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Food Fabulous

Notes from midlife

20 signs your body needs to detox (and what to do about it)

It’s astonishing how much rubbish gets into your body: through the foods you eat, and the chemicals used to produce them, through chemicals in your personal care products and the things you use to clean your home. You are what you eat, what you put on your body, what you absorb from the environment – and cannot get rid of.

In case you’re wondering, your body is built to get rid of the junk you’re putting in and it’s detoxing on a daily basis BUT there’s this thing called the allostatic load. That’s code for ‘your body can only handle so much'. When your body exceeds its capacity to detoxify, you start to notice a host of unwelcome symptoms

What are the symptoms of sluggish detoxification?

All of the following are signs you have exceeded your body’s capacity to detoxify and your body needs some extra detox support:

1 Struggling to lose weight or weight loss plateau

2 Hormonal problems (PMS, endometriosis, fibroids, bad menopause/ perimenopause symptoms)

3 Allergies or food intolerances

4 Frequent headaches

5 Sensitivity to chemicals and environmental pollutants (tobacco smoke, fumes, perfume, cleaning agents, etc.)

6 Chronic digestive problems

7 Muscle aches & pains

8 Inflammatory conditions

9 Become sick or easily intoxicated if drinking alcohol (and you feel hungover more easily)

10 Pain between the shoulder blades or under the right side of your rib cage

11 Stomach upset by greasy/ fatty foods

12 Dry skin or hair

13 Feeling excessively tired

All kinds of additional problems as well as medical conditions can result from your body becoming too toxic, including but not limited to:

14 Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes

15 Hypertension and atherosclerosis

16 Chronic kidney disease

17 Cancer

18 Autoimmune diseases like thyroid problems and lupus

19 Neurological diseases like Parkinson’s & Alzheimer’s

20 Psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia

Do some people need to detoxify more than others?

Some people are more susceptible than others to toxicity, and this largely depends on the levels of toxins you’ve been exposed to, the kinds of helpful (or otherwise) nutrients in the food you eat as well as your genetic disposition. Some people are simply better detoxifiers than others!

Is detox BS?

There are folk who question, do you really need to do a detox or cleanse? Isn’t a detox diet nonsense?

Here’s the truth about whether you need a cleanse.

In the 21st century, more than at any other time in history, you are bombarded with toxins. In addition to environmental pollution, there are many toxins in the food you eat: including pesticides and even hormones in intensively farmed meats. Your body is dealing with substances for which it wasn’t designed. Add to that, your body also generates toxic waste through normal processes like digesting food and creating energy.

In short, you put your body under a lot of pressure every day just by living.

Doesn’t the liver detoxify anyway?

Yes. It’s true, your liver is already working 24/7 to get rid of all that junk you’re taking in on a daily basis, but ONLY when you feed it the right things – and by this, I mean real foods like certain lean meat and fish, specific fresh fruit and veggies and healthy fats rather than any weird and wonderful foods you’ll only find in specialist stores.

The detox nay-sayers would argue that it’s already got that job handled and no one needs to go on a detox. Hey, if the world were perfect and we all ate the right things, rested our bodies and lived well all of the time….

I’m being slightly flippant but there is a great deal of truth in that.

Convenience and modern living has been great for so many things, but in terms of the food choices we make, not so much. Time pressures associated with modern living mean it doesn’t suit most people to cook from scratch every day, to avoid convenience foods and base their diet on the ‘right' kinds of food. Not judging. It’s just the way it is and it is foolish to pretend otherwise. So, it’s also nice to give your liver a helping hand every once in a while by detoxing or cleansing the body.

Even while you read this, your body is working on getting rid of all the junk it absorbed yesterday, and your system can easily become overburdened. The detoxification machinery is not always able to keep up with demand. That is when you might start to notice some of the symptoms I talked about earlier…

15 benefits of detoxing

  • A good cleanse / detox programme can help your body heal naturally.

  • Does a cleanse / detox help you lose weight? Yes.

  • Can a cleanse / detox reduce bloating? Yes.

  • Should you cleanse / detox for clear skin? Yes.

  • A cleanse / detox is also likely to bring the following benefits:

  • More energy

  • Clearer mind (goodbye brain fog)

  • More alert

  • Clear nose

  • Fewer headaches

  • No dark circles under eyes

  • Fewer infections

  • Reduced PM

  • Fewer symptoms of perimenopause/menopause

  • Fewer aches and pains

Wondering how all that magic happens?

Here’s how detox works

Essentially, detoxification is a two-step process. The main work is carried out by your liver and it involves a complex set of chemical reactions designed to turn toxic chemicals into harmless ones. The different steps in this process rely on a number of nutrients to help. You will be eating foods that contain these important ingredients through your programme.

