Detox Guide

Sometimes it takes more than mere cleaning up of your diet to balance your hormones — and that means detox. While the length at which a woman should do the detox varies based on her symptoms and history, 21 days twice a year, is a good guideline.

You know you need a hormone detox if you’re experiencing any or many of the following:

  • Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Mood swings, irritability, depression, and/or anxiety
  • Bloating, weight gain, or breast tenderness
  • Low libido
  • Vaginal dryness or atrophy
  • Sluggishness, fatigue, or exhaustion
  • Infertility or miscarriage
  • Ovarian cysts, fibroids, endometriosis
  • Acne breakouts, eczema, or psoriasis
  • Hair loss or excess body hair
  • Stiff, achy joints or muscles

Besides all the annoying symptoms above, it’s important to do a detox to cleanse your liver. When you eat a diet high in processed foods, live a sedentary lifestyle, or have chronic stress, your liver gets overloaded. Give it a break twice a year to maintain hormonal balance and vibrant health.

How to Do It

Food

The following is a short list of foods known for cleansing the liver and hormones. Enjoy lots of these foods every day for a few weeks to cleanse that liver:

  • Green tea
  • Artichoke
  • Garlic and onions
  • Cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts
  • Lemon and lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Avocados
  • Turmeric
  • Olive oil

Try drinking a glass of warm lemon water each morning before breakfast. End each day with a shot of half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with one-eighth of a teaspoon of black pepper mixed into 2 ounces of water.

Both of these powerful drinks will set you up for awesome digestive habits.

As important as including the above foods is, it’s also important to exclude certain foods that are high-allergen.

Be sure to read labels carefully! When doing a hormone detox, you should avoid:

  • Dairy products
  • Wheat and gluten-containing products
  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Sugar of all types
  • Refined vegetable oils such as cottonseed, canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, and others

Sweat

It’s important to exercise, sweat, and get your lymphatic system moving to ensure your liver and hormones are working properly. This also helps to reduce inflammation from toxicity and unwanted weight gain.

Aim for three to four times per week of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and some juicy yoga to get things flowing.

Excess hormones (like estrogen) can be stored in your fat if there’s too much on your body — specifically in the belly, hip, butt, and thigh areas. Check out my post on ‘8 tips to become a morning exerciser.’

Self-Care

Just as foods help clean out your cells, radical self-care practice helps to clean out your mind and spirit.

When your brain is peaceful and not inflamed, your master hormone gland, the pituitary, can signal your reproductive organs properly to balance and detoxify excess hormones.

Here are a few examples of activities to quiet the mind, balance hormones, and promote healthy detoxification:

1. Meditation

Taking a few minutes in the morning or evening to close your eyes, ground yourself, and do some deep breathing exercises can reduce stress hormones in the blood stream.

When stress hormones are reduced, your body is able to focus more energy on sex hormones, getting rid of that nasty PMS! Check out my article on Meditation here.

2. Journaling

If you tend to hold on to emotions, journaling is for you. Simply writing down the to-dos for the next day will help your sleep, regulate your hormones, and reduce your stress.

Lessening your rambling thoughts promotes relaxation and feelings of balance. Keep a notebook by your bedside to write what’s on your mind before you go to sleep at night.

3. Visioning

If you haven’t made a vision board before, I highly encourage you to try.

Close your eyes and think deeply about what you want to achieve with your health and hormones. What will your life look like and feel like when you’ve reached your vision? Use magazine and printed pictures to fill a board with inspiration.

Getting clear on your goals reduces overwhelm and stress — both of which are hormone heretics! Via MBG. Check out my Superfood Guide here.

Master Cleanse Detox Water

This master cleanse detox water recipe is designed to flush every bad toxin out of your body. You will need about twelve ounces of filtered water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of organic maple syrup, 1/10 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a dash of sea salt. Just mix the ingredients together and drink. There are also optional ingredients like green tea and laxatives that you can add but the detox water in itself is great for ridding your body of free radicals and leaving you feeling and looking much healthier.

Master Cleanse Detox Water

Pineapple Sugarcane Spa Water

If you prefer a bit of a tropical taste in your detox water, this pineapple and sugarcane water is perfect. The pineapple helps to rid your body of free radicals and this recipe is so easy that you can make it in about five minutes. You need a couple of liters of purified water, 2 sticks of sugar cane and a few chunks of fresh pineapple. Note, fresh works much better than canned. Just mix all of the ingredients in a pitcher and add ice. Let it steep in the fridge for a couple of hours before drinking. The longer it sits, the better it tastes.

