Category Archives: Detoxification
by Carolanne Wright
(NaturalNews) Believe it or not, the holiday season is almost upon us – and with it, the usual overindulgence and weight gain. But we can take action to offset the damage. Armed with a simple daily detox drink and metabolism-boosting remedies, we can keep our waistlines in check and ensure all the festivities won’t dampen health.
Effortless weight management
Honey lemon detox
Many have heard of the famous detox with lemon juice and honey that is making the rounds over the Internet. There’s a good reason the recipe is such a phenomenal success: it’s easy and it works. Even using a scaled-down version of the cleanse is beneficial for enhancing metabolism. Each morning upon waking, drink eight ounces of warm water with two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey. With this daily ritual, the liver is given a supportive, cleansing boost. And when the liver is functioning properly, we can sustain a healthy weight more easily.
Cinnamon with honey
As simple as it may sound, drinking a mug of warm cinnamon tea with honey is one of the best ways to balance blood sugar, spur metabolism and shed excess weight. Since abdominal fat is sensitive to the compounds in cinnamon, it’s an ideal choice if you need to slim down in this region. To make the tea, dissolve half a teaspoon of organic, ground cinnamon in a cup of boiling water. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Next, stir in one teaspoon of honey and enjoy immediately. For optimal results, practice this habit first thing in the morning and away from food.
Who would have guessed that consuming honey before bedtime could melt away body fat while you sleep? According to British pharmacist Mike McInnes and his son Stuart, a nutritionist, the Hibernation Diet does just that. The duo believe that, when the liver is properly fueled with glycogen in the evening, recovery hormones can do their job during sleep – thereby speeding up metabolism and reducing fat-encouraging stress hormones. Woman’s Day magazine notes that, if you suffer from any of the following symptoms, your liver may not be properly primed with glycogen:
- Acid reflux
- Disrupted sleep
- Waking to urinate
- Dry throat in the morning
- Night cramps and/or sweats
- Early morning nausea and weakness
- Exhausted upon waking
The Hibernation Diet recommends ingesting a spoonful or two of pure honey before bedtime to rev up fat utilization, soothe stress response and support nighttime muscle and tissue regeneration.
Ginger tea in itself is a tremendous metabolism booster, but when combined with honey, it offers a potent elixir for efficient digestion. Drinking a glass of the tea with a teaspoon of honey twenty minutes before a meal will encourage stable blood sugar, optimum digestion and, in turn, favorable calorie utilization and fat burning. To make the tea, peel and grate a one inch chunk of fresh, organic ginger and simmer (covered) in two cups of water. Transfer to a mug and let cool until just warm. Dissolve one teaspoon of honey into the brew and drink promptly. Make sure to consume the grated ginger too for utmost benefit.
Although honey is an astoundingly versatile and beneficial food, it’s important to use discrimination when purchasing. Use only the highest quality honey – namely, one that is organic and raw with honeycomb, royal jelly, bee pollen and propolis included. Manuka honey is another excellent option, as it boasts remarkable healing properties.
Staring at an empty plate is not a requirement of fasting
Pain-free detoxing – Improve your detox experience with natural methods to reduce uncomfortable or painful side effects
(NaturalNews) Some people talk about detoxing like it’s the easiest thing to do. The truth is, that detoxing is not fun and in some cases can produce unpleasant side-effects ranging from dizziness, to headaches, nausea, diarrhea, joint pain, breathing problems, insomnia and seizures.
All detoxing agents force toxins from their deepest recesses to the surface for removal; however, several simple ingredients will accomplish the job, minimizing side-effects. When you learn these few tricks, you’re going to want to smack yourself for being a wuss and ask yourself why you haven’t done a detox sooner.
Drink water every day that is either filtered or from natural springs. Drink the equivalent of half an ounce per pound of body weight. You may need more during detoxing.
The pH drink
It’s very important to maintain your pH and keep it slightly alkaline during and after a detox. The easiest, least expensive way to do this is with a pH drink — and, the drink is also one of the best, most gentle methods of pain-free detoxing.
Mix two ounces of fresh lime or lemon juice with half a teaspoon of baking soda in a tall glass. Allow it to foam until it’s completely flat. Add 12 ounces of water and drink immediately. It should taste like flat lime or lemon with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Drink one to three glasses a day. The pH drink will remove all noxious chemicals and heavy metals and make you feel good as a bonus. It relieves gout, arthritis, acid reflux, headaches, and a host of other physical and mental symptoms.
Juicing and pectin
All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of pectin, with apples and citrus fruits being highest. Pectin is a natural fiber that attracts and binds to heavy metals and toxins, lifting them from bodily tissues. Any form of fresh vegetable or fruit juicing will promote your detox. The more apples, carrots and citrus fruits you include in your juices, the heavier and faster the detox rate. Control your detox and any side-effects by using fewer of these fruits and more leafy, green veggies. One small juice drink daily consisting of about four ounces of juice is adequate for most cowards for healthy detoxing.
