By: Debra K., host, “The Journey into Wellbeing”
After a winter that was rough from coast to coast, it’s spring cleaning time! I’m not just talking about cleaning windows and closets, but let’s plan on clearing out the cobwebs and gunk that have accumulated in your body over the past few months.
Just like your home, things tend to get cluttered internally during the colder months. Icy roads have not allowed our bodies to move, comfort foods seemed so appealing and we all need the healing energy of sunshine. After this internal makeover… you will have the energy to tackle the chores!
1. Do an Internal Deep Cleaning
There are everyday foods in our diets that potentially wreak havoc in our system. If we continue to eat those foods, we develop sensitivities and intolerances. A food intolerance or sensitivity can be defined as an uncomfortable reaction to food that does not involve the immune system response or the release of histamine. Intolerances and sensitivities cause irritation in our body which can lead to a host of ailments including weight gain, gas and skin conditions.
The most common allergens in our diets are gluten, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts and egg. Unless you are a raw food vegan, there is a good chance you are eating regular quantities of these foods daily; if you are sensitive to any of them, your gut will not heal until you have eliminated the foods from your diet for a period of time.
Diagnosis can be challenging. There are a variety of “official” tests available including ones for the blood, stool and skin. However, these often give false negatives and positives. Instead, check with an integrative, holistic doctor or nutritionist about your options. In order to fully diagnosis food sensitivities, you likely will need to undergo an elimination diet to determine which foods might be wreaking the most havoc on your system.
Some tips to get you started:
* Begin reading every label to look for hidden irritants. They will unexpectedly show up as food starches, oils, fillers and flavorings.
* Try to eliminate one item at a time so as to not overwhelm your efforts.
* When ready, work with a doctor and plan to do a full detox from all these items for three-fours weeks. During a detox, you will basically prepare most of your meals and avoid all processed and prepared foods. You will be amazed at how great you feel!
2. Find the Right Cleansing Supplements
There are natural supplements that will assist your body in the cleansing process. These are easily accessible and can be found at most health stores. Be sure and ask your doctor if these supplements are a good choice for you.
Natural Fiber – Konjac root, also known as Glucomannan, is a natural soluble root fiber. Because it can absorb as much as 100 times its own body weight in fluid, Konjac root is a great tool to help with healthy digestion and can benefit elimination. You can take this supplement with meals to help regulate blood sugar levels and to ensure the meal has an easier and quicker passage through your intestines. As a perk, some claim it can aid in weight loss.
Probiotics – A traditional diet, which may include fast, canned, processed and artificially modified food, can cause the healthy bacteria in our gut to get overwhelmed by bad bacteria. When this happens, we are prone to all sorts of tummy issues. Probiotics are organisms, such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to improve health. They are found in supplements and foods.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that, in addition to being useful against gastrointestinal problems, probiotics can help ward off infection, boost immune systems and perhaps, prevent fight obesity. You can naturally add probiotics to your diet by eating raw sauerkraut, coconut milk yogurt, kombucha and fermented vegetables. To ensure you get a healthy amount, you might also consider adding in a high-quality supplement.
Wild burdock root – A powerful blood purifying agent, wild burdock root is relatively easy to obtain and simple to take. As a great diuretic tool, it can assist the cleansing process by expelling toxic products from the blood through the urine. Wild burdock root is strong enough to rid the body of even hard-to-reach toxins, including Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) residues and associated pesticide and herbicide chemicals. Burdock root also helps cleanse parasites, heavy metals, bacteria, and other toxins from the blood, and is often used to treat chronic bacterial and viral infections such as Lyme disease.
3. Put some “Spring” in your Step with Energizers
We all know that having more fruits and vegetables in our diets is a good thing, but what we may struggle with is how to easily add these on a regular basis. A great solution is to make an Energizer every morning before work. An Energizer is simply a combination of fruits and vegetables blended in enticing ways. You can start simply with watermelon and spinach; or banana, pineapple and kale. Once you acclimate to the process, it is fun to get creative and experiment with adding protein powders, flax seed and coconut oil.
To get you started on a energizer routine here are some tips and a recipe;
* Always put the softer items and fluids at the bottom of the blender so the blades don’t get stuck.
* Add enough liquid (water or non-dairy milk) to create the consistency you prefer.
* Rotate your greens regularly. Experiment with spinach, lettuces, parsley, beet greens and kale.
* At first you can use more fruits than vegetables to adapt to the taste. Eventually your goal is to have more vegetables than fruit to lower the sugar content.
* You can create interesting drinks by adding in cucumbers, celery, ginger, rice protein, nut butters and fresh herbs.
* For some great Energizer Recipes visit www.reciperedoblog.com
About Debra K. – As the host of The Journey into Wellbeing, a television series currently airing on PBS, Debra K. visits new places to uncover the secrets to living a high-energy, vibrant life. Her intention is to inspire our nation’s health transformation. Debra is the author of the business book “Success from the Start”, and co-founder of iMassage, Inc. More details at www.journeyintowellbeing.com, www.reciperedoblog.com and on Facebook at The Journey into Wellbeing with Debra K. For exciting short online videos visit www.youtube.com/user/JourneyIntoWellbeing
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