Tag Archives: detox

What You Should Know About Your Liver by Melina Meza

The liver is the second largest organ in the body (your skin is the largest) and arguably the most popular one mentioned in yoga studios, health magazines, and wellness centers throughout the spring and summer season. Considering your liver is involved in nearly 500 bodily functions—including detoxification and producing important proteins such as enzymes, hormones, blood proteins, clotting factors, and immune factors—there’s no mystery why it’s important to honor and protect this essential organ no matter what season it is.

The liver and kidneys are the primary organs for detoxification and naturally help you cleanse by eliminating waste products in your sweat, urine, or feces. If your liver is in good shape, you will feel energetic and find it easy to think clearly and maintain a happy, stable mood. When the liver is not functioning well, it will not remove waste products efficiently and you will feel quite the opposite of healthy.

The liver acts like a proverbial club bouncer, standing guard at the entrance; on a daily basis, the liver filters unwanted items out of your bloodstream such as drugs (over the counter and prescription), alcohol, cigarettes, environmental pollutants, caffeine, food additives, smog, chemical household cleaning products, plus ammonia and bilirubin (which are produced in the body as a result of protein metabolism).

Please remember that every toxic substance mentioned above will eventually be processed by your liver. If your liver can’t break down the toxins, they simply don’t go anywhere, which makes it harder for the liver to do its regular job. To help give your liver a break, please take extra caution with alcohol consumption. If alcohol is consumed on a regular basis, normal liver function may be interrupted, leading to chemical imbalances and depression. Liver cells may be destroyed or altered, resulting in fatty deposits (fatty liver which will be covered next month), inflammation (alcoholic hepatitis), and/or permanent scarring (cirrhosis). Mixing alcohol and medications may also damage the liver.

If you use alcohol to relax or reduce stress at the end of a long day, consider getting some exercise instead, then treating yourself to a “mocktail” (non-alcoholic drink) and see if these replacements help you to feel more clear and emotionally stable at the end of each day. 

One of the numerous incredibly cool things about your liver is that it has the extraordinary gift of regenerating itself. However, I don’t recommend overburdening it with unhealthy lifestyle choices and foods high in fat, sugar, cholesterol, and pesticides that may cause harm down the road.

Diet: Liver-Supporting Nutrients

Making an effort to eat seasonal, local, organic, whole foods rich in the following nutrients below are important preventative steps for optimal liver health. Here’s a short list of important liver-supporting nutrients and the foods rich in them, which can help keep your liver happy. I hope you enjoy adding them to your cart during your next visit to the market. 

Folate (a B vitamin): Green leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, asparagus, broccoli, avocados, and brewer’s yeast.

Vitamin C: Grapefruit, lemon, red bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts and strawberries. 

Flavonoids: Beets, apples, blueberries, cabbage, parsley, tomatoes, strawberries and white, green or black tea.

Magnesium: Dark green leafy vegetables, tofu, almonds, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, wheat bran, millet, brown rice, dried apricots.

Iron: Kelp, brewer’s yeast, blackstrap molasses, wheat bran, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, millet, organ meats, parsley, clams, almonds, dried prunes, raisins, Jerusalem artichokes, beet greens, egg yolks, whole wheat bread, oats, brown rice, dried peas, lima beans, kidney beans, green peas, almonds, artichokes, and dark green leafy vegetables.

Selenium: Found in our soil and will vary greatly depending where your food was grown and how healthy the soil is. Foods with concentrated selenium include brewers’ yeast, wheat germ, liver, butter, molasses, Brazil nuts, oats, garlic, mushrooms, radishes, and tomatoes. 

Cruciferous Vegetables: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower.

Root: Turmeric (anti-inflammatory, helps liver detoxify carcinogenic chemicals and stimulates production of bile). 

Herbs: Echinacea, dandelion, red clover, burdock, and milk thistle, which has a reputation for promoting the growth of new liver cells and might be worth exploring during a seasonal detox If you are considering a liver flush or cleanse, it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated and are also having regular bowel movements each day.

Daily bowel movements are essential because the chemicals and pollutants that get released in the body from the liver will end up in your stool for elimination. Slow or irregular elimination patterns may lead to further complications. During a detox phase, I often recommend mild laxatives such as triphala (Indian formula found in most health food stores in capsule form), psyllium, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and prunes to ensure your colon is being emptied two to three times a day. I also recommend consulting with your local Ayurvedic practitioner (yogi health scientists) or nutritionist to support you in building a custom program that addresses your uniqueness and health goals. 

As you can see there is a lot you can do in your daily life to support your liver. If you give your liver a break and limit the amount of drugs, alcohol, pesticides, fatty foods, artificial sweeteners, and sugar in your diet on a regular basis, there would be less need to “detox” your liver. A balanced diet with regular exercise and hydration goes a long way in regard to the health of your organs. 

