We are now deep in the heart of February, and in Tx, that means it’s time to start thinking about Spring cleaning! But I’m not talking about the house – today’s post is all about cleansing the body. Whether you’re thinking of doing an actual “cleanse”, or you just want a slow detox process, this information is just for you!
Back in the day, before the kiddos came around, before pregnancy and nursing put me in a “no no” place for cleansing, I remember doing a full body cleanse every year. This wasn’t too involved, and it was typically taking supplements and fiber for 3 weeks while my body did the rest. Now, there are several types of cleanses – and depending on how much time you have, there’s a cleanse that can fit into your schedule. I chose the 3 week cleanse because, well, I didn’t want to sit on the toilet all weekend. 😛 My experience was always great – I felt sluggish initially (which is a good thing! You know your body is working to get the crud out), but by the end, I felt great. Even my mood was better!
If you’re wondering, my cleanse of choice was by Enzymatic Therapy – “Whole Body Cleanse”. Like I said, it always got the job done, and it wasn’t too dramatic to interfere with life.
In addition to the routine whole body cleanse, once upon a time I also did a month long metal cleanse, and a parasite cleanse as well. Why? Because honestly, there’s always something lurking about in your body that really, probably shouldn’t be in there. I was reminded of this quite recently after getting a hair analysis test done to see where I stood health-wise. You see, it’s been a long time since I’ve done an actual cleanse, and as I speak, I’m still nursing my little, so though a body cleanse is still not an option for me right now, it gives me a goal to start on as soon as I can.
The results of my test were quite surprising, and as I stared at my nickel levels (in the red), I thought to myself “what can I do about this?? And where on earth did this concentration come from?”
I still have yet to find the answer to the latter question, but the former, I jumped right on. If you haven’t learned by now, I’m a real “grab the bull by the horns” kind of gal – and proud of it!
So the ultimate goal is to do a metal cleanse, but again, that will have to happen when I’m finished nursing. (Or, I should say, when the baby is finished nursing)
Until then, both water and soil testing will have to be done. But anticipating the worst case scenario, that neither of those sources is the culprit, I’m doing everything I can to limit exposure to not-so-friendly metals, and to gently support the body in exporting these foreign invaders.
Step 1: Rule #1 is always do no harm! In other words, make sure I’m not continuing to put toxins (or in my case, nickel) in the body. Now, since I’m still in the process of finding out where the source is, I’ll start with well known offenders.
Jewelry – costume jewelry is a good source of nickel. Thank goodness I don’t like wearing jewelry! So I can cross that one off my list. Cigarette smoke – again, not that. Any battery plants nearby? Possibly, I’ll look into it…
Stainless steel – pots, pans, water bottles, and even silverware! All of these things tend to leak nickel into the body, and even though it may be low doses (depending on the quality of your stainless steel), I’m taking the safer side of caution.
We’ll start with the water bottles – glass is as safe as safe can be, unless, of course, you break the bottle.
Next up, cookware! Now, in my defense, I’ve been meaning to switch to cast iron for some time now. And though the seasoning process isn’t all that fun, and the upkeep is an added step when I use the cookware, I think the benefits far outweigh the extra work. Besides, I’ve always been borderline low on iron, and these bad boys will add supplemental iron to your food. Not to mention, you could work out with these things – they’re heavy!
In addition, we have a Himalayan salt slab for cooking on as well. Again, the prepping process is a couple extra steps, but it cooks meat nicely, and adds a wonderful briney taste to it!
Silverware..ok guys, it’s time to think outside the box! But I found a great USDA certified organic bamboo company, and yep, you guessed it…
(By the way, the bowl is a coconut shell bowl, not bamboo) I just liked the look of it.
Step 2: Get as much out via the skin as I can!
Have you ever heard of oil pulling? It’s actually a very easy process – but make sure you have a good 20 minutes where you don’t have to talk. (Editor’s note – This is very difficult for Ginny to do!)
What you do is get a spoonful of oil (coconut oil preferably), and swish it in your mouth for about 20 minutes, once a day. (Make sure you don’t spit it down the sink! It can accumulate and ruin your pipes)
What happens here is the oil literally pulls toxins from your mouth and gums, then you spit it all out. Don’t believe me that such an easy process works? Try it for a week, and see what happens – I had canker sores the first 6 days, and though it sounds gross and horrible, imagine all that bacteria sticking around inside your mouth!
Another side effect of oil pulling was that I was breaking out more often on my cheeks and upper neck area. Again, the bacteria was working its way out through the skin! For this problem, I turned to bentonite clay. Bentonite clay works miracles in pulling toxins out of the skin! This clay can also be taken internally, but I’m not chancing that while nursing. For now, I’ll just use it on the face and neck, mixed with apple cider vinegar for added antibacterial properties.
But what about the rest of the body? Epsom salt baths are great for detoxing – and as an added bonus, they help sore muscles as well. So give yourself a good soaking as often as you can! And make the water good and hot – sweating also releases toxins from the body as well.
Step 3: Take detox-supporting vitamins and herbs.
Vitamins such as methionine, selenium, manganese, glycine, r-lipoic acid, n-acetyl cysteine, vitamin C, and glutathione all aid the body in eliminating toxins and metals. In addition, herbs such as sarsparilla root, dandelion root, burdock root, chamomile, and turmeric all support the detoxification process by giving the liver a boost to do what God intended it to do – cleanse our bodies!
What about edibles? Lemon water, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, and parsley all help the body cleanse itself – and as I mentioned a while back, both parsley and cilantro are able to bind to metals to eliminate them. Cilantro, in particular, has been proven to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier to help remove metals from the brain.
So, how do you incorporate these great herbs into your diet? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m not crazy at all about parsley, and well, I can only eat so much cilantro. Here’s a couple ideas – 1) parsley/cilantro tea. Start out with a handful (or several if you want to freeze batches) of each herb, and get them to just simmer in a pot of water. Turn off the heat, and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Drink up!
2) Or, if you’re not crazy about the taste, throw them into your smoothie!
What I did with this smoothie was throw in a handful of both parsley and cilantro. I added mango for added detox benefits, pineapple (to cover the taste of the greens), banana for the fiber, coconut water, flaxseed (to aid the body in removing the metals), hemp hearts, and goji berries (for antioxidant benefits). It was delish!
As you can see, even the smallest steps in the right direction can accumulate and give you a good head start on the detox and cleansing processes!
Just a couple side notes – to further aid the body in eliminating these offenders, remember that good bacteria (ie probiotics), fiber, plenty of water, and a good night’s rest are essential in making sure your body makes the most out of your efforts. And when you’re ready to take that next step, look into a good cleanse that meets your comfort level. Whether you’re a “get it over quick” kind of person, or a “slow and steady”, any cleanse is better than no cleanse.
What I learned from this whole process, is that you can watch what you eat all day, every day. You can filter your water, and take your vitamins. You can do everything in your control – but not everything is in our control. We live in an age where our bodies are bombarded with toxins – in our food, our water, the air we breathe, the radio signals lurking literally everywhere, in the clothes we wear and the beds we sleep on. There’s simply no way around it – which is why cleansing is imperative to restoring, or maintaining our health.
Hope you all took some great notes, and that this post helps you on the road to wellness!