Did you know up to 80% of the substances which the body either consumes or is exposed to is potentially harmful? It is our liver which has the role of sorting the good from the bad. This is our ‘chemical brain' and sorting station. It recognises harmful chemicals, breaks them down ready for elimination and prevents
them from entering the bloodstream. Over time the body gets stressed and run down from modern life - too many processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, stress and other environmental factors. It is important to recognise when our body needs a chance to cleanse and reset, to support our vital organs in enjoying full health and long-lasting vitality. This will go a long way in preventing illness.
Listen to your body - the following signs are your body and liver signalling you’re ready for a detox - constant fatigue, feeling drained, overwhelmed and unmotivated
brain-fog, lack of mental clarity
sluggish, bloating, non-regular digestion, carrying excess weight
cravings for sugar, caffeine, alcohol, junk food dull complexion, frequent breakouts frequent exposure to environmental toxins, carbon emissions, constant wifi, household chemicals
Reducing your exposure to the following toxins is the best place to start. This will help your body run more efficiently by cleaning up your liver but also kidneys, gut and lungs, which all help with detoxification. It might take a few days to get used to but avoiding the following triggers will help you on your way to better mental clarity, improved energy levels, clear skin and a more efficiently functioning immune system.
Gluten. All wheat contains gluten which is aggravating for the gut lining.
Dairy. One of the biggest allergy triggers - it is highly inflammatory and mucous forming.
Limit your use of plastics. BPA is widely added to food and drink packaging and is absorbable through the skin. It mimics the hormone oestrogen and is very disruptive to the endocrine system. You’ll also be doing your bit in helping reduce plastic waste.
White sugar and any products with added sugar. Also be careful of fruit sugars during the detox period. Berries contain the lowest sugar but highest anti-oxidant levels. Choose organic where possible.
Caffeine and alcohol - sorry! Caffeine is highly addictive, not just in black tea and coffee. Watch out for chocolate, even raw cacao which is high in stimulating caffeine. Best to avoid completely during the detox period.
It’s great to start a detox at the weekend or chose a time when you have very little planned. This can be your self-care week! Plan it well, cancel what is not urgent and enjoy some time focusing on your self. This is truly an investment for more than your physical health but your entire wellbeing. Your body will thank you. The first couple of days might be hardest for you as your body withdraws from the toxins it has become accustomed to. Headaches, fatigue and cravings might be experienced. Stick with it and this will pass. Go outside every day for a walk and breathe deeply - preferably in the morning to benefit from first light which is invigorating and helps boost serotonin, your feel-good hormone. Keep practicing your yoga but maybe a more gentle practice. It’s important to keep the body moving and encouraging your vital organs to work at detoxing for you. Pranayama or breathe work, if you’re familiar with it is very helpful too. Or simply really focussing on your breath and visualise inhaling pure prana or vital life-force energy, and exhaling toxins. Meditation, practicing mindfulness, being truly present in each moment will really help too.
REAL LIVING FOOD
Aim to include as many fresh local and organic vegetables and fruits in your plan. Chlorophyll-rich foods - coriander, fruits containing malic acid - grapes and citrus fruits, selenium-rich foods - mushrooms, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts, have all been shown to assist with heavy metal build-up, supporting the liver and de-activating toxins and removing them from the body.
Aim to drink 2 litres of filtered water per day, this includes non-caffeinated herbal teas and fruit water. Nutrient-dense foods rich in antioxidants will help assist detoxification. Foods in their most natural unheated
form are best. Foods to really treat your body with include the following - fresh apricots, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, kiwi, melons, red grapes all types of berries and vegetables including artichokes, peppers, beets, brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber, kale, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, watercress, and bean and seed sprouts.
Consider supplementation - Milk thistle, MSM, beta-corotene, selenium, manganese and vitamins A C and E are the ones to look out for. To aid in further liver support glutathione and sulphur supplementation is also helpful during a detox period.
Enjoy this time! You are doing something amazing for your body and your long-term health. After the detox, don’t go crazy and start to load up the body with all the things you have managed to live without this last week. How much better do you feel? Listen to your body. You have spent a week empowering and nourishing yourself.