 

 

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Kitchen Medicine for the Winter by Melina Meza

Kitchen Medicine for the Winter

If after the holidays you want to do a little detox, lighten up, shed a few pounds, or save a few dollars, and begin the New Year with a healthy diet, I would suggest starting the year with a one to three day kitchari monodiet. Kitchari is an Ayurvedic superfood that is easy to prepare and costs approximately $2 a bowl if you make it from scratch. The recipes may vary, but the recommendation to eat kitchari is universal in Ayurvedic treatments. Kitchari is primarily used to help people restore their digestive functions, reduce unhealthy cravings, recover from illness or stress, and help clear ama (toxic sludge) from the body (signals of ama may include a thick, white coating on our tongue, a feeling of sluggishness, or a new unpleasant body odor). There’s no time like the present to treat yourself to a few days of tasty kitchari when you’re hungry and allow your body to rest after the decadent holiday season.

In addition to the kitchari monodiet, here are a few Ayurvedic herbs and spices to help reduce kapha and improve your health throughout the winter:

  • Trikatu – Improves metabolism and destroys Kapha
  • Triphala – Cleansing action supports weight loss
  • Triphala Guggulu – Aids fat metabolism and detoxification
  • Neem – Reduces sweet cravings
  • Chywanprash – Helpful for colds and immune support
  • Ginger – Improves digestion, circulation, and metabolism
  • Garlic – Its antibacterial and antiviral qualities help knock out the common cold or infection. Add to soups or enjoy raw if your stomach can handle it
  • Cardamom – Refreshes the palate and reduces cravings
  • General warming spices include cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, black pepper, cayenne, and ginger.
  • Kitchen detox spices include black pepper and whole coriander seed.  Blend together in a traditional pepper grinder and add a quarter teaspoon to meals, even sweet ones. Black pepper promotes healthy circulation. Coriander is the digestive regulating spice of Ayurveda.

Once you feel you detoxified from the holidays, consider stocking your refrigerator, pantry, and spice cabinet with the following food items during the winter season:

  • Lemon – Drink lots of warm water with lemon
  • Soup Stock – Make soup stocks (chicken, seaweed, or mushroom), adding spicy herbs—such as garlic, ginger, onion, and chilies.
  • Vitamin C Foods – Stock your house with foods high in Vitamin C like grapefruits, lemons, oranges, Brussels sprouts or broccoli. Their antioxidant goodness supports collagen growth, healthy tissue maintenance, and immunity.
  • Nutrient Dense Foods – Eat foods concentrated in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin D on a regular basis. Examples include almonds, black beans, bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, navy beans, pumpkin seeds, spinach, sunflower seeds, Swiss chard, and turnip greens.
  • Consume foods that nourish the water element such as buckwheat, kidney/black/pinto beans, mushrooms, beet greens, nori, red cabbage, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, chia and black sesame seeds, miso, soy sauce, umeboshi plums, and pickles.
  • Cut out sugar (at least for a few weeks at some point during the winter) and carbonated beverages, which leach minerals from your bones.
  • Herbal allies – Consider marshmallow root (soothes irritation and inflammation), ginger root, and nettle (tones the kidneys).

As a general rule, when you want to decrease Kapha imbalances (weight gain, depression, weak digestion, white coating on the tongue, and/or excess mucous in the body) this season, minimize sweet, sour, and salty foods and increase foods and herbs that are pungent (like ginger), bitter (like coffee and turmeric root), and astringent (like chickpeas and goldenseal) to ensure good digestive fire. When digestion is good, immunity is strong and life is full of possibilities! Om.

Cleansing & Detoxing by Jenn Pike

Pants feeling a little tight? Skin feeling dull or breaking out? Energy low? Cravings out of control?

To cleanse or not to cleanse? I think I need a detox…

WOW!!! Do I ever get asked A LOT about this subject! I have never have a one-person-fits-all, cookie cutter answer though. Everything I do in my array of holistic services truly comes down to the individual, their past, their present and their future goals. So while I can’t give you all THE plan to follow specifically for you, I can help you to narrow down and focus on what every human being should 100% avoid purchasing, preparing and consuming and what most people should begin filling their kitchens and their bodies with.

Here are a few of my simple tips to help you rid a few pounds, increase your energy and jump-start your new healthy habits and vitality regime:

  • Begin each day with warm water and 1/2 fresh lemon juiced
  • Take a daily probiotic
  • Add greens to your morning smoothie and trade in cow’s dairy for either unsweetened almond, rice, flax, coconut or hemp milk
  • Downsize your dishes! Start using a salad size plate instead of a dinner plate. Focus on building your plate with nutrient dense colour and nutrients instead of large portions of calories and waste.
  • Eat plenty of organic produce; fruits and veggies.
  • Onions and garlic have amazing anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties to them.
  • Choose lean vegetarian protein in an attempt to reduce your exposure to excess animal proteins and arachidonic acid.
  • Protein sources such as edamame, tempeh, raw nuts and seeds, chia, raw nut and seed butters, dark leafy greens, beans, lentils and hemp
  • Healthy fats daily such as raw nuts and seeds, avocados, olive oil, flax oil, hemp oil and coconut oil
  • Choose whole grains that are gluten free such as quinoa, brown rice, amaranth and millet

