Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Detox Tips

If you're feeling generally under the weather, physical and emotional toxins maybe to blame.

1. Avoid eating wheat
This means cutting out biscuits, bread, cakes and pasta and checking the labels on the food you buy, because wheat is found in many processed foods. Even if you are not intolerant to wheat, it remains one of the most difficult foods to digest. Instead, eat oatcakes, rice cakes, rye bread, wheat-free bread, rice, quinoa, buckwheat and spelt.

2. Avoid dairy
That means milk, cheese, ice cream and cream. Don't worry about your calcium intake; you get more calcium from green vegetables! Small amounts of butter and eggs are fine. Instead of cow's milk drink soya milk, rice milk, quinoa milk, oat milk or almond milk and eat soya yoghurts. Goat's products, such as feta cheese, can still be eaten in moderation.
One of the ways in which animals remove toxins is through their milk, which is why dairy products contain toxins. The average cow is given chemicals designed to make it gain weight faster. The toxic cocktail includes steroids and antibiotics as well as pesticide residues.

3. Choose organic
Organic produce is free from pesticides and harmful addictives. It is also cultivated according to the principles that ensure it contains more vitamins and minerals than non-organically farmed food.

4. Avoid additives
Do not consume food or drink that contains artificial sweeteners, colouring, flavouring and preservatives. This is 'fake' food that the body does not recognise and it therefore becomes toxic.

5. Read the label
If packaged food includes hydrogenated fats, do not eat it. Trans-fats, the dangerous by-product of the chemical process to create hydrogenated fats, are found in most processed foods yet have been deemed so dangerous that some countries (and, at the time of writing, the city of New York) are banning their use. They are deemed to be carcinogenic (cancer forming) and can promote heart disease.

6. Cut down on meat
If you choose to eat meat then buy the absolute best you can afford by opting for organic. Bacon tends to contain a lot of salt, so be careful to eat it only very occasionally. As an alternative, try beans, peas and lentils and tofu. They are cheap and easy to cook. Be inspired by some of the Life Detox recipes.

7. Go alternative for cleaning and gardening
Avoid using conventional household cleaners and opt for natural brands instead. When you are gardening, avoid the use of pesticides and insecticides.

8. Don't get toxic while making yourself beautiful!
Traditional beauty products, such as perfume, nail-varnish remover, make-up, skin care, hair care, hair removal creams and aftershave, all contain potential skin irritants as well as chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin. Instead, choose natural alternatives from companies that use non-toxic, organic ingredients.

9. Storage solutions
Try to store food in glass or ceramic containers rather than plastic or plastic-style wrap. Food can absorb chemicals from the container or wrapping it is stored in. Cooking equipment should be stainless steel or ceramic if possible.

10. Drink more pure water
At the very least go for a jug filter, but if possible install a water purification system in your home. Bottled water is a good option, but try to buy glass bottles rather than plastic. Carbonated drinks, including water, contain carbon dioxide, which often leaches calcium from reserves in the body, so carbonated drinks should be avoided.

11. Take supplements
Boost your body's natural detox capabilities with supplements. Specialist detox supplements are the best option for short-term use. However, long-term support can be provided by a good multi-mineral and vitamin supplement. Psyllium husks help with the removal of toxins.

12. Cook foods lightly
Traditional frying creates damaging trans-fats and should be avoided. Browning food through grilling and baking creates harmful free radicals. Try to keep cooking light (as in rapid stir-frying or steaming) and keep roast dinners for special occasions only.

13. Boost your intake of detox nutrients
Include a serving of a detox 'superfood' (e.g. alfalfa or spirulina) in your diet daily. There is a wide range of foods available to suit different tastes and budgets that can be included in meals and snacks with ease.

14. Cut out caffeine, reduce your alcohol and/or nicotine intake
If going 'cold turkey' seems too much then try to reduce your intake little by little each day. Your body will adjust gradually, and, if combined with a nutritious diet, some of the cravings may subside. However, for the Life Detox 7-Day Programme, caffeine and alcohol must be cut out completely for you to enjoy the full benefits.

15. Reduce your mobile phone and television usage
Don't have your mobile phone on charge in your bedroom at night and avoid watching television in bed. Your body does its healing work at night so aim for a 10.30pm lights-out during detox.