Detox is vital in this toxic world. For so many years as a health coach I focused simply on digestion because I do believe that good digestion leads to a healthy life. But then one day the light went off in my head. I realized that to have good digestion, you must be detoxing properly.
You see, detox is a natural step toward a better digestion. Good digestion leads to less inflammation, and less inflammation leads to less disease in this world. Let me say it again, decrease the inflammation and prevent disease.
If this is true and disease begins in the gut, aka your digestive system, then having a healthy and strong digestion is key.
But let me share a secret with you - when the body is toxic, your digestive system is weak.
So even if you eat “clean” and only buy organic and hormone-free foods, you are still breathing toxicity in this world.
We live, eat and breathe toxicity every day. Look around your home and think of the paint on the walls, the rugs, the pesticides sprayed on your green grass, the exterminator to get rid of the bugs. Even if you are chemical-free in your home, is your chemical makeup free?
Even if you are doing your best to live a chemical-free life, we are still alive, and that means eating, breathing, and sleeping in a toxic environment.
Unless you feel that are ready to live in a bubble or a hyperbaric chamber, then it is time to wake up to what I call daily detox.
Now detox is not a curse word or anything to be scared about. Instead, it is exciting to think about your body and cells actually functioning. In our body, the biotransformation processes are key to keeping us healthy and our immune systems functioning at their peak.
When people hear of detox speak, they jump to thinking that they will have to be living on juices, or water only, or only smoothies, salad and soup. Worse yet, people think that you do not need to detox because our body does this already - however the truth is that we live in such a toxic world that our biotransformation systems do not function optimally. When we are toxic, our body cannot perform its job. The body cannot metabolize properly, biotransform properly, absorb nutrients and minerals, or even stay hydrated.
It is a vicious cycle. Detox in the dietary sense is about lessening the toxic load in your body. As I say, “taking out the trash.” This helps the natural biotransformation processes work better which cascades to better overall system functioning. The detoxification process is necessary to be healthy, happy and free of disease. We all have some low-level inflammation because again we breathe, but even more so we stress in this busy world.
Every time you stress you create acid in your body. Your body is then forced to pull minerals to buffer the acid waste. The liver, lymph and kidneys begin to work hard to filter out the toxic load.
But what happens when the body is tired and clogged? When your digestive system is not working and cannot break down these foods, it cannot focus on getting RID of TOXINS. That means you cannot get rid of bloat and fat and skin breakouts and all that jazz that keeps you tired.
What is the cascading effect of a poorly functioning biotransformation process?
By detoxing you will improve digestion and free your body of inflammation and toxins in the process.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to stay healthy and detox naturally:
Want to learn more?
Your gut, aka "inside your belly", has been proven to be your bodies literal "second brain". For years, the medical world has been trying to figure out what causes our moods to change and what causes common problems that most of us face like stress, anxiety, and even depression. These are common problems, and we know they are linked to serotonin, but did you know that 95% of serotonin isn't even produced in the brain? Serotonin is actually produced in the gut.
What we put inside of our bellies is directly related to our emotional health. Our gut consists of bacteria and we need that bacteria to have a healthy balance or the rest of us will not be balanced including our mood. Your gut and your brain work together, so if one is out of balance the other will be also. Have you ever had an upset stomach because your mind was stressed?
Well, think about it, if it works one way it works both ways. There have been many scientific studies that have linked mood problems to gut problems and vice versa.
Is your gut balanced with 85% good bacteria and 15% bad bacteria? That is the recipe for a healthy gut and a healthy mood. The best way to make sure your body has healthy bacteria for your gut is to feed your gut healthy bacteria. Some symptoms of an unhealthy gut include gas, bloating, nausea, sugar cravings, and more. The best way to make sure that your gut is getting the healthy nourishment it needs is through probiotics. Probiotics can be in pill form, or you can get them right through your diet. Excellent sources of probiotics include kefir and fermented or cultured foods and beverages.
Keeping a healthy gut in check will help you to digest food properly, absorb vital nutrients, and maintain a healthy state of mind aka your mood.
I am sure at one time or another we have all found ourselves on the drive thru line, starving, and craving some food that will provide a solution to that crazy grumbling sound in our bellies. So, we go for something quick and fast.
It also doesn't help that each town has at least one or more fast food joints to offer some quick (yet unhealthy) options for us. How do we avoid this? How can we avoid being that hungry, craving, cranky, and in a need of a fast fix person who has lost all control for healthy determination? How do we stop the hanger? Easy!
The real fast food, before corporations built these multi-million dollar unhealthy options for us, was good old-fashioned fruits and veggies.
Fruits and veggies should always be the number one option, and they are sold everywhere we turn now days, even gas stations. So, if it is about convenience then we need to prepare ahead of time. If we pack snacks and quick foods to go in our purse or brief case then we will always have a fast food option that aligns with having a healthy determination.
I suggest packing apples, bananas, oranges, and even some healthy homemade trail mix! Trail mix is my favorite go-to snack when I'm on the go. I put some nuts, seeds, raisins, coconut flakes, and dried fruit like cranberries in a little Ziploc back or plastic Tupperware container. It is always there and it doesn't fail me. It also quick to prepare and if I make a bunch of it I can take little servings for a couple days so it lasts.
The best way to avoid fast food joints while on the go is to always make sure you have a fast food option in your purse.
Feeling like your digestion is making too much noise? Gurgle. Gurgle.
The last few months I have been working a lot and often that leads to a stressed me. This means my digestion can get wonky. I know what you might be thinking - that I’m a health coach, and I have this all figured out - but I am human too. In my practice, I teach people how to listen to their body and what to do when they feel wonky too.
For me, I get dry skin and start to have belly bloat. So many of my clients say they have belly bloat even when they do not eat, something that is actually not uncommon for people with digestive issues.
Stress inflames the intestinal lining and disrupts the good balance of bacteria in the gut.
This is what happened to me. It was time to restore and rebuild on the quick.
Feel like you are passing gas too much?
Feel exhausted for no reason?
Time to rebuild and restore your gut health with this smoothie!
Every time I am feeling off, I keep it simple: smoothies, juices, and easy-to-digest soups.
The Healthy Digestion Smoothie
● 1/2 cup pineapple
● 1/4 green apple
● 1/2 cup water
● 1/2 cup coconut water
● 1/2 fresh kiwi
● 1/2 cucumber
● 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
● 1 probiotic, (I live Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Colon Care)
● 2 ounces of Aloe Vera Juice
● Dash of cinnamon
● Juice of one lemon
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix).
For more gut healing, hormone balancing information about my Summer Detox starting June 20th, please go to http://www.shinetotalhealth.com/seasonal-clean-eating-detox.html for information on joining the program!
The health challenge for May will be my favorite one yet - MOVEMENT!
The key is to start where you are at. If you are going from complete inactivity then a good place to engage in the challenge will be to follow the activities posted on the calendar below as well as aim to get 1,000 steps more every day than you typically do.
I use an activity tracker such as the Garmin Vivioactive or Fitbit Charge to track my steps, but on a budget a good pedometer will work just fine!
If you are already moving well throughout the day and have no challenge in aiming for an additional 1,000 steps each day, then commit to the #MoveItMay 100 miles challenge, where you walk, run, or jog enough steps to add up to 100 miles this month!
I will be posting my progress daily on the Facebook Group, which is free for you and provides monthly challenges such as this to help keep you engaged and motivated all year long!
I invite you to join in the group and participate as well as community helps with accountability, and that may be what you are missing in achieving your health and fitness goals.
functional nutritionist, health coach, and lighter of paths.