How to Actually Detox

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With the holiday season coming up, I want to give you guys the tools and info to be able to support your detox pathways, to help you bounce back. As well as learn how to support your natural detoxification systems every day through simple lifestyle practices (which you may already be doing), plus some information about supplementation to increase the efficiency of these systems. 

And with the new year, people are all like “new year new me” and do some “detox” tea or drink or some dumb shit like that and just shit out their existence and think that they’re “cleansed”.

Like i totally agree with juicing and fasting and shit like that to help your body reset and heal, but i feel a lot of us have bought into the idea that that = a “detox” and that buying a supplement or tea is the answer and magic bullet.

We naturally, have detoxifaction systems that are always working away, to filter our blood, tissues, oxygen and food to ensure it stays in a decent balance. Ensuring you take care of your body – through eating nutritious foods, moving your limbs, drinking clean water and managing stress and sleep, will see our bodies natural detox systems supported.

But, at times, it’s ideal to additionally support our detoxification systems, whether we’ve had a large couple of months drinking, taking drugs, eating shitty food, being overseas, working amongst machinery and chemicals, trying to get pregnant, are experiencing health ailments that just won’t budge, or if you’re wanting to launch into re-invigorating your body and want to “start fresh”. 


Wondering why even detox?

We’re constantly exposed to heavy metals, via our water, our teeth fillings. Chemicals, via our food, air, clothing, cars, etc. Toxins from our gut bacteria and as a by-product of metabolic activities.

It’s like when we need to service our car, to make sure everything’s running smoothly because we fang them all around town and we do the same with our bodies.

We have 5 primary detox pathways;

Our skin pushes bacteria out through our sweat (hence why it smells)

Our kidneys filter our blood and excrete via our pee

Our lungs intake O2 and expel CO2 (we’re not covering lungs in this blog)

Our intestines shit out toxins, and

Our liver filters everything. 


The first step to detox, is eliminating that which hinders your bodies natural ability and throws out the balance:

-      Processed foods – take away, refined, packaged, “fake food”, if it doesn’t grow in nature then that means there’s been a degree of processing – inc. tofu, tempeh, oats, protein bars, etc etc. Swapping out processed for more nutrient rich alternatives (check our blog on this).

-      Being sedentary

Moving our bodies as much as possible each day (training for 1 hr a day is great, but if you’re sitting for 8, think about getting up every hour or so and doing some kind of movement, walk for lunch, etc).

-      Regular and excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs 

-      Chronic stress & insomnia / poor sleep

Practising to manage our stress and optimising sleep – these are all foundational to helping the bodies natural detoxify systems.

There’s no point buying a “lemon detox diet” or pill, or juice cleanse etc. if you’re not even working on these 3-4 key lifestyles shifts. It's just a waste of time and money and toilet paper k.


These are the 4 detox areas we’re going to explore, and how through foods, you can naturally and sustainably support your bodies detox pathways.

 

1.    Skin

 

Supporting your skins detoxification is pretty straight forward: MOVE

Our lymphatic system lives just outside of our blood system, it follows a similar routine of movement, and is moved around the body via muscular contractions.

It’s intrinsically linked to our immune system, with most of us knowig about lymph nodes and noticing them become inflammmed when we get sick (those nodules under your jaw that you massage haha).

Lymph nodes produce lymphocytes – type of white blood cells that help to fight off illnesses, bacteria, viruses and cancer. The spleen and thymus are lymphatic system organs – two of which we never really her emuch about, but are involved in energy production and immune function.

Fluids and bacteria and stuff that leaks out of our tissues and blood, is “caught” by the lymph, filtered and then transferred back into the blood system to then be detoxified out via the skin, breath, poop and urine.  

So exercising is the best way to support lymphatic detoxification, moving your body as much as possible, especially if we’re sitting down all day  – our lymph becomes stagnant and wastes can build up creating inflammation.

Support this with dry brushing. Dry brushing is particularly helpful for girls who have cellulite and stretch marks and are wanting to help reduce it’s appearance and existence. Dry brushing from your feet, up towards your heart post shower is an awesome way to help move the lympth and help your body expel toxins.


2.    Kidneys

 

Our kidneys are constantly filtering our blood, and dispose of excess fluid, wastes, toxins and chemicals from it. The kidneys also reabsorb nutrients and water that we may need, they’re like a really effective recycling plant – getting rid of wastes and keeping the good stuff to be recycles by the body. They also help to manufacture vitamin D!! With VD being almost a hormone that’s super anti inflammatory and helps to keep calcium in our bones. 

They also influence our energy production, as they control blood pressure, electrolyte balance and sodium – all influencing the way our muscles and thus, we move. Kidneys also help to balance our pH levels, naturally alkalising the body (as urine is also acidic). 

Supporting our kidneys enhances detoxification and they deserve to be nurtured, theyre working 24/7, 365 to filter your blood so you can live! I think its something like 200L of blood is filtered each day, which is crazy. 

Because of all the external stressors, creating build ups of toxins in our bodies, alcohol, drugs, pharmaceutical prescriptions, bacteria, all of these things that we’re exposed to, need our kidneys to be at their best. 

Like your skin & lymph; moving your body supports your kidneys and helps with detoxification. 

Drinking as much water as possible, aiming for 2-3L a day especially if you’re dirnnking alcohol all day out in the sun, not only to help with electrolyte and water balance but also to decrease your hangover’s severity. 

Of course decreasing the amount of processed and refined foods consumed, as they’re high in inflammatory ingredients (sugar, gluten, dairy, random frankenfoods), chemicals (artificial colours and flavours), xenoestrogens (plastic) and heavy metals (if in metal). 

