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Detox + Immune System | 0 Comments
So far in this series on detoxification, I’ve discussed cleansing foods, shared recipes to support detoxification and recommended holistic detoxification therapies. This series wouldn’t be complete, however, without a spiritual component, so in the final blog post in this series on cleansing and detoxification, I’m sharing tools to help you cleanse and detoxify your energy field.
Of course, when it comes to detoxifying and cleansing our bodies, we want to rid our bodies of any chemicals, metals, or other substances that are harmful to our health, but we also want to clear the environment that we live in of toxins and pollutants. One without the other just isn’t as effective or supportive of our overall health and wellbeing.
Each of our bodies contains 12 meridian systems and 7 chakra centers that form energetic pathways of communication between our organs and the cells of in our body. The fields of energy are not visible to us, but science has confirmed what Chinese medicine practitioners have known for centuries – these fields of energy exist and are what provide us with qi (pronounced chi), or life force.
It’s important to keep these energetic pathways clear so that our qi can flow freely through our bodies and all systems of communication remain intact.
In the same way that’s important to cleanse your body using food, supplements, and other therapies, it’s also important to cleanse and detoxify your energy field – all aspects of ourselves need to be clear of toxins in order for our bodies to function optimally.
Our energy fields can be negatively affected by many things, among them:
EMF or electromagnetic frequencies
We are exposed to these frequencies through our use of cell phones and Bluetooth devices – portable headphones, fitness watches, and sleep trackers. These devices emit electromagnetic frequencies that can interfere with our energetic pathways.
To counteract this:
- Eliminate any unnecessary devices that you are using to monitor your body. Instead, cleanse and detoxify your energy field by taking time to get to know your body and trusting that it can and will do the things it was designed to do.
- Minimize your cell phone usage and avoid placing it directly on your skin, when possible. Studies have shown that women who store their cell phones in their bra are more likely to develop breast cancer. Similarly, men who store their phone in their pants pockets are more likely to develop prostate and testicular cancers.
- Put your phone in another room when you sleep and turn off any wifi modems at night. Not only will this decrease your exposure to EMF and radiation, but it will also help you to sleep more peacefully.
Another way that our energetic field is contaminated is through our interactions with toxic people – people who are manipulative, judgemental, and generally, not supportive, caring, or interested in what’s important to you.
Cleanse and detoxify your energy field of these types of people and relationships by setting boundaries and making your wellbeing a priority. Move on from these types of relationships, or put a limit on the time you spend with these types of people.
For more on this topic, check out “Dodging Energy Vampires” by Christiane Northrup, M.D.
Negative Thought Patterns and Belief Systems
Our own thoughts and beliefs can be just as toxic as the words and actions of others since they tend to play all day long in our heads, consciously or unconsciously.
It’s important to be mindful of the thoughts you’re having and the way that you speak to yourself.
Often in my clinic, I see patients who are discouraged because they are ill or feel unable to reach their health goals. They call themselves names and berate themselves for not being able to lose weight, not feeling attractive…and say very hateful things about themselves.
If this sounds familiar, I encourage you to cleanse and detoxify your energy field with this exercise:
- Find a picture of yourself when you were a child, 5-6 years old and keep it in your wallet.
- When you start to beat yourself up for not being able to accomplish something or for not looking a certain way, take out that picture and look at it.
- Ask yourself: would I say these same things to this child?
- Remember, that child is you. Try to treat your adult self with the same care and compassion that you would treat a small child. Speak positively about yourself and your body as much as possible.
Unexpressed Anger and Resentment
Any emotions we don’t express and process get stored in the body. Anger and resentment, when not released, get stored in the liver and cause us to become ill.
This is something I’ve experienced personally. When I was going through a divorce five years ago, I had a lot of emotions that I suppressed because I was just trying to get through each day. After months of suppressing all of the anger, frustration, and resentment I felt toward my ex-husband and my previous relationship, I got really sick.
According to my lab work, my liver enzymes were elevated, but there was no explanation of why. My lab work was otherwise normal and there were no indications of other conditions or diseases.
The mystery of the situation prompted me to reflect and look within. What I discovered was a host of feelings that I needed to process and emotional wounds that I needed to heal.
Once I was able to work through these things, I began feeling better and eventually, my liver enzyme levels returned to normal.
