Tag: detox

Top 3 Health Maintenance Habits

  1. January, Spring and/or Fall GI Cleanse.  What’s this and why is it important? Cleaning out and repopulating the intestines with healthy bacteria helps to improve function of the immune system and keeps unwanted micro-organisms from overgrowing.  Avoid kits that contain fiber supplements and laxative herbs, they don’t do much and laxative herbs can be harmful.
  2. January, Spring and/or Fall Liver Detox. What’s this and why is it important? All of the toxins, chemicals, pollution, excess hormones and body waste goes to the liver to be processed into recognizable waste before your body will excrete it.  If your liver is lacking something it needs to do that, toxins will accumulate and cause harm.  The liver needs amino acids like cysteine, antioxidants like glutathione, B vitamins like B6, B12 and active folic acid (L-5-MTHF) and substances like calcium-d-glucarate and indole-3-carbinol to be able to do this, most liver detox products don’t contain these.
  3. Ongoing Adrenal Gland Maintenance. What’s this and why is it important?  Many people take a multivitamin, which is great that they are trying to be proactive about maintaining good health.  However, I think most of what is in a multivitamin, most of us can obtain through a healthy diet.  The vitamins and minerals that I believe we really NEED to supplement are those required by the adrenal glands.  They are major regulators of blood pressure, blood sugar, stress management, anti-inflammatories, energy, drive and motivation, libido and hormone balance.  If their nutrients get depleted many systems aren’t working optimally.  They need lots of vitamin C, B5, B6, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  Vitamin B6 and magnesium are used as co-factors in 300 different enzyme reactions in the body, depletion of either means those reactions aren’t happening.  Even those with a healthy diet cannot consume adequate amounts of these vitamins through diet alone in my opinion.
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A Rant on Cleanses

It’s a pet peeve of mine that there are so many poor quality products at most health food stores.  Poor quality products mean that health conscious people who are trying to take a more proactive approach to maintaining their health get separated from their money for little or no benefit and people who may be just venturing into natural medicine may conclude that it doesn’t work on the basis of a negative experience with these sham products.  High on my list of fairly worthless products are “cleanse” kits. Most of them contain some combination of laxative herbs, fiber supplements, liver herbs like dandelion and milk thistle and maybe probiotics.  That all sounds good right?  However, I never recommend laxative herbs, they can be irritating to the digestive tract and over long term use have been shown to cause cellular changes that may not be healthy.  Fiber supplements should not be necessary for anyone who is eating adequate fruit and vegetables in their diet.  Dandelion and milk thistle are great herbs, however the dosages in most of these products are too low to accomplish anything and tincture is generally the best format for herbs.  Good quality probiotics are not shelf stable, they must be kept refrigerated, if the probiotic you are using is not kept in the fridge, switch to one that is.

These products also tend to have “proprietary” blends of many herbs.  What this means is that they don’t disclose how much of any particular herb is in it, which makes determining the effectiveness of the dose you would receive impossible.  One particular one contains a mixture of 15 different herbs that total up to 750 mg per day, assuming that all 15 herbs were present in equal amounts it means the daily dose of each herb would be 50 mg, which is nothing.  By comparison, the MediHerb product that would be comparable contains 7 000 mg of milk thistle and 400 mg of dandelion, per tablet.

At best these products will make you poop more for a month, you can accomplish the same thing by taking Ex Lax, not that I would recommend that either. That is not helping to rid the digestive tract of unwanted organisms and restoring healthy bowel flora which is what I mean when I refer to a cleanse of the digestive tract.

Spring, fall and January are the usual gastrointestinal cleanse times, which we usually follow with a liver detox.  It’s always best to schedule an appointment so we can discuss what would actually work to restore bowel health and detoxify the liver.  Information changes all the time!

Naturopathic Detox Day 21

Naturopathic Detox Day 21-Last Day!!

Although today is the last day of my set detox protocol, detoxification is always happening in the body. The body is always sorting through what it needs and what it wants to discard.  In fact, every time you breathe out, you release carbon dioxide.  Carbon dioxide is poisonous to the body.  There is a threshold that once passed, sends a signal to the body to breathe to rebalance the oxygen and carbon dioxide ratio.  The urge to breathe is actually more influenced by the need to get rid of carbon dioxide than to receive more oxygen.

