CONFESSIONS OF A DETOX JUNKIE
with Shari Hanily of The Transformation Project
It's one of those words that's been tossed around and abused a lot over the years, so people tend to be pretty quick to roll their eyes, throw it in the "fad" category, and move on. But the thing is; despite being perfectly designed to be self sufficient when it comes to detoxification, our bodies get put through hell - sometimes knowingly but often unwittingly - which makes conscious detoxing a non-negotiable if you want your body to perform.
Don’t panic, sweet things, there is plenty that you can do to cleanse your system of all the nasties for a killer glow this summer; but first, let’s get the low down on hormones, toxins and the liver:
- Hormones are a star player in the health and fat loss game, supporting everything from gut health, to skin, to blood sugar, to energy levels, to mood, to metabolism, to fat storage (and where we store it!) and more.
- A toxic body is a hormonal mess! The less toxic we are, the better we perform - including optimal hormonal function.
- The liver plays huge role in the detoxification process inside the body.
- The more we love and support the liver, the better our body can perform as a whole to help you feel (and look) freaking fabulous every single day!
I’ve simplified the above (necessarily), but hopefully you’re starting to see why it’s so important to actively support detox pathways if you want to look and feel sexy this summer - and all year round!
Overwhelmed? Don’t be! Let’s check out 10 Ways To Detox Without Juicing, Fasting, Or Torture!
1 . Load up on dark, leafy greens.
Extremely high in plant chlorophylls which help to oxygenate, alkalise, and detoxify the body, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. This superfood family is rich in many vitamins and minerals that support all the processes involved in maintaining optimal health, and their powerful ability to neutralise chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals in the body offers a solid protective support for the liver. What’s not to love, right?!
2 . Add Green Tea and/or a quality green tea supplement
Rich in antioxidants, green tea is great way to help counter the oxidative stress that compromises liver function, and it also helps to speed up the detox process. It doesn’t stop there with this little power house though; known for it’s ability to fire up the metabolism, green tea is a great way to boost energy and mental clarity without the jittery, toxic effect of too much caffeine. Matcha Maiden, anyone?!
3 . Remove or seriously reduce the booze
It’s a no brainer, really. In a perfect world we wouldn’t consume anything potentially harmful to our body, including alcohol. But; it is the season to be jolly and our world is far from perfect, so if you’re not ready or willing to eliminate this guy altogether, at least commit to reducing your intake and being smart around your consumption. Alcohol is one of the bigger liver loaders and depletes your body of many vital nutrients - two (big) contributing factors to that gross, seedy feeling the morning after the night before.
TIP: Try adding an extra dose of Magnesium and a quality VitaminB supplement before you head out, then again before you go to bed or first thing in the morning.
4 . Reduce sugar
Like alcohol, too much sugar puts a huge amount of stress on the liver. Have you ever noticed that a sugar binge can often result in feeling hungover the next day, even if you didn’t drink? Try eliminating simple sugars for a period of time - I suggest 4 weeks - to allow your brain and hormones time to reset and break the sugar-binge habit.
5 . Drink more water
We are made up of at least 70% water, so it’s kind of a no-brainer that staying hydrated is crucial for optimal health, right? Proper hydration plays an undeniably important role in clearing toxins, supporting healthy digestion, increasing detoxification, and maintaining healthy movement of lymph throughout the body. The kidney’s unique filtering capabilities are totally dependent on water to perform, making good hydration a non-negotiable in the detoxification game. It’s simple really: drink more (filtered) water!
6 . Reduce toxic exposure
Do you ever think about the amount of chemicals in your make up and hygiene products? Do you consider what may be leaking out of the containers you use to pack your lunch? You’ve probably heard that organic food is better for you, but do you believe in it enough to spend the extra money? Understand this: oestrogen dominance is not just a result of the naturally-ocurring female hormone. Toxins from our environment bind to oestrogen receptors and exhibit oestrogen-like behaviour in the bodies of both men and women - stubborn body fat included! If you want feel great and lose fat this summer, hormone imbalance and issues of oestrogen dominance add yet another layer (pun intended) of challenges.
7 . Relax and get sweaty with a good (infrared) sauna sesh!
When toxins build up in your body, circulation can be sluggish, energy levels drop, inflammation is rife, and the immune system suffers. Sweating is one of the easiest and most effective ways to detoxify, and infrared heat supports this process by penetrating deeply into tissue, muscles and joints, increasing circulation, and speeding up oxygen flow throughout the entire body.
8 . Stop feeding your skin a chemical cocktail
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and it basically devours everything you put on it. There is a whole range of natural items you can use for multiple purposes, but one particular little gem that I personally love is coconut oil. With antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and moisturising properties, coconut oil is one of Mother Nature’s finest gifts to you skin. It also happens to have a natural SPF rating of around 4+ and makes you smell totally edible. Give it a try!
9 . Minimise stress
When you’re under stress, your liver produces extra blood sugar (glucose) to give you a boost of energy. This is great if you’re being chased by a bear, but not so good if you’re just stressed about paying the bills! Unused blood sugar is reabsorbed by the body, wreaking havoc on your hormones and exhausting an already tired liver. Get familiar with simple breathing techniques; try yoga; and remove any unnecessary stress from your life, including toxic situations that don’t serve you or make you happy.
10 . Heal your gut
As Hippocrates once said - all disease begins in the gut. The digestive tract is the first place where the outside world has contact with your internal body. Unwelcome guests from the environment love to hang out in the digestive tract, leaking toxins in to your blood stream and disrupting the absorption of all the good nutrients that we want and need from our food. Start by taking a quality probiotic, daily. I recommend Metagenics Probex or Orthoplex Multi Flora (usually available via your local naturopathy clinic).
Follow Shari at @thetransformationproject