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As we come to the end of the summer there are still plenty of wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables of the season, which makes it a perfect opportunity for an end of the summer detox. It seems that lately I’ve been talking with a lot of women about detoxifying their bodies.
I have found that by using nutritionally supportive cleanses, rather than fasting, you won’t have to worry about running out of energy or spending all their time near a bathroom. I think this is much safer than fasting and it eliminates blood sugar problems for many people who find that using the Master Cleanse and its many variations too restrictive.
Usually a nutritive cleanse can last from one to four weeks. Some people extend that further and live a ‘detox lifestyle.’ That is ideal, but for most of us it is simply not practical.
Here are some foods to incorporate into a nutritive cleanse:
Those who feel adventurous may want to combine these into a pesto by blending everything together in a food processor with organic extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. You can spice this up with the addition of cayenne pepper or a chili pepper of your choice. It is delicious on fish, eggs, chicken and also lentils. Try a dollop on soup.
Burdock is another natural detoxifier. If you are combing the aisles of the health food store looking at the many packaged detox products, look for teas or mixtures that contain burdock. Other herbal ingredients that can help with the cleansing process are dandelion root, cleavers, stinging nettle and lemon myrtle leaf.
Some people can be very sensitive to herbs, so use caution and go slow when introducing herbs. Be sure to enjoy plenty of pure, filtered water when cleansing your body to remove the toxins that are released from the liver. You don’t want these being re-circulated and re-absorbed into the bloodstream.
An ingredient to stay away from unless you have very ‘regular’ bowel elimination is clay. This is often found in packaged detoxification products. Many times these are labeled as cleansing products. They literally scrape the bowel clean. But if they get stuck due to dehydration or obstruction in the bowel, the problems can become very serious. Avoid these types of products unless under supervision from your health care practitioner.
To aid your cleanse, try some of the following therapies during your detox time:
• Lymphatic drainage massage
• Dry skin brushing
• Dry far infrared sauna
• Chiropractic care
• Steam bath
• Herbal mud wrap
• Mineral / Epsom salt baths
• Homeopathic drainage remedies for the liver, kidneys and lymph
Plan to enjoy plenty of rest while you detox. Pre-plan and shop for most of your food before starting your cleansing program. Here are some foods to include:
• Greens of all kinds
• Pasture-raised poultry and eggs (if not vegetarian or vegan)
• Wild-caught fish from non-polluted sources
• Organic vegetables that are mostly locally grown whenever possible
• Green tea and most herbal teas are fine unless you are sensitive to caffeine
I also suggest that you wash all your fruits and vegetables in a mild non-toxic cleaner before eating even if they are organic. They still pick up pollution from transportation and from handling. Personally I use Tough & Tender from Melaleuca: the Wellness Company.
Of course there are foods to eliminate or restrict while detoxifying your body. Here is a common sense list of foods to avoid while detoxing to get you started:
• Sugar-laden foods
• Refined, packaged foods
• Anything with preservatives (read the labels of any packaged foods)
• Wheat, soy, corn, grains in general (if vegetarian or vegan limit grains to organic quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and millet)
• Nuts and seeds unless you are vegetarian or vegan. Be sure they are organic and soaked.
When you have completed your detox program, slowly add back in foods that you have not been eating. Pay attention to your body and its signals. Some items may not be what your body wants. It will let you know. Bloating, gas, indigestion, rashes, itchy skin, and runny nose are all ways your body lets you know that it is having a reaction.
Pay attention to these signals and make changes to accommodate the newer, healthier body you now have.
To contact Sandi Thompson, NTP and Certified Wellness Coach, visit her website: http://solutionthroughnutrition.com/.
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