Deep breathing is a great way to support these natural processes as well as put your body into the ‘Rest and Digest’ mode of the Central Nervous System.  This allows your body to implement its digestive and detoxification pathways and to eliminate waste appropriately.  Deep breathing helps to mediate the response to stress.  It allows us to control our emotional reactions and gives us the time and space to choose our response.  When the body is under stress, whether good or bad, it shuts down everything that is not essential to its immediate survival.  Namely, under stress, the body suspends digestive and immune functions until after the threat has passed.  Many people experience this as an inability or a sudden urge to use the washroom when nervous or getting sick after a particularly stressful project, event or test.

Deep breathing allows us to use our lungs to their full capacity and therefore, oxygenate as much blood as possible.  Even though deep breathing is easy to do, it has become unfamiliar to many in our population.  Many people are very shallow breathers and when they try to take a deep breath, they breathe into their chests and expand their chests on inhalation, sucking in their belly.  This is the exact opposite way to proper breathing.  The chest should have minimal movement. The breath should expand the lungs so much that it impacts the abdomen and the abdomen expands out on inhalation. If you have ever seen a baby breathe, you have witnessed natural breathing firsthand.  It is a more efficient and generally more sustainable way to breathe and get oxygen to our body.  Try it for yourself.  Take a few deep breaths and try to be aware of where your breath is going.  You can use a mirror to assess your chest and stomach movement.  Notice how you feel before and after proper deep breathing.  Talk to you Naturopath to see how Deep Breathing can best serve your needs.

 

 Detox Diet Day 21 –Last day!

 Early morning snack:

Apple, almonds

Rice cakes with hazelnut butter and banana

1 C of Peppermint Tea

Late Breakfast:

Poached eggs on Queen St. White Bean and Millet Seed gluten-free bread, double toasted, with spinach, grape tomatoes, mashed avocado and artichoke

Side of berries

1 C of Jade Snow Green Tea

Lunch:

1 bowl of Sunflower Kitchen Yellow Split Pea and Squash Soup with yellow split peas, carrots, butternut squash, onion, celery, garlic, sea salt, sunflower oil, spices and herbs

Dinner:

Butternut squash baked with olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg and marjoram

Brown rice steamed in organic preservative-free broth and grated beets and carrots

Baked tofu

Dessert:

Apple and Cherry sauce

Supportive Behaviours:

Evening Sauna:  45 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Naturopathic Detox Days 19-20

shawnaclarknd

Naturopathic Detox Days 19-20

The most common substance in our body is water.  Water is an excellent solvent and energetic force.  It’s movement through our body in the blood, lymph, tissues and even within and between our cells, helps to facilitate the distribution and collection of biochemical compounds.  Water is essential for survival in many ways including detoxification.

To eliminate waste and stored toxins, the body breathes, sweats, defecates and urinates.  Urine is the product of a remarkably efficient filtration process by the renal and urinary systems that eliminates wastes and reabsorbs many essential minerals and trace elements.   Urine has been used throughout medical history to help assess the state of one’s health.  Today, many metabolites, metals, hormones and nutrients can be measured in your urine to gain inside information.

The amount of liquid we consume should approximate the amount of liquid we excrete.  Our urine should be a bright…

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Naturopathic Detox Days 17-18

Naturopathic Detox Days 17-18

The purpose of detoxing is to get rid of free and stored toxins.  Protocols are developed to help pull toxins out of storage into the bloodstream so they can be sorted through and eliminated with waste.  The human body has 4 ways to get rid of waste: perspiration, defecation, urination and respiration.  All four play a crucial role in health.  My previous post “Naturopathic Detox Days 15-16” talked about perspiration.  The last few posts in this blog series will discuss the other three.

Although generally not a topic of conversation, bowel movements are such an important part of health.  A healthy bowel movement should be easy to pass, easy to wipe clean, feel complete and produce a brown stool that is long, whole, formed and firm.  There should not be any blood, mucous or undigested food.   You should not have problems with gas, cramping or extremely foul odours.  You should not have to strain, wiggle or drink coffee to have one.  They should happen at least once a day.

Healthy diets support healthy bowel movements.  Fruits and vegetables provide a mix of fibers that encourage proper elimination.  They help to move bowels, form stools, control sugar levels and get rid of waste products including excess fats, hormones, cholesterol and heavy metals.  There are 2 types of fibers: soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fibers tend to absorb water and can become gel-like.  They work to slow food through the intestines, but can also bulk up stools to stimulate elimination.  Inadequate water intake and soluble fiber intake can contribute to constipation.  Insoluble fibers tend not to absorb water and act as irritants to the intestinal walls, stimulating motility.  They tend to increase movement through the intestines and pass through the digestive tract intact.

