Why We Need to Detox!
Our modern world is rapidly becoming ever more toxic than the generation before. Our constant need to live in a modern world with all the mod cons and conveniences that give us what we think we need, is resulting in an over polluted environment and toxic lifestyle. The toll on our health is likewise becoming increasingly serious. We have become accustomed to an increase in chronic health conditions that are medicated with drugs that do nothing to promote or restore health. This is not how we were meant to live.
We can fight back and take charge of our health by being selective in what we eat and how we live. We have a choice and by being aware and responsible for the treatment of our health and our environment we can live a better life, free of chronic disease and degenerative ageing.
A while ago I was given a book by a friend called ‘Detoxify for LIFE’. It was the book that prompted me to start this program. The book talked about the body’s ‘toxic load’ and that this process is often the tipping point of where most health conditions begin. When our cells are exposed to toxic influences, they can resist up to a point, but when they lose their tolerance and begin to fail, a shift or tilt occurs.
For most of us, our toxic burden grows slowly over decades by way of exposure to substances and stressors that we are exposed to. Research is now showing that this burden may be passed on to a developing baby in the womb and carried for up to 3 generations. That’s a lot of toxins to be carrying around. When our bodies can no longer manage the burden we reach the tipping point (this will vary for everyone based on genetics, stress levels and nutritional health) and the resultant imbalance causes a sudden descent into ill health. I am sure you know someone or have even experienced this yourself. We often have no control of these situations but I can assure you that you will cope better if you have a good foundation of healthy living.
I have experienced this myself over the past 12 months and know that if I had not had a good foundation of nutrition and lifestyle practice in place that I would not have been able to function at the level I have been able to.
So now we have set the scene, let’s get started with how and what we need to nourish our systems and support our body’s detoxification process.
This week we are all about keeping our diet clean and green. I want to promote the use of using fresh herbs into your diet and hopefully you will continue with this habit. I purchased a bunch of fresh herbs on the weekend and made up my herb tub for the coming weeks of recipes and green drinks. This means I can go out to my garden every morning and collect what I need to add to my morning blend as well as my drink bottle for the day.
I suggest that everyone start a food diary this week so you can keep up with what worked and did not. Please feel free to write in your manuals, alter recipes and keep a record of what you do so you can look back at the end of the program.
Week 1 Lessons
I don’t suppose you thought you had to any work but if we want to change we need to put our goals down in writing.
Ask yourself what does eating clean mean for you?
Write down 5 key food aims you would like to change or achieve during this program.
Keep a daily food diary for each week. These are located in the back of your manual.
Take note of the time of day you need to watch yourself looking for a treat or sweet and notice how you feel. Ask yourself if you have gone more than 4 hours without a meal, have missed your water intake or are feeling tired, fatigue, stressed or emotional? Note this in your journal. We cannot change unless we know what we need to change.
Note down any changes to your digestive system this week. How are your bowels moving? Are you less bloated or has your appetite changed? Do you have more energy? Even though we are only doing a gentle cleanse this week you may notice your body gently detoxing.
The Importance of Hydration
The body consists of a high volume of fluid that needs to be topped up on a daily basis. So many of us overlook the value and importance of maintaining our body’s fluid balance that is needed to run cellular systems, metabolism and mental function. Symptoms of dehydration include; fatigue, headaches, brain fog, constipation, weight gain as well as muscle aches and pains. We need a certain level of fluid intake every day to just the body functioning as indicated by the following;
Water is needed to promote weight loss by increasing thermogenesis.
It helps our digestive system by supplying nutrients and structure to mucosal tissue.
It hydrates muscle tissues that increase fat burning
Helps to move waste products from our system and flush toxins from the body
Aids liver function.
Promotes mental clarity and cognitive function.
Aim for minimum of 1 to 2 litres per day.
Have an extra glass of filtered water for every cup of coffee or glass of alcohol you have on top of your minimum quota.
Add fresh herbs such as mint, lemon balm, basil or fresh lemon or lime to your water jug to help the cleansing process. Also makes it more enjoyable to drink. Fresh herbs are nature’s gift to us all. They are full of antioxidants that help reduce toxic accumulation, support digestion and ward of disease.
