Estimated reading time: 16 minutes
We live in a toxic world, every moment of our lives, we are exposed to thousands of toxins. They enter our bodies with each breath, meal or drink we consume, the clothes and cosmetics we wear, and the things we encounter everyday in our homes and workplaces.
The good news is that the human body is designed to remove toxins as part of its everyday metabolic processes, however, if the amount of toxins exceeds the body’s ability to detoxify, then unfortunately the body can be forced to store them.
Poor detoxification capabilities and excessive accumulation of stored toxins can cause biochemical toxicity, which in turn can cause alterations to the body’s DNA code, cause neurological damage, systemic inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, impaired nervous system function, degenerative disease and autoimmune disorders.
Our bodies are designed to detox naturally but predominantly this takes place when residing in a Para-sympathetic state, which is opposite to the fight or flight stress response that has become many peoples default mode. To optimize the detoxification pathways, the body and mind also has to be fueled with nutrients, water, movement, optimal elimination, adequate sleep etc.
What happens when our detox capacity becomes overworked?
The toxins can accumulate in the organs, blood, lymph, tissues, joints, blood, cells, connective tissue, brain and bones and an excess of fat soluble toxins can be stored in the visceral fat (leading to greater accumulation of visceral fat). Toxicity can lead to symptoms that can effect our energy, sleep, mood, nervous system, weight, immune system, memory, hormones, digestion, and in turn lead to degenerative or auto-immune diseases and chronic illness.
Fat accumulated under the surface of the skin and in the lower body (the pear shape) is predominantly subcutaneous, while fat in the abdominal area (the apple shape) is largely visceral. Visceral Fat is toxic inflammatory biologically active fat (think of visceral fat as an endocrine organ as its capable of producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health) that sits under the abdominal wall and surrounds the organs. High Visceral fat is often a stress and toxicity problem, whereas poor dietary choices and lack of exercise often leaded to an excess of Subcutaneous Fat.
The most accurate way to measure visceral fat is via a DEXA or CT scan, but you can also measure using bioelectrical impedance scales (sends a harmless electrical current through the body that can identify the difference between muscle, organ and fat tissue) or circumference measurements (As a general guideline the waist circumference at the level of the belly button should be no greater than half of your height.)
Cleansing Verses Dieting
Slim isn’t always healthy and some underweight people can still have a high visceral fat. There are many unhealthy ways to lose weight, you could take slimming pills or drugs, create a long-term calorie deficit, over exercise or use medical interventions such as liposuction or gastric banding.
The problem with losing weight without targeting toxicity, cellular cleansing or visceral fat is that as the weight decreases toxic density will increase resulting in a slimmer unhealthier individual (to counter the higher concentration of toxins the body could then be forced to produce even more visceral fat). A combination of healthy eating, exercise, stress management and detox protocols is the best method.
Lets get to some simple, useful, easy tips that you can incorporate into your daily lives. Consistency is the key, if you could make one mindful change every week, no matter how small, then that’s 52 changes per year and a much healthier version of you.
Homemade Personal Care Tips
Oil Pulling: Start with tongue scraping using a spoon, floss or tongue scraper. Put a tablespoon of coconut oil (or cold pressed oil of your choice, might need to warm bottle in hot water first if live in cold climate as it solidifies) in your mouth, then swish it around for 15-20 minutes while you shower and get ready and then spit it out. The main benefit of doing oil pulling is to reduce the amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth and bind mercury toxicity caused by amalgam fillings.
Dry Brushing: Choose a firm but not too stiff bristle brush or loafer, before showering, brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet) moving in strokes up towards the heart. Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Dry brushing is excellent for circulation and stimulation of the lymphatic system. Try to do at least once per week
Contrast Showers: Turn the shower to as hot as possible without burning yourself for 30 seconds then turn it to ice cold for 30 seconds, keep alternating between hot and cold for at least five minutes. Alternating between the hot and cold water improves circulation. This can help reduce muscle soreness by moving lactic acid out of the muscle. Contrast showers can also help to detoxify the body and improve the immune system.
Herbal Toothpaste: Mix 2 tsp. Bicarbonate soda (baking soda), 1tsp coconut oil and a drop of peppermint oil (optional) into a paste. Apply to teeth as a paste, leave for 1 minute and gently brush the teeth and rinse. Bicarbonate soda food grade is mildly abrasive and will gently scrub away stains to whiten teeth and the coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which is great for oral hygiene. Once per week use a blend of activated charcoal and coconut oil, brush for 2 minutes then wait a further 5 minutes before rinsing to really whiten the teeth
Natural deodorant: The average underarm deodorant contains up to forty different chemicals and is introduced directly into the Lymph nodes under the armpits. Use either bicarbonate soda mixed with coconut oil or shea butter or simply a slice of lemon/lime to neutralise underarm odours or purchase a natural rock crystal deodorant.
