Easy Everyday Detox Tips

detoxification

Detoxification is a primary cornerstone of optimal health.  We live in a world that has been polluted by chemicals which in turn affect our air, our water, our soil.  In the United States alone, over 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released by industry into the environment each year, including 72 million pounds of recognized carcinogens.  So it is easy to see how important it is to assist one’s body in ridding itself of such substances.

While I certainly advocate doing more rigorous detoxification practices regularly, making smaller lifestyles changes on a daily basis can really add up.  Your body has four main routes of elimination – skin, lungs, intestines and urinary tracts. In this article, I will discuss ways you can support each of these organ systems to keep them in good working order.

Skin.  Your skin is your body’s largest organ of elimination and it gets rid of toxins through sweating.  Use  deodorant instead of anti-perspirants which block the body’s sweat glands from working (if you find your sweat is particularly odorous, it is an indication that a more thorough detox is required.)  Exercising/moving your body is perhaps the best way to get your sweat going, but you can also use a sauna or even sip hot tea in a hot bath to induce sweating.  Dry skin brushing in the shower before you get wet is a great way to stimulate your skin as well as improve your lymphatic circulation.  Regular Epsom salt baths are great for two reasons – they open your pores and they are made of magnesium sulphate – the magnesium helps to soothe your nervous and musculoskeletal systems, while the sulphur is detoxifying.  Research indicates that bathing in mineral salts reduces circulating levels of inflammatory enzymes, improves symptoms of stress and enhances the urinary excretion of stress hormones.

Lungs.  Get into a regular practice of deep breathing on a daily basis to support your lung’s eliminative capacity.  Start with a minute/day and work your way up to several minutes several times a day.  Use a drop of essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint  over sinuses at bedtime to open up the respiratory tract.  Exercise is a great way to stimulate circulation, increase heart rate and improve respiration.   Houseplant s help to clean indoor air – your best choices are weeping fig, Boston fern, peace lily and English ivy.     

Digestion.  Go vegetarian 1x/week – vegetarian diets are higher in fibre which help support proper bowel elimination, as well as being easier to digest than animal protein.  Add freshly squeezed lemon to your drinking water which stimulates your gallbladder and other organs to increase digestive enzyme production. Give your digestive system a break by doing a modified fast – try to finish your evening meal by about 4pm and only have fluids (preferably clear) until noon the next day.  Try to eat fruit away from other foods as they get broken down at a different rate than all other foods – have them as snacks as opposed to part of main meals.  Add a good probiotic and antioxidant to your daily supplement regimen.

Support the liver and kidneys.  Drink dandelion or nettle tea on a regular basis.  Substitute coffee with Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea which helps to support your stress response and increase energy in a healthy supportive way. Replace/limit coffee, alcohol, soda and sugary drinks with good quality drinking water to support both your kidneys and reduce the workload of the liver.  Eat a minimum of 1-2 cups daily of inexpensive dietary detoxifying sulphur-rich veggies like garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.

Regular detoxification practices compared to periodic cleanses is like the difference between taking out the trash daily and taking it out weekly!  By following these guidelines, you are giving your body’s organs of elimination the continued nutrients and resources they need to work efficiently, ensuring optimal health for years to come.

6 Lifestyle Hacks for a Healthier New You

With the New Year comes the optimism and desire to turn over a new leaf for better health, success and prosperity.  Most resolutions, while set in good intentions, usually require big changes and as such, are usually not sustainable.  A much more effective strategy is to implement smaller changes that you can incorporate into your daily life with ease.  Today, I would like to remind you of an often overlooked component to optimal health.  The lymphatic system is a critically important body system that most people don’t appreciate or know much about, yet it is key for optimal immune function, circulation and detoxification.

Your lymphatic system is your body’s largest circulatory system.  It consists of the superficial vessels near the surface of the skin that branch out from the main circulatory system.  Its primary functions include:

  • carrying away the metabolic waste products of every cell, tissue and organ
  • absorbing & delivering fats and fat-soluble vitamins
  • maintaining proper fluid balance
  • fighting infection and producing white blood cells

Garbage In = Garbage Out

Imagine how it might feel to live in a house where there was no garbage collection.  At first, it might seem manageable, but day after day, month after month, you might not think so.  That is exactly what happens to each one of the trillions of cells of which your body is comprised.  The metabolic waste products from each cell is excreted from the cell, but there is no flow to carry it away.  So the cell ends up sitting in their own waste – resulting in fatigue, swelling, infection, inflammation and degeneration. Once the lymphatic flow starts again, you can experience rapid and significant improvement in your overall sense of well-being.

