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General Wellness | 0 Comments
In an effort to pull together all of the information I’ve shared with you so far about inflammation and provide you a bit more practical insight, I’m doing something different on the blog this week – sharing a case study.
The case study that will be shared here is about a former patient who was struggling with chronic inflammation.
Her name is Susan.
Susan, a school teacher, was a 52-year-old female who was experiencing heavy bleeding and painful periods. She had previously been diagnosed with endometriosis and in addition to the heavy bleeding and painful periods exhibited the following symptoms and concerns:
- Hot flashes
- Weight gain of 30lbs in 2 years
- Brain fog
- Skin rashes and acne
- Joint pain
- Hair loss
- Frequent yeast infections
- Depression and irritability
- Dry skin
- Frequent illness
- Hypercystic breasts
- High cholesterol
- Maternal family history of breast cancer
Susan came into my clinic and said “I’m a hot mess. Help me!”
One of the first things I did was run lab work for Susan. What I discovered when her lab results came back was that many of her hormone levels were low, with the exception of estrogen.
Her estrogen levels, which should have been between 60 and 100, were 500 – indicating estrogen dominance.
In running the estrogen metabolism test to find out what the ratio of good vs bad estrogens was, I discovered that most of the estrogen in her body was bad. Her elevated estrogen and the presence of so much toxic estrogen was what was contributing to the heavy bleeding, painful periods, and endometriosis.
Not only did we discover that she was estrogen dominant we also found through lab work that she had hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid. Her TSH levels were 4.5 and thyroid antibodies were more than 600, which was contributing to the weight gain, lethargy, brain fog, hair loss, dry skin, constipation, and of course, lots of inflammation!
I know this because, in addition to hormone testing, we also tested her c-reactive protein (CRP) and Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR). Her CRP level, which should be less than 1, was 26. Her ESR was 40 and should be less than 10.
Another test I ordered was a saliva test to assess cortisol levels and adrenal gland function. Her cortisol level was 90 and elevated throughout the day, but the ideal is 40.
More in-depth testing determined that Susan also had several food allergies – gluten, dairy, and yeast.
Susan was under a lot of stress in her day to life, had lost her sister to breast cancer, and she was in the early phases of menopause, which explained why hormones like DHEA, progesterone, testosterone were low. Additionally, Susan was eating poorly – lots of fast food and several cups of coffee each day.
Her chronic stress and poor diet were most likely what triggered the cascade of illnesses and autoimmune concerns.
Armed with all of this information, I created a treatment plan.
- Natural hormone therapy with testosterone and DHEA to balance her hormones and also reduce inflammation.
- Enzymes to help her body clear out the bad estrogens.
- An anti-inflammatory diet, beginning with a 10-day cleanse of green juices and powders to help restore the ph balance of her body.
- Stress management, which included lots of rest and gentle movement, like yoga and nature walks.
- Cooling baths and acupuncture to help reduce the heat her body was producing.
- IV Hydration therapy to ensure that she was well hydrated during the cleansing process.
After several weeks, Susan began to notice improvement – weight loss, increased energy, decreased brain fog and improved brain function.
The improvements she noted were confirmed by her lab work as her inflammation markers were lower on her next lab order.
Susan came to see me in the clinic once a month and each time her lab work came back, the levels of inflammation decreased by 2 or more points.
After 6 months of treatment, we saw the following improvements:
- CRP was down to 2; her ESR down to 5
- Hormones were balanced
- Weight loss of 35lbs
- Hair growth
- Increased energy levels
- Clear skin
- Less painful periods
- No more hot flashes
She literally looked and felt 10 years younger!
To maintain the progress, Susan decided to retire early. She realized that her job was causing quite a bit of stress and felt it was best to eliminate this as a factor in her life. This freed up time for her to practice yoga regularly and play with her grandchildren – a much less stressful life, and one that felt more fulfilling and in line with what Susan believed to be her purpose.
True healing came on all levels with Susan – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
She was able to grieve and process the loss of her sister, connect more with nature, and she made her health a priority by incorporating the natural therapies that I recommended into her daily wellness routine.
As you can see in addition to lifestyle changes, balancing Susan’s hormones was key in reducing the level of inflammation in her body and helping her to heal.
