Seven-day Detox Smoothie Challenge

Photo: Toy Turtle

Photo: Toy Turtle

One great way to help yourself gently detox each day is to have a smoothie.

Juicing is great, but it can be messy and you need a good quality juicer. Another advantage of a smoothie is that you retain the fibre from your fruit and vegetables.

If you’re suffering from hypoglycemia or you’re trying to lose weight, smoothies generally give you longer-lasting energy levels than the quick-release action of pure juice. That’s not to say juicing is bad – it definitely has its place, but a smoothie-a-day will keep the doctor away!

A good quality blender does help, but if you only have a hand-whizzer that’s usually fine. Mixing fruit with vegetables is generally a good idea if you’re new to this. Pure vegetables can be a bit strong-tasting for some people until they get used to the taste and texture.

Banana is always a good base and you can always add a high-quality protein powder, such as Sun Warrior, if you wish. Then just mix in your favorite fruits. Soft fruits such as strawberries and raspberries work really well, kiwis are great, and so is papaya. Adding a handful of baby spinach or kale is a good start if you’re not used to the strong veggie taste of other greens. Try a seven-day challenge with one of these every morning and see how you get on. It may not quite as hard as you think!

  • Curly kale, broccoli, watercress, cucumber, fresh basil leaves, banana, pink lady, nectarine, water
  • Baby spinach, broccoli, pak choi, curly parsley, avocado, mango, lemon juice, ginger and water
  • Baby spinach, curly kale, broccoli, avocado, banana, passionfruit, lemon juice, fresh basil leaves, chia seeds, protein powder and water
  • Broccoli, curly kale, pak choi, tomatoes, carrots, banana, ruby grape fruit, kiwi, passion fruit, fresh ginger and water
  • Curly kale, baby spinach, granny smith, banana, tomatoes, fresh ginger, ruby grapefruit, beetroot and water
  • Baby spinach, curly kale, broccoli, banana, granny smith, pomegranates, chia seeds, protein powder and water
  • Baby spinach, curly kale, pak choi, carrot, banana, kiwi, ruby grape fruit, fresh ginger, chia seeds, protein powder and water

Smoothie combinations and photo: Toy Turtle

The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

MF-cinnamonAdding cinnamon to your mulled wine this winter could help teat or prevent type II diabetes according to research in the US. Studies suggest eating cinnamon improves blood glucose levels and blood fats.

The USDA tested 49 different herbs, spices and medicinal plants for their effects on glucose metabolism. The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The study showed that the active ingredient in cinnamon, methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP, mimics insulin functions, increases cell’s glucose uptake and signals certain cells to turn glucose into glycogen.

Cinnamon may also lower blood pressure. Other studies published in Diabetic Care show cinnamon not only reduced blood sugar levels but also blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in those with type II diabetes.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified phytochemicals in cinnamon, called chalcone polymers, which increase glucose metabolism in the cells by 20 times or more and are powerful antioxidants. Cinnamon also contains anthocyanins that improve capillary function. Classed as a flavonoid, anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants.

From aching muscles to digestive disorders and better eyesight

According to other research at Wheeling Jesuit University in the US, volunteers had a better memory and quicker visual-motor response speed after taking cinnamon. Cinnamon also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for pain and stiffness in muscles, joints and for menstrual problems. In Oriental medicine it is used as a digestive tonic and helps soothe the abdominal region, relieving gas, nausea and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it is a carminative, or gas reliever. Also, catechins, compounds found in cinnamon, help relieve nausea.

Cinnamon is also regarded as an aphrodisiac and anti-fungal agent and calms the nerves. Taken as a tea, it can help people suffering from rheumatism linked to exposure to cold weather.

A word of caution

Cinnamon does have an anti-blood-clotting effect, so do speak to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional if you are taking prescription blood-thinning medication. Large quantities should also be avoided during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the uterus.

Detox with Turmeric Tea

detox with turmeric tea

Columbia University Medical Center found turmeric beneficial in preventing early onset diabetes and obesity as inflammation is involved in both

Known as Indian Gold and widely used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is a member of the ginger family.