It’s important for your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing to cleanse and detoxify your energy field by processing your emotions and giving yourself a means of expressing these emotions, like writing, singing, or moving your body.
As you can see, there’s so much more to detoxifying your body than just eating the right foods. It’s a process that requires cleansing on all levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Inspired by the changing of the seasons, I’ve been sharing my favorite tools for cleansing and detoxification. So far, I’ve shared some of my favorite holistic therapies and dietary recommendations to help you support your body’s natural detoxification processes.
To make these recommendations a little more accessible, I’m going to share five of my favorite recipes for cleansing and detoxification. They’re simple to prepare and are made from ingredients that can be found in most grocery stores.
I encourage you to get creative in the kitchen!
A few of these recipes for cleansing and detoxification are a product of my own kitchen experiments. I find some of my favorite meals are created this way!
Detoxifying Cabbage Slaw
- ½ medium head of red cabbage, shredded
- ½ medium head of white cabbage, shredded
- 1 bunch green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Add all of the vegetables, except the avocado, in a large bowl and toss to combine.
In a separate bowl combine the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Add the oil mixture to the vegetables and toss until all the vegetables are coated with the dressing. Serve with avocado slices.
- Cabbage is high in vitamin C and sulfur, which help to remove free radicals and uric acid from the body.
- Avocado contains healthy fats which help protect the liver and support absorption of fat-soluble nutrients in the body.
- Lemons help detoxify the liver and promote alkalinity in the body.
Detoxifying Roasted Cruciferous Veggie Bowl
- ½ lb brussel sprouts, halved
- ⅓ of a head of broccoli, cut into florets
- ⅓ of a head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 6 sprigs of asparagus, chopped
- 4 artichoke hearts, quartered
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, combine oil and mustard.
Place vegetables in a bowl and toss with oil mixture to coat. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 25-35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through and browned.
- Cruciferous vegetables, like brussel sprouts and broccoli, contain phytonutrients, plant-based compounds that may help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of developing cancer.
- Onions are high in the antioxidant quercetin, which has been shown to protect against many different types of cancer in the body and boost immune response.
It’s simple and unassuming, but this protein and fiber-rich dip is great for cleansing and detoxification if prepared with the right ingredients. Here is one of my favorite recipes.
Leave out the feta and be sure to purchase a can of BPA-free, organic garbanzo beans. You can boost the fiber by adding a Tablespoon of ground flax meal and enjoying your hummus with an assortment of chopped vegetables, like carrots and broccoli.
- Garbanzo beans contain iron, phosphate, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin k, which are all essential for maintaining bone structure and strength.
- Sesame seeds used to make tahini, a key ingredient in hummus, contain plant lignans which can help to naturally lower cholesterol and normalize blood pressure.
Detoxifying Beet Salad
Not only are beets delicious, but they are also one of the most supportive foods you can consume when cleansing and detoxifying the body.
All of the benefits below can be found here in my favorite detoxifying beet salad.
- Beets contain betaine, which helps the liver eliminate toxins.
- They also contain pectin, a fiber that helps flush toxins from the body that have been removed by the liver.
- Beets are also rich Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps support the health of your immune system.
The last recipe for cleansing and detoxification is…
Coconut Curried Chicken
For this recipe, use organic, free-range chicken and choose a curry powder that contains turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory spice. Enjoy it with sauteed artichoke hearts, chopped and steamed broccoli, and a handful of chopped parsley for added detoxification benefits.
- Coconut milk contains a beneficial fat, lauric acid – a medium chain fatty acid that is easily absorbed into the body and used for energy.
- This recipe also contains garlic which helps to protect the body against oxidative stress and cognitive illnesses, like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
These delicious recipes will help you get through a week of cleansing and detoxification without a hiccup.
Remember to choose organic produce as much as possible and purchase cruciferous vegetables grown in areas that are free from fracking to avoid introducing heavy metals, like thallium, into your body.
Now that you know how to properly cleanse your physical body, it’s time to learn how to cleanse your spirit and detoxify your energy field. I’ll be sharing all the details fn this process in the next post in this series on detoxification.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about detoxification.
The most common being that you have to force your body to detox using extreme measures. The opposite is true actually – your body detoxes naturally each and every day through breathing, sweating, and bowel movements.
While you don’t have to go to extreme measures for this to happen, it is helpful for your liver, kidneys, and gallbladder if you do what you can to support this process. The best way to do this is by using the following naturopathic detoxification therapies:
What you eat is really important for detoxification. It’s so important, in fact, that I wrote all about it in a separate blog post. You can get all the details for my naturopathic cleanse, here.
2. Colon Hydrotherapy
Colon hydrotherapy is the gentle cleansing of the colon with warm water. This is one of my favorite naturopathic detoxification therapies because it allows you to remove toxins, like encrusted fecal matter, gas, and mucus that may have been accumulating in the colon for years.
If you dive into this detoxification therapy a bit more, you may see information stating that colon hydrotherapy destroys gut flora. This information is false – you have trillions of flora in your colon and your body can and will replenish that flora. You can support your body in its effort by taking a high-quality probiotic after your colon hydrotherapy session.
I recommend getting a colonic once a month t keep your body clear of toxins.
During a cleansing period, I recommend taking the following supplements:
Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are especially important if you’ve been exposed to heavy metals or mold as they will absorb some of the toxins as they exit your body.
This is one of the naturopathic detoxification therapies that I mention most frequently. I love this therapy so much that I purchased a sauna for my home and use it 2-3 times each week.
That’s because saunas encourage sweating, which is very important for the body’s natural detoxification process.
Studies have found that our sweat contains 2-10 times more toxins than blood or urine. If we don’t sweat, these toxins get stored in our fat cells. This is why people who have more body fat tend to be more toxic, age faster, and have more chronic diseases.
When you sweat, you’re releasing all the toxins that have been stored in your fat cells – heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, parabens, and phthalates from beauty products, as well as solvents.
I recommend incorporating saunas into your health and wellness routine 2-3 times each week for 20 minutes, at a temperature of 120-130 degrees (or as tolerated) – you should be drenched by the time you walk out!
After you sauna, take 2 capsules of activated charcoal with 1 Tablespoon of food grade bentonite clay in water. Drinking this will help bind all the toxins in your body for safe removal.
5. Dry Skin Brushing
This is one of the simplest of the naturopathic detoxification therapies that I recommend to patients. It’s a great way to stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps your lymph nodes release toxins and infectious bacteria and viruses. It also helps to break up fatty tissue and remove excess water from your cells.
Not sure how to do it?
There’s a step by step tutorial here.
This is different from colon hydrotherapy and involves applying hot and cold water to your body in a shower, pool, jacuzzi, or under supervision in a clinic.
You can take advantage of the benefits of hydrotherapy in the comfort of your own home by spending 2 minutes in a hot shower, then switching to 30 seconds of cold water – repeat this cycle 3 times, ending with cold water.
This naturopathic detoxification therapy dilates and contracts the body, gently shocking your organs, so they are encouraged to begin the cleansing process and remove toxins from your body.
As I mentioned in the first blog post in this series on detoxification, I recommend cleansing at the start of each new season for optimal health and wellness. These naturopathic detoxification therapies are gentle and safe enough, however, to do on a regular basis to encourage vitality.
In the next blog post if this series, I’ll be revisiting the food component of detoxification with some of my favorite recipes. I can’t wait to share them with you!
Birds chirping, flowers blooming, warmer weather…spring is in the air. This time of renewal and new life is a great time for a gentle detox, which is why this month I’ll be sharing my naturopathic cleanse and recommendations for detoxification.
For many of us, a cleanse is something that we consider doing once or twice a year, and typically it involves several days of drinking green juices and watered down nut milks.
Psst…there’s a better way!
Detoxing is the process of removing toxins from your body. These toxins are damaging and contribute to symptoms like early aging, fatigue, headaches, chronic pain and infections, weight gain, and acne.
Your body detoxes naturally on a daily basis, but I recommend supporting this process and taking it to the next level four times each year – the change of the seasons offers a perfect opportunity to reset and start anew.
The naturopathic approach to seasonal detoxification is a week-long process that involves preparing and eating whole foods.
Here’s the breakdown:
For one week, remove all inflammatory foods from your diet. Including…
- Refined sugar
- Processed Foods
- Nightshades (like eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes)
- Beans, except garbanzo beans
During this time, consume foods that are less inflammatory, like:
- Green leafy vegetables sourced from non-fracking locations (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
- Healthy fats (avocado and olive oil only, no nuts or seeds)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Garbanzo Beans
It’s best to cook your own meals at this time, so you know what ingredients are going into your food.
