Everyday Detox Tips

Jul 23, 2015

photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Happy Friday from the Delaware beach!  I hope you’re getting some sun and surf, or finding delight in whatever way makes you happiest this season.

In the 5-element Chinese philosophy, mid-summer is the time that corresponds tojoy and kickin’ back; the spring planting is done and it’s not yet time for full-on harvest, so hopefully there’s some time to lay around in the hammock and get your flirt on.  Astrologically, the sun moved into Leo yesterday.  Leo – sign of the Lion — is ruled by the Sun, and represents creativity, play, children, and the opportunity to honor ourselves as the center of our own universe.

I’m reveling in my playful, extended working vacation (yay technology!), and looking forward to the decadent self-nurture of a summer detox in August.

Thank you so much to everyone who filled out my survey – the winner of the free consult has been notified!  I loved reading all your responses, and am so excited to create programs around the things you want to learn.

First stop: cleansing and detox diets.  A LOT of you asked about simple, every-day detox practices, so here you go!  Read on for simple tips to help your body remove toxins, and a few fun recipes.

For more in-depth information on the topic, including “what works and what’s hyped BS” (one of my favorite survey responses!), sign up for my free webinar called “5 Steps to Create Your Perfect Summer Detox.”  (Afterwards, consider joining me on my August detox – details revealed soon!)

If you prefer reading to webinar-ing, check out my book Cleansing & Detox Made Simple to walk your self through a sweet & gentle summer cleanse.

Why Bother Cleansing?

Curious about why this detox thing is even a thing?  Here’s an excerpt from my book, Cleansing & Detox Made Simple.  (BTW, I use the terms “detox” and “cleanse” interchangeably.)

Living in modern industrialized society, we take in toxins from the environment, such as exhaust fumes from passing traffic,pesticides from treated lawns or golf courses, and chemicalssuch as asbestos and lead paint.  We ingest foreign chemicals with our medications.  While medicines can heal many conditions, they are made up of combinations of chemicals made in a laboratory that our bodies have never encountered.  We also take in chemicals with our food – not only in the form of pesticides, but also in “foods” that aren’t really foods.  (I drank soda for breakfast in high school, shame!!)  Trans-fats, preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners are not substances found in nature; our bodies have not developed pathways to deal with them over the course of human history.  Our modern diets give us far more toxins than our bodies know what to do with.

Even if we live a pure and simple natural life, our bodies naturally produce toxins.  The process of creating energy from food results in waste products.

Without proper elimination, toxins can inflame our tissues and be absorbed into the bloodstream.  This can lead to brain-fog, exhaustion, hypersensitivity, premature aging, and many other symptoms.

Luckily, our bodies are well-designed to get rid of toxins!  We eliminate toxins through sneezing, through our hair, even through our exhalations.  The liver is the body’s main filter of toxins.  The colon eliminates toxins by passing stool.  Theskinclears toxins through sweat and eruptions such as rashes.  (This is well-known in Eastern cultures – my acupuncturist used to get very upset if I tried to dry up a zit!)  The kidneys excrete toxins through urination.  Our circulatory systems – blood and lymph – clear toxins by carrying them to organs of elimination.

Cleansing and detoxing help our organs and systems do their jobs without distraction.  A detox gives the body a chance to get on top of its to-do list, so to speak.  When our body systems are functioning optimally, we have energy, focus, glowing skin, and vibrant health!


Top Ten: Simple Everyday Detox Practices

Here’s another great survey response: “Is there a way to do this that doesn’t feel like a full time job in addition to my other full time job?”

Why yes, there is.

A detox does NOT have to be a huge involved break from real life.  You can support your body in its task of removing toxins one step at a time, with gentle practices that feel natural and sustainable.

Pick a few practices that make you feel expansive and happy.  Once they’ve become easy habit, pick another one.  No rush.

  1. Drink your water: 8+ glasses per day; feel free to add fresh lemon juice
  2. Eat dark leafy greens:dandelions, kale, collards, nettles, spinach, lettuces, raw or cooked
  3. Get some exercise: increase your heart rate and sweat a bit
  4. Choose a household product to replace with a natural, chemical-free version: detergent, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc
  5. Eat beets: they’re great for your liver, and so easy to roast or to grate and add into salad raw
  6. Raise your arms above your head: this supports your lymphatic system
  7. Choose honey, stevia, or molassesover sugar or artificial sweeteners
  8. Drink dandelion root tea: to support your liver
  9. Eat burdock root: to support skin and kidneys, see recipe below, or add burdock to your dandelion tea
  10. Increase your from-scratch home cooking: one more meal than you currently cook


Recipe: My Favorite Fresh Juice

I’m a newbie juicer, and am excited to learn more! Warning:  you will need a juicer to make juice.

½ carrot
½ celery stick
¼ beet
¼ apple
½ inch fresh ginger root

Add the ingredients to the juicer.  Drink the juice.  Feel free to dilute with water.  Fresh juice is so rich in enzymes, chlorophyll, and good energy.  It’s very low in fiber, however, so please use caution to maintain even blood sugar levels  when juicing.  Continue to eat healthy proteins, fats, and fiber-rich vegetables.
Recipe: Grated Beet Salad

Beets are a special support to the liver.  Juiced, roasted, or eaten raw, they are a wonderful thing to include in your cleanse.

Mix together:
½ cup fresh beetroot grated
dash of lemon juice
dash of olive oil
Recipe: Carrot-Burdock Strengthener

From Integrative Nutrition (Joshua Rosenthal)

The sweetness of the carrots and cooked onion balances the bitterness of the burdock.

1 large carrot
1 length of burdock root equal to the length of the carrot
1 onion
1 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil
filtered water
tamari or ume plum vinegar

Peel or scrub burdock, slice thinly on an angle.
Wash carrot, slice thinly on an angle.
Chop onion.
In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil or coconut oil.
Add carrots, burdock, and onion.  Cook until burdock is golden.
Add water to cover.
Simmer covered for 20-25 minutes until water is almost absorbed.
Splash with tamari or ume vinegar, simmer until liquid is completely absorbed.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Burdock root (Arctium lappa), also known as gobo, can often be found in Asian grocery stores, and less frequently in organic markets.

Roots are dark brown on the outside and shaped like skinny carrots.  They have a bitter taste with a bit of sweetness.

Burdock is an alterative,meaning it helps the body remove toxins.  Traditionally it’s used to help clear up skin challenges and is considered a “blood purifier” in Chinese medicine.