Nutrition by Brooke

How to Detox Daily

Detox has become a huge buzzword lately. Lose weight, get clear skin, don’t eat and blah blah blah. It can be very intimidating. But seriously, I am a huge believer in cleansing, when done properly and when starvation is not involved.

What is detoxing, exactly? 
Detoxing involves cleansing the liver with supportive whole foods and herbs and reducing inflammation in the digestive tract and body. The liver is our second largest organ (after the skin) and acts as a filter to neutralize toxins in everything you eat, drink, breathe, and apply to your skin. Your liver works 24/7. When it’s functioning optimally, you’ll have energy, hormone balance, restful sleep, good mood and clear skin.
If you suffer from PMS, weight gain, acne, joint pain, skin rashes, high cholesterol, depression or irritability, fatigue, or just generally feeling puffy or inflamed, a congested and overworked liver could be the culprit. While it’s true that the liver is your body’s self cleaning device, it can become easily overwhelmed by toxins from our food supply, too much booze, over the counter and recreational drugs, birth control pills, makeup and personal care products, and pollution. All of it must be detoxed by the liver and excreted through your urine, digestive tract, or skin. So if you don’t poop regularly, sweat enough, or drink enough water, you can add to your toxic load. And if you take in more toxins than your liver can process, it becomes sluggish, and symptoms result.
I recommend cleansing at least twice a year- ideally in the spring and fall.  There are many different ways to cleanse, but generally, removing inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs, sugar, alcohol and coffee while taking a tincture or supplement with liver supportive herbs, such as milk thistle, will suffice. You don’t have to think about detox as a huge commitment, there are simply things you can do everyday to help your body.
To support your liver on a daily basis, adapt some of the following cleansing practices into your daily life.
  • Get rid of extra toxins right away. Before you brush your teeth, use a tongue scraper and then oil pull (I like to use coconut oil with a couple drops of peppermint essential oil).
  • Start your morning off with hot water and the juice of a fresh lemon with a pinch of cayenne. Very cleansing and alkalizing.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day! Add a boost by adding lemon or orange slices into your glass water bottle.
  • For breakfast, have a cleansing smoothie made with spirulina, chlorella, berries, chia seeds, and plant based protein.
  • Enjoy green veggie juices during the day.
  • Drink bentonite clay, yeah, it sounds weird, but bentonite clay has the ability to draw toxins out of the body. It’s truly amazing (read more here). Mix 1 tsp of bentonite clay into a glass of water, or put a 1/4 cup in your bath and rub over your body.
  • Before you get into the shower, do two minutes of dry skin brushing to stimulate the lymphatic system.
  • Drink herbal detox tea blends between meals.
  • Eat enough fiber-rich foods to bind up toxins in the gut and help promote regularity. If you’re constipated, toxins from the bowel can be reabsorbed into your system. Try legumes, raspberries, root vegetables, apples, pears, avocados and almonds. Avoid gluten and dairy, which can be constipating.
  • Go meatless a few days a week.
  • Sweat, everyday! Exercise or sit in a sauna. Sweating liberates toxins.
  • Take an Epsom salt bath before bed. Not only will magnesium-rich Epsom salts help you sleep, they also help draw toxins out of the body. Use 2-4 cups of Epsom salts and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Lavender promotes relaxation, for example.
  • Find ingredients that naturally support your body’s elimination and healing processes while you detox. Some of my favorites include: lion’s mane mushrooms, turmeric, beets and nettles.

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