I hear my clients or friends talk about the plants they are allergic to, what about the foods that we take in from those same plants and trees, do you consider those? It’s easy to feel the immediate effects of the blooming trees but not the delayed response of gluten or dairy allergy 2-5 days later.
When your immune System is low, the outside allergies present themselves quickly. A food panel is more valuable and important to your health then knowing what tree you are allergic too. Let’s take a look at the inside of our bodies first and build those systems up so the outside environment has less of an affect on us.
Five categories of cross reaction and some of the key foods involved.
This is not intended to represent all possible environmental allergens, or all possible cross-reacting foods. Instead, it is meant to provide you with examples of common pollen allergens and commonly cross-reacting foods.
Environment-food cross reactions can be as complicated or even more complicated to recognize as food allergies and food intolerances. On the environment side, they might be seasonal and only a problem during certain times of year. On the food side, they are likely to be year round, and may involve a half dozen or more foods. Blood work is strongly recommended to identify the cause of “allergy Symptoms”.
For more information I can order the correc labs for you to get the answers you are looking for, just email, call or text me and we can set up a consultation. If you would like more information on this article:
I’m all about questions and explaining why. When we understand “Why” we do things, programs or guidelines become easier to follow and results tend to be easier to maintain when education is behind our actions. Let me help you stop the guess work and customize your eating and supplement plan so you can be the best version of yourself you can be!!!
Allergen-specific IgE Antibody Test
Why Get Tested?
To help diagnose allergies; sometimes to monitor the effectiveness of immunotherapy (desensitization) treatment
When to Get Tested?
When you have symptoms such as hives, dermatitis, nasal congestion, red itchy eyes, asthma, or abdominal pain that your health care provider suspects may be caused by an allergy
A Sample is Required
A blood sample drawn from a vein in your arm or finger prick at home test.
No Test Preparation Needed
What is being tested?
Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is a class of antibody (immune protein) associated with allergic reactions. It is normally found in very small amounts in the blood. This test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE in the blood in order to detect an allergy to a particular substance.
IgE is an antibody that functions as part of the body’s immune system, its defense against “intruders.” When someone with a predisposition to allergies is exposed to a potential allergen such as food, grass, or animal dander for the first time, that person becomes sensitized. The person’s body perceives the potential allergen as a foreign substance and produces a specific IgE antibody that binds to specialized mast cells in the skin, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract, and to basophils (a type of white blood cell) in the bloodstream. With the next exposure, these attached IgE antibodies recognize the allergen and cause the mast and basophil cells to release histamine and other chemicals, resulting in an allergic reaction that begins at the exposure site.
Each allergen-specific IgE antibody test performed is separate and very specific: honeybee versus bumblebee, egg white versus egg yolk, giant ragweed versus western ragweed. Groupings of these tests, such as food panels or regional weed, grass, and mold panels, can be done. Alternatively, the health practitioner may pick and choose selectively from a long list of individual allergens suspected of causing a person’s allergies.
When is it ordered?
One or more allergen-specific IgE antibody tests are usually ordered when a person has signs or symptoms that suggest an allergy to one or more substances. Signs and symptoms MAY include:
**Fatigue is number one symptom!**
* Red itchy eyes
* Coughing, nasal congestion, sneezing
* Itching and tingling in the mouth
* Abdominal pain or vomiting and diarrhea
* Bloating, excessive gas
* Skin breakouts
* Stomachache, discomfort within 30 mins of eating
* Trouble concentrating, brain fog
A test may also be ordered occasionally to help evaluate the effectiveness of immunotherapy or to determine whether a child has outgrown an allergy.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: What are allergies?
American College of Allergy, Asthma,
American Academy of Family Physicians: Food Allergies
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)
Nemours Foundation: All About Allergies
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: What is Allergy Testing
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Tips to Remember: Allergy Testing
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
by Dr. Amy MyersApril 4, 2013
You might be wondering: What on earth is candida?
Candida is a fungus, which is a form of yeast, and a very small amount of it lives in your mouth and intestines. Its main job? Helping out with digestion and nutrient absorption.
But when overproduced, candida can break down the wall of the intestine and penetrate the bloodstream — releasing toxic by-products into your body and causing leaky gut. This can lead to many different health problems, from digestive issues to depression.