Compounds found in turmeric include polyphenols and curcuminoids, which give the spice its bright yellow colour. The most well-studied of these compounds is curcumin, the substance that gives the spice its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to make turmeric tea yourself simply boil four cups of water and add one teaspoon of ground turmeric. Simmer for ten minutes and strain through a fine sieve. Add honey or lemon if you like.

Over the last ten years, a lot of research has been done to find out more about the pharmacological properties and biological activities of curcumin. This polyphenol is well-known for its antioxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Used in India to relieve arthritis, modern studies have shown it is as effective as the anti-inflammatory, phenylbutazone. Turmeric is also used for muscle pain, joint inflammation and carpal tunnel syndrome.

A number of studies also suggest curcumin has anti-tumour effects. A 2006 study reported in the medical journal Oncogene found curcumin inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells, while a 2007 study by the University of Alabama showed it also inhibited hormones thought to trigger prostate cancer.

Curcumin also has an effect on cholesterol levels and has strong antioxidant properties. Curcumin inhibits lipid peroxidation. Studies have shown the spice protects against powerful oxidizing chemicals used to induce cataracts in rats. The rats given curcumin were protected against damage by the chemical and their eyes also improved.

In Oriental medicine turmeric is used for asthma, candida, eczema and jaundice. It is also used as a post-trauma remedy both internally and topically to reduce inflammation from bruises, swelling and wounds. It helps wound healing by acting as an anti-coagulant and has anti-fungal properties. Other skin uses include acne and boils as it purifies the blood and gives a healthy skin colour and texture.

Cleansing Foods and Drinks – Beetroot

beetrootLike apples, beetroot are a great source of the dietary fibre, pectin. 

They also contain other important nutrients including betaine, which support liver cells in their role of chief detoxification organ.

It has also been associated with lowering homocysteine, a chemical produced when an amino acid called methionine is broken down in the body. Because we all eat protein, we all have some homocysteine in our blood; however, raised levels have shown an increased risk for hardening of the arteries, a precursor for heart attacks and strokes, and also blood clots in the veins.

Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. A diet high in fibre has many health benefits. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers, and can also improve digestive health.

However, many people don’t get enough fibre. On average, most people in the UK get about 14g of fibre a day. You should aim for at least 18g a day.

Fibre is only found in foods that come from plants. Foods such as meat, fish and dairy products don’t contain any fibre.

There are two different types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Each type of fibre helps your body in different ways, so a normal, healthy diet should include both types.

We tend to eat beetroot as a salad vegetable but why not try them baked or roasted too? It’s great when it’s juiced as well. If you’re not used to it, try just adding a small amount to your juicer with apple, carrot, and celery — this dilutes the earthy taste of the beetroot. As you get more used to it you can add more.

Looking for a home detox package? We’ve put together two great supplements and a food plan just for you! At Home Detox Programme. Check it out!

 

Detox Dieting 101

detox diet 101A feeling of sluggishness accompanied by a feeling of having a permanently full belly and sometimes indigestion may all be signs that it is time to detoxify your system.

You may feel that you are overweight and if you find that your liver is complaining of excessive toxins, it is important  take note as this might be a wake up call for you.

A very common feeling is a slight nauseous feeling when you see very rich food such as fried stuff or very sweet food. This is a sign that your liver may be struggling and that your system needs to be cleansed – and fast. Now is the time to go on a detox diet for a while and give your body time to rejuvenate.

Detoxification is a systematic plan of reducing, if not completely removing, harmful toxins from the system. There are many detox plans that you can resort to if you need to cleanse your system of harmful toxins. The best plans are natural plans and consist of detox diets that last from 5 to 10 days. There are also detox exercise plans along with the diet that assist the body to get back into shape.

You may also have massages, use meditation and yoga but the best option is a detox diet plan.
A detox diet plan is a plan that will teach you how to eat,  what to eat and when to eat. All these parameters are equally important and need to be learned. When you know the right food that can help you lead a healthy life you are more likely to stick to eating healthy.

