mild to Moderate Exercise
- Protein throughout the day
- Rally Support
- Ask for help if you need it and do your research
- Believe that you are worth it
- Do what you can
- Have fun being creative
- Trust the process
- Journal if you like (you’d be surprised at how much you can learn about yourself)
Avoiding the Healing Crisis
The healing crisis is a commonly discussed part of the detoxification process and other healing modalities in general. It is commonly accepted that one must get worse before one can get better, although not necessarily. You may experience symptoms of detoxification (fatigue, mild nausea, headache, pimples, rashes, or body aches, flu like symptoms) or even a return of old symptoms or emotions as toxins exit your body, this should be mild and manageable in nature not severe or overwhelming. Usually around days 3-5 are the most likely to be difficult and then energy and symptoms should begin to rapidly improve (If you are like me you might want to take an adrenal supplement to support your adrenals or if female, you might need some extra iron. You know your body best!)
You SHOULD listen to your body and sleep more, take time to relax and be gentle with yourself. YOU SHOULD NOT SUFFER AND BE UNCOMFORTABLE. This is a sign that too many toxins are being reintroduced back into your blood and tissues faster than the elimination system can remove them. Please make sure you are doing all of the steps mentioned before for success (don’t let yourself become dehydrated, constipated (we’re looking for a smooth move), protein deficient, too tired, too stressed, or forget your supplemental support), and call your doctor for assistance if needed.
Next week we will further discuss ways you can support your body, mind, and spirit during detoxification to maximize your detox experience, see you soon!