Signs & Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion:

  • allergies/headaches/recurrent colds & flu
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • swelling of the feet
  • brain fog/lack of energy
  • ear popping/ringing
  • mucus draining
  • inability to lose weight
  • constipation
  • soreness/stiffness on waking
  • swollen breasts/uterine fibroids/ovarian cysts
  • heaviness in extremities
  • arms/legs “fall asleep”
  • itchy/dry skin
  • cellulite

 Six Easy Ways to Improve Lymph Flow

1. Deep Breathing

Fact:  The physical act of breathing creates movement that helps to mobilize lymphatic fluid.  Many of us are shallow breathers without realizing it. Proper breathing is the most important facilitator of lymphatic function, especially in the chest region.

Tip: Breathe in slowly through your nose (over a count of 4), deeply pushing the stomach out. Hold for a count of 7 and slowly let your breath go out through your mouth (over a count of 8). Try doing 4 rounds of this 4-7-8 breathing 3-4x/day (I recommend just before meals and before going to sleep, as it also relaxes your nervous system for better digestion and sleep) will oxygenate the blood, circulate the lymph especially around the liver, and provide many other benefits. Whenever and wherever possible, do this exercise outdoors in fresh air.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Fact: Water is important medium make your lymphatic fluid well, more fluid.  Only good quality drinking water (I recommend using a water filter for municipal tap water) can adequately rehydrate the body.  Monitor your hydration levels by checking on the color of your urine output – if clear, you are probably overdoing it.  A pale or straw colored urine is best for hydration, without overtaxing your kidneys.

Tip: I find starting the day with water first thing turns “on” my thirst sensors and ensuring I have good quality water in a thermos, stainless steel or glass bottle with me at all times makes it easy to keep my water intake levels up.  Avoid drinking bottled water, as it is contaminated with chemicals that can cause hormone disruption that leach from the plastic, as well as having no sanitation requirements and not being environmentally sustainable.

3. Dry Skin Brushing

Fact: This is perhaps my favorite, but most overlooked lifestyle hack for improved lymphatic flow.  Use gentle pressure to move lymph fluid in the direction of the heart.  Dry skin brushing promotes lymphatic drainage of toxic waste, which results in many other benefits such as improved immunity, glowing skin, and cellulite reduction.guide-to-dry-brushing

Tip: Start a habit of dry skin brushing a few minutes before your shower or bathe using an inexpensive natural bristle brush. Start with every alternate day (it is quite stimulating) for 3-4 weeks before brushing everyday.   It feels fantastic!

4. Alternate Hot and Cold in Your Shower

Fact: All blood/fluid vessels contract when exposed to cold, and dilate in response to heat. Using hot and cold in the shower is a type of hydrotherapy that uses these properties of water to move stagnant lymphatic fluid (and blood) to  increase circulation, boost immune function and improve metabolism.

Tip: After dry skin brushing, super charge your morning shower experience by alternating hot and cold water for between 90 seconds and several minutes at the end of your morning shower, taking care to always end on cold.  The greater the temperature difference between the two, the greater the stimulation on the circulation.  Note: Avoid this if you are pregnant, or if you have a heart or blood pressure condition.

5. Movement

Fact: The lymphatic system depends largely on muscle activity in the body for its circulation. One needs to move in order to activate lymph flow.

Tip: The good news is any movement helps – whether it is one minute of jogging in place, knee bends, jumping jacks, stretching or going for a brisk walk at lunch, it all counts, so find something you enjoy and can fit in your schedule.  I personally favor body squats – 1 minute 2-3 x/day to get the blood (and lymph) going and to get a nice tush in time for summer weather 😉

6. Eat Whole Foods, Especially Vegetables, Healthy Fats, & Fruit (in moderation)

Fact: Chlorophyll (found in all plant-based food, especially green ones) purifies the lymph and blood.  Eating whole foods will naturally decrease your intake of processed foods.  Plant based foods also have a higher water content, which adds to your overall hydration status.

