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I’m so happy to have had the chance to interview Megan Blacksmith, a certified holistic health coach who graduated from Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She has made it her mission to help women work through their chronic medical conditions. She also teaches women how to detox the right way so they can move further along their journey to health and wellness.
Below is the summary of what we covered in our fruitful interview:
What is Detoxification?
If you want to know how to detox the right way, you must first understand what detoxification means. The most widespread myth about detoxification is that it’s just a quick fix — you either starve yourself, take a powder, or drink some lemon-cayenne mixture. After using these “detoxification” methods, you can eat whatever you ate before. Nothing can be farther from the truth.
Detoxification is the natural process by which the body removes the toxins that we took in through breath, food, water, and skin. Your body is naturally detoxing every single day. We should focus on supporting that natural process. We want to make it easier by getting rid of the toxins that are already in the body. However, we also need to prevent new toxins from coming in.
Our bodies are made to deal with toxins, but when there’s just too much toxins coming in from the environment, the body may not be able to keep up.
The 5 Main Organs of Detoxification
There are five main organs involved in detoxification:
- Skin – Whatever you put on your skin gets into your bloodstream. The skin gets rid of toxins through sweat, but sometimes, we prevent this natural process by using antiperspirants.
- Lungs – Toxins are breathed in and out of the body.
- Kidneys – The kidneys filter the blood. It requires proper hydration to keep it working effectively. We need to flush out the kidneys and keep things moving.
- Liver – Prior to the detoxification process, the liver needs the most preparation. If you were to force detoxification too hard and you’re releasing toxins that your body is not ready to deal with, that could be very dangerous.
- Colon – A healthy colon removes toxins from the body. If you’re not eliminating daily, you will reabsorb the toxins that your body is trying to get rid of.
3 Phases of Detoxification
Detoxification can be broken down into three phases:
- Reconverting fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins so they can be escorted out of the body. Fat-soluble toxins can be your natural hormones or exogenous hormones (hormones you get from external sources such as food and cosmetics). Getting rid of excess hormones is important for women especially for those who have excess estrogen. Having a properly functioning detoxification system and liver are important to hormone balance. Endotoxins from bacteria and excess neurotransmitters are also fat-soluble toxins.
- Neutralizing toxic compounds.
- Excreting the toxins from the body.
When is Detoxification Dangerous?
Not knowing how to detox the right way can be dangerous. The most dangerous thing about detoxification is when your body is not prepared for it. What happens when you force phase one really hard and your body is not ready for phase two? The compounds are half-converted. This puts them in a potentially more dangerous state than they were as a toxin. This happens when people detox too quickly. They lose weight rapidly and the toxins from the fat are released into the body. However, the pathways are not open to allow the toxins to exit the body.
Is it Normal to Have Detox Symptoms?
If you have extreme detox symptoms, that’s not necessarily part of the process. In other words, we don’t need to feel horrible for the detoxification process to be working. Symptoms like headaches, rashes, and extreme fatigue may be signs that you are detoxing too fast that your body can’t keep up with getting rid of the toxins. You may need to slow the process down.
Practices That Support Detoxification
- Drinking an elixir every morning – An elixir is a large glass of water to which you can add all sorts of different things to support the body in different ways. Here are some liquids you can mix with water to make a detoxifying elixir:
- Lemon juice – Wakes up the digestive system and supports the liver.
- Cranberry concentrate – Flushes out the lymphatic system and can help with movement.
- Liquid chlorophyll – Stimulates the glutathione activity, traps toxins, and is also an internal deodorizer.
- Dry brushing – Dry brushing is running a brush from the arms and other parts of the body. This practice stimulates the lymphatic system and can remove “old bacteria” from your body.
- Contrast shower – Contrast shower is rotating between hot and cold water 15 to 30 seconds. It stimulates lymphatic system. Ideally, you can get through six cycles of this, but even one cycle is enough.
Note: Juice cleanses are not really detoxifying because, when you do a juice cleanse, you don’t get a lot of amino acids which are important for detoxification.
Eat The Right Foods The Right Way
Knowing what foods help your body detoxify is part of learning how to detox the right way. Cruciferous vegetables support the detoxification process. They give your body the sulfur it needs so it can unlock phase two of the detoxification process. Garlic and onions are also rich in sulfur.
However, it’s best to listen to your body and see if the detox foods you eat are well-tolerated by your body. For instance, if you have bacterial overgrowth in your digestive system, sulfur-rich foods like onion and garlic might irritate your intestines.
If you can’t tolerate a real food item, that doesn’t mean you have to eliminate it from your diet. It could mean that something in your body needs to be fixed. Completely eliminating a food item with a lot of nutritional benefits from your diet is not the wisest option. You need to listen to your body, figure out why you can’t digest the food, and address the issue.
How to Detox the Right Way: Signs that Detoxification is Not Working or Working Too Fast
Watch out for these symptoms while you’re detoxing:
- Skin conditions – rashes, acne, rosacea
- Body odor
- Thick coating on the tongue
- Constant headaches
- Brain fog
How to Detox the Right Way: Final Notes
Before you get into a detoxification program, you need to know which health conditions you need to address. There are two tests that can help you with this: (1) the Dutch Test, which is a urine-based hormone test; and (2) the Neurotransmitter Test. Be sure to have the results checked by a professional who knows how to read them.
Be willing to commit to make lifestyle changes if the results requires you to do so. Otherwise, the detoxification process would be of little use to you.
Also, remember that emotional work is important in the detox and healing process.
Last episode was a coaching session, and it was all about perfectionism. The quest for perfection can rob you of joy and peace of mind. In this coaching session, I shared my insights as well as some tips on how to overcome perfectionism. I highly recommend that you listen to it!
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Links mentioned in this episode:
Dr. Pizzorno podcast interview: https://www.stephaniedodier.com/episodes/toxicity-and-health/
Detox Quiz: http://www.zestyginger.com/detox-quiz/
For people who want to go through step by step elimination diet, adding elixirs and detox tools here is our detox link: http://www.zestyginger.com/seasonaldetox/
The Crave Cure: https://stephaniedodier.com/cravecure
Support me by leaving a review about this episode on how to detox the right way: http://bit.ly/2gilTsw
Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/integrativenutrition
How you can reach Stephanie:
You tube: https://www.youtube.com/c/stephaniedodier
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