Pineapple Sugarcane Spa Water

Peppermint Grapefruit Detox Water

This detox water has ingredients that will clean out your kidneys, eliminate bloating and help you to enjoy much healthier skin. It also aids in digestion. You need about ½ gallon of purified water, ½ lemon sliced, ½ lime sliced, ½ grapefruit sliced (note that you can also substitute or add oranges if you want), 1 cup of sliced cucumber with peels, 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger and a handful of fresh peppermint leaves. Just add all of the ingredients into a pitcher and cover with ice. Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving and discard after 24 hours as the citrus fruits tend to get a little mushy.

Peppermint Grapefruit Detox Water

Blueberry Orange Water

This yummy water has the antioxidant properties of blueberries and the toxin flushing properties of citrus. Plus, it’s really easy to make and tastes wonderful. Just mix about six cups of water in a picture with ice cubes, a handful of fresh blueberries and 2 mandarin oranges peeled and cut into chunks. You’ll want this to sit in the fridge for at least two hours so that the water has time to infuse. You can muddle the blueberries just a bit if you want to have a stronger taste or squeeze the juice from an additional orange into your water.

Blueberry Orange Water

Raspberry and Mint Water

Mint is great for aiding in digestion and raspberries have great antioxidant properties. Add them both to water and you have a very tasty detox water to help flush those toxins from your kidneys, liver and colon. You will need about half a gallon of spring or purified water, 2 tablespoons of raspberries – these can be fresh or frozen – and two tablespoons of fresh mint leaves. You also need a medium sized lime. Just slice the lime and add it along with the mint leaves and raspberries to your water in a large pitcher. Muddle the raspberries just a bit if you want more flavor and you can microwave the lime for a couple of seconds to get more juice from it.

Raspberry and Mint Water

Watermelon Detox Water

What better fruit to add to your water than watermelon? Not only does watermelon contain vitamins and minerals, it helps to flush out your system. Instead of eating it and making that juicy and sticky mess, just add a bit to your water to enjoy the full detoxing benefits. You need a couple of cups of chunked watermelon (seedless is best) and about four cups of water. Place the watermelon in a large pitcher and cover with water. Allow it to steep in the fridge for a couple of hours before enjoying so that the flavor can infuse your water.

Watermelon Detox Water

DETOXING BATH RITUAL

This ritual is not just for cleansing the body but also the mind and spirit. With clarity, we are able to receive the gifts the universe has to offer us.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup Bentonite clay
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 to 5 drops each of lavender, rosemary, and cinnamon essential oils
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Green tea and dandelion tea infusion*
  • Clear quartz crystal
  • Citrine crystal

*To make an infusion, place a few bags of each tea into a large pot of water, bring to an almost-boil, turn off the heat, and let the tea bags steep for at least 1 hour.

Create a sacred space: 

Light some candles as you turn down/off the overhead lights. Burn a white sage wand and let the cleansing smoke permeate the space as you carefully wave it around yourself.

Perform the ritual:

Combine all ingredients into a tub of hot water, then step into the bath and dunk your head underwater. Emerge your head from the water and hold the citrine crystal in your left hand, the quartz crystal in your right hand.

Do three rounds of Rapid Fire Breath by taking 36 sharp, forceful inhales and exhales through the nose. Chant the cleansing sound of “OM” at least three times, then dunk your head underwater again.

With your head above water, create a big space by inhaling through the nose and focusing strongly on what you’re cleansing (for example, you can focus on the word “stress”). Then release with an exhale from the mouth, making a “shhh” sound, or even releasing a sigh.

Soak in silence for a few minutes, allowing the body, mind, and spirit to release any toxic buildup.

Don’t be surprised if after this bath you suddenly feel like cleaning out your storage spaces or meditating more! Though one Green Detox Bath Ritual may be sufficient for you, I recommend enjoying it once a week. Avoid the bath if you’re pregnant and skip the cinnamon essential oil if you have high blood pressure. If you don’t have a bath tub, this ritual can also work as a foot bath! Via MBG. New to Epsom Salt? Why not read my article on ‘Why everyone should try an Epsom Salt Bath‘ and ‘Why you should start dry body brushing today.’