Balance and good health are possible for all of us when we can get to the root cause of illness and find a medical practitioner that can support us holistically – using medical interventions when necessary as well as lifestyle interventions, like diet, stress management, spirituality, and sleep.
Sleep + Energy | 0 Comments
It’s a topic that often gets left out of many medical conversations, but one that I want to address as part of this month’s four-part series on inflammation. I think it’s an important topic to discuss since as a naturopath, many of the treatment plans I create for patients include lifestyle recommendations for things like movement and exercise, stress management, and sleep hygiene.
It’s also important because science is now discovering that individuals who lack quality sleep – sleeping too much, sleeping too little, or sleeping at times outside of the body’s natural rest cycle – tend to have higher levels of inflammation and are more prone to developing inflammatory diseases (1, 2).
In my opinion, getting quality sleep is one of the most important lifestyle components to address when it comes to inflammation and disease.
Your circadian rhythm, also known as your sleep/wake cycle, is an internal system that is designed to regulate your feelings of wakefulness and sleepiness.
It is controlled by the area of the brain that responds to light, the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This is why most of us are alert when the sun is shining and experience tiredness or fatigue once the sun goes down.
In addition to regulating sleep and wake patterns, our circadian rhythm also plays a role in immune system function. When you go to sleep at night, your immune system works hard to repair and heal any parts of your body that need to be tended to.
It also controls and manages the inflammation in our bodies. If you’re not getting quality sleep, you’re altering your circadian rhythms and ultimately, limiting your body’s ability to fight inflammation and disease, putting you at risk of weight gain, metabolic disease, heart disease, and cancer.
This is something I see frequently in patients who work unconventional hours, like night nurses who often work overnight. Their levels of internal inflammation tend to be higher than individuals who work during daytime hours.
Unusual sleep times cause inflammatory markers, like interleukin 6, tumor necrosis alpha, and c-reactive protein, to be elevated.
How to Get Quality Sleep
Understanding your body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock is the first step to better sleep.
We live in a time where people are staying up later working, watching television, or scrolling on their phones. We’re also eating later in the day because we’re staying up late – both of these factors can adversely affect our sleep.
In order to honor your circadian rhythm, it’s best to wake with the sun and begin winding down when the sun goes down.
In an ideal world, we would all get 7-9 hours of quality sleep, and have at least two hours to wind down and decompress before heading to bed.
Keep in mind, however, that too much of a good thing is…well, too much.
Research has shown that excessive amounts of sleep, 10 hours or more, can contribute to inflammation in the same way that too little sleep can contribute to inflammation (3).
Aim for 7-9 hours each night and you’ll be golden!
Here’s how to make that happen:
- Set the intention to make quality sleep a priority – this is a must and will help you stay on track.
- Decide on a bedtime that will allow you to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and make a commitment to be in bed by that time.
- Avoid caffeine after 2pm and try to have dinner 3-4 hours before bedtime.
- Two hours before bedtime, reduce your exposure to electromagnetic frequencies by turning off all electronic devices.
- Take time to decompress and let go of negative emotions before getting into bed – journaling, meditation, deep breathing, and light stretching are great ways to do this.
Taking these steps will help to invite more calm, yin energy into your life, so you can fall asleep with ease and stay asleep, instead of waking up in the middle of the night with racing thoughts and feelings of stress and anxiety.
As I mentioned in the last blog article on hormones and inflammation, stress causes our bodies to secrete cortisol, which can contribute to inflammation. Managing stress will help you to have quality sleep and will also help to reduce inflammation.
What to do if you can’t sleep
If you’re having trouble sleeping after incorporating the suggestions mentioned earlier in this blog article, it’s a good idea to get your hormones checked – especially if you are a woman.
Progesterone is a hormone that helps us to relax and calm down at night. If you are lacking in progesterone, you may have difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep.
In addition to getting tested, you can also try supplementation. A few of the supplements I recommend to promote quality sleep are:
Each of these supplements is unique and I recommend them for different reasons, after checking my patients’ lab work. Consult with your health care professional to see if these are a good option for you.
Getting quality sleep is a must when it comes to reducing inflammation and supporting your health, even for me as a doctor.
