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Waking up tired even after a full nights sleep and remaining fatigued?
Suffering from headaches?
Finding it hard to keep your mind sharp or on track?
Experiencing skin irritation, dryness, redness, or acne?
Have irregular menstrual cycles or menstrual problems?
Finding it hard to lose weight?
Letting your negative emotions get the upper hand?
Suffering from inflammation?
Experiencing bloating and constipation?
Craving certain foods like sweets and carbs?
Losing your appetites?
Tired of the dark circles under your eyes?
Experiencing mood swings or irritability?
Suffering from bad breath or body odor?
Maybe you’re experiencing one or two of these things, maybe even five or more! If you are, then this is something you need to read because there’s a good chance that your body needs help detoxing.
I want to fill you in on the emotional and physical measurements that I take, that quickly help bring my body back to a healthy functioning state.
After I’ve suffered a severe case of widespread anxiety, depression, or if I was just a BAD MOM, eating and drinking crap that I know I shouldn’t or not staying physically active, my body and mind pay the price. That’s why I step up my detox game and get back on track.
THE EMOTIONAL DETOX
Last week I wrote an article about how much of a mess I’ve been; how anxiety had utterly swallowed me whole and I let myself fall off the self-care wagon. Well, my emotions get the best of me sometimes, and when that happens I can physically feel the effects -not my proudest moments, but we’re all learning and growing here.
Did you know that unresolved emotions like anger, resentfulness, grief, and unforgiveness directly affect your liver, making it difficult to remove toxins and absorb much needed nutrients?
These past few months, when I’ve been having a hard time adjusting emotionally and methodically to the many changes in my environment, my body is like –“what the hell are you doing to me over here?” There comes the point where I can’t look past it any longer. We can easily hide our emotions with enough practice and denial, but our bodies are a lot less capable of bluffing -quickly there to remind us that we need to make some permanent changes.
My first tall tell signs that I’ve let my stress and my emotions take the upper hand is sugar cravings, no desire to eat, and GI discomfort (where I’ve been this past month). When I fail to address these symptoms and kick my self-care into high gear eventually, I’ll experience fatigue, dry skin, acne, brittle fingernails, and body odor. After an extended period of emotional turmoil, I’ll begin to experience extremely painful menstrual cycles; my fibrocystic breast symptoms return with a vengeance. My bowel movements are non-existent (to the point where I’ve ended up in the E.R., and that was a nightmare). Severe headaches and migraines consume my every waking hour. I can’t control my emotions, and my energy level remains on low to non-existent, no matter how many hours of sleep I get.
…I’m literally left feeling both mentally and physically exhausted.
These patterns and health concerns will be different for everyone, and I am a firm believer that if you do not address the underlying issues and allow your body to heal the way it wants to that more problems will arise which is why we need to detox our toxic emotions as well.
Becoming irritatable, stressed, and even anxious is okay and usually healthy, the problem stems from how you react to and handle those feelings or instead not handle them at all. When we let anxiety, phobias, panic, and OCD rule our lives, it increases the number of toxins in our bodies, and if your liver is already suffering via resentment, anger, or unforgiveness, and a plethora of unhealthy foods, all of this can lead to serious health issues.
STOP STRESSING OUT YOUR LIVER
The liver is the body’s detox headquarters.
It removes toxins from the body while simultaneously processing nutrients
and aiding in hormone balance.
If we don’t make changes, the liver too can become toxic and fail to heal our bodies because it can’t deliver nutrients to our bloodstream or remove harmful toxins as it should. Sadly left alone, the entire body and mind will be sentenced to repeat a cycle of pain and suffering, and we don’t want that.
My recent emotional healing:
A few weeks ago, a terrific friend of mine gathered a lot of women for an empowerment meet-up of sorts. I was able to get a lot of my heavy emotions out in the air and seek advice. Every person needs a safe place to talk about their feelings. Find yourself a trusted friend, counselor, therapist, or loved one who will listen to and help you work through your emotions. The guidance I received at my friend’s gathering helped energize me and give me the confidence to change what I needed to. That night I was able to have a very important and barrier-breaking discussion with my mother that brought us both to a healthy understanding. It resolved a lot of my fears and doubts that I’ve been holding onto since childhood, and after that massive release of anxiety and pent-up emotions, I instantly felt a shift in my wellbeing. Then, after giving myself a much-needed pep-talk, and handling a terrifying situation with our family dog who was having life-threatening health issues, I could now sit back and address the damage.
Ready and willing to put forth the effort now’s the time for me to get my body and mind back to that healthy and happy state they enjoy by loading up on nutrient-rich foods, using herbs and spices, drinking a ton of water, and catching up on sleep and physical activities.
THE PHYSICAL DETOX
Our environments are full of toxins and unhealthy temptations, that’s why learning how to play an active role in your body’s detoxing abilities is paramount.
Detoxing isn’t about starving yourself of the foods you love, adding more stress, planning for days or weeks ahead of time, or buying a bunch of one-time products. It’s about making reasonable and healthy changes that aid in your body’s natural drive to function at peak performance.
I can’t tell you how many regimes and products I’ve used where your diet consists of only pills, powders, shakes, smoothies, broths or itty-bitty plates of food that look sad. All of those fad detoxes just added more stress to the process and gave me these false ideas:
-The idea that I couldn’t start the change at any given moment. False.
-Detoxing is just a temporary habit. False.
My idea of a detox is a lifestyle change. In one moment you decided to work a little harder than you have before and be honest about what you want and need to feel and function at your very best. Yes, we slip up now and again but the quicker we get back to it the better it is for the body. These changes shouldn’t be a fad; it should be life-long habits.
It’s time that you and your body develop an intimate relationship because there will never be a point where the body doesn’t need help detoxing. The sooner you strengthen that relationship and give your body what it needs the better.
REMOVE THE JUNK & LET YOUR LIVER HEAL
It doesn’t matter how many supplements I take or juices I blend if I don’t cut back on drinking alcohol, stop eating like crap or binging right before bed, the process won’t work as quickly as I would like.
If I want drastic results, I need to make drastic changes. The more I work, the quicker I will feel better.
As time goes on remember that moderation is key – focus on your health but don’t torture yourself by not enjoying the things you love now and again and BE MINDFUL and HONEST with yourself about what is best for your health.
Little to no coffee.
Instead, I’ll drink Matcha lattes with nut milk and added cinnamon or hot tea with detoxing herbs.
Little to no alcoholic beverages.
I’ve learned to make more health conscious beverages using flavored sparkling water. I like to add fresh fruit and sliced citrus to the glass as well. I also refrain from having more than three alcoholic beverages a week.
Avoid packages at all cost -packaged means processed and processed means additives.
Stay away from the aisles! Make a list and stick to that list. When I pick something up that’s packaged I make sure that there is no other option and weigh the pros and cons of the food item. “Does my body need this? Is there a healthier and less processed option?”
Remove foods that you know irritate your body.
For me, this is dairy because it causes my skin to break out. I also notice that when I consume too much meat, it slows down my digestive system and causes bloat. I found some cashew yogurt that I enjoy and buy nut milk for dairy alternatives. To avoid as much meat as possible I’ve found a ton of meatless meals that are amazing.
Focus on your body and how it reacts to the foods you eat because it quickens the detox process. Maybe you can’t drink alcohol at all or need to stay away from gluten. These sensitivities will be different for everyone.
Cut back on the sugar like it’s your job.
I stay away from the junk. If you have a sweet tooth like me, buy yourself a few bars of dark chocolate but don’t let yourself lose control. Bowls of fruit with whip cream and dark chocolate drizzle = life saver.
When buying products, the fewer and more recognizable ingredients the better.
