I have watched far too many friends endure juice cleanses not to address the hottest of hot topics. Detoxing. Nowadays just about everything you pick up at a health foods store has “detox tea”, “detox kombucha”, “detox cookies” on the label. Ok, that may be a minor exaggeration, but its a lot.
So is detoxing something we should be legitimately concerned about? Are we all basically walking sludge? My answer, unfortunately is 100% yes.
What are signs that you might be toxic?
Lets get real here, we’re all basically walking sludge bombs (Shelby’s terminology for toxic hot-mess). The average baby born in the US has over 250 different chemicals in their blood streams and thats only what we can test for, meaning there may be many more. Top that off with the fact that 700 new chemicals are released into the atmosphere every year, many which are not tested for a long period of time prior to release.
But if you’re like the 4 year old I work with you’re probably thinking “but I can’t SEE the toxins”. Here are some real signs that you may have a fellow sludge bomb. **Disclaimer Please note that if you have any of these symptoms the detox advice is not meant to replace medical care, so go see your functional medicine docs folks.
Aches and pains
Why should you be worried about toxins?
I didn’t believe the hype for a long time. I was taught that toxins weren’t “a thing”. I myself became a waling toxic hot mess a few years back and needed some answers of my own. So I did several post-college trainings and after digging into the research myself, I became a believer.
Lets just say that there are more chronic diseases than this dietitian can count that have been linked to toxin exposure. Farmers who so kindly grow the food we eat are at a higher risk for neurological diseases and cancers. Did I mention those toxins go on our food, just saying. Ok but real talk everything from infertility, high blood pressure, dementia to fibromyalgia have been linked with toxin exposure. You get the picture.
What can you do to decrease your exposure?
Have no fear a cleaner environment is near! There are a ton of things you can do to clean up sludginess!
First start with more organic produce and less processed crap! Yes, its a little more moo-lah $$ but so are a dementia, diabetes and infertility treatments! Consider it your investment in your health. That being said if you’re really struggling with the whole organic biznass check out the Dirty Dozen https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php and try to at minimum purchase the produce that are considered most toxic!
Second download the Healthy Living App! You can literally scan everything from beauty products & food to household cleaners. The app then gives you a toxic rating! I recommend aiming for products with a 0-2 score. FYI my Sephora loving babies there are a lot of 7-8-9s rolling out their doors.
Third if you take a protein supplement be sure to check it out using https://www.cleanlabelproject.org you can also see how toxic your dog’s food is, pretty neat right?
How can I detox daily?
Our bodies have some pretty amazing built in detox mechanisms. My fellow college graduates probably know one - the liver- but our skin, guts, kidneys and lungs also have a role in detoxification. The problem that can occur over time is that we are just taking on more than what our bodies can handle. So heres what you need to do!
Drink plenty of water - I recommend half your body weight in ounces.
Eat plenty of fiber
Avoid plastic containers & switch to glass.
Incorporate foods that increase your body’s natural detox mechanisms such as:
Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens
Fresh vegetable juices: ginger, celery, cilantro, parsley
High quality protein (this is why I recommend steering clear of juice-only cleanses) -eggs are great source of sulfur
Dark leafy green vegetables
High antioxidant intake (eat the rainbow of veggies and fruit every day)
Omega-3 fats: walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel
Turmeric & curcumin
Reduce foods that can slow down your detox process
Alcohol - duh
Caffeine - bummer I know
Fast food/dining out