Toxic Overload: is YOUR body begging for a detox?

Detox Smoothie

The subject of toxic overload is something that I’ve been hearing about for years, but one that I haven’t given much thought about—until now. I’m currently writing an article for Vancouver’s alive Magazine on the harmful effects of colouring one’s hair. As always with the research involved in these topics, I’m overwhelmed and feeling guilt-stricken. I suppose some things are nice not to know about, but I’m always happy to improve my knowledge on topics like this—especially when it comes to the health and safety of my family.

Needless to say, my daughter will NOT be colouring her hair at age 15 like I was. (Unless it’s with henna.)

Anyway, this blog post is not specifically about hair dye—it’s about toxic overload—literally overloading our bodies with chemicals we use on a daily basis. Everything from the air we breathe to the water we drink to the cosmetics we happily slather on our skin each day contributes to this problem.

Our bodies are designed to deal with a certain amount of toxins and dispose of them through process of urination, elimination, and perspiration. But when we push our bodies to the brink by consuming too much alcohol, smoking cigarettes (among other things), rubbing Bio-Oil all over our scars (read the ingredients list for this product if you’re interested in becoming even more depressed with this subject), and dyeing our hair every 6 weeks, we are practically begging for the development of chronic illness.

So, if you think you may be overdoing it on the chem-end of things, here are some ways you can help your body detoxify (keep in mind that your skin is your body’s largest organ):

  • Drink TONS of filtered water—it helps to detoxify your skin and kidneys.
  • Eat lots of fibre—this helps with better elimination of toxic food.
  • Exercise regularly—this helps your skin and lungs to detox and contributes in a plethora of ways to better your overall health.
  • Begin taking milk thistle supplements—these help detox the liver.
  • Cut back on consuming harmful foods and drink, such as sugar, processed food, animal products, alcohol, caffeine, and trans-fats. (This will help cut back on the toxins you take in on a daily basis.)
  • Take up yoga. (Many yoga postures are designed to massage your organs and initiate the detoxification process.)
  • Search for better alternatives to your favourite beauty products—this will cut back on the amount of chemicals you absorb into your skin.
  • Take baths with Epsom salts—they help to detoxify your skin.

Bottom line: we can all help ourselves by reducing our toxic overload. If it can prevent future chronic illness and give us bright eyes and shiny hair, why not?

Happy Thursday, everyone!

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Detox Your Post-Holiday Body!

We all do it– we overindulge during the holidays, and pay for with the accumulation of 5-10 pounds of booze and baking. Ew. So, what’s the best method of not only getting rid of this extra weight quickly, but also boosting energy, jump-starting your organs, and clearing your skin?

Detox, baby!

There are numerous ways to go about doing this, but there is only one way that I highly recommend; my tried and true. A one-week recalibration plan that is designed to melt fat, increase energy, and hydrate the crap out of your dehydrated, wrinkled-up, dry-mouthed body: a natural cleanse, high in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, electrolytes, and general goodness that your body is for sure craving. Here’s how it works:

Days 1 and 2: Liquid only, consisting of filtered water, freshly juiced organic fruits and vegetables, herbal teas, and miso broth. That last one is to replace lost electrolytes. If you can’t stand miso, substitute it for pure coconut water. I recommend O.N.E. brand.

Days 3 and 4: Introduce raw fruits and veggies. No condiments or oils yet. So, you could theoretically have water, fresh juice, and an apple for breakfast, herbal tea and a plain, garden salad for lunch, herbal tea and raw veggie sticks for a snack, and herbal tea and miso soup for dinner.

Days 5-7: Introduce whole grains, beans, legumes, raw, organic nuts, and raw, organic seeds. No condiments, dairy, meats, oils, etc. You should be eating whole foods only, but you can lightly steam the veggies at this point; they don’t have to be raw.

By the time you are finished day 7, you should be feeling much better. Keep in mind that if you have never done a detox like this, you can expect to feel cranky, hungry, tired, and generally yucky for the first few days, and that’s normal. It’s a detox. Also, don’t worry about the lack of protein in the first few days– you are still getting trace amounts in the veggies that you are juicing, and a few days sans heavy protein will actually be good for you. On day 5, when you introduce whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, then you will be receiving loads of plant-based, good-quality proteins again. If you’re really concerned about this, eat quinoa as your grain-of-choice on or after day 5– it’s a protein superstar.

This detox is also a great way to begin a New Year’s Resolution that may include adopting a plant-based diet. As for juicing recipes, I recommend the following, juiced in the following order:

1: A chunk of ginger, 8 carrots, and 4 apples.

2: 2 carrots, 2 romaine lettuce leaves, 2 chard leaves, 2 apples, and 1 cucumber.

3: 2 celery stalks, a handful of spinach, 1 broccoli stalk, 2 apples, 1 cucumber, and half a lemon squeezed over the juice when done.

Happy detox– go love that gut!