On nights that I am unable to get enough sleep or get quality sleep, I definitely feel it the next day. I also experience weight gain and digestive disruptions.
I’ve learned from experience that the best way to get my body back on track is to follow the suggestions I’ve given you here in this log article and do my best to get to bed at a reasonable hour.
I trust that you’ll have the same results if you put these lifestyle recommendations into action.
Hormones are one of my favorite things to discuss, and they are intimately connected to the topic of inflammation. I’m going to explain how.
If you missed my last article on the basics of inflammation, it’s a good idea to check it out before or after you read this. It’ll give you some context, so you better understand what you’re reading here.
The hormones that are the biggest offenders when it comes to inflammation are:
These hormones exist in our bodies for a reason, but as with anything, they can become problematic when we have too much or too little of them.
Let’s start the discussion with estrogen, the female hormone you hear about most often. It also happens to be the most inflammatory hormone, especially bad estrogens.
Yes, you read that correctly – there are bad estrogens.
Estradiol is our good, happy estrogen, while estrone is a bad estrogen.
If the ratio of good estrogen to bad estrogen is balanced in our bodies, estrogen is actually a very helpful hormone. It helps protect our heart, supports brain function, promotes healthy cell development, and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
However, if estrogen levels are out of balance, or if there are more bad estrogens present that good, it becomes an inflammatory agent. This increases your chances of developing breast and uterine cancer are increased and puts you at greater risk of developing inflammatory conditions, like heart disease, fibroids, and endometriosis.
How do you know if your levels of good and bad estrogen are balanced?
If you’ve been to my clinic or have read previous blog articles, I’m sure you know the answer to this, but for anyone who’s not familiar with me and my work, the answer is testing!
In this case, I recommend having your estrogen metabolism levels tested. This test allows me to see what the ratio of good and bad estrogens are in your body, and the results of this test will inform treatment.
If you have more bad estrogen than good, I recommend trying a hormone detoxification diet.
On this diet you’ll avoid:
- Inflammatory oils, like canola, corn, cottonseed, and peanut
- Hormone-disrupting foods, like soy, dairy, wheat, corn, and grains
And you’ll incorporate:
- 3-6 cups of vegetables each day, especially green leafy veggies, beets, broccoli, artichokes, onions, and garlic
- Protein in the form of organic, pasture raised meats, legumes, nuts, and seeds
- Healthy fats, like cold-pressed olive oil and avocado. Your body creates hormones from fat, so these are essential!
I’ve had incredible success using this diet in treatment, especially with patients whom I am unable to support with hormone therapies.
Specifically, I had a patient with breast cancer. She was having horrible hot flashes and her blood work indicated that her levels of inflammation were high.
Additionally, her estrogen metabolism test showed that she had high levels of bad estrogens – this is not unusual for someone with breast cancer.
We were unable to stabilize her hormone levels with hormone replacement therapy because of her cancer, so I recommended the hormone detoxification diet and offered her a few high-quality supplements – a high dose of turmeric to lower the inflammation and diindolylmethane (DIM), to help balance her estrogen levels.
After three months, her hot flashes disappeared and her inflammation levels were significantly lower. At the end of treatment, she also had more good estrogens than bad in her body, meaning using diet and supplements to treat her hot flashes and inflammation were a success!
There are times, however, when hormone replacement therapy is necessary. In addition to diet and lifestyle changes, of course. In these cases, I recommend natural hormones, instead of synthetic, and frequent testing to be sure that your body is metabolizing the hormones well and they are having the desired effect.
The second hormone that contributes to inflammation is cortisol. Similar to estrogen, and all the other hormones mentioned, cortisol can be both anti-inflammatory and inflammatory, depending on how much we have in our bodies.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. It gets secreted by your adrenal glands when we experience stress. This cortisol stimulates your body’s natural stress response, also known as fight, flight, or freeze. When you are exposed to stressful situations more often than not, your body will continuously secrete cortisol, causing your levels to be higher than is normal.
High levels of cortisol contribute to internal inflammation.
If you don’t do something to manage the stress, your adrenal glands will eventually tire out and your body will be unable to produce normal amounts of cortisol. This also contributes to inflammation and weakens the immune system.
Individuals that have low levels of cortisol and adrenal fatigue tend to get sick easily and have a hard time fighting off infections.