A detox diet consists of mainly organic food — mostly green leafy vegetables and fruit. Without harmful ingredients such as preservatives and additives this food is more naturally accepted without your body having to go all out to eliminate the harmful chemicals that go into processing meats and processed foods.

Natural food is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are much needed for the development of a healthy mind and body. Then there are the natural fibers these foods provide the body. These fibers are very necessary for the body to repair tissue.

There is some caution that needs to be observed while on a detox diet though. If you are planning on getting pregnant or already are, it is best that you stick to the diet you are used to until after you have recuperated from your delivery. You will need all the energy you can get. A detox diet will be a drastic change that your body may not be able to take.

Detoxing for Better Skin

Detox for better skinYou might have heard about body detox and all the great things it can do for you.

You probably have also heard that it can help cleanse your colon, remove toxins and waste from the body and help prevent disease and illness. You probably also know that it can give you more energy and boost your immune system.

But did you know that a body detox can also give you a better complexion? If you want to have younger, smoother, healthier looking skin, then a detoxification might just be the way to go. It can make your skin look and feel refreshed. By cleaning out the toxins in your body, the result is that you look and feel healthier all over. Our skin is often a sign of our inner health. People that are unhealthy may have dry, brittle skin, more wrinkles and more signs of age than a healthier person.

Toxins in the body can cause your skin to be pale and dry and look unhealthy. It can contribute to signs of aging earlier as well. When you clean your body deeply from the inside out, you remove these toxins that weigh down on your body and skin and refresh yourself. In the days that follow your detoxification, you should notice your skin becoming healthier and more alive. Over time, this will continue.

Drinking more water — whether it was specified in your detox program or not — will also be very helpful.

There are also special skin detox formulas you can purchase that are specifically for people with problem skin, acne or other skin conditions. There are many specially formulated detox systems that are designed for people that have skin problems or for those that might be experiencing aging and fine lines or wrinkles and just want to rejuvenate their skin.

Keep a Body Detox Journal

Keep a body detox journalIf you are going to do a body detox, keeping a detox journal is a great way to help you along the way.

You can get any kind of notebook, binder, paper, etc to write on, and something comfortable to write with and begin making notes from day one. Your journal can look any way you want it to or be any type of book that you want and you feel comfortable with. The point is just to keep notes on your life and your experiences during the detox.

You might write down the steps that you take in your detox, what you eat, what you restrict, etc. You might also write down your feelings and emotions along the way as well. Write anything and everything that you want while you are going through the detox program, even if it does not directly apply to your detox. Just your emotions and state of mind at this point can be very insightful to read later.

Benefits of A Body Detox Journal

There are actually many different benefits to keeping your detox journal. For one, you can write down all of the steps you take and what you experience along the way. This will help you remember how to do things the next time you detox and if something does not work well for you, you will know how to change it next time. You can compare your detox experiences over the years and see how they change and how you grow as a person.

Another reason why it is a good idea is because many people experience mood swings and other moodiness while going through a detoxification. This lets you write down how you feel and helps you sort through your moods and emotions. It also helps you grow emotionally and you can look back on your journals later.

Lemon and Ginger Infusion

lemongingerThere’s no better way to start the day than with a home-made lemon and ginger infusion.

Lemons are packed with antioxidant vitamin C, which is involved in the production of collagen, so it’s vital for good skin health. Lemons also have an alkaline effect on the body once they have been digested.

If you’re feeling a bit queasy after too much festive indulgence, ginger might help. Not only does it reduce feelings of nausea but it may help improve digestion and alleviate bloating and wind.

Like vitamin C, ginger is also high in free-radical combating antioxidants.

Steep a thick slice of lemon in hot water and add a little freshly grated ginger for 5 minutes and then sip. Alternatively, pop in the juicer with some carrots, parsnip and broccoli for an interesting breakfast beverage!

The Dangers of Xenoestrogens and Other Nasties

You are being bombarded with chemical hormones from your environment every day. Does it matter? Well, yes it does.

