I woke up a few weeks ago feeling groggy and irritable, my right eye puffy and swollen like a bee sting, newly forming pimples and my body feel stiff and achy. After determining these were symptoms of a sluggish and overloaded lymphatic system, I decided I needed a detox.
Just like we wouldn’t expect our car to work indefinitely without ever changing the oil or getting a tune up, it’s the same for our bodies. Each day, we’re exposed to harmful substances in the air we breathe, foods we eat, products we put on our skin and use in our home. The ability of our cells to expel waste and absorb nutrients is ESSENTIAL to our overall health and well-being, slow the aging process, as well as our happiness, clarity and focus. Sometimes, our elimination systems have trouble keeping up with the toxic load and symptoms such as acne, brain fog, bloating and weight gain begin to appear. To keep our bodies a "well oiled" machine, a periodic cleanse will boost the removal of damaging toxins and pathogens from our organs and blood, prevent premature aging and the onset of chronic diseases.
I’ve always been someone who LOVES to eat and HATES feeling hungry. I eat from the time I wake up, until I go to bed. Even though I eat a highly clean diet, I am a snacker and have never done a cleanse before, so the idea was daunting. In order to succeed and create sustainable change, I created a "Beauty Detox" that kept me satisfied, not deprived, supercharged and not groggy. My 14 day liquid meal plan consisted of organic fruits and veggies in the form of juices, smoothies and pureed soups.
So how do we know if we need a detox? Some of the common symptoms are:
Mood swings, highs and lows
Sugar or “junk food” cravings
You smoke, drink alcohol
Gray hair, ruddy skin, acne, skin rashes, rosacea, dehydration, pigmentation
Sore joints, muscles
You take prescriptions, antibiotics
Bloating, IBS, Constipation
Swollen glands & fluid retention – can be caused by improper function of lymphatic system. Each one of our cells “eats food and excretes waste” and waste is excreted in the lymphatic system. And unlike our cardiovascular system there is no pump but moves through movement, massage, diaphragmatic breathing, dry brushing. When the cells excrete their waste we want the waste to move away from the cells and be detoxified and eliminated. For people who make poor lifestyle choices & sedimentary lifestyle the waste can sit outside the cells. When the waste hangs around the cells the body will try to hang onto fluid to dilute the impact of the waste on the health of that cell.
Sore red, stinging eyes, blurry eyes
Waking up consistently between 2am - 4am
Lumpy breasts that swell with your cycle & horrible PMS
Feeling HANGRY, irritable and like you could eat your arm off when you’re hungry
Feel tired, overweight, overburdened
So once you’ve made up your mind that you need a cleanse, there are certain things you should know before embarking on your journey, especially if this is your first.
1. DECIDE. When we decide and commit 100% we aren’t as bothered when temptations arise and we have the will to stick to our guns. Know you’re why. Are you trying to kick a food addiction, or get better health, lose weight, improve your digestion, or clear your skin? It helps to have your reason handy when things get tough.
2. PLANNING. You will need supplies. Not only will you need a high quality blender like the Vitamix, but you will need NON-toxic storage containers preferably glass canning jars. Be sure you prepare enough smoothies or soups to get you through busier work days but also take into account the need to it to preserve freshness and efficacy. Typically smoothies freshness last about 24 hours, soups can last up to a week if stored in freezer. Fresh juices need to be consumed within 15 minutes and cold-pressed within 72 hours. Unless you work from home, and don’t mind making a fresh batch when you want it, I suggest keeping 3 days worth of cold-pressed juices. Always, have some handy on the road. Being in traffic can be a huge trigger, especially if you’re hungry.
3. VARIETY. Make sure you get plenty of ingredients of both fruits and veggies so you can create different types of meals. It can get monotonous drinking the same thing every day. Allowing for variety will keep you interested and reduce cravings as well as the combination of highly dense varieties of macro and micro nutrients can have a profound effect on healing in the body.
4. HEALTHY FATS. We need fat in order for our cells to effectively eliminate toxins and absorb nutrients. So don’t be afraid to get ample daily doses of saturated fat in the form of coconut oil, avocado, raw organic butter or ghee,. Add it to your smoothies and soups.
