Today I want to share further information about cleanse, detox,
toxins, clean eating and the basics of an elimination diet.
I get asked these questions often and want to help you understand what all this really means for you and your health.
What is the difference between a cleanse and a detox?
Both detox and cleanse focus on bringing your body into perfect
balance, or homeostasis, where the organs self-regulate to keep the body’s internal environment stable.
A detox focuses on releasing toxicity from metals, chemicals found in cleaning products, cigarette smoke, food and drink, etc. from the body, sometimes from specific organs and/or the blood stream.
A cleanse focuses mainly on cleansing the organs on a deeper level and removing unwanted wastes that accumulate in the colon, digestive tract, and liver that can lead to disease or gut imbalances such as candida, parasites and unwanted pathogens.
In my Winter Clean Eating Program, Eat to Nourish, we are combining the principles of both a detox and a cleanse. Often a cleanse goes deeper into the organs and can include some fasting or a liquid diet for a short amount of time, but I do not believe you need to take this approach to get results. We are ditching the fasting, the pills, and the powders, and focusing instead on improving your digestion. You will only eat whole, seasonal foods that are designed to support your body’s natural processes of detoxification and cleansing.
What is a toxin?
A toxin is any substance that can be harmful to the body, causing allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, bloating, digestive upset, or an overall feeling of sickness. These can be from eating harmful foods, using toxic loaded personal care products and even the air we breathe. You cannot escape toxins
permanently, but you can work to cleanse/detox your system from them.
What is clean eating?
This is a phrase that has become very popular in the past five years. Clean eating is a way of life. By avoiding foods that are processed or refined, which may contain nitrates, chemicals, and pesticides, you reduce your exposure to free radicals that can harm your system and cause disease. By choosing ingredients in their most natural, whole state, including clean animal- or plant- based proteins, and preparing them in healthy fats, you reduce inflammation in your body, balance your pH levels, and improve vitality.
What is an elimination diet?
An elimination diet, such as this program, aims to uncover hidden food allergies and sensitivities and improve your digestion by discovering which foods are right for your body. You eat amazing, whole foods for a week then slowly introduce foods afterward. Your body will tell you what works and what doesn’t.
By cleaning out your digestive system and balancing it with whole foods, you are getting a clean start to finding out any hidden food sensitivities.
I hope this helps to clarify some of the terms associated with my programs. There is not much
better than knowing how to eat correctly for your body. It is truly amazing! For more information on how to get started: Winter Clean Eating Program
This article as originally appeared on Mind, Body, Green November 1, 2013.
By now we all know that October was National Breast Cancer Awareness month. This means that for a month, everyone wears pink and buys “pink” products to support awareness. But aren’t we already aware of breast cancer? I don’t need pink products thrown in my face all month to make me more “aware.” If anything, it really bothers me. What infuriates me is seeing what companies do to market their products, all in the name of "awareness."
This was blatantly obvious recently as I paid for a salad at my local café. There was a basket full of brown cookies with pink things in them.
“What kind of cookie is that?” I said.
The lady told me that they were chocolate cookies with pink M&M’s to raise awareness for breast cancer.
Really? Are you kidding me? Since when did a cookie serve as awareness for anything besides Type II diabetes?
She asked if I wanted to buy one and I politely declined. Why would I buy a cookie just to add to their bottom line? There was no note saying where the proceeds would go and she had no idea. So in reality, this was just a way
to sell more cookies.
There is actually a term for this kind of marketing: Pinkwashing. Wikipedia describes pinkwashing as “the promotion of consumer goods and services using the pink ribbon that represents support for breast cancer-related charities.”
Sure, this sounds great in theory, but how many of these goods and services are actually sending their money to any charity? That’s really the question and there's no real way to know the answer when it comes to smaller companies.
When researching, I found that the Susan G. Komen foundation receives over $55 million, (YES MILLION), a year from corporate partnerships that sell their products and make a donation. The real issue here is that some of these
products are harmful for anyone who is healthy, much less someone going through any kind of cancer treatment. If you're buying beauty products or perfumes, you can bet that they most likely contain cancer-causing ingredients. If the product contains “fragrance” then it’s a sure bet it is not safe. If it has ingredients that you cannot pronounce, it most likely is harmful to use.
Does anyone remember KFC and their “Buckets for a Cure?” They sold their chicken in pink buckets and the proceeds went to Komen. This marketing strategy actually made $4.2 million for Komen, which is the largest single contribution in the organization's history.
Has anyone looked into what is in that bucket of chicken? It's filled with harmful ingredients known to cause obesity, which plays a role in inflammation, diabetes and cancer, among other diseases. I am sad for all the families who ate that bucket of chicken thinking they were doing something good for “the cure.”
