There are lots of theories and opinions on detoxing. Lots.
I approach detoxing like I approach a lot of shit in my life, one small step at a time.
What does that mean? Garbage in, garbage out. Detoxing should be a daily practice especially for those of us with autoimmune disease.Garbage in, garbage out. Detoxing should be a daily practice. Click To Tweet
Keeping up with the toxins on a regular basis rather than forcing the body to go thru a huge and stressful detox is much more gentle on the system. Letting them build up over time won’t play out well for you in the long run. Really…it wont. I have done “event type” cleanses in the past. I did a huge one when I started on this initial health journey and because I have got to CHEW, I chose to do a raw food cleanse, not a liquid one. For the life of me I’ll never understand how anyone can go for days without eating food. Gah. I love to eat. I love me some smoothies but I really like to chew, too.
When we actively participate a big detox, we can generally count of feeling crappy for a few days. Flu like symptoms, headaches and exhaustion reign supreme. Why? Because the body is dumping a bunch of toxic garbage into the blood stream and that stuff doesn’t just disappear, the body has to clean it up and move it out. The toxins make you feel run down and the process is WORK for the body, hence the exhaustion.
When I began my autoimmune diet I also started a huge candida protocol to kill of candida that had reared its ugly head in my system…again. To achieve this my doctor gave me a prescription drug called diflucan and I took it for 60 days. In hindsight, bad call. Really bad.
First, there are too many natural remedies to have even considered doing this. I was feeling desperate and overwhelmed (a state most doctors would prefer you be in) and I made some ill informed decisions. For me, it’s always going to be the natural route in the future, no matter how long it takes to work. I’m learning to listen to my inner physician. You know, that voice inside that tells you that the shit that doctor is telling you just ain’t right no matter how many degrees they have.
Second, I got what is referred to as a “herx reaction” from this process. This event is named after the doctor who discovered that when you take antibiotics and have a massive die off of harmful microorganisms, you get sick. The holistic wellness industry has used this term outside of what it was originally used to describe (post-antibiotic ingestion only) to refer to a toxic overload that exists in the system due to any massive die off, not just the ones experienced from antibiotic use.
As the candida die off started to happen in my system and I didn’t take the necessary steps to clear those toxins out of my body, I got sick. REALLY sick. And guess how it manifested for me? Depression. Horrible barely able to function depression.
I called in two friends who I have an enormous amount of respect for and basically we had a wellness intervention. Jan Johnson is a registered holistic dietitian and Therese Close is a brilliant nurse and mind/body guru and they explained to me what was going on. Prior to this meeting I had never heard the term “Herx reaction.”
My body was creating a huge die off of candida but my “brilliant” doctor (who I was paying a shitload of money) had made no accommodations in my treatment plan for clearing those toxins out of my body. End game = they were accumulating and wreaking havoc with my system. Once I got this straight and started taking care of the toxic load, things improved and I recovered fairly quickly from the symptoms of detox. But the time I spent in limbo, unable to function, depressed, overwhelmed, scared – all of it unnecessary.
The best way to detox is to not put all that crap in your system to begin with, right? You know I’ve got to come right out and say this, don’t you? Reducing the load of garbage your body has to deal with on a regular basis is key to overall good health.
In addition to the toxins that are in our food and water, we are also breathing in toxins and absorbing them from through the largest organ in/on our body, your skin. That’s a LOT of crap for your system to be dealing with daily. A LOT. So helping it on a regular basis is a really good thing.
Here is a list of a six things you can integrate into your routine to help the body detox more regularly. And remember, these are only a few suggestions, I’m the girl who believe in tiny consistent steps to build new habits, remember?
- Drink a glass of room temperature water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning. Add a little cayenne if you aren’t afraid of the heat. For that matter, drink more water, period. Flushing the toxins out of your body with greater frequency while hydrating the system is a double winner.
- Fiber, fiber, fiber. Real fiber, not some powdered crap but fiber found in whole foods. Fiber keeps things moving along in the system. Think of it as tiny little scrubbing brushes. If you aren’t a good regular crapper, then the toxins that are stuck in your colon can be reabsorbed into your system while they are waiting for the express bus to the pool. My #1 choice of fiber…the green smoothie. Why, you ask? Because the fibers are ground up and broken down into a form that allows the body to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients easily and efficiently all the while helping to keep things moving forward. Remember, we don’t chew our food enough. This ensures one good solid source of fiber rich, nutrient dense foods in your life at least once daily (hopefully twice – make one, drink it twice). Sign up for my newsletter below to get my autoimmune green smoothie giveway.
- Get your sweat on. Those of us with Hashimotos have to be careful with heavy cardio exercise. It can be a bit much for us. Infared sauna, hot yoga, sex maybe??… Choose your favorite way to liberate toxins from your body one pore at a time.
- Dry brush before showering. This helps to stimulate the lymph in the body and keep things moving through the system. Dry brushing is more powerful than you might think. I did it once before a hot bath and the double whammy of the heat and the brushing kicked my ass. FYI, inversion tables, yoga inversion poses and re-bounders are also helpful to shake things in the lymph system that are naturally pulled down by gravity.
- Go organic. The less garbage you put in the less you have to remove.
- Detoxing just be an occasional event. It should be something you are doing daily. Just because you can’t see or feel the toxins, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. The chemical load that the body has to process daily is mind blowing. Do what you can to help it out. It will thank you with better health in the long run.
Remember, a lot of small steps add up to bigger success. Always.
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