It started snowing tonight as I sat down to write this week's article. And although I've been enjoying our non-winter-like winter so far, there's just something about a fresh, clean, white blanket of snow covering the ground. I love going out in the morning and being the first one to leave a set of footprints. Fresh, clean and new. Whether we're talking about snow or about health, it's a perfect way to begin the new year.
So how does one kick off the new year fresh, clean and new with regards to health? One word, detox. In the same way we declutter and purge “stuff” from our garages, or spring clean the dust bunnies and cobwebs from the nooks and crannies around our homes or change the oil and filter in our cars, we need to clean out and detox our bodies as well.
When you think about it, our bodies are our one and only vehicle that drives us through life. It's also the place where we are required to spend all of our time. No trade-ins or lease returns, no upgrades to a new build and no get-away options. And in order to keep our “cars” running smoothly and our “homes” comfortable to live in, maintenance and cleaning need to be done a few times every year and detoxing is a great way to do that.
Because there are many different types of detoxes and cleanses out there, it's important to know why you're doing it and what to look for. The purpose of detoxing is to clean out our bodies' filtering systems – like replacing the oil filter in your car when you have the oil changed. Detoxing the colon, liver and kidneys will rid the body of bloat and waste, allow the kidneys and liver function more easily and help you lose a few pounds. FYI, the average person can be carrying anywhere between three and 10 pounds of bloat and waste in their systems – and that doesn't even include what happens over Christmas holidays. Not surprising those pants are feeling a little snug, right?
I'm sure you're all in agreement, cleaning out the body's filtering systems is important. Where it's not so clear however is how to achieve that. For example, cleanses that advocate eating nothing at all and drinking a concoction of water, spices and something sweet together for days on end is not healthy or safe. While eliminating food may seem like a good idea, it's actually depriving your brain of nutrients, causes blood sugar and energy levels to plummet burning muscle. Every time we burn muscle it slows down our metabolism down a little bit. So although you may lose weight on a cleanse like this, a slower metabolism and subsequent reduced muscle mass, combined with the body entering starvation mode due to lack of food, when you go back to eating regularly, your body will store all food as fat for a period of time only serving to put the weight back on and then start the cycle over again.
Whereas, if you were to simply remove the foods that cause our bodies to retain bloat and waste in the first place and eat only lean, clean foods, and flush with lots of water and some all natural supplements, you'll still get the detox results, without being “hangry” from lack of food or storing up fat like a squirrel for winter the minute your finished. Makes sense, right? Eliminating things like sugar, salt, dairy, soy, alcohol, coffee, tea, grains, dense beans, corn, beef and egg yolk and creating PFC balanced meals from whole, non-processed foods fuels your brain and your body, avoiding the “hangries” and mood swings. Increasing water intake throughout the day will help to flush out fat and toxins whether you're detoxing or not so it makes sense to amp that up during a detox. Supplements like milk thistle, juniper berry root, dandelion root extract, cranberry extract help the liver, kidneys and colon to flush out the waste and toxins that gradually accumulate and make us feel sluggish and bloated.
As we talked about at the beginning, there are many different types of detoxes and cleanses available so check to make sure that what you're about to do is safe, based in science and works with your body. And if you're still not sure about what to do or aren't too keen on going it alone, I invite you to join, New Year, New You, an 8 Weeks group program starting January 29. Get started right and make 2019 your year for better health. For more information and to register go to www.FuelIgniteThrive.com
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.