What Is a Detox and Why You Should Detox Seasonally
Are you feeling healthy and full of energy?
You may already be eating healthy foods and exercising but still feeling dull and not seeing the results you want. I know how confusing this is because I felt this way too.
After years of eating healthy, even cutting out gluten and dairy, and even training for marathons, I still often felt listless. I was confused by the unexplained weight gain I was experiencing and was tired all the time.
I didn’t understand why I wasn’t feeling vibrant, fit and energized. I was doing everything that I was “supposed” to do.
What I didn’t realize then was that, although I was eating healthy foods, they were other factors working against me. Those factors were things like environmental toxins, harmful ingredients in products that I used, and eating foods that, although can be considered healthy, toxic for me.
What Are Toxins
Toxins are “chemicals or poisons that are known to have harmful effects on your body.” They can harm cells and organs, and can cause neurological damage, and alter important biological systems.
Our environment is full of pollution that enters our bodies every single day. Research has revealed that toxic chemicals in our daily lives can play a role in the increase of many serious health issues.
The body processes toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys and eliminates them in the form of your sweat, urine, and feces.
However, where there are too many toxins in our body, those organs can be burdened and overloaded. This slows down the elimination process and can hurt the liver and cause problems like aging, weight gain, fatigue, etc.
The good news is that the more you know about this, the more you can safeguard yourself, and those that you love most.
How Do Toxins Enter Our Body?
Toxins enter our bodies in different ways.
They are in the particles of the air that we breathe. When you hear this, you may think about gas and exhaust, but this also includes powders, perfumes, sprays, etc.
Toxins also enter our bodies directly through our skin, lips and nails when we apply products like lotion, sunscreen, cologne, aftershave, nail polish, lipstick and other makeup. Many popular brands contain harmful ingredients, that due to weak government laws, are completely legal.
Toxins are also present in our food from things like the herbicides and pesticides used on the soil that grows our fruits and vegetables. They are also on the antibiotics and hormones that are fed to the animals that we eat. They are also in certain foods like sugar, gluten, and processed foods.
Signs of Toxic Overload
You might be wondering, “Well, how can I tell if my body has become overloaded with toxins?
There are several signs, like:
- Weight gain
- Food allergies
- Anxiety, depression, mood changes
- Belly bloat, IBS, or constipation
- Low energy, stamina
- Mood Swings
- Poor Sleep
- Hormone Imbalance
So, is it possible to avoid toxins?
The sad truth is that in the world that we now live in, toxins cannot be avoided.
Chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA), and nonstick and waterproofing chemicals have all been found in the bodies of average Americans and even in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies!
For many chemicals, a single exposure is unlikely to cause serious harm, but over time, small doses add up.
Among the most toxic chemicals are endocrine disruptors like BPA, parabens and phthalates are commonly found in cosmetics. These chemicals mimic or block hormones and can have major health impacts because they mirror the function of our real hormones and alter important hormonal mechanisms in our bodies.
When our body is exposed to toxins it increases our risk of illness and reduces the functioning of our immune system.
Why We Cleanse
While we can’t eliminate toxins from our life, we can stay away from certain foods and environmental factors that help. Manage toxicity and you will be healthier!
One of the best ways of eliminating toxins is by doing a seasonal, whole foods cleanse. Such a program can help you:
- Get rid of waste, bacteria, food allergies and unwanted organisms such as candida.
- Purify your liver, kidney and blood so that the organs in your body return to proper function
- Have mental clarity
When you do these things, your body doesn’t have to work so hard. This will help conserve the energy that you are unknowingly expending, and thus, feel more energized!
Seasonal cleanses rid our bodies from the inside out. It is the support our bodies need to thrive. It allows us to eliminate the toxins from our bodies and stress from our minds, and find inner peace and happiness.
What Is A Cleanse
So what exactly is a cleanse, though? Is it something hard to manage? Does it mean starving yourself for days?
You may have heard about different cleanses that involve powders, pills, and starvation, so let’s put the confusion and questions at rest.