How do you get candida overgrowth?
The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. However, a few factors can cause the candida population to grow out of control:
Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar
Consuming a lot of alcohol
Taking oral contraceptives
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like Kombucha, sauerkraut, and pickles)
Living a high-stress lifestyle
Taking a round of antibiotics that killed too many of those friendly bacteria
What are common symptoms of candida?
Skin and nail fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus
Feeling tired and worn down, or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
Autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, or multiple sclerosis
Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog
Skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching, or vaginal itching
Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings
How do you test for candida overgrowth?
You’ll want to start by checking your levels for candida antibodies called IgG, IgA, and IgM. This can easily be done through most medical labs, and high levels can clue you in to an overgrowth of candida.
How do you treat candida overgrowth?
To successfully treat candida, you need to do three things: stop the yeast overgrowth, build up the friendly bacteria, and heal your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.
First step: getting rid of the candida overgrowth, which mainly requires switching to a low-carbohydrate diet.
Sugar is what feeds yeast. So start by eliminating sugar in all of its simple forms — such as candy, desserts, alcohol, and flours. At the same time, cut back to just 1 cup a day of the more complex carbohydrates, like grains, beans, fruit, bread, pasta, and potatoes. This will help prevent the candida from growing and will eventually cause it to die.
I also recommend eliminating all fermented foods. That’s because, while it’s common knowledge that fermented foods help to feed the good bacteria, most people don’t realize that bad bacteria feed off of these foods as well.
Still, using diet alone could take three to six months before the candida is back under control. So, I often recommend that my patients use an anti-fungal medication, such as Diflucan or Nystatin, for at least a month.
If you are self-treating, you can also take a supplement of caprylic acid. Caprylic acid, which comes from coconut oil, basically “pokes holes” in the yeast cell wall, causing it to die.
And while some people recommend using herbs like oil of oregano, I don’t recommend it since it can also kill the good bacteria.
Next, you should rebuild the good bacteria that typically keep your candida population under control. Taking anywhere from 25 to 100 billion units of probiotics on a regular basis should help to reduce the candida levels and restore your levels of good bacteria.
Finally, heal your gut. Eliminating inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract — and introducing foods that help — will prevent candida from working its way through your body, and dramatically improve your overall health.
Want to find out if you have candida overgrowth? Consider seeing a functional medicine doctor who is trained in detecting and treating candida.
More information below: This article has been updated as of November 1, 2016 by mbg editorial to include new studies, information, and data on candida.
Is candida a fungus?
Yes, yes it is. More specifically, candida is a yeast. There are many different forms of candida, but Candida albicans is the main species colonizing the human body.
Candida normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and other areas of the body without causing problems, but imbalance in the microbiome can lead to candida overgrowth. When there is disruption of the delicate balance of the good and bad bacteria, Candida albicans will take over, leading to common conditions like oral thrush, vaginal yeast infections, and diaper rash. If you have ever taken antibiotics, you were probably warned by your doctor about the risk of developing a yeast overgrowth—this happens because the antibiotics can wipe out your gut bacteria, good and bad, creating an environment that is ripe for yeast and fungi to take over.
Is candida a yeast infection?
Technically yes, candida is a yeast infection but this warrants clarification. When most people say “yeast infection” they are referring to a vaginal yeast infection but the candida symptoms and causes we are discussing here pertain to the gut. Typically, yeast overgrowth is treated using antifungal medications, but these medications can have unpleasant side effects and it’s common for the yeast overgrowth to return as soon as you stop taking them. For example, many women suffer from chronic yeast infections because they medicate without completely understanding the connection between the microbiome and yeast balances in the body. Changing the yeast infection recurrence, like with candida, often requires a lifestyle or dietary change.
Not to mention, like antibiotic resistance, microbiological resistance to these conventional antifungal drugs is becoming problematic and it’s causing researchers to start looking for alternatives. Which is all the more reason to educate yourself and try to understand your yeast issues on a deeper level.
How candida affects your gut
I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million different times, but while yeast infections and diaper rash are well-known conditions and generally easy to spot, when overproduced in the gut, candida will break down the walls of our digestive tract and penetrate the bloodstream. When left untreated, it’s more dangerous than you think.