It seems like every product in the store this month has a “pink” version. This is great if the money is actually going somewhere useful. But how do you know? Some reputable stores will give you full details. Some won’t. My advice?
Just be cautious buying something that you don’t need only because it's pink.
Many larger companies claim that they will donate a certain percentage of sales to a specific charity. However, many of these companies put a cap on their donations and don’t mention it. So if the cap is lower, the majority of the sales go right back to that company instead of any reputable charity that is actually helping those battling breast cancer.
Perhaps my dislike of this month is for more personal reasons. My mom died in 2009 at the age of 61 of breast cancer. It was devastating for me. Prior to that, we participated in the Walk for the Cure and I remember her proudly standing with a huge smile on her face in the “Survivor Photo” as well as receiving a pink rose at the finish line of the walk. Those are great memories and I am thankful to the Komen group for organizing. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do any kind of walk like that since she passed away. It's just too emotional for me.
So let’s focus on prevention and helping those who are already diagnosed. Let’s see what can be done to help the families as they go through this horrendous disease. But please don’t ask me to buy junk food to raise awareness. I’m already aware.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives used in foods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care products such as deodorants, moisturizers, shampoos and even toothpaste. Common parabens include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. These preservatives allow skin care products to survive for months or even years in your medicine cabinet without going rancid. The problem with this is that they are absorbed by your skin when you use products containing parabens. According to Mercola.com, the body can absorb as much as five pounds of cosmetic chemicals every year. That number is astounding! We all know that eating healthy is good for us, but many people forget or don’t even realize that what we put on our skin is just as important. Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system. What does this mean to you? In tests, parabens have been shown to slightly mimic estrogen which is known to play a role in breast cancer. There are also studies showing that parabens could be related to the increasing prevalence of early puberty in girls.
”The World Health Organization and United Nations this year concluded : “Exposure to E.D.C.’s (endocrine disruptors) during fetal development and puberty plays a role in the increased incidences of reproductive diseases, endocrine-related cancers, behavioral and learning problems, including A.D.H.D., infections, asthma, and perhaps obesity and diabetes in humans.” See source & article here.
So why do companies make and sell products with known endocrine disruptors?
Well, because it is cheap. They are efficient at preserving the life of the products at a low cost. The health of the consumer is not taken into concern with many companies; it is more about their bottom line.
There are studies out there showing that parabens might be safe, and others stating that they are not. I would rather purchase products that do not contain this preservative just to err on the side of caution. My mom died of breast cancer at the age of 61 which led me to research all I could about different products that we put on our bodies. I don’t want to wait another 10 years for studies to come out saying that parabens are definitely playing a role in the increasing rate of breast cancer. And for my daughter, I want her to grow up as toxin-free as possible.
I urge you to read the labels of all your personal care products and see what is really inside. If there are ingredients you cannot pronounce, chances are, they aren’t good for you.
The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is an excellent website where you can go and check the toxicity level of your products. I encourage you to go online to be aware of what you are putting on your body, which ultimately gets absorbed into your system. SKIN DEEP DATABASE EWG is constantly working to make sure we all know what is in our products. They have made great strides in making companies clean up their products which is a huge benefit to all of us.
Currently, you can join their petition to clean up the ingredients in both L’Oreal and Revlon products. “Many companies are reformulating their products to remove DMDM Hydantoin, which releases cancer-causing formaldehyde, and four parabens linked to endocrine disruption. But Revlon and L'Oreal are sticking with their formulations and leaving customers at risk.”
If you are looking for a place to start, check your deodorant. This is something you use every day and that goes right under your arm around lymph nodes. You will be shocked by what you find in these that are known endocrine disruptors, toxins and tied to cancer. For my family, we use Ava Anderson’s deodorant that is free of all toxins and actually works. For more information, see my website here. The top 5 harmful chemicals you want to avoid in deodorant are: Aluminum, Parabens, Propylene glycol, Phthalates and Triclosan. If you see any of these listed, don’t use it!
"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!
I have always worked full-time since my daughter was born so I haven't had the chance to be a "PTA Mom." I was always willing to send in $20 for whatever the PTA needed, but I just didn't have the time to volunteer myself. This year, my daughter started middle school (6th Grade) and I decided that I would find time to be more involved. I am realizing how fast these years are flying by and want to make sure I don't miss anything. I also want to know what is going on with her and the school that she spends 8 hours at each day.
So when I saw there was an opening for the "Healthy Lifestyles Chair" I immediately signed up. I didn't give myself time to second guess it or list all the reasons why I couldn't do it. How could I not make time for something like this?