Environmental estrogens, also known as xenoestrogens, or estrogen mimics disrupt your health whether you are female or male. They disrupt the delicate hormonal balance of your body and disturb metabolism with disastrous results. Natural estrogens produced in your body are short-lived and are continually broken down by your body.

But man-made chemicals are not easily broken down and tend to accumulate in fatty tissues of your body with age. We do not have the mechanisms to totally get rid of them.

Rising rates of breast cancer, prostate cancer, falling sperm counts, testicular cancer, infertility, endometriosis, severe menopausal symptoms, immune system problems and cognitive problems have all been linked to the accumulation of environmental estrogens in our bodies.

David Feldman, Professor at Stanford University, said: “The cumulative effect of xenoestrogens may be much greater than any individual molecule”. Anna Soto’s research at Tufts Cancer Research Centre in the USA has clearly demonstrated this.
Over 60 substances have been identified as environmental estrogens. These include DDT, dioxin and PCB. They are released from industrial processes and agricultural sprays and make their way into your diet through food and water.

They are found in plastics including styrofoam, household cleaning agents, garden pesticides and herbicides and even your personal care products. They come in the form of vinyl products, flame retardants on furniture and coatings on electrical equipment.

How to Avoid Estrogen Mimics

Because estrogen mimics can do so much damage and are difficult to detoxify it is best to avoid them as far as possible.

  • Avoid all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
  • Wash your food well to get rid of the pesticides.
  • Use organic foods as much as you can.
  • Have a good water filter for your source of water.
  • Buy hormone free meats and dairy products where possible.
  • Avoid plastic goods – they leach into the environment.
  • Do not use plastic wrap for your food.
  • Do not heat food in plastic containers.
  • Use glass or ceramics whenever possible to store food.
  • Do not leave plastic containers, especially your drinking water, in the sun.
  • Use ecological and biodegradable household cleaning products.
  • Use organic soaps and toothpastes. Look for toxin and chemical free cosmetics.
  • Avoid nail polish and nail polish removers.
  • Look for natural chlorine free feminine hygiene products

And don’t forget to detox regularly. If you can’t get away for a week or two, you can always do a detox at home. I recommend this one and details can be found on the website.

The Best Detox Herbs

detox herbsIt is a well known fact that the atmosphere and food we eat and drink are crammed with harmful chemicals that enter the body and add to the build up of toxins that hamper the proper functioning of our bodies.

Add to this the pesticides and fumes we breathe in unknowingly adding to the build up of toxins. Before long the body will begin to reel under the effects of these harmful toxins and will need to be cleansed. This cleansing process is called detoxification.

Our bodies do have a natural cleansing mechanism which works via the kidneys and liver. But what often happens is our systems  become over burdened and may need some external help from us to clean out the circulatory and excretory systems.

One of the processes practiced for detoxification is prolonged fasting. This can be an unhealthy process as the body needs nutrients to sustain itself. The best way is to resort to a detox diet assisted with detox body herbs as well.

Since the immune system is the mechanism that defends the body from disease, toxins cause the us to fall ill as the immune system is the first to be affected by harmful levels of toxins in the system. This is why it is necessary to remove the toxins from the body through a detox process.

Some of the best detoxifying herbs used to cleanse the system are:

  • Psyllium Husk promotes bowel movements and cleans the bowls of toxins very effectively. The herb itself acts like a sponge absorbing the toxins and passing them out.
  • Cascara Sagrada is another very effective laxative that is used to flush out toxins from the system and is used along with the psyllium.
  • Milk Thistle simulates protein synthesis in the liver which is the cleansing organ of the blood.
  • Nettles may used in combination with other detox herbs for cleaning the urinary system of toxins.
  • Burdock roots are used when the need to cleanse the system is very urgent. This herb reduces the build up of heavy metals that can cause problems within the system.
  • Dandelion roots are herbs with the strongest detoxifying properties. These herbs are used to clean the gall bladder and kidneys of waste. Dandelion root is used in conjunction with other detox herbs as other organs need to be cleansed simultaneously.

Don’t forget to detox regularly. If you can’t get away for a week or two, you can always do a detox at home. I recommend this one and details can be found on the website here…