detox

5 Easy Tips To Jumpstart Your Spring Cleanse

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Spring is almost here, and all over the place we’re clearing out our winter clothes, dressing a little lighter for warmer weather, wanting to be more active, and lightening up our diets.

This time of year it’s natural to want to do a bit of a cleanse to shake off those winter blues and clean out our bodies the way we do our closets.

Actually, spring cleanses are age old. From Europe to the US, grandmothers whipped out the spring cleanse bitters this time of year to “get the blood moving.” Even in Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the time of the liver, and classic Western herbal spring cleanses included “liver tonic” herbs.

So you want to do a spring cleanse, too?

Here are my five top tips for an optimal spring cleanse, which should last a week:

1. Start every day with an 8-ounce glass of water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Adding a dash of cayenne will definitely get your blood moving!

2. Eat a very simple diet for seven days: a high-quality protein from food (not a nutrient supplement shake or bar), good-quality fat, and some lightly steamed or raw veggies at each meal, including breakfast. You get bonus points if your vegetables are spring greens such as the slightly bitter dandelion, watercress, or fresh salad mix. And don’t skip meals!

3. Each day, make a snack of fresh vegetable juice made with kale, celery, an apple, cucumber, beets, lemon and ginger. This is cleansing and nourishes your blood.

4. Make sure your bowels are moving every day — at least once! Take between 300mg and 600mg of magnesium citrate every night, and 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax seed in your food to get things going.

5. Drink a bitter tonic twice daily for one week. You can get one that is ready to drink at any health food store or make your own bitters drink:

Use 1/4 teaspoons each of the following herbal tinctures…

  • Dandelion root
  • Burdock root
  • Artichoke
  • Sarsaparilla root
  • Ginger root

Mix into plain or carbonated water, with lemon for taste if you’d like, and take 1-2 cups daily for a week. It can also be used as a digestive aid after meals on a more regular basis.

Happy spring!

 

detox · health

Need To Detox? Simple Ways To Make Your Everyday Life A Cleanse

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Photo: Stocksy

As a society we are surrounded by more toxins than ever before. On a daily basis we are exposed to a plethora of chemicals in the products we use and genetically modified foods sprayed with pesticides and herbicides in our grocery stores and restaurants.

Our genetics have not caught up with this onslaught of toxins, and it is evident in the rise of inflammation based health problems. Now more than ever it’s important to make sure we are diligent in avoiding as many toxins as possible as well as detoxing them. But we can’t live in fear. Your body is amazingly strong and resilient. Instead of curling up in a ball and deciding to live in a bubble, let’s cultivate ways to live cleaner.

The last thing we need is another quick-fix cleanse, so make your everyday life a detox. By using specific food medicines and functional medicine tips and tools, you can support your detoxification pathways so your body can do what it is designed to do naturally: thrive.

1. Add parsley to your smoothies.

This little green plant packs a mean detox punch. Add some to your favorite smoothie to boost the liver-supporting goodness.

2. Eat three cups of sulfur-rich vegetables.

Onions, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower all support methylation detox pathways. By bringing these foods into your diet on a regular basis you are supporting detox and naturally making your life a cleanse.

3. Sip on a blue-green algae latte.

Spirulina, chlorella, and blue-green algaes are epic detoxifiers. Add a teaspoon (or two!) into some steamed or iced almond milk for some detox magic.

4. Eat three cups of dark leafy greens.

Vegetables like kale, collards, spinach, and chard all contain folate, which is needed for methylation. Some of my favorite ways to include these into my daily diet are through smoothies, salads, and just sautéing them right up with whatever vegetables I am having for lunch or dinner.

5. Add garlic to every recipe.

Certain foods have detoxing properties especially beneficial if you have high levels of heavy metal toxicity in your body. Garlic is one of them and also aids in methylation. So add it to any dish you please, as garlic enhances the flavor of almost all recipes!

6. Unwind with some dandelion tea.

Drink some dandelion tea in the evenings to help you relax from the day. Dandelions contain many B vitamins that will continue to help support methylation and also help the body flush out toxins.

7. Munch on blueberries.

This one is super simple. Get additional help with detoxing by including blueberries to your diet. These berries will satiate your sweet tooth and help flush out any toxins in your body. Bake with them, put them in smoothies, or just eat them by the handful for maximum benefit!

8. Dress up your food with cilantro.

This powerful superfood is something that can easily be incorporated into your diet. Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro over salads or on top of everyone’s favorite obsession—tacos! Make Taco Tuesday a regular occurrence to take advantage of nature’s toxin-reducing plant power.

9. Get moving.

Make exercise a part of your daily routine by picking activities that not only get your heart moving but make you work up a sweat. Sweating is your body’s way of clearing out toxins. If you can’t handle high-impact workouts, hot yoga is a great way to get your sweat on.

10. Green up your home and workplace.

Purify the air you breathe by bringing some fresh plants inside your house and workspace. Spider plants, dracaena, garden mum, and peace lilies are nature’s air purifiers.

11. Relax in an infrared sauna.

Start sweating a different way by sitting in an infrared sauna. Not only will you release toxins through your sweat, infrared saunas have been shown to reduce inflammation, which can be a hindrance to proper detoxing. And bonus: They also help promote relaxation and reduce stress!

detox

Morning Drink- Kidney Cleanse

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Lately I’ve been starting out every morning with a big glass filled with water, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. It’s kind of like the master cleanse lemonade, but with no sweetener. When I drink it, I feel like I start my day with a clearing dose of detoxifying goodness and it helps my kidneys which are extremely taxed at the moment due to all my detoxing from Lyme.

Drinking spicy water may sound gross to you, but with the lemon, you’ll actually start loving it. I’ll admit, the first time I did it, I put way too much cayenne in there. Now, I just add a pinch, and I love it.

Here’s why it works well at detoxing:

Lemon juice and cayenne pepper both have anti-fungal, immune boosting, and detoxification properties.

Lemon juice is great for digestion, destroying bacteria and cleansing the system – it supports the liver and kidneys to get rid of toxins.

Cayenne pepper increases metabolism, stimulates the circulatory system, aids digestion, helps regulate blood sugar and more.

Put them together and you have a very powerful cleansing drink!

My usual:

  • About 24 oz of water
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne

So give it a try! It may become part of your new morning routine. Just stay near a toilet for a little while cause it will make you go!

Do you have a favorite cleansing morning beverage?

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