Candida can also be toxic to the system. Essentially, when candida breaches the intestinal barrier and enters the bloodstream it releases toxic byproducts—including acetaldehyde—into your body. Acetaldehyde is a well-known carcinogen and is responsible for “hangover” symptoms such as nausea, headache, fatigue, and liver damage—definitely not something you want floating around in your body in large quantities.
Candida and leaky gut
If you are thinking this sounds a lot like leaky gut, you are already ahead of the game. The connection between candida and leaky gut is intricate. A leaky gut creates the perfect environment for candida to multiply, pass through the intestinal lining, and enter the bloodstream along with the undigested food particles. This is characteristic of leaky gut syndrome. Meanwhile, candida itself can colonize the gut and damage the intestinal lining. If you have one, you’re probably more likely to have the other. They can also exacerbate each other, creating a situation where your gut health quickly snowballs into dis-ease.
Candida, the liver, and detox
Similar to leaky gut syndrome, candida overgrowth releases toxins into the bloodstream that must be filtered by the liver. If there are too many toxins due to candida overgrowth, it can overload the liver and interfere with its ability to do its job. This means over toxicity and trouble maintaining blood sugar levels, storing vitamins and minerals, and regulating hormones.
The connection between candida and the liver explains why many of the symptoms of candida overgrowth—like irritability, fatigue, and brain fog—are similar to those of an overburdened liver. It also explains why many candida cleanse or diet programs include liver support supplements and detoxification support.
Candida and inflammation
Candida overgrowth, leaky gut, an overburdened liver, and the physical and mental symptoms they create can trigger the immune system to react, causing chronic inflammation. Inflammation can manifest itself in uncomfortable symptoms like weight gain, skin rashes, or brain fog and can eventually lead to autoimmune disease.
The relationship between candida, the liver, inflammation, and gut health is extremely complex, but it’s helpful to remember that everything in the body is connected. Different organs rely on and interact with each other. Adopting a holistic approach instead of treating each symptom individually will give you the best chance at achieving optimal health. This is a perspective that is often missing in the conventional medical approach, leaving many people bouncing from one specialist to another, with a bunch of symptoms they can’t quite connect.
Causes of candida
The good news is that the healthy bacteria in your gut typically keep your candida levels in check. The bad news is that many different factors can disrupt the delicate gut balance and can cause the candida population to grow out of control:
Eating a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar. Carbohydrates and sugar act like food for yeast and feed candida overgrowth in the gut.
Consuming a lot of alcohol. Most alcohol is fermented and contains sugars that will also feed the yeast.
Taking oral contraceptives. The birth control pill can disrupt the bacterial balance in the microbiome.
Eating a diet high in beneficial fermented foods (like kombucha, sauerkraut, vinegar, and pickles). These foods often contain yeast or have small amounts of alcohol that is produced during the fermentation process.
Living a high-stress lifestyle. Stress can slow down digestion and trigger inflammation.
Taking a round of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria along with harmful bacteria which sets the stage for Candida albicans to take over.
Taking corticosteroids. Drugs like Prednisone, commonly used to treat severe allergies, skin problems, asthma, or arthritis are known to cause yeast infections in humans.
A weakened immune system. As you may know, a good portion of the body’s immune system resides in your gut. A compromised immune system puts you at a higher risk for gut imbalances and candida overgrowth.
Candida overgrowth and asthma
Essentially any medication, food, or lifestyle factor that disrupts the body’s natural environment can change the balance of the gut and set the stage for candida. Certain chronic diseases, like asthma, may require frequent antibiotic use and daily inhaled steroids, creating a perfect storm of factors that can lead to yeast overgrowth. If you have a chronic inflammatory condition that requires medication, it might be wise to see a functional medicine practitioner to see what you can do to counteract the effects of these drugs.
If you are someone who suffers from frequent colds, sore throats, or sinus issues, it’s important to note that antibiotics are one of the most prevalent causes of candida overgrowth, and also one of the most unknown. Remember that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections and should only be taken when necessary. Overprescribing antibiotics is a big problem in Western healthcare system and they can have negative effects on the microbiome, which dampens your immune system, leading to a greater susceptibility to the same conditions they are meant to treat.
