What does ‘detox’ mean? This word gets thrown around a lot and I believe it is usually associated with a ‘quick fix’. Most detoxes out there these days are just fads that usually contain ‘liquid fasts’. However there is actual good meaning to this word if you use it properly and understand how the complex detox organ works, namely the liver. Detoxification really means ‘take the load off’- to allow the body to heal itself and regenerate new healthy cells. The better the liver functions, the better the rest of the body is able to function.
A sluggish liver usually comes with awful symptoms such as bad sleep, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, PMS, fatigue, bad skin and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. My uni lecturers always say, “ If you are unsure of what the patient is presenting- just treat the liver. ” So it is becoming more and more important that we occasionally get a boost to help us flush out the inevitable toxic build up in our systems. Not because our bodies don’t detoxify us naturally, but because we live in a modern world where unexpected toxins are piled on from all directions. Our bodies have to work so damn hard! Our ancestors never had to process a world where plastics infused meat, or where pesticides and hormones suffused every part of the food chain. And on top of this- we love to drink alcohol and caffeine-oh gosh!! Our poor livers!!
Substances that Damage the Liver:
- Chronic alcohol intake
- Overuse of prescription and over the counter medications
- Excessive use of herbal remedies
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Refined sugar and fructose (including agave)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Artificial flavors
- Food dyes
- Deep fried foods
- Processed foods
So I know you have all had/having a fabulous festive season of parties, eating, drinking and being with your loved ones. Some of you may be feeling on top of the world, but I know others are not feeling so hot right now- waking up with heavy heads, unsettled tummies, low on energy and a bit flabby perhaps…these are the consequences of festive madness! Your body has taken a toll! BUT it is ok…Here I am to provide you with some tools to get you feeling well again! Your liver needs a little love!
You need a little cleanse my loves!
I suggest 14-21 days of cleansing!
Your weight should go down too! The Liver is your body’s main fat burning organ, regulating fat metabolism and carrying fat out of the body via bile.
My top cleansing tips:
- I sound so repetitive with this one: Wake up with your warm water with 1/2 lemon /2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar/My metaboost drink… Why? To flush out toxins, kick start your digestion and alkalise the body (that I am sure is quite acidic right now).
- CUT sugar, gluten, caffeine, meat, diet soda, alcohol, salt, soy, dairy- these nasty few are ‘liver loaders’ and acidic –they love to give your liver a very hard time! So we want to say bye bye to them as much as possible. I tell most clients to get rid of these for at least 2 weeks. Hard hey? Being healthy is a choice.
- Eat lots of grated carrot with drizzled lemon and a pinch of Himalayan salt- this little concoction is a fab liver cleanser because of the vitamin C and beta-carotene properties that encourage the liver to flush! I love to snack on this mid morning/mid afternoon. Can you do this? Thanks
- SWEAT A LITTLE to accelerate the release of toxins. I tell my clients to learn to love interval training 30 mins a day- eg: On treadmill- 1 min sprint, 2 min jog-repeat for 30 mins), jog ( 20-30 mins), resistance/weight training or yoga. I find Bikram yoga can be quite heavy on the body however this may be a good time to introduce it to flush out some excess toxins. Or if you have access to steam rooms/saunas- get in them!! Great way to sweat out toxins.
- Drink lots of water and herbal teas- aim for 2-3 liters of filtered water a day. These herbal teas are great cleansers: Dandelion root, lemon ginger, green tea, rose hip, oolong, licorice, lemongrass. Purchase chlorophyll if you can to add into your water-great blood cleanser (most health stores stock it).
- Smoothie time…add as many super foods as possible such as chia seeds, bee pollen, macqui berry, hemp and maca powder. They are all antioxidant rich and full of amino acids, which support the liver detox pathways. My Power Protein smoothie is great for cleansing. The body needs amino acids (protein) in order to detox properly (many people do not know this). So I believe natural whey/pea protein powder is perfect during a detox. Protein options such as nuts, fish, eggs, poultry are great for detox but I would avoid meat as it can put a strain on your digestion and can be very acidic.
- Gut health: Fermented foods such as fermented vegies and kefir are great for healing the gut! Remember when our gut is healed, health is inevitable. Or invest in a probiotic supplement.
- SPICE IT UP- adds spices to your foods for flavor and cleansing properties. For example: Turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper are great liver cleansers. I put cinnamon on everything!! Great blood sugar stabilizer.
- Lots of fiber! For regularity and bind to our toxins for flushing! Fiber rich foods include: apples, pears, root vegies, legumes, brown rice, berries, nuts and seeds. Yummy options I say!
