9 Detox tips to boost your energy and balance your hormones

Are you experiencing any hormone imbalance symptoms such as acne, headaches around your cycles, symptoms of estrogen dominance like breast tenderness, or feeling sluggish and moody, or struggle with high or low thyroid symptoms?  You might benefit from resetting your body and hormones with a 4 week detox.  It’s not all about shakes and diets, but these are  holistic approaches that address your environment and some key root causes that could cause the imbalances.

The total load is a total amount of stressors on your system at any one time.  Like a glass with yucky water.  It takes a certain amount to fill the glass and then, after a certain point, you put more in and it overflows, and symptoms show up.

When our detoxification system is overwhelmed, we start getting symptoms and get sick, but it may be years of accumulation of stress and toxins that gets you to that point.   These  total load can include:

  • Heavy metals like mercury, lead.
  • Pesticides and fertilizers
  • Food allergies, environmental allergies
  • Mold and mold toxins.
  • A poor diet like the Standard American diet
  • Mental, emotion and spiritual stress like isolation, loneliness, jealousy, anger 
  • Medications if unnecessary or overdosing.  We do need medications sometimes, but it’s important to evaluate our risk versus benefits taking them regularly.
  • Internal toxins like bacteria, fungi, yeast, parasites  in our gut
  • And Hormonal toxins and metabolic toxins  that we can’t eliminate efficiently from our system.

Who can benefit from a detox?

If you have been experiencing the symptoms below?

  • Low mood
  • Low energy
  • Brain fog
  • Mood swings
  • Poor sleep
  • Unrefreshed sleep
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular periods
  • Painful periods
  • Bloating
  • Hair loss
  • Acne
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Stubborn weight
  • Muscles aches
  • Joint pain
  • Estrogen dominance
  • Bloating
  • Endometriosis

What are the key process of a detox?

Reduce your toxin load. Avoiding hormone disrupting compounds found in foods and our environment is also key to prevent interfering hormone signaling in our system.

Increase your ability to remove them from the system by regular bowel movements, and optimal urine output and sweating by increasing hydration.

And Improving the detoxification system in your body especially in your gut and liver.  That is where good quality nutrients usually from plant based whole foods come in.  Along with getting sufficient good quality, well sourced plant or animal protein as another key ingredient for the detoxification pathway. 

9 Detox Steps to Balance your hormone and boost your energy

1. Drink plenty of clean water.

Dilution is the best form of detoxification. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of filtered water a day as your baseline, then increase another 16 oz during a detox.

2. Keep your bowels moving. 

Your toxins are removed from the body through your bowel movements, so keep them moving at least once or twice a day.

If you can’t get going, even with increase vegetables and fruits in your diet, then you need some help and this can include taking two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, taking probiotics and extra magnesium capsules around 400mg  in the form of magnesium citrate. If you have any chronic diseases or problems you have to be careful about taking supplements, you should work with your doctor.Your toxins are removed from the body through your bowel movements, so keep them moving. 

3. Sweat.

You want to sweat lots at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam or detox bath (Epsom salt 1cup, baking soda 2tbsp).

4. Avoid external toxins

Reduce your environment and food exposures to common toxins.

Use https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ to guide you on your personal care products.

Use https://www.ewg.org/consumer-guides to get consumer guides to your home cleaning products, seafood choice and water source guides. 

5. Improve your diet.

a) Eat organic produce and animal products as best as you can.

Use Dirty Dozen list and the Clean Fifteen list from Environment Work Groups.

b) Eat at least 8 – 10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily

include some from each group every day, ideally in every meal:
Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi.
Dark leafy greens: arugula, turnip greens, basil, cilantro, dandelions, great for stir fry or smoothies.
Allium or the garlic family: garlic and onions, which help increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification.
Bile supporting vegetables that helps body bind to toxins better: bitter greens, dandelion greens, berries, beets, milk thistles.
High in Antioxidants and phytonutrients: Artichokes, apple, berries, pomegranate seeds, mandarins.  

c) Eat enough protein

Eat at least your body weight of Kg in gram of protein each day. (For example, if you are 75Kg, eat 75g of protein).
Your liver requires protein to run detox pathways in the form of amino acids.  Eat organic, pasture raised meat, or legumes, nuts and seeds. 

d) Choose healthy fats

Fats and oils from avocados, coconut, flaxseed, olives, and sesame seeds are great for detoxification.
Avocados are full of healthy dietary fiber, monounsaturated fat. And phytosterols that help with healthy function of the intestines and immune system.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides that can provide energy sources to the gut and liver especially during detoxification

e) Avoid Toxins, Stimulants, sedatives

Sugar – can be inflammatory and stresses your hormones
Alcohol – such as caffeine and nicotine and try to reduce alcohol intake.
Inflammatory fats – Most polyunsaturated fats are chemically fragile, and can cause chronic inflammation. Avoid processed vegetable oils like peanut oil, soybean, and canola oils
Caffeine, Nicotine are also a burden to your liver system.

