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Is it time for a Detox?

Feeling sluggish and tired? It might be time for a detox...

Every day we are exposed to toxins – in food as additives, in cleaning agents, and even in the air and water. Ideally, these toxins are processed and eliminated by our body – the liver, colon and kidneys are the primary organs involved in this process.

If the body’s natural detoxification processes are not working well, or they get overwhelmed, it can lead to many symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, muscle pains, indigestion, tremors, constipation, anaemia, pallor and dizziness. It can lead to impaired ability to think or concentrate, and a feeling of sluggishness.

A detox is a time for healing, promoting the liver, colon and kidneys time to clear out toxins, and not burdening them with more toxins. If you feel you can benefit from a detox, here are some basic ways to do it:

* Focus on eating fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds
* No alcohol
* Reduce or eliminate meat protein from the diet
* Eat and drink to support elimination through each organ

Liver

Ensure the Liver is working well. The liver is responsible for detoxifying everything that comes into the body. It’s essential to keep it working well.

* Brassica family foods – cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts
* Vitamin B – nutritional yeast, whole grains (brown rice)
* Vitamin C – peppers (red, yellow, orange), cabbage, tomatoes
* Citris fruits – oranges, tangerines, NOT Grapefruit

Protect the Liver from damage and improve function

* Sulpher containing foods – garlic, legumes, onions, eggs
* Water soluble fibre – pear, oat bran, apples, legumes
* Brassica family foods – cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts
* Artichokes, beets, carrots, dandelion, turmeric, cinnamon, liquorice

Bowel

Ensuring proper bowel function is critical to good health. Doing the 3 day fast listed below will help to clear the bowel of toxins. For everyday bowel health:

* Chew 32 times – this releases digestive enzymes and lightens the work load of the stomach and small intestine
* Drink 20 minutes before you eat, not during your meal – drinking before you eat will help control your appetite and ensures that hunger feelings are not actually dehydration. Drinking DURING the meal dilutes digestive enzymes, making it harder for your digestive tract to breakdown foods properly. Try to avoid it all together, or just take small sips of water if needed.
* Take a probiotic if needed – If you’ve taken an antibiotic recently, make sure your bowel flora (good bacteria) recover by taking a probiotic. Good bowel flora is essential to proper digestion, absorption, and the immune system!
* Constipated? – try increasing water soluble fibre (pectin, psyllium husk) in your diet and increase your water or herbal tea intake. The bowel must move in order to rid itself of toxins.

Kidneys

The kidneys are responsible for filtering the toxic products of protein breakdown. To support kidney function:

* Drink plenty of water or herbal teas (6-8 8 ounce glasses per day)
* Reduce animal protein intake

3 Day Juice Fast
You could also consider a more intensive juice fast to help clear out any stored toxins. Consider a 3 day juice fast, during which you consume 3 or 4 8-12 ounce juice ‘meals’ throughout the day. Drinking juice reduces the side effects associated with a ‘water’ fast, such as light headedness, tiredness and headaches. You will need a juicer for this.

The Juice: 1 beetroot, 5 carrots, 1 apple, 1 celery stalk, preferably organic

Caution: While a 3 day fast can usually be undertaken safely, anything longer is NOT recommended without supervision. Also, if there are a lot of accumulated toxins, it is wise to start a general detox of the diet a few weeks before the fast is undertaken, otherwise side effects could be more severe. Check with you GP or health practitioner.

Proposed gentle detox schedule:
2 weeks before fast:

No alcohol or drugs
Eat a diet focusing on fresh, whole foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains – rice, quinoa, millet, bulgar, etc)
Reduce or cut out meat consumption
Exercise regularly – a 20 minute walk daily is enough
Take a good quality multiple with vitamins and minerals

2 days before fast

Cut out meat entirely, if haven’t already

1 day before fast

2 meals - Brown rice with broccoli.
1 meal – juice

3 days Juice Fast

As above
During the fast, do not exercise heavily. Short, gentle walks and some stretching is recommended, but nothing which will ‘tax’ the system. A fast is a time of rest, a time to conserve energy and allow maximum healing.

1 day after fast

2 meals – brown rice and steamed vegetables
1 meal – juice

For a personalized detox program, call Lyn at 087.207.3414.