At home candida test: the simple spit test
There are a few different tests for candida and none of them are error-proof, so it’s important to consider your symptoms when trying to determine if candida might be a problem for you. If all of your tests come back negative but you suffer from many of the symptoms of candida, you can always try making the recommended diet and lifestyle changes and see how you feel.
This do-it-yourself candida spit test lacks scientific backing, but many candida experts suggest it as simple, free, no-risk starting point. It works like this: when you wake up in the morning get a clear glass of water, before you brush your teeth or drink anything gather some saliva in your mouth and spit into the cup. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then observe what you see. If your spit looks particularly cloudy, or you see small white projections coming out of the saliva, it could be a sign that you have candida and you might want to try one of the more established tests mentioned above.
Candida cleanse: foods to avoid when you have candida
Cut down on sugar. It’s important to note that this includes many salad dressings and condiments and even natural sweeteners like honey, coconut sugar, and agave. This can be a difficult adjustment, even if you are mindful of your sugar intake, completely eliminating sugar can leave you with strong cravings and feeling irritable.
Sugar has a strong effect on your body and brain and cutting it out can be difficult. Scientific research has shown that high glycemic index foods are linked to strong hunger and food cravings.
Many foods containing carbohydrates, especially complex ones, are not inherently bad for you. But when you are fighting yeast its very important to cut off its food supply completely, or it could take longer to get your symptoms under control. It’s a challenging lifestyle change, expect some slip ups and don’t beat yourself up.
At this point you might be wondering what you are able to eat. Nuts and seeds, avocado, vegetables, lean protein, and stevia for sweetener will be your allies on this candida diet. To help you get an idea of the daily routine of the candida diet we have provided a day’s worth of meal examples.
Candida diet: best foods for candida
Breakfast: for breakfast try unsweetened coconut yogurt with strawberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and almonds. This will include lots of healthy fats and keep you feeling full until lunch.
Lunch: try a big leafy green salad and make a dressing using olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Top it with quinoa for some protein.
Dinner: grilled chicken or fish with steamed vegetables are all candida friendly.
Snacks: try making homemade guacamole and eat it with raw veggies or flaxseed crackers. Hardboiled eggs or mixed nuts are also great snacks on the candida diet.
Still not sure where to begin? Check out these 8 Recipes For The Candida Diet where we give you some great recipes that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Candida diet: foods to eat when you have candida
While it is important to eliminate certain foods, it can also be beneficial to incorporate candida-fighting foods into your daily routine. Thankfully, there’s a long list of delicious foods that have strong antifungal properties.
Garlic is one of the best options for fighting yeast, one study showed that garlic oil was able to penetrate the cellular membranes of Candida albicans and very successfully disrupt the normal activity and functioning of the yeast.
In a study conducted at Tufts University, coconut oil was suggested as the first effective dietary approach to fighting candida.
Olive oil and cinnamon oil
A recent study exploring alternatives to conventional antifungal medications demonstrated that olive oil and cinnamon oil both successfully combatted candida isolated from bloodstream infections.
Citrus fruits have long been known for their antiseptic qualities and can help prevent the formation of biofilms (a film of bacteria that adheres to a surface).
This excellent source of omega-3s can help fight fungal infections.
Ginger was recently suggested as a natural antifungal option to during a time when many fungi are becoming resistant to conventional antifungal medications
Apple cider vinegar
It’s the only vinegar allowed on the candida diet, as it contains minerals that will help fight against yeast.
Cloves have long been used in traditional medicine systems to fight a wide variety of ailments, including fungal infections.
Probiotics, prebiotics and supplements for Candida
Adopting the right diet is arguably your most important tool when fighting candida.
Diflucan and Nystatin are only available through your doctor, so if you are self-treating, another great supplement to fight candida is undecylenic acid. This is a naturally occurring fatty acid that is thought to be even more effective than caprylic acid in fighting yeast and helping to maintain a healthy microbiome.
When choosing a probiotic, here’s a tip: pick a good quality probiotic that includes the lactobacillus strain, as some studies have shown it to be particularly effective at fighting yeast.
If you are suffering from any of the GI conditions listed above, probiotics can even more important to maintaining your good health. Some studies suggest that prebiotics and probiotics will start to be included in the standard treatment protocols for inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis because of their ability to help control symptoms and exacerbations.
