Managing Toxic Body Burden Part 4: How to Cleanse

This is the final Toxic Body Burden Post! If you've missed parts 1-3 here are the links:

Part 1: Sources of Contamination, Part 2: How to Protect Yourself, Part 3: The Connection to Illness.

What kind of feelings come up for you when you think about putting your body through a cleanse or detox? You might feel hesitant and afraid of unpleasant symptoms such as headaches, increased and urgent bowel movements, and fatigue.

I'm with you 100%! I avoided doing a cleanse for YEARS because I was so fearful of how I would feel. Until I learned that it doesn't have to be unpleasant, you don't have to starve and be cranky, and you don't have to send your friends away.

Here's what I've learned about cleansing by following the Medical Medium protocol (I am in no way affiliated with Medical Medium, I am simply sharing my personal experience. I receive no compensation for sharing my positive results).

1. do not starve yourself-eat, eat eat!

It's true I've cut out many things such as meat and most of the fat I was eating, but I've added an incredible amount of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.

Actually, I'm pretty much just eating fruits and vegetables. And let me be the first to tell you as a former Paleo dieter, I never would have thought in a million years that eating only fruits and vegetables would satiate me. But they do, and I feel great. 

The trick is, to eat A LOT and often. I elaborate on this in number 4.

2. Allow your intuition to come through

No two people experience detox with exactly the same symptoms, for the exact same time period, or with the exact same intensity.

It's crucial that you listen to and learn the cues your body is giving you. Common symptoms of detox can be fatigue, increased bowel movements, headaches, skin reactions, and bloating. 

However, if these symptoms get to be too intense, back off what you're doing a little bit. Slow down the detox. Replace a raw food meal with a meal of cooked food. 

One of the most common intuitions is knowing what you want to eat (not cravings, see below). I'm talking about intuitive eating. When you're preparing your meal and you're searching the pantry and refrigerator, just using the ingredients that jump out at you. Or while shopping for fruits and veggies... which are jumping out at you? These will be the most nourishing to you at the moment because you're using your own intuition to feed yourself and give your body what it's asking for.

3. Know the difference between a craving and intuitive eating.

Now that you understand intuitive eating better, let's compare that to a craving. A craving is urgent. I will just die if I don't have such and such. Generally, a craving is something that's not very good for us. A savory, fatty, comfort food, something salty and crunchy, or a sweet, luscious, decadent dessert are usually what's calling our name. 

When you have that kind of craving while doing a cleanse, DO NOT GIVE IN! You're having the craving because those are the toxins associated with that food that is trying to exit your body. They're causing your body to crave it so it can stay and not be eliminated. But let me tell you, once you eliminate it, you will never have the craving again. Be strong. On the other side of that craving is less bloating, less water weight, and an increase in intuitive eating.

4. What to eat when cleansing

Fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, and wild foods. These are the '4 food groups' that Medical Medium discusses in Life Changing Foods. I noticed that when I changed my diet to incorporate more of these foods, I was cleansing in a healthy way. I'm not on a cleanse per se, nor is this book advertised as a cleanse. It's just a natural result of eating this way.

So what is recommended by Medical Medium to eat? 

Fruit: mango, papaya, bananas, apples, oranges, berries (especially wild blueberries, not cultivated), kiwi, pears, grapes, etc. 

Vegetables: GREENS and more greens (keep 'em varied), cruciferous veggies such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, sweet potatoes and potatoes (yes potatoes, just steam them and don't add any fat which keeps the liver from cleansing and the liver is ESSENTIAL to cleansing). 

Herbs and spices: parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, sage, turmeric, ginger, garlic, etc.

Wild foods: FRESH aloe vera (buy the big leaf in the produce section), dulse and other sea vegetables, chaga mushroom, raw honey, dandelion and nettle. 

This is a VERY abbreviated list of the possibilities there are to eat within these four groups. It doesn't sound like a lot of food, but believe me... there truly is!

Some have chosen to continue to eat beans, lentils, and some nuts and seeds while cleansing. Adding them will certainly slow down a cleanse, while eliminating them will speed up a cleanse. 

