Ahhhh Spring… beautiful weather, blooming flowers, everything springing to life!
Including your allergies.
Spring is is also nature’s alarm clock. Waking us from Winter hibernation and reminding us that Summer – and the short sleeves, shorts and bathing suits that go along with it – are around the corner.
Well what if I told you there’s a two-for-one punch you can start now, that will both relieve your allergy symptoms and help kick start your weight lose?
Do I have your attention yet?
One of the best ways to improve overall health is to regularly allow your body to detoxify. I’m a huge fan of doing a formal cleanse/detox at least once or twice a year, and peppering in some smaller strategies throughout the year. In fact, if you would like 30 days of daily tips on reducing toxic exposure and toxic burden on a daily basis, download my free Daily Detox App for iPhone and Android devices!
Not only does the process of detoxification help boost overall health- it can significantly improve seasonal allergy symptoms AND kickstart weight loss. Let’s talk first talk about how to detoxify and why it works.
Why do we need to detox?
Though “cleanse” and “detox” have become a pretty common part of our vernacular, not everyone knows what they entail exactly. In fact I see these words being thrown around pretty willy-nilly.
Understanding this is important because it can help decide how to best approach a detoxification program.
- Toxins are Everywhere: the air we’re breathing, produce is contaminated with pesticides, fish is loaded with mercury, the plastic containers we carry water and leftovers is also highly toxic… and that’s only the an abbreviated list.
- Toxins could be causing your symptoms for example: arthritis, hypertension, allergies, increased incidence colds & flu, migraines & “fogginess”, IBS and intestinal permeability, psoriasis and other skin conditions. Increased toxic load especially from plastics has been linked with weight gain, insulin resistance and hormonal imbalances. Furthermore toxicity and exposure to carcinogenic substance have even been linked to various forms of cancer!
- Reducing Toxic burden improves immune function. Seasonal allergies are often a symptom of increased toxic load. The immune system is over-sensitive due to the stress of the toxins being stored, so it developes an over-active response to seasonal allergens. When the toxic burden is reduced, most people experience reduced seasonal allergies and overall sensitivities. Along the same lines, if you come down with colds often, your immune system can benefit from a boost in immune function through reducing toxic build-up.
- When your body can’t get rid of toxins it stores it in your fat tissue making it very difficult to lose fat. Furthermore, many of these toxin act as “endocrine modulators” mimicking our own endogenous hormones (insulin, estrogen, for example) triggering imbalances that often turn-up fat storage. If you’re having trouble getting rid of that pesky “last 10 pounds” this could be part of the reason why.
- A cleanse can improve digestion, as well as help your body absorb nutrients more effectively. These nutrients can not only support the detoxification process, they are also essential to proper energy balance and metabolism which can support more efficient weight loss, hormone balance, not to mention powering every cell, tissue and organ in the body.
- Improved digestion can lead to improved/regular elimination of waste and healthy rise in good bacteria. Regular bowl movements ensure we remove unwanted waste and circulate hormones effectively. Gut bacteria (aka microflora) is imperative for weight management, healthy immune system, and linked just about every health issue there is.
There are a few different way to accomplish this, including:
- Fasting– the most extreme form of cleansing and possibly the most dangerous (in my opinion). Though intermittent fasting (short term fasting from sunrise to sunset or for a max of 24 hours) has been shown to benefit metabolism and flush toxins, it can also dehydrate and reduce nutrient stores if not practiced properly.
- Juice fasting– I have to admit, this is one of my personal go to approaches to reducing inflammation in the past. However, it’s challenging and can be dangerous for someone who does not regularly detox. Though this provides a lot of micronutrients, it’s low in protein and amino acids that are needed for proper and safe detoxification.
- Raw food cleanse– This option is great for digestion, provides more macronutrients and easier to comply with than juicing. It’s great when combined with juicing to really maximize nutrient absorption. However, I still don’t recommend this for someone who is new to detoxing or might carry a higher toxic load due to lifestyle, environmental factors or those who are genetically slow detoxifiers.
- Supported medical cleanse– This is the Cadillac of cleansing options. It offers the right combination of macronutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber to support the body in the detox process. It also provides supplemental support to ensure extra protection from reactive oxygen species (ROS) and other biological byproducts that can cause cellular damage. Ten to 28 days of this type of slow and supported cleanse is ideal for almost anyone.
How to Detoxify?
To help explain how to detoxify, it’s helpful to define what a detox should not include.
- A detox should not leave you feeling like a zombie for days or weeks… you should feel energized and clear headed!
- You should not be running to the bathroom every 10 minutes with diarrhea. This is uncomfortable and could lead to dehydration, which is not only dangerous, but also counterproductive since water is vital for the detoxification process.
A good cleanse will hydrate, replenish your gut flora and nutrient stores while it flushes out toxins, balances blood sugar and reduces inflammation. It should incorporate aspects of the above in balanced proportions- but should not leave you feeling weak, tired or starved. The best detoxification programs are individually tailored to your specific therapeutic needs.
Don’t get me wrong, a detox is not exactly a skip through the park. It will require self control and dietary restriction. However, your improved energy, mood and symptoms will help keep you motivated!
What’s the Plan? I’m IN!
If you’re ready to give the detox a shot this season… get in touch with me!
Remember you can download my free Daily Detox App for iPhone and Android devices. It features 30 daily tips on reducing toxic exposure and toxic burden. The idea is to make small daily changes that will reduce your exposure to chemicals and support your body’s natural detoxification pathways.
Coming later in 2016 – web-based detox programs. Stay tuned!
Want to learn even more about how to detox?Check out my video from the archives HERE.
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