Detox. This is WHY!
Do you know why people talk so much about detox? What is the goal?
As a lupus patient, having chronic inflammation can be painful and progressively damages several organs. The detox can help stop it. Why? Because it reduces inflammation!
Our gut is a crucial player for the overall health of the body and the liver. I had once thought that only people with autoimmune diseases would benefit from a mindful diet. I was wrong. Helping my best friend, I realized that a hyper-clean, anti-inflammatory diet is also vital for people going through cancer treatment.
I guess we are all continually fighting a losing battle to keep our bodies clean and not overloaded with all the toxins in our environment.
People going through complex treatments have an extra area of concern – the medication we need to take. While it helps control our symptoms, it also breaks down other systems in our body.
As I helped my friend improve her intake of fruit, vegetables and make conscious anti-inflammatory food choices, I realized how much of what I have learned in the past few years could help her too.
Going Back to Basics
The first step was to reset bad habits:
- Don’t eat if you can’t understand the list of ingredients.
- Sugar is a villain, and it is everywhere – hint, read the labels! Choose low glycemic fruits such as berries. Cut on sauces, dips, and dressings.
- Avoid gluten and dairy.
- Go organic as much as possible, avoid the extra chemicals toxins, and give your liver a break.
Start with small steps and included some food swaps. For example:
- Eat zucchini noodles instead of traditional Italian pasta
- Replace your tortillas with lettuce wraps
- Go for high-quality dark chocolate squares instead of a full candy bar
- Try cauliflower rice instead of white rice
Warm water with a dash of fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning is a good way to detox and alkalize your body.
Water is critical! We also added a lot of matcha green tea for its anti-oxidants and dandelion tea for liver cleanse. Both get a better taste if you get creative by adding some frozen berries and drinking it cold. I keep a pitcher in my fridge and drink it throughout the day.
Take a vacation from caffeine and alcohol, as they also put more stress on the liver.
Our minds rule our bodies. In a split-second, we can go from happy to sad, and vice-versa. The constant fight-or-flight state sets stress hormones that can inhibit us from achieving optimal health. Being conscious of our thoughts and emotions can help our overall wellbeing. Besides, to digest food properly and benefit from all nutrients, we should be in a calm state of mind. There are a few ways we can start to include more serenity to our minds and hearts, here are some ideas.
- Kick-start a device detox. Schedule some time to be online, and set the alarm to go offline. If you change your settings, you can also disable news and social media alerts to get less tempted. Turn off your phone during mealtime. If you need extra help to enforce rules, try the “Off the Grid” app.
- Find a few minutes of quality time. Meditating for a hand full of minutes is not the only option. Yoga and qigong can also trigger a positive chemical reaction in our brain, according to Linda Page, NH, Ph.D., and author of Healthy Healing. Explore a type of meditation that works for you. I love the mantras and the guided visualizations, explore different ones, and see which one you like the best!
- Shake your body. When we move our bones, we help our body detox. Even with lupus, I can feel my pain, inflammation levels, and swelling decreasing after moving my body.
- Breath. Our lungs have an essential role in the detox process of our bodies. As we breathe, we bring more oxygen to our cells. Another side benefit of breathing is that it brings us back to the moment. Pay attention to your belly breathing, and you will instantly feel calmer.
Women, in particular, need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list. – Michelle Obama
Start small, and aim to grow big. Any progress is a victory, and our health thanks us for everything every single time.
While we cannot change and control everything around us, we can still choose how to best navigate the environment and circumstances we live in.
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