GLOW GETTER: A DRIVEN BUSY GAL WHO STRIVES TO ACHIEVE HER GOALS IN LIFE WHILE ATTAINING A BEAUTIFUL GLOW BOTH INSIDE AND OUT
Are you ready to get your glow on?
In the spring, according to Traditional Medicine, it is the time to tend to the liver. When we allow the spring to influence our diets, we will create a deep well of spring within, and a radiant glow.
A healthy liver establishes a smooth flow through your entire being –– body, mind and soul. People with healthy and clear livers are said to be more calm, peaceful and relaxed.
I put together some simple daily practices and ingredients for you to check out –– from a functional nutrition perspective –– that enhance detoxification, and will leave you feeling lighter, clearer and energized while also ensuring you enjoy the process with some yummy recipes and foodie delights to boot. (Stay tuned for part II!)
... because taking care of your health doesn’t have to suck 🙌
Before we dive in, I wanted to take you on a little walk through your liver detoxification process. A short, simple and sweet distillation, just to be sure you get the gist.
There are three important phases of detoxification to take note of:
In phase 1, the liver supports the first line of defense against toxicity. In this phase the liver breaks down toxins through oxidation.
In phase 2, the liver-toxins that have been altered in phase 1 can now be conjugated (or linked to a molecule that will allow its excretion). This process is reliant on adequate nutrients, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and protein. *if you are doing a liquid cleanse, it takes about 2 days until your body will start to breakdown muscle mass.
In Phase 3, the body prepares to transport the toxins to the elimination organs. There is a need for adequate hydration and elimination for this part to work.
There are some specific ways you can support your liver this spring. While a deep cleanse is always an option, I know it can fell intimidating and restrictive for many of you.
I put together some simple ingredients and daily practices for you to check out –– from a functional nutrition perspective –– that enhance detoxification, and will leave you feeling lighter, clearer and energized while also ensuring you enjoy the process with some yummy recipes and foodie delights to boot. (Stay tuned for part II!)
I hope you enjoy these easy and do-able tips and tricks that will support you in getting your glow on this spring!
Here are a few ingredients to explore in your diet and in your life. While you surely don’t have to choose all of them, filling up your life with a variety these detoxifying ingredients and practices will support your health.
Fill half your plate with a variety of these plants-based foods (organic please) to ensure your liver is supported in the detoxification process.
Leafy Greens: kale, Swiss chard, watercress, cilantro, beet greens, dandelion, spouts and mustard greens
Brassica: Radish, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale
Sulfur-rich foods: garlic, onions
Citrus: oranges, lemons and limes (avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, which slows Phase 1)
Love your liver superfoods: artichoke, asparagus, beets, celery, dandelion greens, arugula greens, and dandelion-root tea, nettles, fermented vegetables.
Now you know for a successful detox (with all the phases rolling along smoothly) you need a good source of protein at every meal. In fact, protein is a cornerstone of detoxification. Here are a few (plant and animal) options to explore, all rich in an important detoxification amino acid called methionine.
Nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, sesame and pumpkin seeds to name a few. One study showed a decrease in liver enzymes with a healthy dose of nuts each day. As always, best to soak and roast before eating for best absorption and assimilation.
Non GMO Soy: The best versions include are tempeh, natto, and miso because they are fermented and the easiest to digest.
Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, beans of sorts digest (and assimilate) better when soaked overnight (for approximately 8 hours) before cooking.
Free range eggs: Eat the whole egg. The yolk contains most of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fats.
Wild caught salmon: High omega-3 content supports a healthy liver
Grass-fed buffalo or beef: The oils in grass fed beef and buffalo (omega-3 and CLA) are much healthier and grass-fed varieties are also full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, many of which support healthy liver detoxification.
Pasture range, hormone free Chicken or Turkey: These varieties are more nutrient dense and of course the animals were treated better.
Hormone free raw dairy: (if tolerated) Yes, butter is back in (with the health trends) and grass-fed dairy is the kind to look for. High in omega-3’s and A2 milk (the protein type found in grass-fed) is also a wonderful source of glutathione, and important ingredient in liver detoxification.