Avoid these foods:

  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Limit Red meat
  • Pork
  • Lunch Meats
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Processed foods, sweets and baked treats
  • Artificial Colours and Sweeteners
  • Alcohol

The THREE TOP THINGS you can do to FEEL BETTER and CLEANER right now:

  1. Drink lots and lots of water – aim for 3-4 litres every single day
  2. Get your sweat on! Exercise at least 5-6 times per week combining Yoga, Pilates, Cardio, Strength Training…whatever you love GET UP and JUST DO IT!
  3. Get your beautiful self to bed. Aim to be in bed no later then 11pm. According to Chinese medicine the most beneficial time for sleep to restore our liver and gallbladder, which are two huge organs involved in cleansing and detoxing, are from 11pm – 3am.

The Simplicity Project

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Sixth day detox

Good morning! During this detox week your body accustomed to move, even if you didn’t practice yoga before or didn’t do any movement at the morning. Notice how do you feel after massage and warm shower, observe the sensations in your body during the yoga practice, watch your reactions in meditation and after. For sure you will find many changes in yourself in this realy short time.

Continue to walk and take sun baths, you need some D vitamin. Add bysicle to your daily life, wake up for it a little bit earlier in the morning. Do anything that brings you pleasure and joy. Do it for yourself, love yourself, honor yourself. You will benefit!!!

Morning: abhyanga/shower

meditation/yoga practice

Breakfast: kitchari (or your choise)

Lunch: kitchari + herbal tea (or your choise)

Evening: meditation

Supper: kitchari + herbal tea (form tea) or your choise

Love you all!!!

Olga

7 days detox

Spring is my favorite time. First reason is because i was born in spring (may) and the second reason is that i like the re-borning of the nature. After long, grey and cold days, here is sunshine, everything in the nature becomes green and gets different fresh colors. World is renewing. The same thing happens in our body, internal organs, emotions..or it wants to do so..

And we have to support our body, our temple, where lives the soul, for it to be clean, fresh and light.

Sometimes physically we just want to rest, to recharge our body , so do internal organs, digestive and immunity systems- to rest, to recharge.. Now is the best time to make some cleaning.

I just finished my 7 days of ayurvedic detox and i can say so many things have changed in this really short time. I feel  lighter and emotionally inspired, energetically charged and fluid in my articulations (joints). And most important i feel myself regrounded into my inner space, into my heart and soul.

I want to share this  rather simple one week program.

If you want to refresh yourself or to try something different in your life, follow me on www.pathonlife.wordpress.com, so you can automatically receive daily instructions and recipes in your e-mail box.

It’s not so difficult to cook very simple dishes for yourself and do some exercise (yoga), and it doesn’t matter when you will start, if you’re late. You can choose any time, but the best would be Sunday, because you are at home (if you are working) and can prepare some stuff for  days ahead. You will continue your detox during the week and following Sunday you will be free to spend your time with your friends, family or your children.

Tell to your family that you are going to ‘discipline’ yourself, so they can support you on this path. Don’t worry,you’ll benefit on that. Stop drinking coffee and black tea (cigarettes) or try to minimize the dose. Prepare yourself emotionally, then start to collect/buy all neccessary ingredients for the week. Try to get fresh vegetables and fruits (preferrably organic ).

You will wake up early and go to bed at 10.00 p.m. (or at least before 12.00 p.m.). Cook the main dishes on Saturday,so you are not running around early in the morning on Sunday. Don’t forget to sign up to the blog page, so you will not have a trouble with daily instructions.

Here is the list of neccessary ingredients (https://pathonlife.wordpress.com/category/7-days-detox-neccessary-ingredients/),and recipes of the 2 main dishes:

Kitchari:  warm up 4 tbl spoon olive oil, add 1 tea sp. kumin (seed) and asafoetida (if you can’t find it-no problem), add onion (cut before) and  1 tbs ginger (fresh), continue to add 2 whole cardamon, 2 cloves garlic (whole) and 1/2 tea sp. kurkuma powder. After that add 1 cup of green lentil, 1/2 cup of basmati rice and 5 cups of water. Cook on low heat till ready.

Chatni: mix in the blender: 1 bunch of fresh coriander (kish nish), 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup (or less)of water, 1/4 cup grated coconut, 2 tbs grated fresh ginger, 1 tbs honey, 1 tea sp. sea salt. (this is good one!)

You can cook your kitchari and chatni, if you know how and did it before.

Learn your dosha, you will prepare special tea for your dosha (ayurvedic).

For any questions contact me: olgatsibarnea@gmail.com

Next instructions will be posted on this Sunday at the early morning (1 april-good to start your month with detox)

Good luck!!!

Olga