Health Tips | Detox

Cleansing for the Season

With Autumn approaching and the intense heat of the summer mostly behind us, many people seek a way to get a boost of energy and well-being as we head back to our school and work routines. One of the best ways to do this is through an individually designed cleansing or detoxification protocol that can help you feel more energetic and more mentally alert.

Can you relate to any of the following symptoms? If so, a cleansing plan may be in order!

  • Frequent Headaches
  • Generalized Fatigue
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Skin breakouts
  • Abdominal pain
  • General muscle pain
  • Inability to lose weight
  • chronic nasal or sinus congestion
  • Dark circles under eyes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Craving for carbohydrate rich foods and refined sugars

A cleansing plan often involves dietary changes, and may incorporate herbal or homeopathic medicines. Your naturopathic doctor can help to determine what combination of diet, exercise and natural medicines may be right for you during your cleanse, give us a call to get started on your detoxification plan today!

Do you think you need a "detox" for your body? How about detoxifying your home first!

Much of the toxic burden we carry is as a result of the chemicals in our homes.

The most harmful offenders include:

Cleaning products such as mold and mildew removers, oven cleaner, air fresheners, drain cleaners, stain protectors, tub and tile cleaners, dishwasher detergents are among the worst.

Cosmetics - nail polish, eyeshadow, lipstick (that may contain heavy metals) hair products that contain parabens and phthalates and shampoos and lotions that often

Pesticides - ant traps, spider traps within homes, wearing outdoor footwear in, tracking in chemicals from the lawns and gardens outside.

Heavy metals - seafood and fish, make-up, cosmetics and certain forms of dental work

Flame retardant chemicals - found in bedding, children's pajamas, mattresses

Stain resistant fabrics and anti-wrinkle fabrics often treated with formaldehyde.

BPA - Heating food and storing food in soft plastics or plastics that contain BPA (see below for more detailed information on BPA)So as you can see, many of us have exposure to some or all of these in our homes, so now is your chance to be proactive and protect your health for the long term!

Tips to stay healthy and natural:

Plan to detox your body once or twice per year - work with your naturopathic doctor to create a program that will be best for your body and which may include a clean diet, herbal medicines, nutrients or even chelation therapy for the clearing of heavy metals.

Switch to organic meat, dairy and eggs - animal products often contain more pesticide residue than even fruit and vegetables. Choosing organic will support healthier ranching practices and a better environment for the animals.

Choose organic fruit and vegetables - the softer skin fruits are the most important to buy organic - peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, grapes (imported) and pears are some examples of foods with higher pesticide residue.

Say no to plastic for storing food and liquid - Use glass and stainless steel for storage of food and beverages rather than plastic.

Choose non-toxic cosmetics - as the skin will soak in many of the chemicals that we apply to the surface. Parabens are particularly a problem and have been linked to cancer.

Use natural biodegradable cleaning products - there are many "green and eco" cleaning lines available these days to choose from, or, take the simpler route and clean your home from top to bottom using vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and water (see below for some common recipes).

Say no to stain protectors and choose organic fabric when possible

Skip antibacterial products - as they can be harmful and lead to superbugs, just use regular soap and water to wash your hands!

Invest in a HEPA air filter for your home, particularly if you have pets, allergies, a home with carpets or are undergoing renovations.

Choose fragrance free for detergents, cosmetics which naturally have less chemicals

Limit the chemicals in your furniture - Consider an organic mattress, natural carpet materials and upholstery for your home. Much of our time is spent in close contact with these materials!

Banish Fumes - Choose low VOC paints for your home and unbleached paper products, coffee filters, napkins, etc. that are free of chlorine and other harsh chemicals.

Be mould free - Inspect your walls and windowsills regularly for signs of mould build up - many natural options exist for doing away with mould.

Choose natural toys for your children - made from wood and organic cotton

This list is not extensive, as the sky is the limit as to how you can make your indoor air quality as healthy and as pure as can be.

Check out the websites and resources below for more information.

The Environmental Working Group: www.ewg.org with websites devoted to safe cosmetic choices (skin deep), avoiding pesticides in your food (food safe) http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ guide to safe choices in sunscreen (sunscreen 2012)

Choose your cosmetics and make-up carefully, check out: www.ewg.org/skindeep to find a rating on the products you use daily and find less toxic alternatives - free of parabens, phthalates and other harsh chemicals.

The David Suzuki Foundation: www.davidsuzuki.org full of resources for safer cleaning products and cosmetics, from a Canadian perspective.

For an overall body detoxification program, see your naturopathic doctor who can design a specific program that is right for you! After Thanksgiving is a perfect time of year to get started!

Healthy snacks:

With school and work starting up again, even greater importance for us to have healthy snacks for ourselves and children to keep alert and energetic in the day. This delicious recipe makes a great snack in mid-day or after-work and can help to quench a sweet tooth in a healthy way!

Pecan and Date Bon Bons

  • 3/4 cup roasted pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest (optional)
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1/4 shredded coconut

Place all ingredients except coconut in a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have an even texture. Roll the mixture into small 1 inch balls. Spread coconut on a plate and roll each ball in the coconut until it covers the surface evenly. Take a bite and enjoy! Makes approximately 8-10 bon bon's and takes only about 10 minutes to prepare!

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