Inside Scoop: Here are our top tips on keeping your detox organs working properly with a natural daily cleanse.
What have you consumed today?
Between breakfast, lunch and dinner we bet toxic chemicals don’t come to mind, but consider this: from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed you are constantly being bombarded by man-made, barely regulated chemicals.
Here’s a small example list of products you may use in your daily life (from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed) that can possibly have unregulated lab made chemicals in them:
- Your bed
- Shower soap/ body wash
- Hair products
- Your food
- Cooking products (pots, pans, aerosol sprays, BBQ)
- Cleaning products (see our article about the Top Non-Toxic Household Cleaning Brands to learn more about household cleaners)
- How you store your food (plastic)
- Your clothes
- The air you breathe
We’re sure we’ve missed a few, but the truth is that toxins are everywhere!
We’re really not here to bring on the negative vibes (so make sure you read till the end). And while we can honestly tell you that a toxin free life is impossible, the good news is that our body is an amazing machine and does a very effective job of taking care of itself. That’s not to say that we can’t take the appropriate measures in our own lives to control and minimize some of our toxic exposure.
For example, while we cannot control the benzene we are exposed to through the environment, we can definitely decrease our exposure by more than 10 times by simply quitting smoking. Yes, you heard us right, the average smoker takes in about 1.8 mg of benzene daily.
BEFORE YOU GO FURTHER, WHAT REALLY DEFINES A TOXIN?
We found the best description from the Health Sciences Academy:
“Any substance that the body can NOT use in a purposeful way, that requires energy to be removed or that can cause harm in sufficiently large doses, qualifies as a toxin. Even substances that your body needs in order to survive can become toxic if you get too much of them.”
A few examples:
- Natural chemicals: lead, mercury, arsenic.
- Living toxins: bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus.
- Man-made chemicals: preservatives, pesticides, petrochemicals, food additives and fertilisers.
- Even vitamins and minerals can become toxins at large enough doses.
We would like to add to this list heavily refined and processed foods, which are typically also filled with man-made preservatives, synthetic food colors, petrochemicals…etc.
We are adding them because they have been implicated in some of the most common conditions of our times including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity and high blood pressure which means that they can cause harm to your body, when you are exposed to them over and over again.
Some of these man-made chemical compounds have been proven safe by regulatory standards in small doses, that’s why they’re everywhere.
Your detoxifying organs wont necessarily be able to efficiently eliminate ALL of them from your system, and when this happens, these toxins get stored in the body. In addition, while some chemicals may be safe on their own, we still don’t know what effects they may have when they are combined, or how they get built up in our systems.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY DEAL WITH TOXINS?
It’s important to understand that not every ‘body’ is the same. Some people live their lives in bodies that can deal with chemicals and pollution better than others. That’s called genetics my friend. But for the rest of us, the least of toxic overload in the body can cause reactions. They may be small, they may slide under the radar, but coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle they can become an added burden on the body, and build up.
This is why cleanses have become so popular, but instead of going out and spending money on a temporary cleanse box, we’re going to give you the scoop on how to make sure your cleansing naturally, everyday.
YOUR MARVELOUS DETOXIFYING ORGANS.
The main organs that deal with toxins are: the liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive system (intestines mainly) and skin. These are the organs in your body that are designed to excrete the chemicals and foods that are toxic to you; and to make sure these organs are in tip top shape, it’s important to support them and your body to naturally detoxify every day.
A good old-fashioned favourite organ to focus on (especially by Nutritionists) is the digestive system. From Hippocrates himself, “All disease begins in the gut”– the gut’s role in detoxification is incredibly important.
FACT: Our body is super smart and advanced; did you ever doubt that? To protect us, during times of extreme toxic overload the body stores excess fat-soluble toxins in fat cells and water-soluble toxins are usually processed through the kidneys. Smart eh?
This is because storing toxins in fat cells prevents them from harming your organs and other vital tissues. When you have a lot of toxins accumulated, the fat cells get bigger in an effort to dilute them – getting you to carry that extra weight. If you ever have cleaned up your diet, lost weight and noticed feelings of lethargy, headache’s, digestive issues or even ‘flu-like’ symptoms this is because your body is getting rid of toxins faster then it is taking them in. This is what we like to call a healing crisisl. Don’t worry, these feelings usually last a couple days- a week and when they subside you should feel much better. It is sometimes a necessary part of healing.
WHAT DO EXCESS TOXINS DO TO THE BODY?
Not only are we being exposed to natural and man-made toxicants that affect our bodies, but we also have the ability to create our own toxins- all the more reason to recognize the subtle signs that your body is overloaded.
- Difficult weight management
- Low energy/fatigue
- Low sex drive
- Problematic skin
Now What? Should I go on a DETOX?