So tonight I am sitting here trying to put together my official Plan Of Work for this position that apparently has no history or guidelines to work from. I have been reading until my eyes are crossing about what other schools in Texas have done. What I am discovering is exactly why we need more health information in our schools.
Here are a few statistics that I came across that are really alarming:
Most kids, and lots of adults, naturally reach for a Coke or energy drink when they are thirsty or feeling tired. It has become a full blown habit. And we all know that habits are hard to break.
Every time we drink a sugary soda, we are consuming a huge amount of sugar and completely empty calories. So what do we do? What can I do with this position I have volunteered for? I think the answer is education. Many kids have no idea how bad these sodas and energy drinks are for them. Did you know that one 20 ounce can of Coke has 17.6 teaspoons of sugar? Drinking just one of these a day could contribute enough extra calories to equal 27 pounds a year. Now that is just crazy!
Here is what I propose for parents out there:
I still have to finish writing my POW for the PTA. I am not even sure where to start! But I am going to do my best to fulfill this position as best I can.
Cleansing/Detox: Are you a little tempted to try it?
Do you wonder about it?
Cleansing has become very popular lately which is great that it is getting the exposure it needs. We are all carrying around 5-7 pounds of toxins that are making us sick!
If you eat a lot and only eliminate once a day or worse (LESS!!!!) then you are not getting rid of all that is going in! If we are clogged up (even with a healthy diet) then we get sick. Our colon gets crusted over from eating meat, dairy, breads, processed foods, cakes, candy and bad fat. It is just gross, think of all the fried foods and weight you are still carrying around with you and what is building on it.
The intestine draws in needed nutrients for the body and if your intestines are not able to get the nutrients, your food is wasted. If food doesn’t move easily through the intestines, then it starts to build up and we become constipated, cramped, gain weight, become depressed and our immune system quits working and we ultimately become sick.
Are you depressed? Has your doctor ever prescribed colonic treatment as a cure? I doubt it! Our belly has serotonin receptors, the build up and sickness in our belly can cause depression.
If you are not convinced by now that you need to clear some of the goo away, there is more. Our stomach produces mucus to guard against acids, this is healthy. It is when we continually eat McDonalds and Burger King that we overproduce the stuff and it all gets clogged up…ick.
Along with eliminating daily waste, our body has the job to defend itself against toxins. The normal detoxification process is pretty amazing:
So, by now you should be convinced that our bodies need help.
There are different ways to detox and cleanse your body. Some are very natural, non controversial and extremely healthy. Some may seem extreme and others are simple. How you choose to cleanse is important.
Different cleansing aids:
This is the controversial part. The Mayo Clinic says “don’t do it”. However, colon cleansing is prescribed more and more by doctors looking for a more holistic approach to wellness.
If you are planning to do an enema or colon cleanse, go to a good and well-trained colon hydro therapist.
Colon cleansing could possibly have an effect on the nervous system. The reflexes in the bowel affect the nervous system. There is no debate that a lot of symptoms that are caused by being constipated can be relieved with colon therapy.
Colon cleansing can be achieved with processed powders and liquid potions. You take some supplements used for colon cleansing by mouth or through the rectum. These products help the colon to expel its contents. There is no evidence that they have any long term benefit of building immunity or repairing the body’s systems.
Colon cleansing with colon irrigation. The irrigation works like an enema. There is no odor or discomfort if you have a good hydro therapist. You lay down on a table and a low-pressure pump or a gravity-based reservoir flushes several gallons of water through a small tube inserted into your rectum. The therapist sits with you the entire time. After a while, the therapist might massage your belly to loosen things up a little. This process comfortably flushes the fluid and waste through. It usually takes about an hour. Most colon hydro therapists suggest regular visits. Maybe once a month for a while and then progressing to once every other month. You should always drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration after as well as taking probiotics to restore good bacteria and wheatgrass (and because I think you should have wheatgrass with everything!)
Many doctors say your digestive system and bowel naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria — your body doesn’t need colon cleansing to do this.
Those who like colon cleansing, think that toxins cause many health problems, like arthritis, allergies and asthma. They believe a colonic or a colonic irrigation —removes toxins and strengthens your immune system.
You are the only one who can decide whether this type of cleansing is right for you.
You should not use colonics if you have Crohn’s disease, IBS, acute diverticulitis, pregnancy, or diarrhea or if part of your colon has been removed.
If you are ready to safely and effectively release the toxins that are built up in your system while eating amazing foods, please sign up for my detox here:
Still not sure? Contact me for more information and be sure to read the testimonials of those that have gone through the program. It's only one week long to a glowing and healthy new YOU!
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!