- Eat your GREENS – Learn to love em- for antioxidant power that is very necessary in phase 1 of the detox pathway. Snack on cut up celery/cucumber/kale chips through the day- all day- everyday.
- Eat your BRASSICA VEG such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts as they support and induce the liver detox pathways. I love that they do because those are my favorite 3 vegies!!
- Supplements for liver support and gut healing: Daily probiotic (very important), B complex, Vitamin C, chlorella, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. Ask your nutritionist/doctor for daily requirements if you decide to buy these supplements. I take all of them during a detox.
- EPSOM SALT BATH- amazing detoxifier. Enjoy an Epsom bath 3x/week- oh so relaxing! Usually very inexpensive at most health stores.
- Set aside time for yourself to breathe/meditate- when we cleanse our bodies and flush the toxins, often certain emotions tend to rise to the surface…mind and body connection remember! So please set aside time for YOU to practice deep breathing (10-15 diaphragm breathes morning and night) or meditate or even just solitude will do (away from your phone and computer). When we allow for our bodies to rest and feel relaxed, our sympathetic nervous system tells our body that all is ok- so our hormones rebalance, our blood runs well through the digestive tract, our moods are stable and our risk of disease decreases. We want to soothe and nourish our minds and souls during any kind of cleanse. Please!
- 8 hours of sleep– sleep is the most underrated part of health. Sleep allows for our bodies to heal and regenerate new cells. It is the greatest way we can respect our bodies, by allowing it to REST!
Right so here is what a sample day of cleansing may look like…This is what I tend to do.
- Remember no dairy: so use almond/rice/oat milk instead.
- Love your greens.
- Love your good fats- avo, nuts, seeds.
- Nothing processed or artificial. So avoid anything in packets/bottles.
- Eat out less.
- Preparation is key – do your shopping at the beginning of the week.
- No sugar: Use stevia to sweeten your food if you want to.
- NO SODA.
- No caffeine/alcohol.
- Lots of water!!
- 8 hours sleep
Example of a day:
Pre breakfast: Rise with warm water + 1/2 squeezed lemon/metaboost drink
30 min exercise: walk/run/yoga/interval (whatever you enjoy really- I would love it if you could build up a sweat).
- 2 poached/boiled eggs with 1/2 avocado on a bed of steamed sweet potato or pumpkin + sautéed greens (kale/silver beet/asparagus/spinach)
- Power Protein Smoothie/Mango Madness/Berry Blitz – always add your serving of protein!
- Quinoa porridge (without the dairy).
- Protein pancakes (no added yoghurt).
- Smoked salmon + 1/4 avocado on gluten free toast (+ drizzle of lemon).
- Apple/almonds/seeds/coconut/date blended (in your blender) with cinnamon.
Snack: GRATED CARROT WITH LEMON +
- Great time for a green juice
- Raw nuts and seeds
- Bliss ball
- Big green salad (lots of spinach/kale/rocket) with 1/4 avocado, grated carrot, mushrooms, seeds, tomatoes, cucumber + protein serving such as: boiled egg/wild salmon/chicken breast + lentils/quinoa/sweet potato. Salad dressing: apple cider vinegar + 1 tsp Dijon mustard + olive oil. (use Himalayan salt).
- Or brown rice/quinoa sushi (salmon/tuna/chicken) and seaweed salad.
- 3 rice cakes/corn thins with smoked salmon and avocado.
Snack options: herbal tea with stevia to sweeten.
- Protein ball
- Protein smoothie
- Raw nuts/seeds
- 1 fruit eg: apple
- 1 green juice
- Cut up vegies with 3 tbsp. hummus.
- Kale chips
- Grilled fish (of your choice) with steamed greens (broccoli/cauliflower) + quinoa salad/roasted pumpkin.
- Chicken breast/egg stir-fry with a touch of tamari sauce and lots of sautéed green vegies. Use lots of lemon, garlic and spices (zatar/Cajun/turmeric) to flavor your food. Avoid all processed sauces.
After Dinner…sweet tooth?
- Make your own homemade cacao balls.
- Or herbal tea with almond milk and stevia to sweeten
- Or 3 pieces 80% dark choc is ok 2x/week.
I will continue to provide you with tips post silly season but I think this is a very good start! Start preparing yourselves to feel amazing again. Your skin will be glowing after this! ps: My next blog entry is “Feed your skin”- how to nourish your skin and find that glow through nutrition!
Post your comments below to tell me what you think or if you have anything you would like to add!
Love your bodies- because then they will love you back!