How much fiber do you eat in a day?  How many healthy bowel movements do you have in the same day?

Commonly used soluble fibers are oatmeal, oat bran, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, lentils, peas, beans, psyllium husks, nuts and the flesh of many fruit and vegetables.

Commonly used insoluble fibers: whole grains and seeds, whole wheat, wheat bran, corn bran, nuts, peas, beans, bulgar wheat, dark leafy greens, and the skins of many fruits and vegetables.

Many foods have a combination of both fibers, providing a balance and some are higher in one type or the other.  For general health, it’s best to get a balanced amount of both.  It’s important to note that certain conditions may influence what balance is right for each individual. Ask your Naturopath to help balance your needs.

Detox Diet Day 17

Breakfast:

Bob’s Red Mill Tasty Hot cereal with cinnamon, berries, ground flax seeds, flax seed milk and a touch of stevia

One cup of jade snow green tea

 Lunch:

Vegetarian sushi with Bragg’s soy sauce

1 Cup of Tazo Zen tea

Dinner:

Homemade carrot and coriander soup

Rice crackers & guacamole

Protein powder smoothie with berries, flaxseed oil and ground flax seeds

Supportive Behaviours:

Evening Sauna:  35 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

Detox Diet Day 18

Breakfast:

2 slices of Queen St. White Bean and Millet Seed gluten-free bread, double toasted, covered with artichoke, grape tomatoes and mixed greens

I Cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

Lunch:

Brown rice cakes and raw veggies with homemade guacamole and hummus

Bosc pear

Almonds

Dinner:

Brown rice burritos with mashed black beans with onion and garlic, spiced, avocado, daiya cheese, mixed greens, grape tomatoes.

Steamed broccoli

Supportive Behaviours:

Evening Sauna:  45 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Naturopathic Detox Days 15-16

Naturopathic Detox Days 15-16

Water is essential to our life and our wellbeing. Hydrotherapy is the use of water for healing and it pools at the root of Naturopathic Medicine. Although the term itself is only a few hundred years old, hydrotherapy is an intuitive part of human life. Water makes up most of our bodies and is essential for life. It helps deliver nutrients and hydration to the body and helps to eliminate waste.

Detoxification is all about getting rid of toxic wastes that are stored in our bodies. We only have 4 routes of elimination from the body: urination, defecation, respiration and perspiration. Today we focus on perspiration. Sweating is a mechanism that uses water to cool the body down and to help eliminate toxins through the skin. Exercise is an excellent way to increase sweating and metabolism. Another way is through the use of saunas.

I’ve been using a Far Infrared Sauna followed by a cool shower in my detox protocol. Far Infrared saunas create light waves on the far end of the light spectrum. These light waves are different from the ones we can see with our eyes and they can penetrate through the skin to the deeper tissues of the body. It is in these deeper tissues that they have an effect. Heat increases the speed at which our bodies work. As we heat up, our metabolism increases and thus detoxification increases.   When we get hot enough, we sweat. Sweat cools the body by removing heat from the body with the water as it evaporates off the skin.   Sweat carries waste products that are eliminated with our sweat.

Saunas, both traditional and infrared, are an excellent and relaxing way to support detox. Traditional saunas heat the room and thus induce sweating by the high temperature alone. These heat waves do not penetrate into the deeper tissues of the body.  Infrared saunas work differently. They heat the body directly. The surroundings are not as affected and the desired effects are produced at overall lower temperatures than traditional saunas.  Infrared saunas don’t require sweating to stimulate detox, although sweating helps to eliminate toxins and is easily achieved, even at the lower temperatures.  In either case, make sure you drink enough water during your sweat.  It’s important to flush out toxins and replace the water lost through sweating.