So, what can we do? Well, living a healthy lifestyle is the first step, but every once in awhile, we might feel that a little cleanse or detox is in order, but what’s the right cleanse to do?
The word detox gets thrown around a lot. Try to think about it; what is the first thing that pops up in your mind when you think of the word detox? It’s probably juice cleanses, fasting or something like the master cleanse…basically some form of a liquid diet or dreaded starvation.
A note on the Master Cleanse or what we like to call Disaster Cleanse:
- It involves no food for 14-days and you drink a minimum of 6-12 glasses daily of water with lemon, cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
- Each glass has 25 grams of sugar (yes, maple syrup is great but not when that’s all you’re having), then in effect you are drinking 300 grams of sugar per day and that is 2 kg of sugar in just 2 weeks. This is a huge burden on your all your organs and especially your liver, not to mention the effect on your digestion and blood sugar balance… You don’t need a Nutritionist to tell you that this is really bad for you.
Detox is not about that!
So, we’re not going to tell you to juice cleanse, master cleanse, eat raw, eat vegan, eat gluten free, no dairy, no sugar to detox and cleanse. Deprivation is not our style. We believe that detoxing naturally means supporting your body every day to optimize its detoxification capacity. This can be a daily thing that can be taken one step at a time, one day at a time and eventually OVER time it becomes a way of life; where your body is just clean because you want it to be. Every. Single. Day!
The Naughty Nutritionists Top 10 Daily Detox Tips:
1. Start your day right.
When you wake up, drink one glass (about 250ml) of warm water with half a lemon and/or 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. Add grated ginger, a dash of cinnamon or cayenne and/or some raw honey (or if you can’t handle the thought of all of this jazz in the a.m., just warm lemon water will do). What it will do is provide you with limonene a powerful phytochemical that’s important in the liver detox pathways as well as promotes waste elimination across your digestive tract.
2. Breathe and set the intention for your day.
Positivity goes a long way, especially in the morning. If you wake up and do a bit of light meditation, a bit of yoga or even some daily affirmations or breathing exercises that set up a bright intention you will be truly surprised how the positivity carries with you throughout your day.
3. Have a nutrient dense, easily digestible meal.
Prep ahead of time and aim for one meal that is easy on your digestion such as pureed soups and smoothies as your body doesn’t need to work as hard to get all the nutrients in. Meals high in naturally occurring enzymes, prebiotics, probiotics and fiber such as raw veggies/fruits, miso and sauerkraut are amazing for detoxifying your digestive system.
4. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Drink plenty of fluids in your day, and aim for herbal tea rather than coffee (1 coffee a day is fine). Teas such as: nettle, ginger, turmeric, peppermint and chamomile are great to assist in detox and support your lovely little gut and kidneys. Other teas that contain ginger or turmeric are anti-inflammatory giving your body a healing boost.
5. Aim for an entire day of whole foods (dark chocolate counts).
From the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, aim for whole natural foods and avoid refined and heavily processed meals. Here’s a list of some of our favourite foods.
6. Reduce your meat intake.
Not only is this great for your body and mind, but it’s also good for the planet. If you eat meat in the day, don’t eat processed or luncheon meat and keep your meat consumption to one meal a day. Have one vegetarian day a week like ‘meatless Mondays’ and explore different meals that are veggie loaded every week.
7. Reduce your dairy intake.
Keep it at a couple of ounces of cheese a day, aim for goat/sheep milk cheese- it’s easier on digestion. Stick to full fat-greek yogurt and aim for nut milks instead of regular milk. When you can, try to get organic dairy.
8. Reduce your refined sugar intake.
This is hands down one of the best pieces of advice that you should ingrain in your mind. Sugar messes with the body on every single level. Try to stay away from processed sugar and replace it with unrefined, natural sugars like: cane, raw honey or maple syrup. When you minimize your intake, and start doing all of the above your sugar cravings will naturally subside.
9. Get moving & shaking.
Yes, exercise is one of the best ways to detox your body. 30 minutes a day of moving in any sort of way: walking, running, yoga, tai-chi- whatever your pleasure- just move your booty.
10. Ditch the junk!
Or at least minimize it anyway. Check out our kitchen tips on stocking your pantry in a healthier way. If you have an opportunity to reach for food that is processed, pre-packaged, filled with artificial colours and preservatives, then you have an opportunity eat it as well.
There are many other ways to clean up your diet and lifestyle in order for it to be much easier to support your detox organs, but this is a great place to start. When you incorporate these tips into your routine piece by piece, you will begin to see changes without feeling like you have given up too much.
Don’t forget to check out our Complete 2018 Supplement Guide to find some pretty awesome brands that can help your body detox naturally.