Fiber supplementation is also frequently suggested in candida treatment plans. Yeast overgrowth occurs in the digestive tract and its important to flush out those areas and keep things moving. This limits the amount of time the candida has to colonize and cause damage. Some good fiber supplements include acacia fiber or even raw chia seeds taken regularly. Fiber is also prebiotic, helping probiotics do their jobs better.
You can also consider herbal remedies with antifungal properties. Ayurvedic experts recommend valerian, wormwood, and mugwort. There are also plenty of probiotic foods and fun teas that can be easy to add to your daily routine.
What is candida die off?
It’s possible that in the beginning of your candida-fighting mission, you will experience something called candida die-off. This is similar to the flu-like symptoms you can experience when you start a detox program. While this is largely unstudied and unquantified from a yeast standpoint, the Herxheimer reaction is a byproduct of metabolic processing. (Most research here has been done on patients with syphillis. As your body gets rid of toxins and the yeast dies, your symptoms may get worse before they get better. Like any detox, start out slowly, drink a lot of water, rest, and if symptoms are too uncomfortable, ease up on your anti-candida regime or adopt a gentler approach. Keep the faith that you will start to feel better, look for signs like more restful sleep, well balanced blood sugar levels, and more mental clarity.
How to heal your gut after having candida
Once you have the yeast under control—which can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months—you can start slowly adding different food groups back into your diet.
However, it is important to continue to avoid inflammatory foods that can harm your GI tract. Remember, the strong relationship between candida and leaky gut? Many people with candida overgrowth also have a leaky gut and that can put them at increased risk of food sensitivities. You want to make sure you are not continually disturbing the intestinal lining as it tries to heal.
Foods like sugar, coffee, grains, alcohol, dairy, and starchy plant foods can all be very irritating to the intestinal lining and increase the risk of candida getting out of control again. Limiting or avoiding them might be wise, and make sure that if you do consume them, you pay attention to how you feel afterwards.
If you are thinking that this guide was helpful, but it is just too complicated an endeavor to take on by yourself, consider seeing a functional/integrative medicine doctor, or holistic Nutritionist.
Most integrative/functional medicine providers are trained in detecting and treating candida and many will even advertise candida as one of the conditions they are able to treat. Some facilities and providers even have specific candida treatment and prevention programs in place.
Can candida overgrowth cause adrenal fatigue?
In case you needed another reason to adopt a self-care routine, stress management can be one of the most important tools in fighting candida. Stress releases cortisol, a hormone that causes inflammation, which slows your ability to digest and inhibits your immune system. This is a problem because along with your good gut bacteria, your immune system works to keep candida in check. When your stress response interferes with your digestion it can pave the way for candida to overproduce. Adopting healthy coping mechanisms to deal with daily stress can be a very important tool in the prevention and treatment of candida overgrowth.
A word on exercise: although exercise can be a great stress-reliever it can also initiate the body’s stress response and lead to the release cortisol. Mild exercise like walking or gentle yoga, at least for the initial stages of the diet as they can lower cortisol levels. Yoga and meditation can be helpful tools for fighting candida. They will decrease stress and activate relaxation pathways in the brain and body. If you are worried about sticking to the diet, meditation and yoga can help you detach from the challenges and refocus your energies on healing from candida.
Yoga poses to help with detoxification
Yoga can help heal candida overgrowth Here are a few different types of poses to try if you’re battling candida.
Twisting poses are known to help with digestion and detoxification, as they massage the abdominal organs. Here are a few twisting yoga poses to try while you’re fighting candida:
Seated spinal twist
Supine spinal twist
Inversions revive our energy and help with blood circulation and lymphatic detoxification, among other things.
Simple variations to prep for handstand or headstand
Restorative poses (first pose in this sequence)
Breathwork activates our parasympathetic nervous system, reducing blood pressure, helping with respiratory conditions, and also re-energizes us.
The environmental working group is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Learn what organic means
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a great resource
3- Delayed food allergens: and allergy is an adverse reaction due to immunologic mechanism. A delayed onset food allergy is an auto immune disease that causes your immune system to overact when you ingest certain foods. The immune cells mistakenly attack food particles and treat them as foreign invaders and produce anti-bodies to try to fight what they perceive as toxins. Known allergies we can the immune and digestive systems, draining the body of energy.