A cleanse does not have to be difficult. It is not about deprivation, taking pills or powders.
Instead, a cleanse is about “unclogging the pipes” aka getting your lymphatic system working optimally so you can get rid of the toxicity in your body.
A cleanse is a tool to awaken your senses, renew your body, and restore balance.
How to Cleanse
I have found that the best way to cleanse is our bodies is by integrating the principles of a cleanse, a clean-eating program, and an elimination diet. Doing this has taught me how to eat to fuel my unique body and restore it to optimal condition.
The cleanse aspect focuses on cleaning out the organs and removing unwanted waste that accumulates in the colon, digestive tract, and liver that can lead to disease or gut imbalances such as candida, parasites, and unwanted pathogens.
The clean eating aspect focuses on removing processed and packaged foods and consuming foods that are in their most natural state. By avoiding foods that are processed or refined, which may contain nitrates, chemicals, and pesticides, you reduce your exposure to free radicals that can harm your system and cause disease.
Lastly, the elimination diet aspect can help uncover hidden food allergies and sensitivities and improve digestion by discovering which foods are right for your body.
Combining all of these practices has been a homer for me.
Best Foods to Cleanse Naturally
There are also foods that naturally help reduce stress, which in turn, lowers your chances for emotional eating and binging. Some of these foods are:
- Dark Chocolate: Real cacao, not processed cocoa is a natural mood booster!
- Bananas: Rich in dopamine which is a natural chemical that boosts your mood. Bananas are also rich in B vitamins, which helps to soothe your nervous system, and in magnesium, which is another nutrient associated with positive mood.
- Protein: Protein helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady which can help enhance your energy and mood.
- Turmeric: Turmeric has neuro-protective properties and can enhance mood and possibly help with depression.
- Berries: Berries (the darker, the better!) have antioxidants that promote dopamine levels, which are natural mood boosters.
Foods to Avoid
You don’t want to eat foods that cause imbalance, toxic overload, and promote unhealthy eating habits. These foods typically are:
- Processed foods
- Wheat, Gluten
- Dairy that is not cultured
- Fried Foods
When it comes to sugar, most people know that it isn’t good for you. But most people also do not realize just how much sugar they are consuming daily. This is because sugar is hidden in so many processed foods.
Sugar is a toxin. Too much of it in your blood supply leads to digestive issues, blood sugar imbalances, fatigue, and even diabetes.
Cleansing Support Tools
Besides eating the right foods for your body, you can also support your detox with body-conscious tools like tongue scraping, dry skin brushing, oil pulling and castor oil packs.
You can also do mind-conscious activities like journaling, make time for yourself, meditate, and practice positive-thinking and positive self-talk (do not underestimate this!)
Cleansing Can Help You With...
We live in a very toxic world and our bodies, which are not meant to withstand such an enormous amount of toxins, cannot thrive as they were designed to without our support.
Many do not realize just how toxic our world is on both an emotional and physical level. We never unplug from our computer, we never turn our phone off, and we are always connected to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
We are too busy to make proper food choices, we deal with people in our lives that are negative, judgmental and toxic, and we are subjected to unbelievable amounts of the biggest toxin – stress – in both our personal and professional lives.
Managing your toxic load by doing a seasonal cleanse will help you:
- Sleep well
- Avoid the dreaded feeling of overwhelm
- Manage stress and avoid illnesses
- Curb your cravings
- Feel energized ALL day long
- And more!
The secret to a successful seasonal cleanse program is preparation. You have to have a plan!
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Naomi Nakamura is a certified Holistic Health Coach who takes a holistic approach through functional nutrition. Through her weekly show, The Live FAB Live Podcast, coaching programs, and safer skincare solutions, she helps people with acne and other chronic skin issues clear up their skin by teaching them where food meets physiology and how food, gut health, stress, and toxins are intricately connected to the health and appearance of our skin. Naomi resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and can often be found romping around the city with her puppy girl, Coco Pop! Connect with Naomi at: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest.