Our body is built to eliminate, cleanse, and detox. What happens is we are overwhelmed by environmental toxins, which includes those from the air, water, food, surroundings and stress.
Occasional cleanses can help alleviate the burden our lifestyle places on our organs and pathways of detoxification. Studies have also shown the regenerative benefits of fasts. Ideally we make lifestyle changes to avoid detox-retox cycles.
For a 360 detox, we look at diet, emotional intelligence, environmental wellness, movement, liver support, and digital detox for a full cleanse.
Choose a diet of whole foods that are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Anthony Williams, the Medical Medium, is big on fruits and vegetables. (Read his books about the Fruit Fear and why fruits are vital to our wellbeing). Here are some foods to include – broccoli, brussels sprouts, green leafy veggies, blueberries, garlic, and onion. Wondering about goitrogens? Here’s an informative article on goitrogens by Dr Alan Christianson.
This is an ongoing conversation. Buying only organic is not feasible for many people for many reasons, especially when you live in a place where most of the food items are imported. To minimize your exposure to pesticides and other unhealthy -cides (plus the exposure to farmers and for our environment), you can make better choices using the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists by EWG which updates them each year. Here are the 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists. I personally use these lists and also anything that I eat often I choose organic.
Mercury is a concern so while fish can be healthy for you, the general recommendation these days is to go for smaller or cold water fish. Best to go for wild, over farmed fish.
The bigger our emotional vocabulary is the more intimate and aware we are of how we feel. Emotions are potent messages and listening to them can open worlds for us. Suppressing our emotions, on the other hand, can lead to imbalance in our organs and vice versa. According to eastern practice, the liver, our big detox organ, corresponds to anger. This means that an imbalanced liver can increase a person’s irritability and anger, and unhealthy and excessive anger can weaken the liver.
Take a moment to think how you deal with your anger? What do you do when you feel affronted or violated?
We are now being told that there is plastic in our water! And our oceans are highly polluted by plastics, endangering marine life. Yikes. Replace plastics with stainless steel and glass. Bring along your own containers for any takeaway food, including glass straws for your drinks and mugs for your coffee. Reconsider all our single-use items.
Reduce sources of off-gassing (new furniture especially of certain materials and chemicals), mould, sound pollution … Dr Taylor Bean recommends “lose that vinyl curtain.” Opt for a fabric one.
Other tips include managing humidity with a dehumidifier, cleaning the air with an air filter (not perfume and synthetic essential oils), creating a restful sanctuary at home, choosing hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpet, making more sustainable and regenerative consumer choices, and remembering that environmental wellness is both part of and a reflection of our individual health.
Your Home and Personal Products
Years ago, while I was an adoptions volunteer at a dog shelter, one of the adopters wanted to return their dog citing allergies. It turned out that the dog was transferring housecleaning product residue onto the new owner’s face when they were cuddling.
What do you use to clean your house? Vinegar and baking soda can do so much for your home. You know exactly what is in your cleaning solution and it is very affordable too! Good for your home, you, your loved ones, and the environment.
Check on EWG.org to see how clean your products are.
Spring clean your personal products. We are spoiled for choices now when it comes to skincare, makeup, and other personal products. Some brands you may look into – for makeup – rmc, ilia beauty, Lily Lolo, 100% Pure, Alima; for skincare Osmia, Pai, Tata Harper, Odacité, Dr Alkaitis, Uliva, OSEA…Many people also swear by using only coconut oil for their skincare, apple cider for their hair, and essential oils as deodorant.
We say movement since exercise which conjures up the gym and regimentation may turn a few people off. It is really movement that matters. Walking remains one of the best forms. Moving, especially anything that supports lymphatic drainage, helps as does sweating. Have you tried a rebounder? An infrared sauna or hot stone sauna can get us sweating, for good.
The liver is one of the major organs of elimination. Healthy liver function is essential to our overall health as well. We can burden the liver with fatty foods, as well as chronic states of repressed anger.