Detoxification can be split into two stages, known as Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Phase 1 detoxification

The first phase prepares the toxins for elimination, turning fat-soluble toxins into those that are more easily excreted using enzymes. The more toxins you’re exposed to, the faster these detox enzymes (called P-450 enzymes) have to work. Caffeine, alcohol, pollutants, cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, high-protein diets, preservatives and chemical fertilisers, paint fumes, damaged trans fats, steroid hormones and charcoal- barbecued meat make this phase 1 process much harder.

Phase 2 detoxification

This second phase of detoxification binds the end products of phase 1 detoxification to specific nutrients depending on what is being detoxified. That might mean glutathione, sulphur or carbon groups and this sends the toxins down three specific pathways called conjugation, sulfation, methylation and glucuronidation.

The two detox pathways work together, and the toxins are excreted in your sweat, urine, and in your stools.

How to heal your body naturally with a detox / cleanse

Toxins are all around us and they’re probably the reason why you’re feeling fat, tired, and cranky.

It would be pretty much impossible to get your exposure to chemicals and environmental toxins down to zero but reducing your toxic load is the most important step you can take to detoxify your body and rebalance your hormones naturally.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure that your body is fully supported to carry out this important detox work. You’ll learn all of these – and much more – on my 14-Day programme Cleanse Nourish Glow (find out more here). For now, this list is going to be super helpful...

10 things you can do today to support your body’s natural detox process

  • Eating organic where you can - to avoid adding more fuel to the fire.

  • Avoiding foods that fuel the fire – alcohol, caffeine, sugar are a good start.

  • Eating plenty of antioxidants and fibre-rich veg – to support detoxification and help you go to the loo.

  • Getting the right nutrients to assist with the elimination of toxins with specific supplements.

  • Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and herbal or green tea

  • Making sure you go to the toilet at least once a day.

  • Ensuring you get enough sleep.

  • Taking an Epsom salts bath (the magnesium is helpful for detoxification) a few times a week.

  • Having a sauna – encourages your body to literally sweat out the toxins. You’ll want to make sure you properly rehydrate with water afterwards and consider a green shake to replace lost electrolyte, too.

  • Reducing intense exercise and focussing on walking, yoga and other gentle forms of exercise that get your blood flowing without putting additional stress on your body.

  • Join the Cleanse Nourish Glow programme when we next go live.

Detox v cleanse: what’s the difference?

The words have very similar meanings and goals. As a rule, a detox tends to be slightly stricter than a cleanse. A cleanse is ideal for anyone who wants to eat to support detoxification without the rigidity or restrictions of a stricter detox plan. Typically, you might expect a strict detox programme to exclude all grains, including oats and quinoa. Some programmes might exclude solid food altogether.

Our cleanse programme eliminates foods that play havoc with the body (like gluten, dairy and nightshade foods) while bringing in more of the foods that support the detox process.

In short: a cleanse gives you most of the benefits of a harder detox but is much more enjoyable to do and more compatible with real life!

Detox your body naturally with a 14-day cleanse

If any of this resonated with you, you could really benefit from a cleanse to rebalance your hormones naturally and release stored toxins so that you lose weight, regain your energy and feel fabulous.

My 14-day Cleanse Nourish Glow programme is for women who want to reset their body & drop a dress size.

Learn how to detox your body without starving…

This isn’t a fad diet, and nor will you be starving in my 14-day Cleanse Nourish Glow programme. Instead, we’ll focus on reducing your overall toxic load and nourishing your body and mind from the inside out. This is how you can detox/ cleanse your body without juicing.

Cleanse Nourish Glow will nourish your body and help you lose weight and boost your health & energy without starving yourself.

This 14-day programme is for you if you want to:

  • Gently & safely support your body’s detoxification process

  • Jumpstart your weight loss & cut cravings for sugar and carbs

  • Feel more energised – say goodbye to the 3 pm slump!

  • Sleep better at night & wake up refreshed

  • Rebalance your hormones naturally

  • Support your digestion naturally & banish bloating

  • Reduce aches & pains

  • Reset your body – get into fat-burning mode by eating nutritious food that nourishes your body & soul

  • Focus on your own needs for once – now’s the time to put on your own life jacket and futureproof your health

It’s been designed to support detoxification and, while following it, you’ll also be addressing some of the underlying reasons for weight gain – which is not simply eating too many calories!

You’ll have access to a dedicated private Facebook group to stay motivated, kept accountable for making changes and also to help answer any questions you might have about following the programme.

By the end of your time following Cleanse Nourish Glow, you will have more energy, fewer cravings, and see overall improvements in your general wellbeing. LEARN MORE OR JOIN THE PROGRAMME


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