Detox Diet Day 15

 Breakfast:

2 slices of Silver Springs gluten-free flax bread, double toasted, open-faced, covered with almond-hazelnut butter, sugar-free raspberry jam

1 cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

Lunch:

Vegetarian sushi with Bragg’s soy sauce

1 Cup of Tazo Zen tea

Dinner:

Steamed stir-fry with sliced ginger, black pepper, parsnips, zucchini, cauliflower, celery, orange bell pepper, kale and beet greens

Tofu with sesame oil, Bragg’s s soy sauce, mushrooms, garlic and almond-hazelnut butter

Supportive Behaviours:

Evening Sauna:  35 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

Naturopathic Detox Day 16

Breakfast:

1 bowl of Bob Red Mill’s Tasty Hot Cereal with cinnamon, apple slices, raspberries, stevia with flax seed milk and topped with ground flax seeds

1 cup of Jade Snow Tea

Lunch:

Brown rice cakes with almond-hazelnut butter

Dinner:

Leftover stir-fry from night before with added zucchini, orange bell pepper, sesame seeds and avocado

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 25 minutes of weight bearing floor exercises for the core (abdominals, leg & gluteal muscles) + 10 minutes stretching

Sauna: 30 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Naturopathic Detox Days 13-14

Naturopathic Detox Days 13-14

Healthy diets are an integral part of health and wellbeing.  Maintaining a healthy diet can be a challenge in today’s world, maintaining a detox diet even harder.  When social events come up, it may even seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to.  With a little planning, preparation and social grace, you can still enjoy extracurricular activities.  Day 13 of my detox found me at a family get together.  Preparing for limited options, I took some steps to avoid going hungry.   I ate a big, hearty breakfast, had some snacks for the car and simple food to integrate with dinner: rice cakes and almond butter, leftover curry, brown rice wraps and breakfast crepes.   I enjoyed dips, garden salad and quinoa salad put out by the hosts.   I skipped the birthday cake and ate my breakfast crepes on the way home for dessert.   Simple planning helped me maintain my protocols and a social life.  Other options I had were frozen soup – easy to heat, stays cold on its own for traveling, or a specialty sandwich or burrito – both can be premade and eaten cold.   Of course you can always offer to bring an entrée for everyone to enjoy.  You can tailor the dish to your needs while sharing new foods and tastes.  What’s your favourite detox dish?   

 

Detox Diet Day 13

Breakfast

Brown rice crepes with homemade fruit filling and almond butter

I Cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

Second Breakfast (Hobbit style)

2 slices of Queen St. White Bean and Millet Seed gluten-free bread, double toasted, covered with avocado, grape tomatoes and mixed greens

 

Lunch

Brown rice cakes with homemade guacamole and hummus

Raw veggies

 

Dinner

Quinoa salad

Garden salad

Brown rice wrap with chickpea and vegetable curry

Dessert: brown rice crepes with fruit filling

Raspberry tea

 

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 40 minutes ice-skating

Sauna: 25 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

 

 

Detox Diet Day 14

Breakfast

2 slices of Queen St. White Bean and Millet Seed gluten-free bread, double toasted, covered with avocado, grape tomatoes and mixed greens

I Cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

 

Lunch and Dinner

Pizza Nova gluten-free pizza with pesto sauce, roasted red pepper, roasted garlic and artichokes + I added avocado slices

Mixed green salad

 

Supportive Behaviours:

Sauna: 45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

 

 

 

Chickpea & Vegetable Curry and Tortilla Bake

Chickpea Curry

400g of soaked chickpeas
400 g diced tomatoes,
400g boiled potatoes or cauliflower or mushrooms or carrots
2 medium onions, chopped
4 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. each of turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
100 mL plain yogurt or coconut milk or other substitute (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat oil in pan, add turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds until seeds starting jumping
2. Add onions and garlic until onions clear
3. Add vegetables –cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms or potatoes. I added parsnips instead of potatoes. Cook for a few minutes.
4. Mix in chili powder
5. Mix coriander and tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes.
6. Add chick peas and cook on low-medium until all vegetables are cooked
7. Turn off heat and add dairy-free milk/yogurt (optional)

Chickpea Curry Corn Tortilla

Make the Chickpea curry above
8. Add non-dairy cheese and either roll in a corn tortilla or place between 2 corn tortillas
9. Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are crispy or baked to taste

Naturopathic Detox Days 10-12

Naturopathic Detox Days 10-12

Strength, Endurance, Flexibility:  These are the 3 pillars of fitness and together they form the foundation of one’s fitness level.  To be considered physically fit, or healthy, you must demonstrate ability in all three areas.  In other words, exercise needs to incorporate cardio, strength training and stretching.  Being physically active is important for many reasons. It provides an outlet for stress and helps to reduce stress reactions.  It calms the mind, improves mood and builds confidence.  Exercise maintains our physical health and thereby reduces injury, chronic health problems and mortality.  Physical fitness prevents disease, improves survival and contributes to wellbeing.  It is an integral part of health and plays an important role in detox.

