Originally posted January 2019
January is an opportunity to “reset” for health and habits. December always brings excess sugar and flour, stress and craziness – happy crazy but crazy nonetheless. Smart eating, routines, and exercise go out the window. So how do I reset this first month of the year?
- From the inside: Detoxify my body and my family through renewed menu planning and cooking.
- On the outside: Detoxify my kitchen. Remove the candy, cookies, processed treats etc that crept into my pantry from Halloween to December. This “outside” detox, makes possible the inside detox and sets the playing field for healthy eating throughout the year
Though detox sounds like a trend, the human body has always had a miraculous capacity to detoxify and eliminate waste. But the explosion of processed and fast foods over the last century combined with environmental pollutants never before experienced by humans have made “detox” a necessary conscious choice rather than a natural process.
In a healthy body, the process of detoxification runs smoothly. But we’re exposed to a staggering amount of toxic chemicals in the air, water and our food (pesticides and herbicides). Add to that, from Halloween in October through New Year’s Day we pile on excessive sugar, white flour (same inflammatory effect as sugar) and stress.
When excessive toxins build up, our livers get overwhelmed; toxins remain active longer than our systems can handle. This impedes normal metabolism, causes fluid retention, bloat, and puffiness. As waste builds up, we get fat and sick. Did you know that most environmental chemicals like pesticides and plastics are stored in our fat tissue?[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”right” source_author=”Mark Hyman, MD” source_title=”10 Day Blood Sugar Solution” full_quote=”We are exposed to 6 million pounds of mercury and 2.5 billion pounds of other toxic chemicals each year. Very few have been tested for their long-term impact on human health. Mark Hyman, MD” short_quote=”We are exposed to 6 million pounds of mercury and 2.5 billion pounds of other toxic chemicals “]
Nearly every chronic disease is linked to toxicity, including food allergies, and digestive issues, dementia, heart disease, and autoimmune disease.
When our detoxification system becomes overloaded we start developing symptoms and get sick. It may take years of accumulated toxins and stress to get to that point, but why take the chance of chronic, possibly fatal disease?
So January rings a bell in my head to recommit to a healthy eating lifestyle. I know from experience that detoxifying makes me feel better, more vibrant, happy and full of energy. Adios fatigue, brain fog, headaches and lethargy!
Let’s reboot! Detox with simple, delicious foods.
How to Detoxify?
Focusing on plant-rich meals, high-quality protein and fats. These are foods not only detoxify our body but can reignite our metabolism and reduce inflammation.[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”left” source_author=”Michael Greger MD” source_title=”How to Not Die” full_quote=”70 to 80 percent of all major chronic diseases are lifestyle diseases, so the only way to treat them effectively, and even reverse them, is to change the lifestyles that led to them in the first place. Primarily that’s what we put in our mouth. The number one cause of death in the United States — and the number one cause of disability in the United States — is our diet. Cigarettes now only kill about a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet kills hundreds of thousands more. Food — what we eat three times a day — is killing more Americans than cigarettes. Michael Greger” short_quote=”The number one cause of death in the United States — and the number one cause of disability in the United States — is our diet. “]
I’ve posted many times about the importance of phytonutrients (natural chemicals in plants to for survive against pests and infection). These phytonutrients can help detoxify our bodies, strengthen our immune system and help us function better. Eating organic food provides higher concentrations of these protective detoxifying, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compounds.
So what to eat?
- Organic green tea in the morning instead of coffee (green tea boosts liver detoxification)
- At least 8 to 10 glasses of filtered water a day; prepared herbal detoxification teas are a nice option
- Avoid white sugar and white flour
- Eat detoxifying food: 8 to 10 servings of colorful produce daily, especially dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, arugula, Swiss Chard etc), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower), garlic, berries, celery, cilantro and rosemary
- Eat clean. Focus on organic produce and high-quality animal products to eliminate the toxins, hormones, and antibiotics in our food
- Lots of detoxifying and anti-inflammatory herbs and spice like turmeric, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, onion powder, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, paprika, and parsley – hello ethnic foods! …curry, chili, tagines…)
- Fast at least 12 – 14 hours from dinner to the first meal the next day
Eating smart enables important normal detoxification mechanisms. Fasting signals our immune system to discard old cells and waste, shifting our body into a mode of maintenance and repair.[su_expanding_quote_book alignment=”left” source_author=”Joel Fuhrman, MD” source_title=”How to Live” full_quote=”The body has detoxification mechanisms that are working all the time, both healthful eating and intermittent fasting accelerates those processes. Several-day juice “fasts” is one way to tap into the benefits of intermittent fasting and enhance removal of toxins from the body. The body enhances the removal of toxins when not digesting food and burning fatter for its energy needs. Our fat supply stores toxins, and when we lose body fat we release more toxic waste simultaneously. The body also needs adequate phytochemical and antioxidants for the liver to most effectively process fat-soluble toxins so they can be excreted via the urine. Fasting stimulates autophagy, an important self-repair process. Autophagy removes damaged components from cells and tissues.” short_quote=”The body has detoxification mechanisms that are working all the time, healthful eating and intermittent fasting accelerate those processes. “]
I layer it with homemade granola
Chili and Curry
For More Empowerment
Includes 10 Simple Steps to Enhance Detoxification