The rule of having fewer ingredients on the label has my shopping trip more straightforward and a lot quicker. If I have to buy a packaged product I check the ingredients and if there’s less than five and I can understand them all it gets the go-ahead.
HAPPY LIVER, HAPPY YOU
When you give your liver the healthy foods that it thrives on, it will love you and have no other choice than to pay it forward. When your liver feels good, you feel good.
Whether it’s healthy whole foods or sugar packed processed junk, they’re both going to enter your stomach then your small intestines where it will mix with bile and eventually absorb into your bloodstream so remember, you are what you eat. Literally! That blood filters through your liver, your liver will process the nutrients it’s dealt and then attempts to remove the toxins.
Over time if you’re giving your liver more toxins and fewer nutrients, that relationship is going to suffer, and it won’t be able to function like it desperately wants to and could become toxic itself. If you’re already stressed out and holding onto negative emotions this only hurts it more and that’s when diseases start to run rampant throughout the body.
“All Disease Begins In The Gut” -Hippocrates
The Best Herbs
Milk Thistle, Tumeric, and Dandelion.
These three herbs are the most effective at detoxifying the liver, cells, and gallbladder. It doesn’t matter if you use supplements, teas, or recipes I always find a way to introduce more of these three herbs into my diet.
The easiest way to add these three herbs to your diet, find an organic detox or cleansing tea with any of these three herbs.
Mint, Ginger, and Rosemary.
These three herbs might not be as potent, but they still pack a good punch! They’ll help your liver detox, regulate bile, and help with GI discomfort. I like to add fresh sprigs of rosemary and mint to a pitcher of water and let it sit overnight. Use them while cooking or again herbal tea.
Cinnamon and Cayenne.
Cinnamon and cayenne are both warming herbs that get our blood pumping and aid in the detoxification process. I love cinnamon because it’s an anti-inflammatory and is loaded with antioxidants. Cayenne is a detox gem as well because it boosts your metabolism while helping with irritation.
Pucker Up With Sour Foods
Lemons. Limes. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). Sauerkraut. Artichokes. Pickled Vegetables. Pickled Fish. Kimchi. Kombucha.
Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables are not only delicious in my opinion, but they’re great for detoxing. The process of fermentation helps eliminate toxic substances found in the food, helps the body absorb nutrients, and also helps aid in the process of elimination. When you go to eat a meal, have a small serving of pickled beets, artichokes, or kimchi next to your plate -it’s that simple!
If you’re not a fan of fermented food, luckily lemons and limes also help get those digestive juices flowing. If I have some fresh fruit handy, I’ll add it to my water or add it to a homemade salad dressing that also includes apple cider vinegar. I find that the easiest way to get my ACV and citrus is to add a small amount to a glass of water first thing in the morning.
I highly suggest getting your hands on lemon and lime essential oil supplements -great in water and the diffuser.
All The Fruits and Vegetables You Can Eat
Of course, all fruits and vegetables are winners! At the very least when I’m starting to get back on track, I want at least 70% of my diet to be plant-based. Gradually after a few weeks, 85-90% of the food I consume throughout the week will be fruits and vegetables. The rest will be organic lean meat, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. I’m a cookbook addict; there are hundreds of fantastic healthy options out there so dive in and find something you can work for you.
Fruits and vegetables with high water content are always a great way to start. These foods will better aid digestion, cell health, and elimination:
Bananas. Blackberries, Broccoli. Cabbage (Red & Green). Cantaloupe. Carrots. Cauliflower. Celery. Cherries. Cranberries. Cucumber. Eggplant. Grapefruit. Kiwi. Lettuce. Oranges. Peaches. Peppers. Pineapples. Plums. Radishes. Raspberries. Peppers. Spinach. Strawberries. Tomatoes. Watermelon. Zucchini.