5. CROWD OUT. Be sure to get lots of fiber to keep full. The idea is not to starve yourself, but to limit yourself and push yourself to your edge so you are the one in control, not your cravings. When you’re hungry, have a smoothie, juice or soup, even if you think it’s too soon. This isn’t about deprivation it’s about crowding out. Deprivation is exactly why diets don’t work. It’s much more productive to ease ourselves into change rather than demanding a quantum leap.
6. BOOST DETOXIFICATION. Assist the detox by stimulating the lymphatic system and digestive tracks to release any stored toxins. Supplements such as liquid bentonite clay, Osmosis Disruptor Water, Activated Charcoal, Chlorophyll, Spirulina, infrared sauna, yoga, massage, dry brushing, & colonics will gently and effectively help with this release. I recommend doing a colonic either right before or as you start your cleanse. That way your body is able to simultaneously absorb nutrients to energize your cells and minimize grogginess and low energy during the initial phases of your cleanse.
7. KEEP ACCOUNTABLE. Tell a friend, family member or partner. We don’t like letting other people down, so the likelihood of you sticking to your guns when things get rough is higher when you’ve made the commitment “out loud”.
8. CELEBRATE SMALL WINS. Acknowledge when you’ve pushed through a temptation. Change happens when we allow ourselves to acknowledge the progress we're making no matter how small it may seem. For me, I managed to drink green juice first thing even though my body was screaming for coffee. This is a small win for ME. Everyone has their own challenges so be sure to acknowledge when you used your willpower to push through a difficult moment.
9. MINIMIZE TEMPTATIONS AND STRESSORS. This may mean you don’t go out to dinner during your detox, or hang out with friends, parties, do things or go places you associate with food and alcohol or see that family member that just makes you crazy. Of course, we will have to carry out our daily responsibilities and commitments, but minimizing the amount of stress you endure during this time is key to successfully getting through the cleanse with ease and comfort. Do what you have to do, but lay low when you’re feeling especially vulnerable.
10. DON'T TORTURE YOURSELF. Allow yourself to have as much juice, smoothies, or soups until you feel satisfied. In liquid form, foods easily go through your digestive track so you don’t be afraid to load up. As you get through the cleanse, you’re appetite will diminish and you will begin feeling comfortable with the pangs of hunger. Remember, the goal is lasting change which doesn’t require or benefit from torturing yourself.
11. KEEP BUSY. Too much time relaxing can get you thinking about food. Instead, get engaged in a hobby you’ve been thinking about, or clean out your closets, or take classes or online workshops. Progress always facilitates the process and movement forward. A spiritual and emotional cleanse is every bit as important as the food cleanse. Work out, do yoga. Just get moving.
After successfully completing my Beauty Detox, I realized that doing a cleanse is not as hard as I thought. Most people I meet vastly underestimate their ability to “not eat”. That’s why my simple "liquid diet" provides a perfect solution for my fellow foodies. Our perception of difficult or challenging situations is almost ALWAYS what keeps us from trying. In exchange for missing a few chewed meals, you can experience a re-awakening of your mind body and soul. Some benefits you can look forward to:
Lessen mood swings
More frequent BM’s
Bring awareness to emotional eating habits
Practice mindful eating
Gain control over cravings and food addiction
Gain self –confidence and break through limiting beliefs
Better skin, hair and nails
Shed unwanted pounds
Reduce inflammation throughout the body, less aches and pains
More energy and vitality
Improve digestive health
So take a chance! What do you have to lose, other than a few pounds? Would love to hear about your journey.
Easy Probiotic Soup
Onion (Make sure to blend your onion before cooking so you activate all the enzymes that help fight free radicals.)
Raw Organic Butter, Ghee or Coconut Oil
This soup is essential to get you through your detox. It provides comfort and fullness because it’s warm and full of fiber. Quantities depend on how much you want to have on hand. Blend onion and garlic to activate enzymes and use as soup base. Steam veggies until al dente. Use more water or onion water to blend each veggies and throw into big pot. Once all the veggies are blended into a smooth puree, add butter, salt and other herbs and spices to taste. Store and enjoy!
Super Gut Healing Latte
Reishi Mushroom Coffee
1 tsp coconut oil
2 oz. almond or coconut creamer
Add ingredients to 8-12 oz of hot water, blend and enjoy.