One of my favorite things about the New Year is that it’s a clean slate – you can literally start fresh, set new intentions, and start the year anew. I love new beginnings.
The one thing I’m asked by all my clients this time of year is “Should I do a cleanse or detox?!” Most of the time the answer is YES! But I’m not a fan of crazy detox protocols and fasts that leave your blood sugar and adrenal glands in worse shape than you started with (think water fasts or even juice fasts for more than 5 days). But a good elimination protocol to reset your hormones can be a great idea this time of year when you’re motivated to start fresh and make some changes you’ve been thinking about for awhile.
The holidays wreak havoc on your hormones!
Despite our best efforts towards healthy living and clean eating, we enjoy an abundant lifestyle in big cities and even as we attempt to practice deep, cleansing breaths amidst our busy days … our inhalation is polluted by the air around us. The same is true about the foods we carefully select – even in organic and natural boxed foods, we often find additives and preservatives hidden in the ingredients list. We walk, bike, and drive down crowded streets through clouds of car exhaust, cigarette smoke; all sorts of chemical emissions in the air that we breathe. We shake hands, we open doors, we use public restrooms, we take antibiotics, we clean with chemicals, we fancy up our hair, skin and faces with products that may contain a handful of unpronounceable ingredients … and the list goes on and on.
Living life and celebrating holidays is a dirty business and our bodies demand a regular cleaning to function optimally. The countless toxins we are inundated with on a daily basis cause the buildup of toxic residue in our bodies, specifically our liver. This buildup can cause issues in our hormones, skin, sinuses, lungs and obviously our digestive systems which causes a wide range of symptoms from skin breakouts to chronic congestion, trouble breathing to trouble sleeping, headaches to body aches, PMS, lack of energy and poor digestion that can leave a body malnourished and depleted. And the worst part? Your hormones suffer more than anything else.
Spending a week detoxing, supplementing, and making intentional healthy food choices will help to reverse any hormonal damage. Cleansing gives your body the opportunity to clear the residue, wipe the slate clean and give the endocrine system a rest, while supporting your liver. We do this by eliminating the usual suspects that cause sticky situations such as inflammation, intolerance and indigestion and then forging further by only eating Mama Nature’s purest and simplest foods, giving toxins no place to hide. This is internal Spring cleaning for the entire system, but I don’t recommend you wait for Spring – we could all benefit from seasonal cleansing, starting NOW. ‘Tis the season to replenish, renew and set ourselves up for a juicy and delicious New Year!
You’re going to spend a solid SEVEN days (you can go longer if you want!) focusing on eating real, whole, fresh food that you cook yourself. To get you eating clean requires eliminating all of the not-so-awesome things in your diet. Are you ready? Here we go!
On days 3, 4, and 5 I encourage you to also eliminate all animal foods and focus on lots and lots of fresh organic veggies, fruit, cold-pressed juices, broths, tea, and water.
Just eat real, whole, fresh food that you cook yourself. Pick a rainbow of colors of vegetables and eat a lot of them. Eat good fats from grass-fed ghee, wild caught fish, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil and coconut butter. Choose. high quality, clean, pasture-raised animal protein. Eat organic, brightly colored fresh fruit. Enjoy raw nuts and seeds in moderation, a variety of spices, and high-fiber, unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrates (like sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).
Every single meal and snack should include a high-quality protein, a healthy fat, and vegetables.
Wild Caught Fish & Seafood*: salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut, shellfish, oysters, cod, tuna, flounder, sardines, hake, skate, trout, red snapper, etc.
* except on days 3, 4, and 5!
Meat*: look for 100% grass-fed AND grass-finished: beef, wild game, bison, lamb, pork, goat; pasture-raised: duck, goose, Cornish game hen, chicken and turkey; organic liver, kidney, heart; organic sliced meats (gluten, sugar, preservative-free), uncured nitrate/nitrite-free deli meats and bacon from grass-fed, pastured beef/pork.
* except on days 3, 4, and 5!
Fats & Oils: wild caught fatty fish and seafood, egg yolks from pastured chickens, organic grass-fed cultured ghee; raw & unrefined coconut oil, MCT Oil, extra virgin, cold-pressed olive oil, organic red palm oil, cold-pressed macadamia oil, cold-pressed avocado oil, Native Forest Simple coconut milk and coconut cream, unsweetened coconut flakes, unsweetened coconut chips, raw coconut butter, avocados, olives in pure salt brine, chia seeds and ground flax seeds, raw unroasted nuts and seeds, raw nut butters (not peanut).
All vegetables are fair game! Mix up the colors and eat as much variety as possible. Ideally purchase local and organic. Make a rainbow in your salad every night with dinner (red beets, orange carrots, yellow bell peppers, greens, broccoli, purple cabbage, cauliflower, onions, garlic, avocado, etc).