Energetic Health Institute…an innovative 501(c)3 California Non-Profit & Gold Rated by GuideStar.org for transparency. School approved by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP)
I’m a Certified Holistic Nutritionist who can order you the right lab work to complete and over see this process.
A healthy adult has approx 5 liters of blood circulating at any given moment and needs 1 teaspoon of sugar available during a fasting state. That’s all the body needs to function.
12-ounces of soda or energy drinks typically contain approx 10 tsp of sugar. That raises the blood sugar 10x above what the body needs to function and typically within a matter of minutes.
1 Teaspoon of Sugar = Approx 4 Grams of Sugar
Take the total grams of refined sugar & divide by 4 to learn how many teaspoons of sugar you are consuming per serving.
Think Real food
9- Fiber: 8-12 grams per meal. Average 25-30 grams a day.
Adds bulk to you diet and aids in digestion.
Insoluble fiber: found in wheat, bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps speed passage of food through the stomach and intestines.
Soluble Fiber: attacks water and turns into gel, slowing digestion. Found in foods like oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some other veggies and fruits. Can help lower cholesterol.
Raw foods contain enzymes. Enzymes help break down food and aid in digestion.
(CNN)You are not the only one who thrives in the summer and loves its warm, long days. Bacteria and other microbes that cause food poisoning, diarrhea and just general grossness also flourish, threatening to make it a season to be sick.
“Foodborne pathogens follow an annual cycle, and we tend to see peaks of them, especially bacteria, in the summer, at picnics, potlucks and all the outdoor events,” said Melinda Wilkins, director of the online science master’s program in food safety at Michigan State University.
Your gut is not the only part of your body at risk of assault by bacteria such as E. coli in summer months. Bugs lurk in air conditioning filters, especially when it is hot and humid, ready to cause trouble for those with breathing problems. And the skin that protects you from infections can become a portal for them after a bad, blistering sunburn.
Of course, even if some dangers await you at the picnic, pool or beach, it is worth it to get out and enjoy yourself. You can most likely handle what comes your way.
Don’t pee (or poop) in the pool
The burn you feel in your eyes after a dip in the swimming pool is not because of chlorine. It is because pee, poop and sweat from fellow swimmers (and maybe you) react with chlorine and form chloramine compounds,and this combination is what really stings your peepers. Aside from the gross factor, the formation of these compounds means there is less chlorine left in the water to kill bacteria, such as E. coli. Chloramines can also irritate the airways, and when they build up in the air, such as at indoor pools, they can trigger asthma attacks.
“We recommend that you not pee or poop in the water, and shower before you go in,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the Health Swimming Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2010 CDC report found that one out of 10 public pools don’t have proper chlorine levels. To make sure you’re not about to take a dip in a bacteria-laden pool, “you can use pool test strips at a pool supply or big box store” to check the chlorine level, Hlavsa said. (The CDC recommends chlorine levels in pools between 1 and 3 parts per million and pH of 7.2 to 7.8.)
Even at the right levels, chlorine does not wipe out everything. A new CDC report found that a parasite called cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhea and lives up to 10 days in a chlorinated pool, was associated with 37 (54%) of the 69 outbreaks of illness at pools and water parks. “To protect yourself, it’s about not swallowing the water you swim in, and to protect others don’t swim if you have diarrhea,” Hlavsa said.
Lurking in seawater
A day at the beach may leave you with more memories than you imagined if you go home with vibriosis. The infection is caused by vibrio bacteria, which live in some coastal waters and flourish in the warm months between May and October, when the majority of cases occur.
According to the CDC, there are about 80,000 cases each year, and about 100 of them are fatal.
An estimated 52,000 of those cases result from eating contaminated food, such as raw oysters, that have been infected in the water they once lived in. Symptoms usually begin within 24 hours of consumption. They include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. The illness lasts about three days.
The bacteria can also cause skin rashes that lead to infection when contaminated water gets into an open wound or even a scratch.