Tip: If you love to wear perfume or aftershave, spray it to the outer layers of your clothing or on your handbag and not directly onto the skin.
Stronger Nails: Limit commercial nail products that weaken the nails and instead try a mix of coconut oil, honey and lavender oil applied using a nail polish brush every night before sleep for one month.
Hair Care: Add 2-3 Tbsp. of Himalayan Salt to your organic shampoo for cleaning and mineralization of the hair follicles.
For longer, fuller eyelashes, use a mixture of 1⁄4 Aloe Vera, 1⁄4 Castor oil, 1⁄2 Vitamin E. Apply every night for one month using a mascara eyelash brush
Natural Sunscreen: Mix 1⁄2 cup of Coconut oil, 1⁄4 Cup Beeswax, 2 Tbsp. Zinc Oxide and some Vitamin E. To soothe sunburn use a mixture of Baking soda (Bicarbonate soda) mixed in water and then apply fresh Aloe Vera.
Home made Facial Mask Recipe: 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted, 2 Tbsp. Activated Charcoal, ½ tsp. Baking Soda. Mix ingredients well, apply to face; allow to set for 20 minutes and rinse. Enjoy your radiant skin!
Detox Bath: Want to sleep like a baby? Add one cup of Epsom salts (Magnesium sulphate or Magnesium Chloride can be used), 1/2 cup of Bicarbonate soda (baking soda), and 5-10 drops of Lavender oil to your bathwater and soak for at least 20 minutes before bed.
Natural All Purpose Cleaning Solution for your home: One part white vinegar, ¼ part Baking Soda, Lemon Rind and Rosemary sprigs or lavender oil for scent. Combine the above ingredients together, pour into a spray bottle, shake, and then let infuse for a week before using.
Pesticide Wash: If you are unable to buy organic, pre-soak fruits and vegetables in warm water with either bicarbonate soda or apple cider vinegar to remove the chemical pesticides from the external layer.
The dirty dozen shows the 12 foods most commonly grown worldwide using the largest amount of pesticides and the clean 15 shows the tops foods that are lowest in pesticides. If you are buying foods from the dirty dozen, try to find local sources, choose frozen from a reputable source or try to find an organic supplier whenever possible.
One-Day smoothie Cleanse: Give your digestive system a rest and supercharge your nutrition by committing to one day of smoothies each week or every second week. Be sure to add chia seeds, good fats and superfoods to your smoothies.
Frozen Smoothie Bags: If you can’t do one-day smoothie cleanses, you could do some meal substitutions (e.g. have a nutritious smoothie for breakfast instead of a bagel and coffee). To plan ahead of time, you can whip up some frozen smoothie bags, then just remove them from the freezer and blend for a couple of minutes with a liquid of your choice (water or nut/coconut milk)
Liver cleansing with Beetroot: Fresh Beetroot is rich in zinc and a powerful tonic for cleansing and supporting liver function. 1 cup Chopped Beets, 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, Juice ½ lemon). Mix ingredients together and eat at least 2 Tbsp. every 2 hours for 7 consecutive days. Eat alongside a healthy real food diet (avoid liver stressors like inflammatory foods – sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, processed foods etc.)
Increase Water Consumption: Urine levels are a good indicator as to whether you are hydrated enough (aim for very pale yellow by late evening). The quality of water is equally as important as the quantity. Buy water in glass bottles or plastic bottles that are BPA free. Use a water filter if possible and further purify water using lemon or lime, pH drops, bicarbonate soda, food grade hydrogen peroxide or magnesium.
Intermittent Fasting: There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the simplest method that I recommend involves restricting food intake to 2-3 small healthy meals spread over an eight-hour feeding period each day.
The 16/8 Intermittent Fast involves fasting for 16 hours. To do this you simply restrict your eating to an 8-hour “eating period”. Potentially you could stop eating at 8pm, and have your next meal at 12 noon the following day).
For a simple intermittent Fasting guide plus one day raw vegan plan, visit our blog post at: https://www.amitywellness.com/a-simple-guide-to-intermittent-fasting-includes-one-day-raw-vegan-meal-plan/
Start with one or two days per week initially. Some people might discover that intermittent fasting is very easy and might wish to do it more days or all the days or to extend the fasting window. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Each person can experiment to see what works best. If your body responds well to Intermittent Fasting, you might wish to incorporate an extended (forty-hour) fast once or twice a month.