Always eat vegetables with a healthy fat like coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, or other high quality fat. The fat soluble vitamins found in vegetables, like vitamins A, E, and K, require a fat to be absorbed!
Focus on eating the following groups of vegetables EVERY DAY:
Focus on organic, local fresh fruit. Stay away from dried fruit.
Carbohydrates/Starchy Vegetables: sweet potatoes, yams, taro, yucca, plantains, winter and summer squashes. Limit to 1 portion per day. Stay away from all gluten, grains and highly processed, refined carbohydrates such as: pastas, bread, bagels, crackers, english muffins, wraps, cereals, granola, nutrition bars, baked goods, beer, etc.
Raw, Unroasted, Unsalted Nuts and Seeds: macadamia, walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds; all raw nut butters made from these nuts and seeds. Blanched almond flour and coconut flour are perfect grain-free flour replacements. Be mindful of your nut/seed consumption, these are easy to overeat!
Fermented foods: sauerkraut, pickles, pickled ginger, pickled cucumbers, Co Yo unsweetened coconut yogurt, unsweetened coconut kefir (without corn or rice-based thickening agents), kombucha, kimchi, kefir water, pickles fermented with salt, beet kvass, lacto-fermented vegetables and fruits such as fermented beets, carrots, and green papaya. Look for local artisan purveyors at your local health foods stores (such as Zuke, MMLocal and Farmhouse Culture). Make sure they are refrigerated (not the stuff in the middle aisles of your conventional grocery store!)
Use any bones you want, you can even order marrow bones; use homemade broth for making soups or stews, or just drink like hot tea; aim for at least 8 oz per day, more is better! My absolute FAVORITE bone broth is Kettle & Fire. It’s shelf-stable and ships free when you buy 5 cartons!
Bone broth helps heal and seal your gut and promotes healthy digestion. Bone broth also inhibits infection, fights inflammation, reduces joint pain and inflammation, promotes strong healthy bones (for you and baby), and promotes healthy hair and nail growth.
Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of clean, filtered water per day. Do not drink out of plastic water bottles.
Herbal teas are encouraged. Choose bone broths, kombucha, kefir water, coconut kefir. Herbal teas: Peppermint, ginger, lemongrass, spearmint, chamomile, rooibos, lavender, cinnamon, milk thistle.
Herbs, spices, condiments: raw apple cider vinegar, sea salt, all fresh and dried herbs & spices (basil, carob, cayenne pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, and turmeric).
No hormonal detox is complete without some supporting supplements. Y’all know my fav supplements are Designs for Health, and these are my top 3 detoxifying supplements:
LV-GB Complex (3 capsules per day): LV-GB Complex is a comprehensive formula designed to support bile flow for the normal processing and elimination of toxins through the specific combination of nutrients and herbs in this formula. By supporting liver and gallbladder function, LV-GB Complex supports the elimination of fatty substances from the liver and the digestion and assimilation of fats and fat soluble vitamins.
Liposomal Glutathione (5 pumps under your tongue at bedtime): an exciting glutathione product formulated with liposomal technology. Liposomes are spheres made of phospholipids—the primary building blocks of cell membranes. Owing to this structure, liposomes bond easily with cell membranes to facilitate intracellular delivery of their nutrient cargo. Thanks to this enhanced delivery and absorption, nutrients delivered in liposomal form offer superior absorption and bioavailability. Each 1 mL serving of this lemon-peppermint flavored formula provides 100mg of reduced glutathione. Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants naturally produced in the body, as it protects virtually every tissue.
Detox Antiox (2 capsules per day): Detox Antiox synergistically combines an extensive array of nutrients that combat free radicals and help support the detoxification of chemicals and heavy metals.
I’d love to use this space as a forum of sorts, providing inspiration and community among my readers, so … I want to hear from you!
How do you reset after the holidays and recalibrate your body?
Drinking enough water throughout the day to help flush toxins for the body can be tough. What are your favorite tips and tricks to make sure you stay hydrated?
Spread some detox lovin’! Sharing is caring, and I bet you have some friends who would love to read this too :).
Don’t forget to check out my brand new ebook about how to Heal Hormonal Chaos and Increase Fertility Naturally, Without Drugs & Expensive Treatments! In this eye opening ebook, you will discover my top natural remedies to heal the six most common hormone conditions that affect your fertility.
Research shows you have the power to shift your hormonal health and optimize your fertility with FOOD, and I’ll teach you how here!
Looking to have a more in-depth conversation about recovering from the holidays and balancing your hormones? Schedule a consultation with me!