Between the sugars, refined flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, chemical food additives, pesticides, and environmental pollutants we encounter, our cells are exposed to myriad toxins and inflammation triggers. The stress of modern life also places a tremendous burden on the organs of elimination, leaving pockets of waste in the colon, and stressing the liver, kidneys, and lymphatic system. From the effects of living in the modern world, our bodies can start to get pretty grubby on the inside.
At Chiropractic Balance we know that to get to the core of your health issues and eliminate pain, we may need to peel back multiple layers. For many of us with nagging aches, one of those layers can be toxicity of our digestive system & liver causing chronic inflammation and pain.
When the toxins can no longer be eliminated, they are stored as fat in various places in your body to be dealt with later. Unfortunately for many of us, later never comes and our excessive toxic fat storage may lead to inflammation in the body often showing up as achey joints and muscles, or issues with moods, skin, weight and digestion.
One way to deal with this is to periodically detox. What this means is spending a period of time minimising all or some of the toxins in your life. This gives your liver the space it needs to start processing the stored toxins again. Its similar to the idea of annually spring cleaning your house to get it back to its best self. Below are a few examples of detoxes and clean eating examples that we have personally experienced.
How do you detox & what happens?
1. Two-day weekend cleanse
- If you are new to detoxing, often starting with a weekend cleanse is ideal. Choose a weekend where you have minimal commitments.
- The day before, dramatically reduce the amount of caffeine, sugar, wheat, dairy, and alcohol, to lessen the likelihood of headaches and painful withdrawal symptoms during the weekend. Also eat light meals.
- On day one, start with gentle stretches or yoga and a glass of warm water and lemon juice to stimulate the bowels and cleanse the liver.
- Continue to drink at least one glass of water an hour.
- Have steamed vegetables for breakfast, a large salad for lunch and leftover salad, steamed vegetables and raw nuts for dinner.
- Make sure you make your own dressing with no toxins.
- Switch out coffee for green tea, and chamomile tea in the evening.
- Include restorative activities in your day such as gentle walking, reading, journaling, massage, visiting art museum, afternoon nap, listen to music, tai chi, dry brushing, having a bath in epsom salts.
- Go to bed early to get at least 8 hours sleep, this is when your body does the most cleansing.
- Repeat for day two.
- On your first day back, ease into it. You may feel tired and may be experiencing withdrawal symptoms. As a general rule, the more toxic the body is or the more years of poor habits accumulated, the more intense the detoxing symptoms may be. A temporary worsening (2-5 days) of your current symptoms is normal and occurs as the body eliminates the toxins accumulated.
2. Choose one toxin to eliminate for two days to two months
If you’ve ever tried reducing your intake of sugar, you’ll be very aware of just how difficult sugar is to cut cold turkey. Check out 6 tips for reducing sugar easily and gently to minimise the detox effect.
When you reduce your caffeine intake, you’re increasing the blood flow to your brain which makes your pain receptors more sensitive and causes the classic ‘caffeine headache’ you experience.
Alcohol is essentially a sugar. You’re not going to experience a detox effect from alcohol unless you are an alcoholic and you’ve built up a dependency on this substance. However its still great to give your liver periodic breaks from alcohol consumption. Check out how alcohol affects your health.
3. Seven-day basic detox
For a more guided approach, the BePure Detox 7 Day Basic Programme combines a diet made up of specific fats, proteins, nutrient dense vegetables and moderate amounts of fruits. The Detox Programme also includes supplements, thermogenic herbs and spices, cleansing diuretic beverages, and lifestyle factors that in combination are all designed to boost the metabolism, decrease water retention and promote detoxification through the liver, lymphatic system and kidneys.
The BePure Detox 7 Day Basic Programme includes:
- The Detox booklet that takes you step-by-step through the programme.
- Rice Protein Powder & Pysllium husks.
- 2 x bottles of unsweetened cranberry juice.
- 1 x 15 minute consultations with a BePure nutritionist, as well as email and phone support throughout the programme.
4. Twenty-one day reset
This guide is not a classic detox, it is 21 easy-to-follow steps to help you clean up your diet and make lifelong, positive changes.
5. Daily habits
Beyond doing a specific detox, there are also lots of natural ways to include detoxification in your regular habits:
- Eat lots of leafy greens & cruciferous vegetables: Eg. broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, silver-beet.
- Flaxseed oil helps flush oil-soluble toxins out of the body.
- Spices & herbs: Ginger, cayenne, mustard and cinnamon kick-start metabolism. Parsley, coriander, fennel, anise help to flush toxins from the body.
- Milk Thistle, Dandelion root & other bitters: Improve digestion and reduce toxin loads back-flowing to the liver.
- Drink lots of water, lemon water & periodic diluted unsweetened cranberry juice
- Use dry brushing and exfoliation: This stimulates the lymphatic system, one of the body’s primary detox mechanisms
- Bowel Movements: Make sure you are moving 30cm of faecal matter per day to ensure your body is clearing out toxins.
- Adequate daily nutrients: The majority of our population can benefit from a daily multi-nutrient and probiotic to assist our organs with the elimination of toxins.
- Move & stretch everyday: movement helps the lymphatic and bowel systems operate and is essential for toxin elimination.
- Get adjusted by a Chiropractor! If your spine is jammed up or out of balance it can effect the communication between your brain and organs, as well as limit the elimination that is assisted by movement.
If you’re not feeling well for any reason during a detox it is always best to check in with your GP.