Special mercury detox
Mercury is one of the most toxic substances on the planet; and exposure through foods, vaccines and dental amalgums causes it to become deeply embedded in every cell… never to leave, unless you actively detox. Detoxing from mercury is very unpleasant and often causes pain and discomfort physically and mentally. Before efficient mercury removal can be accomplished, you must have dental amalgums removed.
The above methods discussed will gently and slowly remove mercury; however, you may experience symptoms as the mercury is released into your blood. Most detoxing agents will remove mercury from your body, and all will create symptoms to some degree. The homeopathic remedy Hepar Sulf 4X eliminates the symptoms of mercury toxicity during the detox. Take one dose daily by dissolving one pellet of remedy in four ounces of water and sipping one teaspoon.
If symptoms increase, stop the remedy. Do not use homeopathic Mercurius during a mercury detox. It can aggravate symptoms.
The detoxing agent releases noxious substances into the blood stream; but they still need to be removed from the body. Water and pectin assist this process. Another easy method for removing toxins is by eating bread and butter. You heard right. Both bread and butter bind to toxins, especially heavy metals, and escort them from the body through elimination. Eat only organic bread and butter, and if you’re vegetarian, plain bread will work.
I’m not just a bodybuilder, I’m also a health nut, and for that reason I put considerable effort into keeping my liver healthy.
Anyone who’s ever watched Oprah or the Dr. Oz show (okay, not many of you, but still…) likely knows that the liver is essential for filtering out the thousands of toxins we ingest every day, but there’s another, less popular reason why I make my liver a top priority: a healthy liver burns more body fat.
The liver is one of the major fat burning organs in the body, and is often referred to as a “fat pumping” organ. What this means is that the liver can carry fat into the small intestine through bile, where it gets taken out of the body by bowel action.
But if it’s forced to constantly clear out the toxins and other garbage you throw at it, it has a harder time doing the fat metabolizing part of its job description.
So it makes sense, from both a health and body composition perspective, to keep your liver operating at 100% efficiency. Here are some tips to assist you in that quest.
Phase 1 – Detoxification and Cytochrome P-450
One of the liver’s roles in detoxification involves a two-step enzymatic process for the neutralization of unwanted chemical compounds called Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification.
The Phase I detoxification system, often referred to as the “bagging of garbage” phase, starts with cytochrome P450, a family of enzymes that catalyze the oxidation (break down) of organic material (gas, liquid, or solid that contains carbon). These enzymes are found primarily in the liver, but can also be found to some degree in the adrenals and testes.
In Phase 1, cytochrome enzymes try to neutralize toxins to get them ready for excretion by way of Phase 2. In some cases, toxins are neutralized and converted from fat soluble to water soluble and then excreted out by the kidneys. Those toxins that were just neutralized and not excreted in Phase 1 will enter Phase 2.
Without employing adequate free radical defenses, every time the liver neutralizes a toxin it’s subject to damage by the free radicals produced. Antioxidants help to manage this, so be sure to incorporate nutrients like lipoic acid, Vitamin A and E through red palm oil, and selenium through Brazil nuts, just to name a few.
Phase 2 – Detoxification
Phase 2 is where the garbage gets taken out. In this phase, cytochrome enzymes break down toxins from a fat soluble form to a water soluble form, which makes them easier to dispose of. This is where liver cells add other substance carrier molecules like sulfur molecules to assist in the disposal. The “garbage” is then taken out by urine or bile.
So, how do we help facilitate this process?
Drink REAL Cranberry Juice
No, I’m not talking about the artificial, sugar-laden crap like Ocean Spray cranberry cocktail. Many times these juices are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, which actually stresses the liver. Find an organic cranberry juice that is unsweetened and 100% real.
To say that the real stuff is tart would be an understatement. I get mine from Trader Joe’s, and when I’m feeling particularly wealthy (a rare occasion) I buy it at Whole Foods. The 32 ounce bottle shown below is under $4 at Trader Joe’s.
I first read about cranberry juice helping dieter’s lean out in Ann Louise Gittleman’s book “The Fat Flush Plan.” Gittleman maintains that cranberry juice cleanses the lymphatic system, which can help eliminate stubborn fat.
Specifically, it helps provide nutritional support through phytonutrients (anthocyanins, catechins, luteins, and quercetin) for the liver’s cytochrome P450 Phase 1 and 2 detoxification pathways discussed earlier.