Avoid carbonated drinks such as soft drinks as they leach minerals from your bones and increase your body’s acidic environment.
Coffee reduces hydration levels in body so ensure you limit your intake to 1-2 maximum a day. Always have some food before coffee to prevent water loss and extra stress on your Adrenals.
The Importance of Fibre!
Fibre plays a vital role in maintaining good health that cannot be filled by any other substance in our diet. Fibre can be divided into 2 classes, each with a different role that is essential to our long term health. This includes both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Taken together they are included in your total dietary fibre intake. The recommended intake of dietary fibres varies between 35-50g a day. In most western diets (the worst of all cultures) people usually eat between 8-10gs per day.
Fibre is essential for our gut and bowel health as it feeds Short Chain Fatty Acids (precursor to bacteria that maintain B vitamin production and neurotransmitters that aid mental health, up take excess hormone and cholesterol from the body and prevent its reabsorption, remove toxic waste and promote fat burning). No wonder we are seeing some many issues with obesity, hormonal cancers, bowel cancer and mental health issues.
Fibre intake has also been shown to help control diabetes by controlling the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood stream, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. Unlike simple sugars, fats and protein in our diet, fibre is the part of our food intake from plant sources that we are unable to digest. Fibre does not produce energy or build muscle or body tissues, it passes through to the large intestine virtually unchanged.
Good Sources Include
Soluble Fibre – unprocessed oats, apples, pears, beans, zucchini, broccoli & leafy greens, carrots, sweet potato, potato and onion.
Insoluble Fibre – whole grains (these include corn, wheat, rice) and psyllium. Whole grains are usually consumed in abundance in the western diet due to processing that removes most of the fibre and nutrients. My best choice is Brown rice that contains lots of minerals; potassium, iodine and is very high in fibre. Both brown rice and psyllium help sweep accumulated toxins and waste from the bowel.
This week’s bonus recipe pack will include some great ways to add these foods to your program.
10 Top Foods To Avoid
Anticaking agents used to stop salt or powdered food from caking or sticking, antifoaming agents, glazing agents, bleach flour and humectant agents. Often contribute to allergies, rashes and other problems.
Antibiotics used by commercial farming to prevent disease in animal stock. These often accumulate into our food stocks and then we eat them. No wonder we are having a world-wide problem with antibiotic resistance.
Emulsifiers used to bind unblendable substances such as oil and water together. (E.g. Homogenised milk), SSL used to help retain moisture in food items, commonly found in bakery goods, desserts and chewing gum. These accumulate in our body as we cannot eliminate these chemical additives.
Food acids used to make food taste flavours sharper. Citric acids are one such example. They can damage tooth enamel and cause diarrhoea, also linked to kidney stones.
Food colours are added to food to enhance appearance. Colour retention agents are used to preserve food’s existing colour. Artificial colours are all highly processed and are often derived from insects that have been processed in ammonia. Give these a miss.
Food enhancers are used to give food a particular taste and smell. Artificial sources can include crude oil and coal tar. YUK!
Functional ingredients are added to a food to create a new product with an added function such as ‘added vitamin C’, fortified folate, and synthetic vitamins. Anything that has been fortified with supplements has undergone a lot of processing, which destroys the natural nutrients and creates by-products.
Sweeteners are used instead of sugar. They are often highly processed and include; aspartame, sucralose, neotame, cyclamates and saccharin. They have been associated with neurological damage as well as toxic nerve damage. Alternatives that are safe to use is stevia leaf, a naturally sourced sweetener.
Preservatives are now used in all processed foods. Traditional foods were preserved by using salt, rosemary extract, sugar, vinegar, alcohol or by pickling, smoking and fermenting. Food manufacturers take the easy way by using chemicals that unfortunately are associated with many skin and allergic reactions.
Thickeners are additives derived from starches, vegetable gums, pectin or synthetic chemicals. They are used to increase viscosity of food as well as stabilising and emulsifying ingredients. Large quantities can inhibit the absorption of essential nutrients from food and also cause stomach upsets.