FOODS FOR YOUR SKIN

Eat your way to glowing, younger-looking skin

You can slather, scrub, and massage anti-ageing creams and serums into your skin all you want, but one thing will remain true: what you put inside your body is just as important as what you put on top of it. The powerful antioxidants present in the following foods help neutralize free radicals and reduce sun damage while giving your skin a super-sized dose of the vitamins and antioxidants that fight wrinkles and give you a youthful, natural glow. Ready for your shopping list? Check out the best picks for your skin, with expert commentary from David E. Banks, MD, Director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisko, NY.

GREEN TEA

If you’re concerned about sun damage (past, present, or future), try sipping on more green tea. “Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage and protect against skin cancer, explains Dr. Banks. How? Free radicals alter cell genetic code, resulting to mutated proteins. When mutation happens, cancer may develop. By neutralizing free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays, drinking it (or applying it topically) alongside sunscreen gives sun damage and skin cancer the ultimate one-two punch.

ALMOND MILK

The two vitamins that make almond milk a skin-friendly super food are vitamin E and vitamin B12 (also known as riboflavin). Vitamin E keeps free radicals (caused by everything from pollution to sun damage to stress) from depleting your natural supply of collagen and elastin, both imperative in maintaining firm, supple skin. “As you get older, your body is unable to replenish your supply, which, says Dr. Banks, is the primary cause of fine lines and wrinkles. While vitamin E goes to work on those free radicals, vitamin B12 is busy hydrating and nourishing, encouraging oxygen flow to the skin, hair, and nails, and producing niacin, which aids in circulation. One thing to keep in mind: free radical damage is irreversible so the sooner you start pouring some almond milk in your cereal, the better.

WATER

Your body is made up of between 60-70% water at any given time, so no wonder getting plenty of H2O is vital for a glowing complexion. Less than stellar water consumption is the primary cause of dry skin, and you’re likely reaching for heavy creams and lotions to replenish that moisture. “However, creams and lotions don’t strike at the root of the problem, says Dr. Banks, meaning you’re spending unnecessary time and money on an issue that can be fixed for pennies a day. Aim for 6-8 eight-ounce glasses a day to keep skin moisturised and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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EGGS

“Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids, which can help retain water and stay moisturised, says Dr. Banks. Water retention might be bad for weight loss, but it’s good for your skin especially if you’re trying to hide fine lines. Their biggest contribution: vitamin A [which you might know as ‘retinol’ from reading anti-ageing articles], which encourages new cell growth and wound healing.

TOMATOES

Why walk down the supplement aisle when you can just eat a tomato? The pasta-bound fruits are packed with vitamins A, B, C, K, alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene all great antioxidants and help the skin maintain healthy levels collagen, says Dr. Banks. They’re also super sun stoppers: in a UK study, people who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste a day experienced a 33% increase in sun protection.

CARROTS

Remember that whole speech about beta-carotene? You can include carrots in that conversation. But within its bright orange flesh are carotenoids, organic pigments that help protect the skin from everyday pollutants and subsequent wrinkles. “Our skin is up against a lot of environmental factors every day like sun radiation and toxins, which combined with stress, leads to weakened defence against damaging free radicals that attack our skin, explains Dr. Banks. Shave a few into your salad for a quick burst of this skin shield.

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OLIVE OIL

Skin experts say you can remove make-up, cleanse, and moisturise the skin with plain old olive oil. But when you drizzle some on your bread your skin gets a boost of antioxidants and skin plumping fatty acids. In fact, a 2012 study discovered that consuming 2 teaspoons of the stuff a day was associated with 31% fewer signs of ageing compared to people who only ate about a teaspoon.

RED WINE

Swap your normal happy hour drink for a glass of red wine, rich in skin-friendly polyphenols and cancer-fighting antioxidant resveratrol. “It has anti-inflammatory properties which can protect the body from various diseases caused by inflammation, explains Dr. Banks. Beyond healthy skin, you’ll also get a brain boost red wine is known to promote brain health, memory, and the prevention of dementia.

SWEET POTATOES

“In just one sweet potato you will find more than 200% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, says Banks. You’ll also get three grams of fibre, which keeps your digestive tract healthy. But what does that have to do with your complexion? “A healthy and functioning digestive track can help keep your breakouts to a minimum, he says. If only we knew that as teenagers.

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KALE

This green veggie is the top of the list when it comes to beauty super-foods, says Dr. Banks.  “Kale is full of antioxidants that are a great way of reducing wrinkles because they slow down the ageing process. It’s also rich in wrinkle-fighting vitamin A and has been proven to be helpful in averting a host of skin diseases. It’s also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that absorb and neutralize free radicals caused by UV exposure.

By Health Perch

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