For best results, you’ll want to eat veggies at least 3 times each day and drink lots of water with lemon or cranberry extract – this will help support the kidneys in detoxification. You can incorporate the other anti-inflammatory food into these meals as well.
It’s also a good idea to incorporate tea into your diet at this time. My favorites for detoxification are burdock, dandelion, and milk thistle. You can consume these in unlimited amounts.
Here’s a breakdown of how each day of the cleanse will look (using all of the recommendations above as a starting point)…
Days 1 + 2 of your naturopathic cleanse
For the first two days, remove animal protein from your diet. You can substitute with garbanzo beans or Bio-Transform smoothies twice a day to ensure proper protein intake.
Day 3 of your naturopathic cleanse
Have 4oz of organic turkey for lunch, in addition to green veggies, healthy fat, and lemon or cranberry water. You can also incorporate 1 Tablespoon of quinoa or buckwheat in a salad if your body can digest these without issue.
Day 4 of your naturopathic cleanse
Reintroduce organic chicken. You can also begin using avocado and/or coconut oil at this time.
Day 5 of your naturopathic cleanse
Reintroduce nightshades, like eggplant, white potatoes, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
In addition to shifting your diet for the week, you’ll also want to incorporate the following into your routine:
- Warm bath or Sauna for 20 minutes daily
- Skin Brushing (before your bath or sauna)
- Detox Plus, an antioxidant supplement that supports detoxification
- Gentle Fiber or another clean fiber supplement
- Colon Hydrotherapy to support the clearing of toxins from the body
- Sleep, 8-9 hours each night
- Meditation and journaling to clear and cleanse your thoughts
- Spending less time on your digital devices to avoid radiation and EMF exposure
Avoid intense exercise at this time. Instead, opt for walk-in nature, gentle yoga or pilates for no more than 20 minutes a day.
I know this naturopathic cleanse may feel like a challenge, but consider it a week dedicated to optimizing your health – an opportunity to enter into spring feeling as refreshed and renewed as nature.
It may also be helpful for you to know that I cleanse in this way and my patients have seen incredible results using this naturopathic cleanse – it doesn’t have harmful side effects, but can significantly improve overall functioning.
This month on the blog, we’re talking about colds, the flu, and other viral and bacterial infections. I’ve also been sharing resources to help you strengthen your immune system so if you end up with an infection, you can recover faster.
So far, I’ve shared information about supplements and alternative therapies that can be helpful for recovery and prevention, and this week, I want to talk about the (not-so) secret way that stress and mindset affect your immune system and your ability to recover from illness.
I know it may not immediately seem connected, but trust me, there’s a link!
From work to parenting, finances, and maintaining our health, there’s no doubt that most of us live very stressful lives. No matter what we do, stress can never be completely avoided. That said, it has the ability to severely impact the health of our immune system and ability to recover from infections and other illnesses.
I know, it feels like a catch-22: stress is ever-present and unavoidable, but its presence can adversely affect our health.
So what can you do – how do you keep yourself well despite modern-day stress?
When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands secrete cortisol and the sympathetic aspect of your nervous system turns on; the part of your nervous system responsible for fight, flight, or freeze. Hormones, like adrenaline and epinephrine, are also secreted.
The production of these stress hormones can weaken the lining of the gut over time, and since at least 70% of your immune system is in your gut, a weakness in one creates a weakness in the other.
Research has shown, however, that’s it’s not just stress that can deplete the gut and immune system. Our perception of the stress and the events contributing to it also have an effect.
So you can experience stress, but if you can maintain a positive or hopeful outlook about your situation, the stress you are experiencing may not affect your body as severely.
I see this often with my patients – the ones who make a conscious effort to think positively about their body and their illness tend to recover from colds, the flu, and other infections faster if they get sick at all.
The New England Journal of Medicine began studying this phenomenon in the 1990s. They looked at the correlation between how we perceive stress and its effect on the development of acute infections. Their results mirror the observations I’ve made of my own patients: maintaining positive emotions, positive beliefs, and a positive mindset during times of stress helps you to have a greater resistance to bacterial and viral infections, like a cold or the flu.