6. Consider Supplements for extra support

To improve the detoxification system in your body, especially in your gut and liver, we need good quality nutrients usually from whole foods and well sourced plant or animal protein, but sometimes supplements can move along the process especially if we have a high toxic load.
I use this detox kit in my practice and personally because of the high quality, non GMO, gluten free, food coloring free commitments. There is a Pea Protein option and a Bone Broth based option in my store.  I do this detox cleanse every 4-6 months to optimize my hormone and liver system, and it helps me lose any extra weight from inflammation.  Be sure to check with your doctor to see if these supplements are appropriate for you.

7. Exercise every day

Exercise can improve circulation and optimize the lymphatic system which is key for a good detoxification.
Move joyfully every day.
And focus on a mix of high intensity interval training, strength training, and aerobic exercises during the week.

8. Sleep at least 8 hours every night

Sleep is where your repair, recover and restore.
Check out these tips for a better sleep.

9. Manage your Stress

Relax deeply every day to get your nervous system into a state of calm, rest and relaxation.
Try this breathing meditation technique.  Practice them for 7-11 minute in the morning or before bed. Or use an app like Calm or Insight timer.

Try this recipe for its detox benefits!

What’s next after a Marie Kondo style decluttering? Top 10 tip for a Non-Toxic Home make over

There’s been such hype since Marie Kondo is on netflix on teaching people how to find joy in decluttering our home from non-joyful items.   It’s personally helped me create both physical and mental space in prioritize what’s special to honor in my own home.

In honor the theme of building a happy, healthy non toxic home, here’s a guide to share.  Also a Youtube video of a webinar I did recently that breaks it all down.  Enjoy!

Top 10 areas for Decreasing Toxic Exposures in you home.

Certain chemicals applied to your skin or in the air can be absorbed by your body and may cause harm to your cells and organ systems. They can cause inflammation and increase the body’s production of free radicals, thus increasing your likelihood of developing chronic health problems.

1. Food

  1. Shift your food purchases and consumption to organic when possible. It is most important to use organic dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.) Free-range meats and eggs are desirable to purchase as organic. Minimize the use of large fish (swordfish, tuna, etc.) as they are higher in mercury.
  2. Purchase organic strawberries and apples, and refer to the Environmental Working Group or Consumer Reports websites to stay current about which fruits and veggies are most important to eat organic.

2. Products

  1. Purchase the most natural cleaning and other household products you can find
  2. Avoid spraying pesticides or herbicides in your home or your property.
  3. For hair products (including shampoo and colors) look for products without alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, paraben, phthalate or other petrochemicals. Check your local yellow pages and magazines to see if there is an environmentally oriented hair salon in your area. Use Hair wax instead of hairspray.
  4. Avoid using hair sprays.
  5. Avoid perfumes or other skin or hair care products that use synthetic fragrances.

3. Skin Care and Makeup

  1. Use low-toxin makeup and skin creams (avoid products with: phthalates, parabens, propylene glycol, alcohols and fragrances). In general, skin care products from health food stores without the above ingredients are a safer bet.
  2. Consider using antioxidant creams on your skin: low solvent products with CoQ10 and Vitamin C. Antiperspirants and Deodorant
  3. Avoid aluminum-containing antiperspirants and antacids. Since virtually all antiperspirants contain aluminum, it may be advisable to minimize or discontinue use.
  4. Use natural make-up (sold at Whole Foods, Bare Escentuals®, 100% Pure®) www.100percentpure.com
  5. Use natural body lotion or cream, may also use coconut oil or shea butter as a moisturizer

4. Water

  1. Water can have many toxins and thus regular consumption of unfiltered water can significantly contribute to the toxic load of your body. Water quality will vary from city to city but in general it is better to filter tap water with a multi-stage carbon filter or reverse osmosis filter.
  2. Try to avoid bottled water in soft plastic containers as the plastics often leach into the water. Minimize the use of plastic water bottles that have been in a hot car. Minimize the use of camel-back type plastic water containers. Mineral waters in glass bottles are generally safe.
  3. Drink approximately 6-8 glasses of water or healthy liquids each day. Use glass when possible.
  4. Filter shower water in order to limit your exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons.

5. Plastics

  1. Plastics can disrupt hormones in your body. Avoid plastic bottles and containers with the numbers 3, 6 and 7 on the bottom. These are most likely to leach plastics into the food, juice or water that they contain.
  2. Buy juices and water in glass containers when possible. Avoid PVCs.
  3. Do not microwave in plastic containers. Minimize washing plastic containers in the dishwasher under high heat.
  4. Minimize the use of cling wraps; try to use paper wraps.

6. Dental Care

  1. Avoid mercury amalgam fillings.
  2. Get second opinions on root canals.
  3. Pick a dentist who is aware of healthy choices for the mouth perhaps a more holistic or biologically oriented dentist who does not place new mercury fillings.
  4. Pick a non flouride toothpaste.  Use water pik, xylitol mouth rinse, and a xylitol toothpaste. Optimize your mouth and gut microbiome can also improve your oral health.

