Toxic? I'm not toxic!

Well yes, actually, I am, and so are you. Sorry, but it's true. Toxicity is a natural product of living, breathing and eating. We take in toxins all day every day from the foods we eat, the air we breath and the water we drink. Our bodies have a built in detox system that eliminates toxins naturally, it's not something we have to think about or work at. Unfortunately, our modern lives expose us to way more toxicity than our bodies can handle. And to make matters worse, many of us have "elimination systems" that are functioning far below the optimal level, if you get my drift.

Our bodies eliminate toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin, or to be really blunt, through sweat, urine and poop. If your body does not eliminate efficiently you can develop a whole mess of health problems that range from mild (constipation and allergies) to life-threatening (cancer and autoimmunity).

So how do we help our bodies? Here are some suggestions based on my own detox program for rheumatoid arthritis. 

Breath deeply

Most of us breath inefficiently, focusing on the inhale rather than the exhale. It's the exhale that eliminates carbon dioxide. Yoga is a great way to learn to breath more deeply and efficiently, but you can practice better breathing anywhere, anytime. Simply direct your attention to your breath and slow it down a bit, then focus on exhaling for at least as long as you inhale, giving a little "push" at the end of your exhale. Do this for about 8 breaths.

Sweat

Without a doubt the most efficient way to sweat out toxins is by taking infrared saunas. When I was recovering from RA I took saunas three times a week for 30 minutes at a time. I was sure I would hate this, after all, I practically melt every summer in Texas, but I actually came to crave my saunas for the immediate benefits I felt. Exercise is another great way to eliminate toxins through sweat. Make sure you drink lots of water or coconut water (I adore ZICO) before, during and after a sauna so as not to become dehydrated.

Eat clean

Consume plenty of fiber-rich veggies, fruits and whole grains, and drink at least 2 quarts of filtered water daily. If you're not poopin' every day you're not eliminating enough toxins. If you have constipation consider drinking aloe juice in the morning and at night. Try George's Aloe Juice, it tastes like water, 1/2 cup morning and night. When things get really backed up, so to speak, you can use Senna Leaf tea, castor oil, or an herbal supplement from Nature's Life called Herbs and Prunes. For optimal wellness you have to keep things moving along. Don't let the junk sit in your trunk. 

Juice

And I mean that as a verb not a noun. Make juicing part of your daily routine, or go on a 2-3 day juice fast for more intense results. I juice every day, usually in the morning on an empty stomach, but an afternoon juice is a great pick-me-up too. A good juicer can be had for under $200. I have a Breville juicer that I love. 

Love your liver!

The largest organ in your body carries out many functions critical for health, one of which is metabolizing toxins. At the onset of my RA symptoms I was shocked to be told by both my acupuncturist and my rheumatologist that my liver function was off. To get my liver back on top of its game I follow an anti-inflammatory diet (as do my Culinary Wellness Program clients), I avoid caffeine and alcohol, I drink plenty of filtered water and green tea, I take saunas, I avoid all medications including over the counter meds, and I take a number of supplements and Chinese herbs.

or more info on how you can optimize your wellness, check out my Culinary Wellness Programs, or contact me.

Posted on May 23, 2013 .