To cleanse or not to cleanse? If you are living amongst us, here on earth, then yes! Unfortunately, even if we take precautions, such as eating organic whole foods, drinking lots of water and not polluting our bodies with toxins like cigarettes and alcohol, we still live in a pretty toxic world.
It’s not just what we put into our body; it’s also what we put on our body, what we breathe in and even our stress levels, which increase our internal toxic load. Along with our liver, our skin and lungs are organs that help to remove toxins from our body. They not only help to remove them, they are also how toxins get into our bodies. When we use chemical laden creams, shampoos, make up, toothpaste and deodorant, it all gets absorbed via our largest organ, the skin. Even if you live in the woods, away from smog and fumes, toxins can travel via air and water. It’s maddening, I know!
SO why are toxins so bad anyway?
Toxins can damage the body in an insidious or cumulative way. Without giving your body a chance to cleanse, the detoxification process becomes overloaded, toxic metabolites accumulate, and we become more sensitive to all the chemicals around us. Toxins get stored in our fat cells and start to disrupt the body’s normal processes. This can lead to disease, weight gain and chronic fatigue. Your body communicates these problems through symptoms.
Signs and symptoms that you may need a cleanse:
· Running out of energy in the afternoon
· Inability to lose weight
· Allergies to environment and foods
· Mood swings, bursts of anger, depression, or anxiety
· High cholesterol
· Occasional headaches
· Brain Fog and lack of mental clarity
· Muscle aches and stiffness
· Bad breath or body odor (oiiiii!!)
· Skin Rashes
· Poor digestion, bloating, gas
· Chronic fatigue
· Hormonal imbalance causing severe PMS
· Irregular bowel movements
Hmm, any of these sign and symptoms apply? If you answered yes to some of the above questions, then you’re probably due for a little detox. Prior to doing a cleanse myself, I always viewed the whole idea of a cleanse as something intimidating, boring and a bit scary, convincing myself I didn’t really need to detox. Will I starve? Will I be weak and fatigued? Will I have to eat and drink bland food that tastes like cardboard? How will I be able to go to work, social functions and family gatherings? What if I have to eat out?
Well, my friend, I’m here to tell you it isn’t so bad at all! You just need a good plan, loads of healthy greens, a positive attitude and a great guide to help you along the way. The positive way your body responds to a cleanse is well worth the few days of going green. Think of it as a reset button for your body and mind. When your liver is over burdened, it affects everything from your skin to hormonal balance, adrenal fatigue to foggy brain. Doing a cleanse once or twice a year allows your liver to rejuvenate, takes the pressure off your digestion and gives your overtaxed adrenals a much needed break. And with so many amazing health food restaurants popping up everywhere, you won’t be left hanging when you’re on the go! So times are a changing my friend. You can have the most delicious green smoothies and cleanse friendly meals be made in your kitchen, or even have a chef whip it up for you at a super healthy organic restaurant.(find a list of restaurants in Vancouver here)
The best part of a cleanse is that your taste buds will actually become more sensitive again, which allows you to really experience the amazing pure tastes of whole foods. The sugar laden, chemically infused junk food can actually desensitize your taste buds, leading you to need more sugar and salt to make food taste good.
All Green All Good Smoothie
1 cup water
1 cup coconut water
2 cups spinach
½ cucumber (1.5 cups)
2 limes, juiced
5 mint leaves (optional)
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
4 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients into a blender and allow to soak for 5 minutes. Then buzz until smooth and drink it down!
Makes 1-2 servings