Gittleman’s claims include that cranberry juice will noticeably improve cellulite due to this mechanism. Now I must admit, I was skeptical but I gave it a shot with a female client and to my surprise, her cellulite lessened. It didn’t go away completely but her improvement was very noticeable within four weeks. I experimented with a few other female clients, and while it was not a miracle solution, it did help.
How does it work? The lymphatic system is responsible for carrying toxins away from the cells and body tissues. The phytonutrients in cranberry juice help to keep your liver’s detoxification pathways open, so they aren’t jammed up cleaning up the mess left behind by the host of environmental pollutants, trans-fats, sugars, etc. In other words, it helps “take out the trash.”
The way I suggest most people try this is to take a 32-ounce container and put 4 ounces of the juice in it, along with 28 ounces of water. Drink this once a day, trying to build up to twice a day as you get accustomed to it.
This only amounts to 10-20 grams of extra carbs a day, and the additional water is also beneficial as the liver is more efficient at burning fat when you’re well hydrated.
Drink Warm Lemon Water
Lemon juice, specifically the phytochemical d-limonene, acts as a liver tonic and assists in digestion by clearing the detoxification pathways and helping the liver produce more bile.
D-limonene is found in the essential oils of citrus fruits and many other plant species and has been shown in animal studies to be cancer protective. The theory is that limonene’s protective effects are due to it being a strong inducer of both Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification enzymes that neutralize carcinogens.
Limonene also promotes the health of the GST (Glutathione S-transferase) system in the liver and small intestine, decreasing the negative effects of carcinogens. Another interesting fact is that d-limonene isa solvent of cholesterol, so it’s been used clinically to dissolve cholesterol-containing gallstones.
The best way to use lemon juice appears to be in the mornings, when our bodies are in a natural cleansing phase. Use the juice of a fresh lemon in a cup of hot water and the lemon juice should be 100% real, namely fresh squeezed, not “from concentrate.” Fact is, consuming anything sour makes the liver and gallbladder get rid of toxins, so real lime juice can also work.
Mix the juice of half a lemon with warm water. Cold water causes vasoconstriction in the stomach, resulting in less blood flow to the area, whereas warm water causes vasodilatation and will help increase metabolic rate.
D-limonene’s half life is 12-24 hours, so one warm cup of lemon water every morning should be sufficient.
Consume Insoluble Fiber
I’m not a believer in using ground flax seed to obtain your EFA requirements, but its insoluble fiber content does make it useful for moving food and waste through your intestinal track. Insoluble fiber absorbs water in your digestive track and builds up stool bulk, helping it move quicker through the digestive system. Without insoluble fiber, food can move so slowly that it literally starts to rot in your intestine. Soluble fiber also helps slow digestion, allowing you to absorb more nutrients.
When you don’t get enough fiber, up to 90% of your cholesterol and bile acids get reabsorbed and recirculated. This is just additional liver stress that can take away from its ability to metabolize fat. As fat and toxins are left in your body, they recirculate back into the liver in a process called “enterohepatic circulation,” which means recirculation of bile back into the liver from the gut/small intestine.
It’s normal for bile to go through this process and it occurs six to eight times a day, but if the bile is carrying a load of chemicals with it, problems like fatty liver disease and poor regulation of cholesterol levels can arise. A healthy fiber intake can help prevent this from happening as it can transport the bad stuff out of your body so that it’s not put back into circulation and your liver.
How to Keep Your Liver Detoxification Pathways Clear
Now that you know a few things that help assist in liver detoxification, what kind of things should you do to keep your detoxification pathways running smoothly?
- Avoid the Terrible Trifecta: trans-fats, commercial vegetable oils high in omega 6, and sugar. Simply minimizing consumption of these three categories of “foods” and you’ll be light years ahead of the pack!
- Eat organic whole eggs. Whole eggs are loaded with sulfur-based amino acids cysteine, methionine, and taurine. These help the liver to regulate bile production. It can also help Phase 2 of the detoxification pathway as the sulfur-based aminos act as carrier molecules to take out the trash.
Egg yolks also are loaded with phoshatidylcholine, a great nutrient for overall liver health. It helps to prevent fatty liver, and helps maintain gall bladder function. PC plays a very important role in the transport of fats throughout the bloodstream.
- Eat kale! Kale is my all-time favorite veggie, mainly due to its antioxidant power. It also contains sulforaphane, a substance that helps convert toxins into nontoxic waste for elimination.
As bodybuilders, often our tendency is to focus only on the things that add weight to the bar and inches to our arms. But if your internal health doesn’t match the external, those pretty pecs and bulging biceps aren’t much more than sugar coating.
Fresh juices, fiber, eggs, and avoiding the junk you know you should be avoiding. Who says keeping your body’s filter squeaky clean needs to be complicated?
As always, send any questions you may have to the Livespill.