5. Smoothies and Juicing

Smoothies are a great way to have a snack while on a cleanse. You can add your desired superfood powders, add more greens in like spinach, and increase your fruit intake (especially those nutrient rich wild blueberries!).

Juicing is taking a cleanse one step further. Those really advanced with cleansing will sometimes do a 3 day juice fast- I have not yet got to that point! However, beginning with 6-8oz of a juice and working your way up to 16 oz of any juice is a great way to add juicing to your regimen. A mix of celery, cucumber, and apple is a nice juice for either novice or pro.

6. Raw vs Cooked

The more raw food included on a cleanse, the more cleansing can occur. The more cooked food, the slower the cleanse. Some days I'll eat raw all day and have a cooked dinner. There are a couple of days during the week when I'm feeling particularly good and I'll choose to have a raw dinner. Again, this can be based on intuitively what you're feeling. 

 

Does decreasing your toxic body burden seem more doable now? I certainly hope so. Providing your body with an increase in phytonutrients and enzymes will deeply nourish your body on a cellular level and aid your body's ability to remove toxic substances.

For more information, please contact me here.

To your health and healing,

Mandi

 
 

Managing Toxic Body Burden Part 3: The Connection to Illness

 
 

In Part 1: Managing Toxic Body Burden, we talked about where these toxins are lurking and in Part 2: How to Protect Yourself, we talked about steps you can take to protect you and your family from the most common exposures. 

Now we dive into the 'why'. Why try to protect yourself? Why worry about what's in our air, water, and food? Why concern ourselves when toxins are everywhere and it seems there's little we can do about it?

Because being informed and taking the proper steps could save you from diseases known to be associated with environmental toxins.  

This article is a short compilation of research and excerpts from experts I have accumulated and found to be informative and helpful.

Which Illnesses are Toxic Chemicals Connected to?

"Toxic body burden, or having a high load of these toxic chemicals are linked to cancer, respiratory diseases (asthma), neurological diseases (Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis), endocrine problems (thyroid), diabetes, and obesity.

"There does appear to be links between environmental toxins and glandular health. Many environmental toxins are endocrine disruptors to name a few phthalates, parabens and BPA which are found in personal beauty products, cleaning products, fragrance and plastics."  

Melissa Young, MD via myclevelandclinic.org

And According to Alternative-Doctor.com, Toxic Body Burden has been linked to: heart disease (the #1 killer in the world), cancer (the #2 killer in the world), autoimmune disease, metabolic syndrome, neurodegenerative diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, autism, behavioral disorders, allergies, and severe hormone imbalance. 

Which Illnesses are Heavy Metals Connected to?

"Many metals are used in the body as essential components of enzymes and other biological molecules. These metals are required in trace amounts, but when present in larger quantities, they can cause severe toxicity by impairing the immune system, impacting hormonal function and disturbing other important biological processes." Antonio Jimenez, M.D., N.D., C.N.C. via Hope4Cancer.org.

"Prolonged exposure to these elements, including arsenic, nickel, lead, and cadmium, has been associated with various diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diseases." [PubMed]

How Many Chemicals are Lurking in our bodies and in What Amounts?

Body Burden: Findings and Recommendations from the EWG tested 9 individuals for chemical toxins that are linked to cause cancer, autoimmune disease, birth defects, autism & ADHD.

"In total, the nine subjects carried:

  • 76 chemicals linked to cancer in humans or animals (average of 53),
  • 94 chemicals that are toxic to the brain and nervous system (average of 62),
  • 86 chemicals that interfere with the hormone system (average of 58),
  • 79 chemicals associated with birth defects or abnormal development (average of 55),
  • 77 chemicals toxic to the reproductive system (average of 55), and
  • 77 chemicals toxic to the immune system (average of 53)."

Here are the 7 chemical groups they found in the 9 subjects. There are 167 total compounds in each of these groups and an average of 91 per person. (from TABLE 2)

  • PCBs
  • Dioxins and Furans
  • Organophosphate pesticide metabolites
  • Organochlorine pesticide metabolites
  • Phlalates
  • Other semivolatile and volatile chemicals (24 classes)
  • Metals

From the same EWG article, "Toxic effects do not require high doses.