Healthy cortisol levels are the best anti-inflammatory, so it’s important to keep this hormone balanced. The best way to do this is:
- Manage and reduce stress
- Support your adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs, like the ones found in Cortisol Balancer
When needed, I will prescribe cortisol injections or creams, but your body can naturally produce and regulate cortisol levels with the right support, so I try to mediate with natural measures as much as possible.
The third hormone I want to discuss in this article is insulin. It often gets a bad rap, but for good reason – too much insulin can cause a host of issues, ranging from premature aging to weight gain. Excess amounts of insulin can also cause cortisol levels to become elevated.
Your body may produce too much insulin if it is unable to properly metabolize sugar. To keep your insulin levels balanced, it’s best to limit your consumption of refined sugars and focus on eating a variety of green leafy veggies, high-quality protein, and healthy fats. This will not only help to keep your insulin levels in check, but it will also help you maintain an alkaline, or ph balanced, environment in your body.
An alkaline environment is preferable – when your body becomes too acidic it can lead to a host of issues and disease.
Hormones that help with inflammation
As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are some hormones can cause inflammation when imbalanced. There are also hormones that help to regulate estrogen, and other inflammatory hormones, namely:
- Thyroid Hormones
Testosterone and DHEA are androgens and typically understood to be male hormones since men produce it in larger amounts than women. It also happens to be an anti-inflammatory hormone, which is why men tend to suffer from chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders less often than women – at least until they go through andropause when their testosterone production decreases.
When a patient comes into my practice with a hormone imbalance, especially one that is menopause related, I find that one of the fastest ways to remedy their symptoms is to prescribe testosterone as part of their treatment.
In addition to decreased levels of inflammation, patients who undergo this course of treatment experience greater clarity as well as increased brain function and energy.
This anti-inflammatory hormone is produced by the adrenal glands and helps to modulate the immune system
Since individuals with adrenal fatigue tend to have low levels of DHEA, it often works well to supplement with DHEA. I recommend doing this slowly – gradually increasing the levels in order to decrease internal inflammation.
As these levels start to come back into balance, patients may begin to burn fat and build more muscle than they were able to previously. They may also notice an improvement in their energy levels.
Remember, it’s best to undergo this type of treatment with a medical professional who can monitor your progress symptomatically as well as with regular testing.
If your thyroid hormones are too low, your inflammation levels will be high. You may also experience weight gain and frequent illness since your metabolism slows down and your body’s ability to fight off inflammation and illness is impaired in this state.
To that end, if thyroid issues are creating inflammation in your body, I recommend natural thyroid support, like Nature Throid or Thyroid Support to naturally decrease inflammation and help facilitate the healing process.
This will eliminate symptoms like water retention, weight gain, and constipation.
Hormones are intimately linked inflammation and inflammation contributes to the development of disease, so it’s important to work with a doctor or naturopath get your hormones tested regularly and for treatment recommendations.
Please do not try to diagnose and treat suspected hormone issues on your own.
Hormones can play an important role in the development of inflammation but aren’t the only factors that contribute to inflammation, so next week I’m going to discuss another contributing factor – one that is often overlooked, sleep.
General Wellness | 0 Comments
It seems like everyone on the internet is talking about inflammation, in the health and wellness space at least.
But what is inflammation, and why is there suddenly so much conversation about it on social media and various health and wellness blogs?
From a naturopathic perspective, inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and toxin exposure, like viruses and bacteria. It is the body’s way of kickstarting the healing process and getting rid of toxins.
There are two types of inflammation:
External – this may occur when you stub a toe or break a bone. When these things occur, the immune system activates, accesses the situation, and sends white blood cells to the affected area. This increase in blood flow to the affected area generates heat. It can also make the area of injury visibly red. Additionally, the white blood cells contain neutrophils and leukocytes, these help to eliminate bacteria and protect the damaged tissue from infection.
As you can see, external inflammation, in this case, is actually a good thing. It’s a sign that your body has begun the healing process!
You can support this process by using RICE (not the grain, but the process!):
Internal – inflammation of organs and tissues inside the body. This occurs in response to illness, like viral and bacterial infections.
