Have you experienced one or more of these symptoms in the past few months?
- Feeling tired all the time?
- Poor memory or lack of focus?
- Mood swings, depression, or anxiety?
- Gas, bloating, heartburn, or nausea?
- Achy joints?
- Frequent illness such as colds?
- Feeling irritable when you haven’t had caffeine or sugar for a while?
- Ringing in the ears?
- Weight loss that is stuck at a plateau?
- Hives or rashes?
If you have, you may have been bombarded by toxins in your food and environment and need a detox to start feeling more like yourself again. Toxins stored in the body can take a hard hit on your health and can:
- Increase inflammation
- Lower immunity and increase vulnerability to autoimmune disorders (the body attacks itself)
- Contribute to blood sugar problems
- Contribute to weight gain
- Create hormone imbalances
- Increase menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, etc)
- And more…
The world we live in is becoming less natural and our bodies are becoming disappointed! We are burdened by constant attacks by everything from the water we drink, to the polluted air we breathe, to the “fake food” we eat. Every time we get in the car to drive to the grocery store, our lungs are polluted by the vehicle exhaust around us. When we buy food, it has often been treated with pesticides, herbicides, hormones, preservatives, and genetically modified ingredients. When we wash the dishes after a meal, our hands are covered in chemicals from dish soap. When we reheat leftovers in a microwave covered with saran wrap, the chemicals from the plastic leach into our food. When we sleep on a bed at night, we are exposed to the chemicals within the mattress. These products, also called endocrine or hormone disruptors, affect our hormones and our health.
How To Detox: The 4 Major Hormone Disruptors Are:
1. Androgen Hormone Disruptors. These affect androgens or “male hormones” such as testosterone. They tend to lower testosterone in men, leading to problems like fatigue, sexual dysfunction, increased body fat, depression, and a higher risk of heart disease. In women, they tend to increase testosterone, leading to problems like acne, excess body and facial hair, balding, and problems with menstruation.
2. Estrogen Hormone Disruptors. These mimic estrogen, a mostly “female hormone,” and have been linked to early puberty, miscarriage, endometriosis, some cancers, diabetes, obesity, and both male and female infertility.
3. Thyroid Hormone Disruptors. These interfere with thyroid function. They increase the risk of thyroid cancer and autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
4. Combination Hormone Disruptors. Some interfere with a combination of hormones. For example, bisphenol-A (BPA) is a type of plastic that not only disrupts androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormones, but also “fat hormones” such as leptin, ghrelin, and adiponectin, which promote weight gain. Research has found that BPA also affected the nervous system and may be associated with anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, and aggression in children.
To make matters worse, toxins are stored in fat cells. So, the more overweight you become, the more toxins your body holds on to.
With all the toxins we are exposed to, is it possible to be toxin-free? The answer is: not really. Unless you live in a bubble with no contact with the outside world. BUT, you can greatly decrease the amount of toxins you are exposed to and help detox your body.
Step 1: How To Detox? Start With Your Diet
Your mother was unfortunately right when she said, “You are what you eat.” The #1 source of toxins in your body comes from the foods that you eat. My motto has always been: “If it doesn’t look like food, it isn’t food.” If your protein source is a breaded dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget, there’s a high chance it contains things that aren’t good for your body. If your source of vegetables is a salad covered in white, creamy dressing, then it mostly likely contains some seriously heart UN-healthy sugars, coloring agents, flavor enhancers, thickeners, and additives. To know how to detox, fix your diet, and lose weight, you should:
- Fresh veggies and fruits
- Healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, fish, avocado, eggs, nuts & seeds, etc.)
- Healthy proteins (grass-fed beef, pork, organic chicken & turkey, fish, eggs, etc.)
Eat Less or Avoid:
- Soy products
- Refined grains (white bread, cookies & pastries, sugary breakfast cereals, etc.)
- Added sugars (sugar, sugary yogurts, sodas, candies, etc.)
- Artificial sweeteners (diet soda & drinks, low-fat yogurts, sugar-free candies, etc.)
Want to learn how to get in and out of the grocery store with a full cart of fat-burning groceries that won’t affect your hormones, in just 15 minutes? Click HERE for the best tips ever!
Step 2: Flush with Fiber
It may not sound very glamourous, but the best detox involves consuming plenty of fiber to help, you know, make you “go.” A healthy colon, which is the last 5 feet of your intestinal tract, is the basis for total health. A clogged colon allows toxins to back up into the liver and bloodstream, which ultimately pollutes the entire body. You can help clean it out by eating plenty of plant-based foods that are high in fiber, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts, seeds, and whole grains. You can also supplement with Psyllium Husk powder, which is a natural and soluble fiber. You should be getting at least 25 grams (women) to 35 grams (men) of fiber into your diet each day.
