Cleanses and detoxes seem to be the latest trend. I’m constantly hearing about the latest fad to get rid of toxins and lose weight. After living for over 20 years in Los Angeles I heard them all. Only eat cabbage. Don’t eat broccoli. Drink only sweetened lemon water. All promising to be the miracle cure to all of your woes. Does it sound too good to be true? Then it probably is. So why cleanse? Do you need to do one? Many of my patients who eat organic, plant based, alcohol free, and/or sugar free are less likely to need to support. But unfortunately our planet has become so toxic, that our bodies need added support from time to time.
The incidence of chronic disease is ever increasing. What we put into our bodies is important. So is the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, and our homes. We are exposed to poisonous substances all day long. Sorry to sound so negative. But the reality isn’t so pretty.
Statistics on Toxin Exposure
* Less than half of the almost 80,000 chemicals in existence today are tested for safety.
* We’re exposed to more than 50,000 chemicals daily.
* Your home may contain over 1,000 chemicals.
Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning may include
*Depression, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, irritability, lack of concentration, memory lapses, and nervousness
*Damage to vital organs
*Mental retardation, Cerebral palsy, autism, deafness, blindness
*Trembling hands, numbness in the hands and feet, loss of muscle coordination
Sources of Mercury
Silver Fillings- Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Norway have all banned mercury fillings. The World Health Organization has found that the average individual could absorb as much as 120 micrograms of mercury per day from their amalgam fillings, which is considered a toxic.
Mothers’ breast milk – a study showed levels of mercury in breast milk of amalgam-free mothers was less than 0.2mcg/liter, while milk from mothers with 1-4 amalgam fillings contained 0.50 mcg.
Fish– almost all fish are contaminated because our waters are polluted by industrial waste. Highest: tuna, swordfish, sea bass, oysters, marlin, halibut, pike, walleye, and shark.
Vaccines- Mercury is found in any vaccines w/ thimerosal, a preservative.
What can You Eat?
1. Try to limit your calories to 1200 per day. If exercising, know your limits and listen to your body. Do cleanse for at least 3 days and up to 30 days.
2. Eat only whole, plant based foods. Raw as much as possible at least once per day.
3. Focus on dark leafy greens at every meal or drink. These include broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, chard, arugula, and watercress.
4. Organic only! If your budget is tight, at least avoid the Dirty Dozen.
5. Vegetable broth. Drink this soup throughout the day when hungry.
1 lb. cut up green beans
3 celery stalks
4 medium zucchini
2 bunches of parsley
4 cups of water
Place ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until veggies are tender. Take off heat and let sit with lid off for 5 minutes. Puree soup. Enjoy hot or cold.
6. Smoothies daily with unsweetened nut milk. Be sure to include greens such as kale, spinach, or lettuce and healthy fats such as chia seeds.
7. Flax, chia, and/ or hemp seeds: 2 tablespoons per day in your salad, on steamed veggies, or in smoothies.
8. Juicing 16 to 64 ounces per day, if you have a juicer or access to a juice bar. Include turmeric and ginger in your drinks.
9. Raw apple cider vinegar: 2 tablespoons in 8 ounces of water 3 times per day before meals.
10.Herbal teas- detox or digestive support teas. One of my favorite brands is Yogi Tea.
11.Lemon juice in your water all day, especially first thing in the morning.
12. Water: drink a minimum of 10 glasses daily per day.
* Supplements- milk thistle, coriander
* Epsom Salts:
*Eases stress by replenishing magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical.
*Flushes out toxins and heavy metals- 2 cups in your bath every week for just ten minutes
*Relieves cold symptoms
*Relaxes muscles/reduces inflammation- relieves pain/ asthma, treats bruises/sprains.
*Prevents hardening of the arteries
*Makes insulin more effective by balancing magnesium and sulfate levels.
*Epsom salts can also be taken internally with some water for constipation
* Gall bladder cleanse, nightly until no stones
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
Limes, Lemons or Grapefruit – 4 oz fresh juice
Epsom salt – 4 tablespoons
*Sweat: steam, baths, sauna, and exercise
* Massage: to stimulate the lymphatic system
* Colonics: Most people are constipated or use coffee to get their digestion moving. A buildup of toxins in your large intestine is the result.
What to Avoid during a Cleanse (and always)
Alcohol & caffeine
Animal products, especially non-organic
Genetically Modified Foods
Feeling Sick while Detoxing?
If your body is full of toxins that need to be released, you may feel nauseous or even get sick during a cleanse. This is completely normal (unfortunately), especially if it’s your first time. If you get detox symptoms, take activated charcoal 3-4 times a day away on an empty stomach. Charcoal will bind to the toxins and can decrease symptoms of detox.
Feeling very weak? Stop.
Please consult a physician before doing a cleanse, especially if you have cancer, are pregnant, are taking medication, have issues with your immune system, or other chronic illness.
Live natural. Live well.