Once upon a time, we lived in an unpolluted environment; drank pristine water; and ate whole, nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods. Today’s world is hardly pristine—the real question becomes how high our toxic burden is and how much it’s affecting our health.
Doing a detoxification plan makes sense, but most commercial detoxification juices or other plans are primarily sugar, which delivers a major whammy to your liver. Studies show fructose (the main sugar in fruit) especially stresses out your already overworked liver and revs up inflammation.
Most detox plans are also low in protein, which means your liver can’t perform phase 2 detoxification, which actually expels those nasty toxins. Translation: Without sufficient protein, you risk increasing your toxic load.
To start detoxifying, dump high-sugar-impact foods and eat clean protein sources like free-range poultry, grass-fed beef, or wild-caught fish. Beyond that, these seven strategies can help maximize your detoxification plan:
1. Drink water.
Among its many functions, water carries nutrients to your cells and flushes waste from your kidneys. Even slight dehydration can increase your toxic burden. Start with 16 ounces of filtered water as soon as you wake up and keep sipping it throughout your day. The only time to curb water is during meals, when too much liquid can dilute enzymes that break down protein.
2. Get your fiber.
If you don’t have regular bowel movements, toxins become reabsorbed into your body, impairing digestion and exacerbating inflammation, food intolerances, and weight-loss resistance. Focus on organic high-fiber plant foods like legumes and non-starchy veggies, and consider a professional-quality supplement if you aren't meeting your fiber quota from food.
3. Have a protein shake.
A non-soy, nondairy, plant- or animal-based meal replacement powder provides a great protein source. Blend it with antioxidant-rich organic berries, avocado, organic leafy greens, and unsweetened coconut or almond milk to give your body the raw materials to jump-start detoxification.
4. Try burst training or HIIT.
An intense workout stimulates lymphatic and digestive systems, which further releases toxins. Burst training, or HIIT, becomes the ideal way to break a sweat in just minutes a day. My workouts combine burst training with weight resistance—the best two exercises on the planet—in just eight (yes, eight) minutes.
5. Enjoy the heat.
Traditional saunas emit direct heat, but a far-infrared sauna uses light to create heat. That means a greater percentage of heat penetrates deep into your skin, releasing toxins from fat cells so they can be excreted in sweat, feces, and urine. If you have trouble tolerating heat at traditional saunas or at the gym, a far-infrared sauna becomes the perfect solution. Many Korean spas have them, so look for one in your city.
Dry skin brushing with a natural-bristle brush removes dead skin cells and stimulates your lymphatic system to circulate better and eliminate toxins. Start at your feet and work toward your heart. It invigorates you and is a great way to give your body some extra help detoxifying.
7. Go deep.
Your cells constantly detoxify, so you want to provide the right foods, nutrients, and other support to help them do their job efficiently. Once a year, try a “deep cleaning” and work with an integrative practitioner or a professionally endorsed detoxification plan to provide extra liver support and eliminate accumulated toxins.
I’ve you’ve ever undergone a detoxification plan, what one strategy would you add to optimally help your body with this process? Share yours!