There are many ways to support your liver, through food, herbs, anger “management”, and more. Perhaps the most common recommendations are lemon, milk thistle, dandelion root, and artichoke. Others include fennel, schizandra, turmeric, and peppermint.
Donna Gates suggests artichoke extract which increases bile, detoxifies the liver, and normalizes liver metabolism, sarsaparilla extract which is a blood purifier and tonic, and wasabi.1
According to Medical Medium’s book Life-Changing Foods, “burdock root is a force of nature to rehabilitate the liver. Fifty times more grounding than any other root vegetable, burdock reestablishes the liver’s grounding mechanism, which in turn restrengthens and revitalizes the liver so it can push off pathogens.”
He goes on to describe Burdock’s benefits :
- phytochemicals reduce cysts and repair adhesions in the liver
- cleanse liver lobules
- remove toxic hormones from plastics, metals, herbicides, etc
- enhance white blood cells
- enzymes and amino acids detoxify heavy metals
Have you wondered why after a massage, you are given warm water or ginger tea? A massage is detoxifying and this liquid helps the process. Anthony Williams suggests having a cup of burdock root tea or burdock root soup to boost lymphatic drainage.
A recipe that I particularly enjoy is boiling burdock root, turmeric, and ginger root and drinking as a tea.
Life-Changing Foods includes many suggestions to heal a sluggish and fatty liver. These includes berries (wild is the best), apples, cherries, cranberries (“one of the most powerful liver cleansers on earth”), dates, and figs.
In What Are Toxin Binders2, Julie Donaldson talks about how binders can help eliminate toxins from the body. While our bodies are built to detox, the overwhelming levels of toxins means that many are simply recirculated, placing additional demand on the liver and diverting energy from other functions, rather than being eliminated. Binders are basically magnets that draw toxins to them and take them out of the body.
The binders Julie speaks about are zeolite, chlorella, modified citrus pectin, activated charcoal, humic/fulvic acids, and silica. Having high-quality sources is important and there are a few considerations when choosing your binder, so please do speak with your wellness practitioner, such as holistic nutritionist Julie Bolduc who speaks about supplements here.
|Zeolite||mould, mycotoxins, mercury|
|Chlorella||heavy metals, mycotoxins|
|Modified Citrus Pectin||lead (which can block the elimination of other metals)|
|Activated Charcoal||chemical toxins|
|Humic/Fulvic Acids||glyphosate detox|
Digital detox is important for our physical and emotional wellbeing. Cellular radiation, for example, is now believed to be connected to a slew of health concerns. The difficulty with this toxin is that it is invisible and the links are not so direct, especially given the complex environments we live in.
It is healthy digital-use habits, rather than the occasional digital detox, that we are advocating. Balancing analog and digital, convenience and health, self and community, go deeper into the philosophy of choices we make.
- wired over wireless (computers, keyboards, mouse, speakers, landlines etc)
- turn off wifi at night for a good night’s sleep
- use orgonites and other energetic devices
- download your movies, songs, etc and watch on airplane mode
- use the speaker on your phone, and place it away from you on the table (distance matters)
- use air tube earphones and minimize talking on the phone
- text over talk
- no blue light, wifi, cell phones in the bedroom – your bedroom is your sanctuary
- use apps and physical devices to block out the blue light and minimize working on laptops and watching movies on ipads/phones before bedtime
- make it a rule that cell phones are not used anywhere near a child, especially the head
- put your phone on airplane mode if your child plays games on it
- put some distance between you and your phone (so not in the shirt/pant pockets – or bras)
Social media is meant to connect us; rather, they disconnect us, making our world more and more virtual and more and more a bubble or silo. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s seen a table of people all looking at their own phone. I’m also guilty of (over)checking my phone while with company.
“Free wifi” may have been a selling point at one point. Perhaps “wifi-free” is what we should seek out. Committing to technology-free human-focused meals, meetings, and interactions help build relationships and community. Many people believe that depression is from disconnection. Perhaps we can re-evaluate our technology habits and how we connect with ourselves and other people.