Tip: Have at least three different colored vegetables make up half of your plate volume-wise at each meal.  Eat fruit in moderation (I recommend 1-2 pieces/day as they are still high in natural sugars) and be sure to consume healthy fats as nuts and seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, organic ghee and butter to support hormone production, immune function and nervous system health.


An active lymphatic system will help to reduce your body’s toxic load, improve circulation and revamp your immune function.  Pick two to three of these suggestions that work for you and put them into practice for 10 days and experience the benefits it creates to making a happier, and healthier you!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Guidelines to Improve Health for You & Your Family

Improve your family’s health by following the guidelines below:

  1. Make sure you get the best nutrition available, i.e., organic, whole foods. Avoid processed foods. By doing this you will prevent an increase of further toxicity with heavy metals, pesticides, flavour enhancers like MSG, color additives, GMOs, preservatives and chemicals.
  2. If you are going to eat bread, choose sourdough bread over yeast bread to prevent the binding of zinc and magnesium to an insoluble complex with phytic acid and to enable the assimilation of nutritional zinc and magnesium. Since whole wheat sourdough bread is often very heavy, it would be better to start with lighter sourdough bread.
  3. Drink pure filtered water without copper or other toxins.
  4. Avoid the use of the microwave for all food and drinks; avoid also as much as possible plastic containers and packages.
  5. Avoid sugar as much as possible, sweets in general and artificial sweeteners. It is poisonous to the intestines and pancreas and several other tissues. Sugar also inhibits the production of EPA and DHA , both omega-3 fatty acids that are of crucial importance to the brain tissue.
  6. Provide a quiet and peaceful environment for you and your family, eliminating excess stimuli such as TV, gaming systems and computers.
  7. Make sure you are well grounded to the earth. Static electricity may give rise to both emotional/mental disorders and physical complaints. Synthetic clothing, insulating shoes (rubber or plastic soles) and synthetic floor coverings should therefore be avoided. Walk barefoot as much as possible. Eliminate all electric appliances in the bedroom such as electric alarm clocks, TV, computers or audio equipment. Turn off Wi-Fi during the night (and day).
  8. Ensure a healthy sleeping environment for you & your family.       A healthy bed should not contain any metal. If possible, have your child sleep facing north or east. A dark room is important for the production of melatonin (sleep hormone).
  9. Avoid antibiotics since they impair intestinal flora and consequently increase underlying problems. In case of infection, opt for naturopathic solutions.

How to Go Gluten Free

gluten free

For many people, part of their health journey requires healing the digestive tract, which can mean avoid gluten for periods of time. Going gluten-free can be a challenge at first…stick to simple choices at the beginning, until you start to navigate the ins & outs of gluten containing food. It is always best to focus on eating whole foods that are found in nature (as opposed to processed foods). Continue reading

The Many Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Therapy

What is sauna therapy?
Sauna therapy has been a part of healing practices for centuries as part of many different traditions – the Greeks and Romans historically used bathhouses to both cleanse and detoxify, and many indigenous peoples use sweat lodges as a means of both spiritual and physical purification. Continue reading

Kick Start the School Year with Probiotics

I remember being excited as a kid, every September meant new clothes, school supplies, teachers and classes…a fresh start to a new year. The more I learn about health and wellness, the more I realize that one of the most important factors to success in school starts with the our humble microbe populations that live in our digestive tracts.

It is said we are 10% human, and 90% microbe…a healthy gut houses over 100 trillion friendly bacteria, which is a ratio of 10:1 to the number of cells in your body. Why are these critters so important? The reality is that without these friendly bugs, your digestion, brain health and immune function would simply not function. At any given time, you have around 160 bacterial species (types) in your gut out of over 1000 species of bacteria. The digestive tract is one of the most complex eco systems to understand and study. The individualized bacteria composition found in each body play a vital role in keeping us healthy. Having the right strains, in the right amount and in the right part of the digestive tract are critical to our overall sense of well-being, and should therefore, be a part of our daily health practice. Continue reading

5 Important Reasons You Need Magnesium

Magnesium

As many of you already know, when it comes to supplementation, I adhere to the philosophy that less is more. However, one mineral that is often overlooked and usually deficient in most people is magnesium…used in over 300 reactions in the body, you can see why it is so important. Here is how it is used by the body, in a nutshell… Continue reading