Sunday, 06 January 2013
#Detox, also called detoxification, is the removal of #toxins from the human body. Humans have been using fasts and certain diets for detox purposes for a very long time; in fact, Hippocrates (460 B.C. to 60 B.C) and Plutarch (46 A.D. to 120 A.D) are just two men from ancient times who believed that fasting was good for the body and the mind. There are many types of detox diets out there. The trick is to find one that actually works, doesn't do more harm than good, is relatively inexpensive if you don't have a lot of disposable cash, and not overly complicated!
We live in a toxic world. Our workplace, our homes, the food we eat; everything we eat, breathe, and put on our bodies can be toxic. Those toxins build up in our bodies and stress our organs and our immune system. If you don't live a relatively "clean" life, chances are good that you are toxic and could use an occasional detox. If you feel run down, get sick with colds or the flu a lot, have acne, are obese, or eat a Standard American Diet (SAD), then it would benefit you to make some changes in your life
Detox diets can be expensive, though - especially celebrity detox plans that require you to purchase supplements and other products. Instead of going that route and possibly wasting your money (and your time), why not make some simple changes to your lifestyle and diet to reduce the toxic load on your body?
You spend a lot of time in your home, and if it's not a "clean" environment, then you're exposed to toxins on a daily basis, for hours at a time. A study published in April 2009 revealed that there were over 400 chemicals present in the homes tested! Indoor furnishings, cleaning solutions, and personal care products are filled with toxic stews of chemicals.
There are some things you can do to reduce your toxic exposure; some are relatively inexpensive, and some are pricey. If you're strapped for cash, pick a few that you can afford and know that you're doing your best to reduce your exposure.
1) Switch to green cleaners. You don't have to buy special cleaners: vinegar, water, baking soda, liquid soap, and essential oils will clean your house just as well as expensive, toxic cleaners. Clean your windows and mirrors with vinegar and water. Clean your kitchen and bathroom surfaces with a 50/50 mix of vinegar/water with a few drops of lavender essential oil or tea tree oil. Scour hard-to-clean surfaces with a mix of baking soda and liquid soap.
2) Take off your shoes. When you wear shoes in your house, you track germs, lead, pesticides, and other contaminants into your home. Keep slippers at the door for guests.
3) Dust often. More dust on your surfaces means more toxins. Wet mop your floors at least once a week. Dust surfaces every three or four days. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to capture allergens and small particles.
4) Avoid stain-guarded and fire-retardant furniture and clothing. The chemicals they use are toxic.
5) Get a shower filter to keep chemicals in your water from coming in contact with your skin or becoming airborne.
6) Get a water filter. There are more than 300 chemicals found in tap water. If you have the money, reverse-osmosis systems are the best. If not, a charcoal filter will remove some of the harmful toxins from your drinking water.
7) When it's time to re-do your floors, go with a ceramic tile or wood floor. Carpets are filled with chemicals and trap dust, dander, and pollen. Use a non-toxic adhesive. If you must have carpet, go with a natural fiber one, not synthetic, and vacuum daily.
8) Switch to a wool mattress. Typical foam mattresses are filled with chemicals, and your bed is where you spend a third of your life. Natural latex is another option. Go with one that has an organic covering, too, if possible. Use organic cotton sheets and blankets.
9) Use natural personal care products. Make or buy a natural toothpaste without fluoride and other chemicals. Use a salt stick for deodorant. Buy natural, organic shampoos and conditioners. Use coconut oil instead of moisturizer.
#Food is medicine. Conversely, if you make poor food choices, you put poisons into your body that do nothing but harm your health. Non-organic fruits and vegetables, factory-farmed animals, fast-food, processed foods, refined grains, and a diet high in sugar will eventually lead to disease and poor-health. You can't run your car on dirty fuel, so why do you think you can do that with your body?
Don't despair, though, because it is possible to reduce your intake of toxins, if you are willing to make some changes. Start out small; pick a few changes and slowly increase until you are eating a (mostly) clean diet.
1) Drink lots of water. Water is used by practically every system in your body for proper functioning. Drink filtered water when possible.
2) Avoid "The Dirty Dozen." These are the 12 fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticides and chemical fertilizers applied. They are apples, cherries, blueberries, celery, kale/collard greens, spinach, bell peppers, strawberries, lettuce, peaches, grapes, and potatoes. Cucumbers and green beans also contain high amounts of pesticides. If you eat these foods, make sure to buy the organic version. Try to eat organic when you can -it's not just about pesticides, it's about proper and sustainable farming techniques.
3) Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake. Moderation is the key. Instead of starting your day with a coffee, why not try a cup of hot water with lemon? It will wake you up and help to flush out toxins, all at the same time. Switch to organic green tea for some or all of your caffeinated beverages.
4) Eat meat that comes from pastured, naturally-raised, animals that were fed species-appropriate diets. Cows, pigs, and chickens that never see the sun, are crowded into filthy barns and fed a diet of corn, soy, hormones, and antibiotics aren't healthy, so why would their meat be good for you? That goes for milk, too - if you can find a good, safe raw milk source, that's your best choice. If not, buy organic milk.
5) Reduce your processed-food intake. Foods that are manufactured aren't really food. If there are more than four or five ingredients on the list, or if you can't pronounce one or more ingredients, don't eat it.
6) Limit your refined flour and sugar. Flour essentially turns into sugar in your body, and sugar does nothing but cause harm. Sugar feeds tumors, stresses your pancreas, makes you fat, and rots your teeth. It also damages your immune system and can lead to Candida overgrowth.
Getting adequate amounts of rest and exercise are essential parts of a #healthy lifestyle. Aim for at least six solid hours of sleep every night (more is better), and exercise daily. You don't have to train to run a marathon; daily walks are just as good for you and are less stress on your joints. Incorporate weight-training into your routine, too - it helps increase bone density, strengthens the connective tissue in your joints, and increases your metabolism.
Could you do an at-home detox? Of the options above, which would be the first thing that you could do to drastically change your home or food?