It has also been shown that the production of interleukin-6, an immune protein that is produced in the body wherever there is inflammation, is linked to our emotional state. More specifically, it is elevated in the presence of negative emotions in some individuals. This elevation can prolong recovery from infections and other illnesses.
A positive mental state really does make a difference.
It’s easy to allow ourselves to get caught up in stressful moments, let negative thoughts take over, and treat our bodies poorly because they don’t seem to be cooperating. Allowing this to happen, however, isn’t helpful.
Instead of beating yourself up during times of illness, understand that your body is simply doing its job – letting you know that the stress is too much and it’s time for rest and nourishment,
Give yourself permission to slow down, breathe, meditate, and rest. This is the perfect time to engage fully in your spiritual practice.
Be grateful to your body for reminding you to rest and take good care, and remind yourself of the best possible outcome: a healthy body and speedy recovery.
I say this often, but it’s important and relevant here: good health is more than eating healthy foods and taking the right supplements, nourishing your emotional and spiritual health is just as important.
Detox + Immune System | 0 Comments
You did everything you could – washed your hands religiously; positioned yourself several feet away from sick coworkers and family members…everything short of bathing in hand sanitizer and hiding out in your closet waiting for cold and flu season to pass.
Despite your best efforts, you still got sick.
Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to get sick once or twice a year and it’s also possible to boost your immunity and shorten your recovery time with these 7 supplements:
1. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s stored in the liver and fatty tissues. It strengthens your innate immune system by turning on key peptides in your immune system that trigger a strong anti-microbial response, allowing you to quickly and effectively fight off invaders (1).
When fighting off a cold or the flu, I recommend taking a high dose, 15,000 – 20,000 IU, of Vitamin D for no more than one week to boost your immunity.
2. Vitamin C
You’ve most likely heard about the benefits of Vitamin C and may have even been given orange juice when you got sick as a child. This is because Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that protects against harmful molecules called free radicals. It also helps stimulate the body’s natural defenses against internal inflammation (2).
Taking 4 grams each day of a fat-soluble, lypo-spheric Vitamin C solution, can boost your immunity and reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children. This translates to about one less day of illness (3).
3. Whole Beta Glucan Particle
Whole Beta Glucan Particle is a healthy yeast that supports the body in fighting infections. In fact, soldiers in Iraq were given this supplement instead of antibiotics to help strengthen their immune systems and treat disease. It was shown to be effective in helping them to ward off colds, the flu, and other viral infections.
The “boss of detox” and a powerful antioxidant, this supplement is a great addition to your arsenal during cold and flu season. It can help boost your immunity to bacterial and viral infections and support a speedy recovery. I recommend taking it intravenously, if you can, when fighting off a cold or the flu.
This medicinal plant is high in antioxidants and Vitamin C. It has also been proven to be effective in vitro against 10 strains of influenza (4). It helps to reduce upper respiratory infections and coughs, and it tastes great. You can get it over the counter in form of a syrup or an extract. If you’re feeling up fo it, you can also make your own.
70% of your immune system is in your digestive system, so having a healthy gut is a sure way to boost immunity and prevent illness. I recommend taking a high quality probiotic with a bacteria count of 100 billion for recovery and prevention.
This is an over the counter supplement that contains a combination of 14 herbs, roots, and minerals. You’re probably familiar with many of them, like echinacea, garlic, goldenseal, zinc, and Vitamin A. Taking 2-4 capsules of this well-rounded herbal formula will also boost immunity.
In addition to the supplements mentioned, food can also be used as medicine.
When you’re feeling sick or coming down with a cold or the flu, it’s best to avoid the following:
- Refined sugar
These foods contribute to internal inflammation, increase mucus production, and slow down the immune system’s natural recovery process. Eating nourishing, anti-inflammatory foods like bone broth soups and green leafy vegetables, in addition to staying well hydrated, will help you recover faster if you’re sick and prevent illness during the times when you are well.
Want a little behind the scenes truth?
I’m writing this post while sick. Yes, even doctors get sick, but I’m helping myself recover by using all of the supplements I’ve mentioned in this blog as well as the therapies I mentioned in my last blog post.
I wouldn’t recommend anything to you that I haven’t tried myself, but you should still consult with a healthcare practitioner before taking supplements or starting any new medical regimen. Keep in mind, the dosages mentioned here are for adults only, please be sure to see your child’s pediatrician for more personalized recommendations and care.
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