7. Home

  1. Use only green and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) products in a remodel or a new home. Avoid furniture with particle board or buy used furniture that has had a chance to “off gas.” Let a new car off gas by keeping the windows open.
  2. Use an air filter such as a HEPA filter with a charcoal filter to clean the debris in the air.
  3. Minimize the amount of regular carpet in your home, or use natural carpets.
  4. Avoid using pesticides in your house.
  5. Take off shoes at the door to decrease indoor chemicals and pesticides.
  6. Change the filter on your furnace every 3 months, using the best allergy furnace filter you can find.  

8. Electromagnetic Fields / EMF

  1. If you have headaches or regional pain, decrease exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields.
  2. Minimize cell phone use.  Avoid putting cell phone in your breast or pant pockets
  3. Minimize your use of portable phones at home and shift to corded phone.
  4. Take the clock radio away from the head of your bed.
  5. Get the fields measured in a potential new car before you buy it. (www.ewg.org)
  6. Use this awesome hot logic minioven to heat your food to go instead of a microwave.

9. Home and Personal Care Products to avoid

  1. Chemical based cleaning products (disinfectants, bleaches, oven and drain cleaners, furniture polish, floor wax, window cleaners, etc).
  2. Mothballs, incense and commercially available scented candles
  3. Tap Water
  4. Chemical air fresheners
  5. Hairspray Nail Polish
  6. Perfume (use essential oils instead)
  7. Make-up containing chemicals
  8. Chemical soaps, body wash, lotions, creams
  9. Aluminum based antiperspirantsur Household Product Recommendations

10. Try these products instead

  1. Purchase a household water purification system (both for drinking and showering) www.aquasana.com
  2. Consider purchasing an air purification system. Change your air filters regularly Make or purchase chemical free cleaning products.
  3. Diffuse essential oils as your air freshener
  4. Diffuse essential oils as your air freshener

 

 

14 Tips for Detoxification

14 Tips for a Detox-Over

Our body has its own amazing detoxification system, but if the total amount of toxins accumulate to a certain point where our detox system is overwhelmed; we will experience symptoms and feel sick.  This is not uncommon in our fast paced, stress filled, and overly processed lifestyle. Symptoms can affect all of our physiological systems from gut to skin to our brains.

Toxicity comes from many places:

  • Diet: high sugar, high processed foods
  • Allergies: food allergies, molds / environmental allergies
  • Metal Toxicity: overload of heavy metals, mercury, lead, fertilizers
  • Stress: from mental pressures, abuse, anger or physical pain, illness, sleep deprivation
  • Gut related toxins: bacterial, fungal or yeast infections

It is important to decrease our toxic exposure by avoiding food / environmental exposures and undergoing routine detoxification.

When you starting a detox program, it is not only for your physical health, but also for your emotional and mental health.  Rather than fill up  your schedule with social events and an increased workload, set the intention to create a serene and healing environment for yourself to go through this process.  All of these tips can also be incorporated into your regular lifestyle.

14 Tips for Optimizing your Detoxification

1. Drink plenty of water, 8-10 glasses of filtered water a day.

2. Eat mostly organic produce and grass fed animal products, when possible.

3. Eat 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, especially cruciferous vegetables  such as broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, as well as garlic and onions, which  increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification.

4. Avoid stimulants, sedatives, and drugs such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

5. Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice a day. If you need some help, take two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, probiotics and 400mg of magnesium citrate capsules

6. Sleep 7-8 hours per night, preferably between 10pm – 2am

7. Walk or Exercise for 30 minutes, five days a week with a rotation of stretching, cardio and weight training.

8. Remove all refined carbohydrates: white sugar, flour, bread, pasta

9. Sweat at least 3 times a week, using exercise or a sauna, steam or hot detox bath (1 cup epsom salt, 2 tbsp baking soda, lavender oil).

10. Eat regular small meals with snacks in between to avoid low blood sugar.  Drink a high quality protein shake (Metagenics’ UltraClear) in between meals.

11. Schedule time to relax deeply every day so your body can rest and rejuvenate

12. Start a mindfulness practice or meditate daily:  do deep breathing exercise for 5 minutes 1-2 times a day. You can try inhaling through your nose for 4 counts, holding for 7 counts and exhaling through your mouth or nose for 8 counts as a starter.

13. Journal every day.  Write down any emotional along with physical reactions that come up.

14. Keep track of your Before and After symptoms by using a tool such as the How Toxic Are You Survey, or simply write down any symptoms such as headache, abdominal bloating, pain, rash, etc and rate the severity.

What have you tried recently to help decrease your toxic load?  Share your success stories or tips.

To a partnership of Health, Happiness and Holistic Endeavors.

Onna Lo, MD.