"When our bodies become toxic, it means that our natural means of ushering out metabolic waste from a normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet) have exceeded the threshold for what the body's innate detoxification system can tolerate on its own. With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!" --Dr. Mark Hyman, Functional Medical Doctor & Teacher
Cleansing and eating "clean" is such an important and productive process for your body. Our bodies need to clear out the built-up waste in our systems to leave you feeling lighter and cleaner.
Some people do a detox or cleanse in order to lose weight, but it is so much more than that. Sure, it will result in weight loss but it will also improve your digestion, improve your metabolism, uncover any hidden food allergies and decrease inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of all major, and minor, illnesses. These are things such as chronic colds, brittle nails, hormonal imbalances, dry skin, dry hair and constipation...just to name a few!
Every food you consume, every breath you inhale and everything you touch each day brings contaminants. This constant barrage forces your liver to work hard to detoxify your body daily. There is no way to avoid these toxins so our bodies have to work that much harder to process them. When we stop and give the body a rest by eating whole, clean foods, your body will naturally detox and reset itself. This will leave you feeling amazing!
So why is detoxing in the Fall a good thing? For starters, it prepares your body for the winter months both physically and emotionally. It helps to prevent common winter illnesses and attaining a clearer and more focused mental state. We could all use that, right? Our bodies tend to build up toxins over the summer months of heat that can lead to coughs, migraines and stuffy noses in the coming weeks. Fall is a wonderful time to slow down and move the focus inward, purging the toxicity that is keeping us from being the best version of ourselves. It is similar to the trees losing their leaves; you are shedding what is no longer serving you as you ready yourself for the coming cold months.
During a Fall Cleanse or Detox, we honor the lungs and the large intestine.
Physical: Optimal delivery of oxygen. Supports healthy immune system and good digestion. Preventative against colds and winter congestion.
Emotional: Release feelings of sadness and prevent the "winter blues."
Physical: Cleanse and support for healthy functioning, better support of the immune system and optimal digestion.
Emotional: Release negative emotions that are not serving the body well. Letting go.
Hopefully this helps to understand why cleansing in the Fall is so vital and important to our health in the coming winter months. It really is essential to keeping your immune system up and running at its best to protect you!
My first Fall Clean Eating Group Program began today and we have an amazing group that are committed to cleansing in a fun, healthy way. That group is now closed but the second group is now open for registration and will begin November 4th. In addition, if you are looking to get started on your own schedule, there is a DIY option available as well.
I highly recommend joining in this Fall with my incredible program and support the entire step of the way. You will be so glad you did!
This article I wrote originally appeared on Mind, Body, Green July 27, 2013.
I had an article run on Mind, Body, Green a few weeks ago and had great response from readers. They changed my title to "10 Signs You're Eating Right for Your Body" but I still like mine better: "10 Side Effects of Eating Healthy."
In case you missed it, here is the full article:
Two years ago, I made it my mission to eat a healthy diet filled with whole foods and fresh vegetables. This wasn't just a personal decision, I did it for my family as well. (Back then, my idea of a veggie was fried okra or a red pepper slipping into my chicken fajita). Needless to say, it took me a while and lots of experimenting, but it was the best decision I've ever made (besides marrying my husband, of course)! Now that I know what foods work for me, I wanted to let you know what you can expect when you start to make fresh vegetables a staple of your diet.
1. You poop regularly.
Let's just get this one out of the way. So many people don’t talk about it, but going #2 is vital and you should be doing this every day. I know people for whom “normal” is once a week. That is so far from normal and I cannot even imagine
how uncomfortable that must be. Eating healthy means pooping regularly.
2. You maintain a healthy weight without stressing or obsessing.
Perhaps obvious, this is an amazing side effect! So many people struggle to reach and maintain a healthy weight. If you makeover your diet to real, whole foods, your weight will go down and stay down. No need to count calories, fat grams, weigh your food on a scale, or count points.
3. After dinner, you actually have the energy to go see a movie.
So often, my husband and I would go out for Mexican food planning to see a movie or get a drink afterward. But once we
walked out of the restaurant, we were both so bloated and full that all we wanted to do was go home and get on the couch. If you have a sensible dinner, you'll have all the energy in the world to dance til midnight if you choose.
4. Your clothes fit better.
This is true until they start to fall off. You'll find the first few weeks that your favorite jeans are a little baggy. And then one day you have to go buy a belt. Then you'll have to go buy a new pair of jeans. (I don’t know about you, but going into the Gap and picking out a smaller size was for me, a very good day.)
5. Your sex drive goes up.
Yep, this is true! When people feel and look better, they are more open with their bodies, which leads to you-know-what.
I've read quite a few stories from men who go meat-free for a month and have had amazing results in the bedroom.
6. You sleep better.
When I used to make a habit of eating things that were bad for me, I'd sometimes wake up in the middle of the night with a horrible stomach ache. I used to assume I had a stomach virus, because I had no idea it because I was eating the wrong foods for my body. I now lay my head down, turn on my meditation app, and am in dream land in no time.
7. You're happier.
This is a pretty broad and bold statement, but when you feel better, you're generally happier. You will find yourself talking to strangers and maybe even giving advice to people at the grocery store. I find myself holding doors for people, letting a rushed driver cut in front of me and not even minding. Feeling healthy makes you happy, happy, happy.
8. Your friends think you're a little weird.
Expect this side effect at the beginning. When you go out and they order the usual high-calorie, fatty and greasy food, while you order an amazing salad, they're going to think you've lost your mind. Don’t worry, after time, they'll get used to it, but you'll have to listen to their justifications about how crazy you are for a while. Even better is going to a coffee shop and ordering hot tea or making a yummy smoothie in the break room at the office. This will make their head spin.
9. You stop taking over-the-counter meds.
I used to have major allergies that would turn into full blown sinus infections several times a year. I cringe when I think of how many rounds of antibiotics I used to take, or how I'd get ticked off if they didn’t give me a Z-Pak. I have not had any of these infections in well over a year now. Others completely reversed, (yes, reversed!) their Type 2 diabetes by doing
nothing other than changing what they eat. Could food be the miracle drug we're all looking for?
10. You want to tell the world your story.
This will happen as you slowly change your thinking and your habits. Once it's been a few months and you've experienced all the side effects above, you'll want to shout it to the world!
Go ahead, you might just save someone’s life.
My mission as a Certified Health Coach is to make the world a happier, healthier place, one person, one meal at a time, with love and gratitude. I work to inspire others to live a life of prevention and overall wellness!