Grass-fed Liver: I know it’s a stretch, but for those of you who like organ meets, give liver a try. Liver stores many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with many of the precursors it needs to get rid of toxins.
Even with a healthy diet and all the other practices listed here, sometimes your body needs a little extra help. The following supplements (some of my favorites) will help your body detox naturally. If you have specific healthy issues or feel intimidated in creating your own supplement regiment, I can help you HERE.
Milk thistle: Silymarin, the active ingredient that has been shown to reduce liver toxicity while supporting regeneration.
Turmeric: One of natures most powerful anti-inflammatory and has also been shown to support healthy liver tissue and liver metabolism
Dandelion: A natural diuretic that eases the flow through the liver to eliminate toxins more quickly
Burdock root: A cousin of the dandelion, cleanses the blood and supports the liver.
Glandulars: High in vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron. These nutrients provide the body with many of the precursors it needs to cleanse the liver.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Supports antioxidant activity, the regeneration of other antioxidants (including glutathione), and promotion of healthy liver function.
N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): replenishes intracellular glutathione — needed for detoxification and antioxidant support.
* In many cased supplement companies have combined many of these ingredients for you in liver detox formulas
I know you know this, but I am just here to give you a gentle reminder. Your body is made up of a large amount of water, in fact, studies show your body is composed of up to 75 percent H2O. Water is also imperative to flush out your liver tissue, and support your kidneys in eliminating toxins from the body.
Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure you get enough.
Drink half your body weight in ounces of purified water each day, or more with exercise.
Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning before you do anything else.
Add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of apple cider vinegar to your water for extra cleansing and digestive support.
Drink herbal tea through out the day.
If you drink a cocktail or glass of wine, follow with two glasses of water.
If you get absorbed in what you are up to during the day (like me) set a timer on your phone to remind you to drink water every hour.
Choose sparkling water over other sugary drinks or sodas
Bring your water bottle with you wherever you go.
REST & RESTORATION
What is the connection between sleep and the liver? TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) observes the connections between the body’s organ systems and sleep cycles. If your liver is needing a little extra support, you many notice you are waking up during liver time (1-3 am) each night.
While detoxifying the liver, your body is working harder than usual and you may need more sleep, restoration, and downtime to support the process.
Try going to bed earlier, as much research shows that each hour of sleep you get before midnight is worth two hours after midnight.
Giver yourself permission to get an extra hour (or two) if possible each night while you are giving your liver some extra love!
Take a detox bath. While a warm bath can actually help you sleep, detox bath (of sorts) can also help your body detox. Some of my favorite detox baths include adding Epsom salts; or essential oils of lavender, wild orange, Roman chamomile; adding lemon juice or apple cider vinegar; adding ground ginger.
Practice just “being”. Give your self more white space in your day –– even if that sounds impossible. Give it a try.
Journal, meditate, read, practice gentle yoga, take a nap.
Any movement is a wonderful addition to supporting your liver in natually detoxifying. Sweating has an even greater effect. While there is more research needed in this area, much of the research has shown that sweat is composed of some level of toxic waste. Moving the body supports the conditions for the body to detox through breathe, stretching, circulating and sweating.
Get outside and enjoy the spring with a brisk walk or hike
Head to the yoga studio (warm classes are great for this) and get your sweat on.
Find a cardio workout that works for you
Take a sauna
Do a mini-work out in your living room!
For best results try to exercise at a pace where you can breath evenly (as that supports healthy detoxification) while being able to carry on a conversation.
While I know you may not be able to follow through with all of these suggestions, what I intend here is for you to handpick 1-2 practices from each category. Start slow. Add in the ingredients that best suit your life (and your tastes) and build your momentum from there.
Then… share which ones you pick in the comments below. I am so curious and excited to hear the combination you create just for you!
Here’s to a happy and healthy spring season, and your ever growing RADIANT GLOW!