Step 3: How To Detox Using Fermented Foods
Have you ever heard the name “Gut Flora?” Your intestinal tract is full of bacteria or “gut flora” that help you synthesize vitamins from food remnants, degrade toxins, stimulate the immune system, and protect cells lining the colon. Fermented foods contain “good” bacteria that help prevent “bad” bacteria from taking over. Foods such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut are fermented foods that can help keep a healthy balance of bacteria, which can prevent toxic buildup in the gut and colon. Check out this recipe for a delicious fermented drink that is filled with beneficial probiotics: Click here for a Lemon Ginger Water Kefir recipe. Taking a probiotic can also help, but make sure it is a high-quality one that is shelved properly, since dead bacteria from improper packaging and storage won’t help at all.
Step 4: Wash Your Water
To flush toxins out of your body, you’re going to need a lot of water. A rule of thumb is to drink at least half your current body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink 75 ounces of water each day. Now, I am definitely not an advocate for bottled water, since it not only creates tons of extra waste and is bad for the environment, but also most bottled waters are made of plastics, which are hormone disruptors. I also know that tap water is not really “clean” water. The practice of making water safe to drink actually involves adding a lot of poisonus chemicals to it, such as chlorine, aluminum sulphate, calcium hydroxide, sodium silicoflouride, and fluorosilicic acid.
Do yourself and Mother Earth a favor: Bottle your own drinking water. Buy several re-useable glass bottles AND a high-quality water purification system such as AquaTru and fill them yourself. If you do buy bottled water, make sure it’s bottled in glass, such as Voss, Mountain Valley, or Eden Springs.
Step 5: Protect Your PH
Research suggests that chronic stress and a diet high in sugar can cause the pH in your body to become more acidic (in the urine). Ideally, our blood pH should be between 7.35-7.45, which is considered slightly alkaline. It’s important to keep a blood pH of 7.35-7.45 because if the blood is too acidic, oxygen is not able to reach all the cells and dysfunction starts to occur. When your organs aren’t oxygenated properly, they can’t perform important functions such as eliminating toxins from the body. To help reset your pH, avoid added sugars and eat more alkaline foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably raw). You can also add lemon juice, lime juice, or baking soda to your water to make it more alkaline.
Step 6: Boost Your Micronutrients
Most people get plenty of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats), but many don’t get enough micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants). Having an abundance of macronutrients without enough micronutrients to work together with, leads to undernourishment, toxic effects on the body, and also overeating because your body is searching for more nutrients that it isn’t getting, which ultimately leads to weight gain and a higher toxicity. To boost your micronutrient intake, make sure you are eating at least 5-9 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits. You can also include nuts and seeds and whole grains (optional). Make sure you are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Try to “eat the rainbow” by including a variety of colors in your diet.
Step 7: Clean Up Your House
The average home contains 500-1,000 chemicals that are mostly unable to detect by seeing, smelling, or tasting them. In fact, the air inside your house is, on average, 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. Our homes become toxic because of the cleaning products we use, the paint we use on our walls, the fertilizer, insecticides, and herbicides we drag in when we are coming from outside, the plastics our food and toiletries are stored in, the pesticides we use to keep bugs out… Even our carpet and mattresses are produced with toxic chemicals. Some things you can do to help detox your home by making it a no-shoe zone, keeping green plants inside to help clean the air, buying an air purifier, switching from standard cleaning products to greener ones, using glass food storage containers instead of plastic ones that may contain BPA and other toxins, avoiding non-stick pans and utensils that contain Teflon, and replacing carpeting with wood or tile.
Step 8: Clean Up Your Cleaning Supplies
There are plenty of safe and natural cleaning products that you can use, such as white vinegar with distilled water for cleaning glass and windows, baking soda to scrub pots and pans, hydrogen peroxide to whiten laundry, and olive oil to polish wood. However, sometimes these aren’t strong enough to get the job done and you might want to consider buying something more commercial-strength. You can still do this without potentially harming your health. Before going to the store and buying a cleaning product, you can check its safety by looking it up through the Environmental Working Group (EFG) by clicking on this link which offers free information on over 2,000 household cleaning products.
Step 9: Clean Up Your Cosmetics
Although many toxic chemicals are being phased out in cosmetic products since the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Act was passed in 2013, there are still many cosmetics companies who are adding them in. Some of the most common toxic ingredients that are often found in beauty products include parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate, imidazolidiniyl urea, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, and polyethylene glycols (PEGS). Check the labels on cosmetics for these toxic chemicals before buying them. You can also check many of them by looking up their safety ratings through the Environmental Working Group (EFG) by clicking on this link which rates more than 70,000 cosmetic products.
When you’re ready to detox, get ready to feel crummy for a while. It’s common to become irritable and moody during a detox. You may also have headaches, nightmares, and even acne flare-ups.
After your detox, do you want to learn more about how to balance your hormones to lose weight? Check out this article by clicking HERE.
INFOGRAPHIC: 9 Steps on How to Detox to Lose Weight and Improve Health
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