Internal inflammation is not limited to one area of the body but can occur in any organ or tissue. You may experience swelling or redness in your throat when you have strep throat, your sinus may become inflamed when you have a sinus infection. The area it occurs varies based on where the bacteria or virus resides in the body.
Internal and external inflammation is classified as either acute or chronic –
Acute: starts quickly and generally resolves within a few days.
Chronic: when acute inflammation is not addressed, it becomes chronic, lasting for months or even years.
Chronic infections are harder to treat and take a much longer time to heal from, so it’s important to address inflammation and illness when it happens – before it develops into autoimmune disorders, like lupus, hashimotos, and rheumatoid arthritis; or other serious conditions, like heart disease.
How do you know if you are inflamed?
External inflammation is typically visible – you’ll see swelling and redness in the area of injury. You may also feel heat and pain in this area. Internal can be detected similarly, with pain and sometimes visible redness. However, in most cases, internal inflammation needs to be accessed through testing.
The tests I perform most frequently to diagnose inflammation are:
High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (CRP):
CRP is a protein made by your liver. It is sent into your bloodstream in response to inflammation. Your levels of CRP should be less than 1.
Levels higher than this are a sign of inflammation. For instance, patients with pneumonia, asthma, ear infections, and urinary tract infections often have CRP levels ranging from 30-100. The higher the number, the more inflammation there is in your body.
This test is so important that I order it for my patients 2-3 times each year.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
This urine test is not often covered by insurance but is a test I order for patients when necessary to monitor internal inflammation. It is especially helpful when diagnosing and treating autoimmune conditions, like lupus and Grave’s disease; as well as inflammatory diseases, like arthritis.
Of course, the treatment for internal inflammation and external inflammation varies based on the individual and the condition, but there are some things that you can do on your own to help keep your levels on inflammation low.
- Reduce and manage stress
Chronic stress is one of the most common causes of inflammation. We are a society on the go, which doesn’t allow much time for our bodies to recuperate and heal. However, chronic stress can lead to inflammatory conditions like migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, and heart disease, so it’s important to make time to rest and decompress. You can also try one of my favorite meditations.
- Eat calming foods
Incorporate lots of green leafy vegetables, ginger, turmeric, onions, and garlic into your diet. These will help to reduce inflammation. At the same time, you’ll want to eliminate inflammatory foods, like gluten, sugar, processed and packaged foods, hydrogenated oils, alcohol, and MSG. A few of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods are bone broth and a cooling juice with spinach, collard greens, green apple, and celery. Not only will the green juice cool your body and reduce heat production, but it will also keep you well hydrated, which is essential for keeping inflammation levels in check.
- Take Supplements
The supplements I regularly recommend for inflammation are:
DeFlam Support – this contains curcumin, a phytochemical obtained from turmeric. It is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains black pepper extract for optimal absorption and results.
Omega 3’s – fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which is associated with lower levels of inflammation.
Body Renew Complete – this supplement supports your body’s natural detoxification process and strengthens the gut, resulting in a strong immune system and ability to fight disease and reduce inflammation.
Pro-Enzyme – proteolytic enzymes help your body to heal and recover from tissue damage related to an injury.
In addition to these recommendations, I also recommend acupuncture, IV therapies and spending time in the sauna. I discuss the benefits of each of these here.
Of course, if the inflammation is really severe, I may also recommend a 5-day course of anti-inflammatory medication. In contrast to many western medicine practitioners, I do not recommend or offer this as a long term solution. In my medical opinion, it is an option best used as a short-term option to quickly reduce any inflammation present, then modulate long-term with natural remedies.
When we constantly depend on medications to reduce inflammation, internal or external, we can become dependent and weaken our immune system over time.
This blog post was a bit longer than many of the ones I’ve written in the past, but I think a topic like inflammation lends itself to a more in-depth presentation.
To that end, I’ll be sharing my naturopathic perspective on inflammation for the rest of the month. We’ll talk about inflammatory hormones, sleep, and I’ll also dive deeper into treatment with a patient case study. I hope you’ll stick around! And if you find this information helpful, share it with your friends.
We all experience inflammation to some extent in our lifetimes and knowing how to remedy it is of the utmost importance if we want to prevent chronic disease.
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.
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