Detox? Or Not-To-Tox? Part 3: Nourish Deeply!
This is Part 3 of the series: ‘Detox? Or Not-To-Tox? In the first two parts we talked about the tedious ritual of ‘detoxing’ and ‘cleansing’ and the longer-term restorative benefits of nutrient-dense, traditional foods.
Read PART 1 here: Part 1: ‘The Detox Treadmill!’
Read PART 2 here: Part 2: ‘Detox De-Bunked!’
If you haven’t caught the series yet, please have a look – I’ve put together loads of plain speaking on why we get ‘toxic’ and how we ‘detox’.
So – are you ready for a TOX-LESS life?
Getting off that Detox Treadmill – and staying off it – isn’t dimensional, it’s a ‘functional, whole-person’ approach. Each of the elements below are involved in creating inflammation and toxicity in the body and addressing each of them will help us to detoxify … naturally.
NOURISHMENT: It all starts with our food and nutrient-dense, easy to digest, energy-rich, traditional foods will strengthen our metabolism and keep our digestive tract healthy. Learning to eat well is at the very core of healing and achieving and maintaining optimum health.
STRESS and SLEEP are toxic bedfellows: Chronic stress and poor sleep make a mutually reinforcing, but hugely damaging partnership. End their dysfunctional love affair is a top priority!
Natural MOVEMENT: We were born to move and movement heals. Let’s learn how to keep it simple, natural and healthful!
‘SOUL’ CONNECTION: There’s no escaping the fact that, generally, were disconnected – from our ‘selves’ and from each other: family, friends, community and the planet. Disconnectedness and loneliness are highly significant markers for ill-health. Let’s learn to re-connect and thrive!
We’ll address each of these elements in subsequent posts, but now – let’s get this party started!
Processed foods, although seductive and convenient, are bad news, but many of us have become so reliant that it can be overwhelming to contemplate ditching them!
But here’s the thing: every small step away from the ‘quick-fixes’ of processed and convenience foods is a step towards the longer-term benefits of nutrient-dense, traditional foods. And every nutrient-dense food is a huge step towards better living!
If you already have a relatively healthy diet, adding in even more of the delicious nutrients that help your liver to detoxify can’t be a bad plan either!
Thankfully nobody’s perfect – if we can manage to eat real, nutrient-dense, ‘cooked-from-scratch’ food at least 80% of the time, our body will be equipped to cope with processing 20% of our conveniences, indulgences, treats and guilty pleasures!
So, ditch these:
- ALL processed foods
- ALL vegetable and seed oils – they’re highly processed, rancid and they are PUFAs – polyunsaturated fats – now known to ruin your body and brain.
- FLUORIDATED WATER – the Jury’s no longer out on the havoc it wreaks in our body. Please, just don’t!
And add in plenty of these nutrient-dense, easy to digest, traditional foods:
Saturated and monounsaturated fats: Butter and cream (grass-fed, raw if possible), or even lard or beef tallow from pastured animals. All high in fat soluble vitamins A, D and E. Raw coconut oil, avocados, extra virgin olive oil.
Eggs: Lots, especially yolks; pasture-fed, or organic free-range; all-round super-food with vitamins A, B, D, E and K and other micronutrients.
Raw dairy: Unheated, full-fat raw milk, organic if possible (from certified producers); full-fat cheeses; good for gut health and immune system function; widely used as a medicine before ‘industrialised’ pasteurised dairy; rich in fat soluble vitamins A, K and E (50% more than in pasteurised); vitamin C (none in pasteurised).
Bone broths: Chicken and beef bone broths from pasture-fed animals; incredibly healing for the digestive tract; aid liver detoxification; support immune system and heart health; take them daily in restorative soups, casseroles or just for sipping!
Gelatin: Not just for jelly, gelatin is a reasonably good source of protein containing all the amino acids not readily found in “muscle meat”. It supports skin, hair and nail growth, is good for joints and can help joint recovery, can help tighten loose skin and improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track. This is the ultimate beauty food as its not only rumored to help improve cellulite but a great source of dietary collagen! So forget collagen creams and eat it instead!