"Hundreds of studies in the peer-reviewed literature show that adverse health effects from low dose exposures are occurring in the population, caused by unavoidable contamination with PCBs, DDT, dioxin, mercury, lead, toxic air pollutants, and other chemicals.

"The health effects scientists have linked to chemical exposures in the general population include premature death, asthma, cancer, chronic bronchitis, permanent decrements in IQ and declines in other measures of brain function, premature birth, respiratory tract infection, heart disease, and permanent decrements in lung capacity.

(EPA 1996, EPA 2000, Gauderman, et al. 2002, Jacobson and Jacobson 2002, Jacobson, et al. 2002, Kopp, et al. 2000, Longnecker, et al. 2001, NAS 2000, NTP 2002, Pope, et al. 2002, Salonen, et al. 1995, Sydbom, et al. 2001)."

Directly from the Environmental Working Group Body Burden: Findings and RecommendationsCheck out the full article for more information. 

It's safe to say that these chemicals and metals all around our environment are a big contributor to disease and chronic illness, but, that doesn't mean we're powerless against them. By knowing where they're coming from (see Part 1: Sources of Contamination) and steps to take to avoid them (see Part 2: How to Protect Yourself) we can arm ourselves against chronic illness.

In Part 4 of Toxic Body Burden: How to Cleanse, we finally discuss how to safely cleanse and detox!

Click here to schedule a FREE 30 minute consult and learn how health coaching can help toxic body burden.

To your health and healing, 

Mandi

 
 

4 Simple Ways to Nourish Yourself this Summer

 
 

I love each and every season because each one allows us to tap in to its unique energy. In Chinese Medicine, Summer is the element of fire and it's associated with the heart and the small intestine. It's about growth, expansion, and the best time to nourish the spirit. The emotion is joy, the sound is laughter.

While spring is about new beginnings taking in the new, summer allows us to assimilate this newness (like the small intestine assimilates nutrients). 

Here are 4 ways to nourish yourself this summer!

1. EAT FRUIT!

It's the most yang time of the year with the most sunlight and warmth. Summer is the best time of year to indulge in fruit because it's both hydrating and cooling. 

Make fruit smoothies with bananas, frozen mango and berries. Enjoy half a melon for breakfast or a bowl of nectarines, peaches, and berries for a cooling afternoon snack. 

I don't subscribe to the school of thought that fruit has too much sugar. There's plenty of water and fiber in fruit to make up for it. Fruit is THE best source for phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-cancer properties. I felt amazing (and my skin improved) when I increased my fruit consumption.

2. ENJOY THE SUN!

My dogs always seek out the sunbeam on the floor when they're inside. Sometimes I let them outside and Daisy will just plop down on the sunniest part of the yard (even if it's just dirt!). Dogs instinctively know the benefits the sun brings.

The best time of day to spend time in the sun is morning or late afternoon... when you can still feel the warmth on your skin, but it's not burning you. Spend 10-20 minutes with your eyes closed and feel the warmth and joy penetrating your skin. 

My mood is always better when I've sunbathe regularly (safely of course).

3. DO WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY!

Although it's always nourishing to the spirit to do what brings you joy, this is the time of year where the fire energy of summer allows joy to flow easier, deeper, and last longer. The heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element in Chinese Medicine. 

Where do you find yourself being naturally creative? Who are you with when you smile and laugh the most? What makes you feel zest and passion in your life?

4. HEAL EMOTIONAL WOUNDS

When the heart and spirit are free, the mind is free. When the mind is free, you open yourself up to new ideas, new habits, and new ways of being in the world. This can also improve sleep!

Validating your feelings- whether it's in a journal or talking to a friend or professional- allows the wound to come to the surface. Sometimes we keep them buried down which will only hurt us more in the long run. 

Once the emotional wounds are surfaced, many times they go away on their own. Other times, they may require action on your part such as a purging exercise of free writing and burning, reaching out and apologizing to a loved one, or simply prayer or meditation.

 

Apply these 4 things to your life this summer and no doubt you will feel more in touch with your spirit, and the joy and warmth summer brings. 

 

To your health and healing,

Mandi