Increasing the consumption of raw, real foods is the best way to support your kidney (and all) detox systems.

Foods, Herbs & Supplements to Support your Kidneys:

 

Garlic                                                Ginger

Turmeric                                           Cranberry

Dandelion root                                 Parsley

Celery and celery seeds                  Licorice

Poria mushroom (teelixir)               Reishi mushroom (teelixir)

Stinging Nettle                                                                       

 

The funny, but not so funny, thing is that all these foods support skin/lymph, GI and live detox also – conveying how when you eat powerful medicinal foods, it supports the entire body.


3.    GI tract

 

Our GI (gastrointestinal) tract starts from our mouth, and goes all the way through to our butt hole – it’s legit just a tube, that literally separates us from the outside world. Everything we eat and drink, (and mouth breathe) enters our GI trct, and begins its journey through the stomach / pit of fire, small intestine / nutrient absorber and large intestine / bacteria house and gets excreted.

 

Our GI tract links into our liver also, via the common bile duct, so additional toxins from all throughout the body, our blood, tissues, cells, can get sent out of us via our GI tract. 

 

Leaky gut is a common term that we’ve probably all come across, essentially it happens when gaps start to form between our intestinal cells, allowing molecules, bacteria and toxins to float from the blood stream into our gut, and from our gut into the blood stream – creating inflammation and an imbalance of physiology.

Nourishing our gut is of highest importance in order for us to thrive and feel our best – as our energy is produced from out GI tract – with our small intestine absorbing the macronutrients (P,C,F) and micronutrients (V&M) and giving them to the blood to be then used by our cells. Along with our large intestine with the bacteria also creating cellular energy and additional nutrients such as Vitamin D, B12 and K. 

 

Alcohol, toxins, chemicals, stress, poor sleep, lack of movement, inflammatory foods – processed, refined sugars & flours, heavy metals, excessive poor quality meat consumption, grain, dair and gluten – additional inflammatory foods, all of these break down the GI tract, driving leaky gut. 

 

Eating real foods, lots of green vegetables, and decreasing these physiology-disrupting “foods” and products is key.


Foods, Herbs & Supplements to Support your GI Tract:

 

Slippery Elm Bark                             L-Glutamine

Licorice Root                                    Turmeric

Mastic Gum/Acacia Gum                  Fibre rich foods (chia, flax, psyllium husks)

ACV and lemon                                Aloe Vera

Peppermint Bone Broth

Prebiotics (asparagus, artichoke, dandelion root, chicory root)

Fermented Foods (krauts, kombucha etc.) & Resistant Starches (green banana starch)

All plant foods and high quality protein sources

With probiotics as additional support (particularly if you’re drinking alcohol as alcohol bombs the microbiome, so replenishing the good healthy bacteria is key).         


4.    Liver 

 

The liver has 2 key phases of detox, PHASE 1 & PHASE 2.

Phase 1 turns fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble, so its able to be excreted from the body (and yes, toxins are stored in YOUR FAT CELLS) hence why when you’re on a weight loss journey, supporting your liver and detoxification systems are KEY, as more are getting released.

P1 is also involved in alcohol and caffeine metabolism, offsetting these toxic substances by turning them into less reactive and harmful forms. 

P1 involves cytochrome P450 enzymes, so eating nutrient rich vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, along with high quality protein and fat sources to support this pathway.


P2 involves conjugation pathways (there’s 6; glutathione conjugation, methylation, sulfation, glucoronidation, acetylation & amino acid conjugation), that add a molecular group to these intermediates so they’re able to be metabolised and excreted out of the body – via our pee and poo. 

 

Suppporting P2 is super important, because we can be supporting phase 1 through our foods and lifestyle, yet if our P2 can’t keep up with the efficiency of P1, reactive intermediary metabolites form, and this causes stress & inflammation to the body. 

 

Each pathway of P2 detoxifies a different set of internal and external metabolites.

Some of these include; herbicides, fungidies, heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium), nicotine, alcohol

Our sex hormones (estrogen), melatonin, neurotransmitters (adrenaline & noradrenaline), serotonin, dopamine, histamine, cortisol, 

Toxins from intestinal bacteria, xenostrogens, salycitates (aspirin/panadol), tobacco smoke and exhaust fumes. 

P2 keeps us clean and all these pollutants and excess metabolites out of our body.


Foods, Herbs & Suppleents to Support P1 & P2:

 

Cruciferous vegetables (cauli, broc, cabbage, etc)

Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, etc).

Berries                                    Beetroot

Mint                                        Rosemary

Activated B vitamins!            Vitamin A

Milk Thistle                            Dandelion Root

NAC                                       Turmeric

Glutamine                              Taurine

Super greens (spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, wheat grass, alfalfa grass)

High quality protein sources

  

For a fast P1 & P2 to be offset, we need to consume lots of anti-oxidants, to help our own SOD and glutathione pathways to neutralise these free radical cells. These are rich in all plant foods and superfoods! Such as chaga mushroom, acai, spirulina, goji berries, etc.


You can see with full body detox pathways that by consuming real, whole foods each day supports them all. Adding in super foods such as greens, camu camu, chaga mushroom and shizandra also additionally boost nutrients and properties that help with detoxification.

 

Consuming water is also a must! As water is required to excrete the wastes filled with the toxins from our body.

Aim for 2L per 20kg of body weight, depending on your activity level and the amount of caffeine/tea you consume.

To compliment all of this, colonics, enemas, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, float pods, body work like remedial massage, all of these also help the body to push out toxins.

all my love xoxoxo

 

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