Add More Fibre: An easy way to do this is to add Flax and Chia seeds to your diet. 2 Tablespoons of flaxseeds per day should be enough fibre to keep your bowel movements regular as long as you stay adequately hydrated.
Chia Seed Pudding: These contain an abundance of nutrients including Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, protein and antioxidants. They stabilise blood sugar levels, raise energy levels and provide plenty of fibre to enhance the process of detoxification. Simply add to water, smoothies, and salads or create chia seed puddings.
Chia seed pudding recipe: 6 Tbsp. Chia Seeds, 2 cups of almond, hemp or coconut milk, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. coconut syrup or dash of stevia and blueberries or raspberries for topping. Mix and sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you prefer it firm.
Flaxseed Crackers: Mix 1 cup flaxseeds, 1 1⁄2 cup water, 1⁄2 tsp. Himalayan salt, any mixed herbs, and season with chilli or spices. Soak flaxseeds in water, spread mixture on tray and dehydrate or bake at very low temperature until crunchy.
Eat more Fermented Foods: These provide beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of friendly flora. The most superior way to obtain probiotics or potential beneficial bacteria is via a range of fermented foods.
Fermented foods can contain up-to 10 trillion Colony forming units of bacteria per serving, whereas standard probiotics usually only deliver 10 billion colony-forming units of bacteria.
Try to eat at least one serving of fermented foods per day and diversity is imperative so alternate the type of fermented foods you are consuming to make the microbiome strong and resilient and rich in diversity.
Experiment by gradually titrating up the consumption of probiotic rich fermented foods, such as; Kim chi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso and pickled rainbow colored vegetables.
Side note on probiotic supplements: what’s more important than the dose is that they are taken symbiotically (with prebiotics – non digestible carbohydrate you can obtain prebiotics naturally in your diet by consuming: fibre rich foods, leeks, asparagus, garlic, fennel, onion, endives, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, some fruits, unripe banana, chicory, bamboo shoots, beet and resistant starches), that they can survive the stomach acid and bile and that they contain live or active cultures.
Think of probiotics as ‘potential beneficial bacteria’ and prebiotics as the foods that are needed for the probiotics to survive and colonize the gut. Taking one without the other will not be effective in the long term.
If fermented foods/probiotics make you feel worse, you might have a histamine intolerance, you can read more here: https://www.amitywellness.com/why-do-fermented-foods-make-me-worse/
Himalayan Salt Water Flush: Mini Flush for the digestive tract, stay close to the bathroom and repeat at least once per day for 3 days. Recipe: 2 tsp. Himalayan Salt, 1 liter warm water, 1 lemon sliced and squeezed. Add ingredients to a jar, shake vigorously and drink quickly.
Activated Charcoal Lemonade: Perfect for hangovers, nausea, high toxicity, bacterial infections or food poisoning. Recipe: juice of 1 lemon, 1-2 capsules of activated charcoal, stevia or raw honey to sweeten, water, ice. Mix manually or use a blender if preferred.
Golden Turmeric Latte: A great anti-inflammatory alternative to regular coffee (addictive, stimulant/heavy on adrenal glands and often contains lot of chemicals if non organic). Recipe: 1 cup coconut milk, ½ tsp. ground Turmeric; ½ tsp. ground Ginger, ½ tsp. Cinnamon, pinch of pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes, pour in cup and garnish with cinnamon. Great In the winter or cooler months.
Pumpkin Seed Parasite Cleanse: Pumpkin seeds release a compound called ‘Tetracyclic Triterpenes’ that can paralyze n purge parasites from the body. Simply chew at least one handful of raw pumpkin seeds everyday for 3 consecutive days and increase fibre and water consumption.
Papaya Parasite Cleanse: Papaya seeds are natural anti-parasitic. In one study, researchers found that a mixture of honey and papaya seeds cleared stools of certain parasites in 23 out of 30 subjects within just 7 days. Simply dry the papaya seeds and bash them into a powder and add to smoothies, mix with honey or sprinkle into food dishes.
Detox Tonic Jug Recipe: If you have enjoyed the Amity detox tonic shot in the mornings, you can easily make your own once returning home. Recipe: 4 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar, 4 tsp. lemon juice, 2 inches of ginger root, ½ tsp. cinnamon, 1tsp cayenne pepper, 2 glasses of warm water. The detox tonic is full of enzymes and good bacteria and can help to naturally re-stimulate hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach. It is also anti-parasitic, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. Make up a big jug and simply take a shot once or twice per day.