Being physically active improves circulation and increases the removal of waste products. During a detox, you are clearing out stored toxins and thus increasing your waste production.  This waste is collected by the body and filtered in a number of ways.  The lymphatic system is one of those ways and it works with the circulatory system to clean our blood and lymph. The lymphatic system is a collection of our lymph, organs like our thymus, tonsils and lymph nodes and the vessels that connect these organs and move lymph through them.  Lymph is essentially a mix of nutrients, old blood cells, blood plasma and waste from our cells.  It gets moved through the lymphatic system mostly by the movement of the muscles and joints around it.  We must move our bodies to clean them.  We need strength to use the muscles, endurance to keep them moving and flexibility to encourage the flow of lymph.  Exercise that incorporates all 3 pillars of fitness is a great way to improve your fitness and help your body detoxify.

 Self-Assessment

Within your personal limits, check yourself against the following list of activities.  See what you can do and use them to create fitness goals.  Everyone has their own limits and goals.  It is important to pay attention to your personal needs.  If you have any health conditions or concerns about these or other activities and your health, consult your physician before attempting.

 Strength

  • Hold your arms straight above your head
  • Hold the plank position
  • Do sit-ups
  • Do push-ups
  • Do Squats

Endurance

  • Climb stairs
  • Dance
  • Run or Walk
  • Jump rope
  • Ride a bike

Flexibility

  • Touch your toes
  • Bring your knees to your chest
  • Turn your chin over your shoulder, to your ear, to your chest
  • Touch your hands behind your back, one back and under the shoulder, the other up and over
  • Sit cross-legged

Detox Diet Day 10

Breakfast:

2 slices of Silver Springs gluten-free flax bread, double toasted, open-faced, covered with hummus, avocado slices, grape tomatoes

1 cup of Jade Snow Green Tea

Lunch:

Salad of mixed greens, grated carrot, grated beet, snow peas, green beans, grape tomatoes, bosc pear, walnuts and ground flax seed

Homemade dressing with flax seed oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, beet, pear, walnuts and flax seeds

1 cup of Tazo Zen tea

Dinner:

Baked Tofu & Roasted Carrots

Homemade Fruit Popsicle

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 25 minutes on the rower + 10 minutes stretching

Sauna: 45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

 

Detox Diet Day 11

Breakfast:

2 pieces of Silver Springs bread, double toasted, open-faced covered with hazelnut butter, a sliced banana and topped with no sugar added raspberry jam

1 cup of Jade Snow Green tea

 Lunch:

Vegetarian Sushi with Bragg’s gluten-free, preservative-free, non-fermented soy sauce

Apple

1 cup of Tazo Zen tea

Dinner:

Big salad of mixed greens, chick peas, walnuts and homemade dressing with flax seed oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, beet, pear, walnuts and flax seeds

Rice cakes and apple butter

Supportive Behaviours:

Evening Sauna:  35 minutes in the Far-Infrared Sauna

Water:  at least 3 liters

Detox Diet Day 12

Breakfast:

Bob’s Red Mill Tasty Hot cereal (gluten-free), with cinnamon, berries, apples, ground flax seeds and flax seed milk

1 cup of jade snow green tea

Lunch: (late breakfast, just snacked for lunch)

Chick peas

Apple

Dinner:

Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry, with parsnips, mushrooms, carrots, onion, garlic and kale; all mashed, then baked between Organic Corn tortillas, preservative free, sugar free with Daiya non-dairy, non-soy cheese

Popcorn with olive oil and sea salt

Supportive Behaviours:

Exercise: 20 on rower + 10 minutes stretching

Sauna: 45 minutes in Far Infrared Sauna

Water: 3 liters

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com

Fruit Popsicles

Fruit Popsicles

Homemade popsicles are really easy to make and good to eat. Basically, just make a smoothie and freeze it!

Combine all desired fruits in a blender with a little bit of water to make pouring smoother. Pour into popsicle tray, add handles and freeze.

Run under warm water to unstick them from the tray when serving. Enjoy!

 

For more info on detox or other health concerns, contact me at:

Shawna Clark, ND. Forces of Nature Wellness & Naturopathic Clinic

2447 Yonge St., 2nd floor Toronto ON M4P 2E7

416-481-0222

SClarkND@ForcesOfNature.ca

info@ShawnaClarkND.com