Organ meats: Especially liver from pasture-fed animals. Think a weekly Chicken Liver Pate with Bacon – delicious! All liver is beneficial – good for all vitamins and packed with minerals – but beef liver, although strong is particularly nutritious. Try making frozen raw liver ‘tablets’ by chopping beef liver into tiny pieces and open freezing them – take one or two daily and notice the difference!
White fish and seafood: Although ‘oily’ fish like mackerel and salmon have been very much in vogue – the benefits of white fish and seafood are coming into their own so mix it up with different types of seafood and remember that the smaller the fish the less toxins it will have.
Bone-in and ‘slow-cook’ cuts from grass-fed animals: Eating very lean meat is tough on our digestion and lacks the full complement of amino-acids. Slow-cooked casseroles and braises, using the old-fashioned (and cheaper) cuts on the bone and with lots of connective tissue which melds down into the gravy (think oxtail?), is a much healthier and more digestible way to go.
Fermented foods: Cultured dairy (think home-made yoghurts, labneh, raw-milk kefir, cultured butter); fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut, carrots); powerfully probiotic (more so than any supplement); chelators (detoxifiers); highly nutritious (more so than before fermentation).
Get your CARBS from below-the-ground vegetables – like carrots, parsnips, swedes, turnips, sweet potatoes (less so white potatoes). Always cook them well – they’re easier to digest and deliver energy efficiently.
And don’t be afraid of … SUGAR! Our bodies use glucose for energy preferentially, so much so that if we don’t get it, our liver makes it from proteins and fats, in a process called gluconeogenisis. When protein is used for energy, it’s not available to build muscles, synthesize antibodies, support metabolism or perform any of its life-sustaining roles – your poor old liver!
So eat plenty of fresh, ripe fruits and freshly squeezed fruit juices too – they deliver luscious energy to the cells quickly, increasing metabolism and supporting the thyroid to do its job of regulating just about every body system.
Leafy green and sulphur-rich vegetables – in moderation: We eat first with our eyes and vegetables are a colourful addition to any meal and reasonable helpings of kale, spinach, broccoli, boc choy cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts, onions, garlic are fine. BUT – cook them well and serve with butter or olive oil for better nutrient absorption. Save and drink the cooking water (or use it in soups) to give your body a bundle of minerals!
Include a daily raw carrot, grated or very well chewed – it acts as an anti-biotic ‘brush’ in the gut helping to remove endotoxins and helps prevent oestrogen recirculation.
Two words about GRAINS: REDUCE THEM!
Grains. It’s a huge subject and an issue that’s been receiving increasingly negative press. And it’s not just a ‘gluten’ issue. By their very nature, grains are very difficult for us to digest and cause big problems for our digestive (and other) systems.
Grains are also carbohydrates; carbs are sugars; and as we know, our love affair with sugar – particularly bread – is a deeply unhappy one.
However if grains are properly prepared, by traditional, time-honoured methods, they can release their nutrients, be kinder to our bodies and can still take their (occasional) place on our plate!
So, grains are definitely the subject of another post!
Remember: Going ‘TOX-LESS’ is no five minute wonder! It’s for life!
This approach is no ‘quick-fix’ it’s for the long-term. Start by ditching a couple of processed foods and adding in a couple of traditional foods from each category – and remember the 80/20 rule. Before long, you’ll feel so fabulous you won’t want to look back!
Finally – what about the claims of the ‘Detox Industry’?
Well, without a doubt there’s much controversy about the validity of short-term detoxes, or cleanses and their efficacy. The products on offer can be costly, but some swear by them.
I guess you-pays-your-money-and-takes-your-choice; I’ll be putting mine on on the time-honoured proof in the nutrient-dense, traditional nutrition pudding!!