50 Clove Garlic Soup: This recipe is fantastic for cleansing parasites, for enhancing detoxifications, for colds, flus, immune support and vampires. The recipe can be found on the Body Mind Detox Private group by searching in albums.
Home Cleanse Kits: Home detox kits can be a great way to cleanse without breaking the bank but it can be far more difficult to stay disciplined surrounded with temptations and distractions. If you focus on implementing small daily detox protocols consistently then periodised more intense detoxes will get easier and easier.
Mind and Body Detox
Infrared Sauna: A traditional sauna heats from the outside in but a FIR heats from inside out and is far more beneficial for detoxification. An Infrared sauna can assist in reducing systemic Inflammation, fluid retention and cellulite. It can also target bloating, gas, pain, parasites, poor circulation, toxin and heavy metal release, menstruation cramps, fatigue and much more.
Meditation: Finding inner peace in a world of stress is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. Your body can only detoxify when your Para-sympathetic nervous system is activated and meditation is a wonderful way to achieve the relaxed state necessary to activate it.
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there” – Deepak Chopra
There is a vey popular app called Headspace that offers short daily-guided meditations for beginners if you struggle to meditate, this can be a great starting place.
Movement: Life isn’t designed to be static and sitting really is the new smoking. Exercise is optional but movement is essential. The human body is designed for walking, running, hunting, lifting, swimming, dancing, crawling, jumping, fighting and sex. Going to the gym 3 times per week to work out for an hour is good but it will not undo the pathology that is sitting and remaining sedentary for 50 or more hours per week at work.
The reason we always recommend an early morning walk to all our guests at Amity Wellness prior to commencing the morning activity, is because walking has so many benefits, it’s free, everyone can do it, it needs no special equipment, there’s no traffic at that time in the morning, its nice and cool at sunrise, it sets a good intention for the rest of the day, it gets you outside in nature, it improves your circulation, enhances detoxification, clears the mind and it sets up new neural pathways for a healthy ritual or habit that you can easily continue with once returning home. We suggest guests aim for 10,000 steps per day during the cleansing program but of course, its always important to listen to your body and build up to this gradually if you have been sedentary for a long time.
Sleep: A good nights sleep is one of the most powerful healing modalities available. Make your bedroom a tranquil sanctuary that is only there for rest, relaxation, sex or sleep. Be sure to make sure your room is nice and dark so that your body will produce adequate levels of melatonin. Aim for 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night.
Limit Screen Time: It is your responsibility to set healthy boundaries for yourself. Being in front of a screen is almost always sedentary behavior and can lead to laziness and distraction if its not used productively. The reality of the Internet is that we now have the flexibility to work from just about anywhere but are now always on standby, one of the most important gifts that you can give yourself and your loved ones is time.
I would recommend setting a reasonable time to put your mobile on silent and stop messages or emails from disturbing your family time. It is also important to avoid smartphones or television at least one hour before sleep as the glare of the screen will reduce the production of Melatonin.
Meaningful Relationships: Your mind believes everything you tell it and everything you let others tell it, if you accept others opinions of you as truth, your shaping your own mind and accepting it as reality.
NLP specialist Jim Rohn says that you become an average of the 5 people that you spend most of your time with so it doesn’t it make sense that you share your time with the people who truly love, motivate, inspire, encourage and support you.
Sometimes its good to look at the people around you, if they are constantly complaining, indulging in negative thinking, supporting sabotaging behaviors, stimulating laziness or encouraging you to engage in gossip then it might be time to step back!
Focus on Gratitude: For every minute of anger you lose 60 seconds of happiness. Gratitude is a way to dissolve any stress that you have picked up throughout the day. Try to focus on at least 3 things that you are grateful for before closing your eyes to sleep each evening.
Breath Work: Notice the change in breath during periods of anxiety, stress or panic attack. Learn to use your breath as your stress coach as it’s the perfect way to engage the Para-sympathetic nervous system.
Focus on taking at least 10 intentional deep breaths (breath in for the count of 4 and lengthen the exhale) each time you use the rest room to bring you back to a place of calm at intermittent periods throughout your day.
Disclaimer: Always check with a licensed medical physician, nutritionist or naturopath that there is no known contraindications specific to you prior to implementing any specific detox protocols or supplements