Add these natural detoxing foods to your grocery list too:
Almonds, Apples, Artichokes, Asparagus, Avocados, Barley, Basil, Beets, Brazil Nuts, Brussel Sprouts, Cacao, Cilantro, Chlorella, Collard Greens, Eggs (Organic), Fennel, Garlic, Kale, Legumes, Matcha, Oats, Onions, Parsley, Potatoes (Cold), Seaweed, Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Walnuts, Watercress, Wheatgrass.
NOTE: if you’re not buying fresh, buy frozen, and avoid canned goods at all cost.
Keep Calm & Drink Water
Water is essential when it comes to your body’s ability to detox. It will flush out the toxins and help with all of the metabolic processes.
The first thing I’ll do in the morning is to drink a tall glass of warm water with lemon and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
Drink 8 to 10 more glasses throughout the day.
I love to use Doterra’s ‘Slim and Sassy’ Essential Oil, adding one drop to every other glass of water I drink. It helps the digestive process and gives me a little extra energy that can come in handy once you start down a cleansing path. I highly suggest finding yourself a citrus essential oil supplement so you can easily give your water a little extra boost no matter where you are. Putting 1-2 drops of Orange Essential Oil, for example, will help detoxify your liver and lymphatic system.
Be sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times and drink it every time that you eat whether it’s a snack or a meal; this will decrease your cravings and help stop you from overeating.
Detox Water Chart
GET SEVEN TO EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP A NIGHT -NO IF’S AND’S OR BUT’S.
Fall asleep before 11:00 P.M. every single night, maybe even sooner depending on what time you wake up in the morning. It’s important to give your body enough time to detox and heal throughout the night because this is your liver’s prime detoxing time.
Nighttime Detox Tools:
Essential Oils -adding Lavender, Roman Chamomile, and Sandalwood E.O. to my diffuser helps my mind unwind and body to relax.
Journal -I write positive affirmations and plan out a prosperous and successful tomorrow.
Meditate- using my Calm app or follow a guided meditation I can let go of emotional tension and fall asleep quickly.
Work Out. Get Outside. Be Active.
Sweating will allow your body remove extra salt and toxins and it will have you feeling great which is a win-win! I try and get as many outdoor workouts in as possible even if it’s just yard work or taking the dogs for a walk because that activity not only gets my blood pumping but it calms my nerves.
Every single activity -big or small- aids in the detox process.
BECOME ADDICTED TO HEALING YOURSELF
The experiences and realizations that I’ve had these past few months are why I’ve become addicted to bettering myself, healing myself, and helping others move forward. This week isn’t the first time I’ve had to start all over again and help my body get back on track, and I’m sure it won’t be the last because life is long and testing. You bet your ass I will try though.
The truth is we’re not perfect and we do reach points where we’ve let ourselves go or we let stress and our emotions get the best of us. Yes, sometimes it’s harder for me to get back on track -as I’m sure it can be for you too at times- but understanding my body’s signals and realizing that my body isn’t detoxing the way it should be detoxing, helps me to realize that I have to make changes NOW. Trust your gut and make the changes, don’t wait for more severe health issues to arise. Staying away from processed foods, additives, food sensitives, stressful situations, and letting go of harmful emotions helps put me on the fast track to healing, and I know it will help you feel your best too because it’s what our bodies crave.
The word detox and the entire process is something that has to change. Every single meal, situation, and choice makes a difference in how our body will either thrive or suffer. Sometimes we forget that there is that mind-body connection. We work incredibly hard to fix our outward OR our inward symptoms without tying the two together, but we need to change our point of views so that we break unhealthy cycles. We need to focus on both our emotional and physical detox so that we can avoid reaching a point where we break apart.
I’m excited that I was able to move past the stress and emotional turmoil that these past few months had brought to the surface. I wish I didn’t let them get the best of me or that I didn’t deprive myself of the healthy foods and activities that my body needed, but I did, and now it’s time that I get my body and mind back to 100. Who’s with me?