The best way to prevent this infection is to thoroughly cook shellfish and clean hands well after touching raw or undercooked shellfish. Cuts or scrapes should be cleaned well with soap after contact with infected water. When possible, cover the wound with a waterproof bandage before getting it wet.
Beware the picnic burgers
The thought of potato salad sweltering in the heat at the summer picnic may make the burgers on the grill sound pretty appetizing, but think again. “Actually, potato salad has kind of a bad rap, but it is not really a particularly high-risk food,” said Wilkins, of Michigan State University. “But people tend to bring frozen (burger) patties and throw them on the grill before they are fully thawed, (and) ground meat that is not thoroughly cooked is one of the riskiest items” because it can have E. coli, she said.
Ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, ground chicken and turkey to 165 degrees. And yes, that means using a meat thermometer to test the temperature in the middle of the burger, Wilkins said.
Of course, bacteria can still lurk in a big bowl of gooey potato or pasta salad, but not for the reasons you may think. Ingredients such as potatoes, pasta and eggs, not the mayonnaise, are prone to contamination. To play it safe, keep containers of anything you’re supposed to eat cold, such as potato salad, in big bowls or coolers full of ice, Wilkins said.
Bacteria scream for ice cream (machines)
An issue that can plague many an inadequately cleaned soft-serve ice cream dispenser is bacteria. “Listeria (bacteria) is a really sneaky pathogen in that it likes to live in cooler temperatures and populate machinery,” Wilkins said. Listeria infections can cause fever and muscle aches, and they are especially dangerous for pregnant women, who may miscarry as a result.
On the bright side, the Blue Bell ice cream scare has made people more aware of listeria’s potential to lurk in frozen desserts, Wilkins said. It is a good idea to ask the person working at the yogurt shop or ice cream truck when the machines were last cleaned. “It brings the issue to the awareness of the workers and management to double check their procedures,” Wilkins said.
Burn, baby, burn
Sunburns may seem like a sweet souvenir from a day at the beach, but they should really be thought of as potentially harmful wounds. In the most severe cases, people can develop blisters and need to be treated like burn victims, said Dr. Cameron K. Rokhsar, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The skin sloughs off, (and) if there’s any kind of raw wound, it can predispose you to an infection” and should be treated with a prescription antibiotic ointment, he said.
Worse yet, even just a few serious sunburns may greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. A 2014 study found that white women who had five or more blistering sunburns when they were teens were 68% more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Despite that old episode of “Friends” where Joey peed on Monica’s jellyfish sting, urine is not the antidote to the venom of this goopy animal, which is common off beaches across the United States and thrives in warm water. Rinsing the wound with saltwater is one of the most recommended ways to relieve the stinging, redness and swelling that follow a brush with a jellyfish tentacle.
A more surprising but also effective treatment is vinegar, said Rokhsar, who knows firsthand that it can make the pain go away almost instantaneously. “It happened to me. It hurts a lot, and I actually went to the lifeguard station, and they had vinegar spray,” he said.
Also beware of the not-so-cute baby jellyfish called sea lice. Unlike the adults’ sting, theirs doesn’t hurt, so you don’t have to worry about rinsing the wound with saltwater or vinegar. Save the vinegar for rinsing your swimsuit before you wash it. Some believe the larvae can become trapped in the fabric.
You will usually experience an itchy, red rash and small blisters within 24 hours. The rash is sometimes accompanied with fever, chills, headaches and nausea. The symptoms can last as long as two weeks and are not contagious.
The sea lice, which are actually microscopic larvae of marine life such as jellyfish or sea anemones, are most often found in summer waters in Florida and the Caribbean.
Grossness flourishes in air conditioning filters
When air conditioners are working around the clock in hot summer months, dust, mold and pollution from outdoor air (in the case of central AC) or indoor air (in the case of a window unit) tend to build up on the filter of AC units. Not only does this slash the air conditioner’s efficiency, it can also carry health risks, said Abby Brokaw, director of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest Health House program.
“People who are already having problems with breathing or lung health — so people with allergies or respiratory disease — are going to be affected” if the filter is not properly cleaned, removing dust, mold, dander and other detritus, Brokaw said.
To keep your filter in tiptop shape, clean or replace it every three months, Brokaw advised. But take precaution when you do. Mold and bacteria love to grow on filters, especially in the summer humidity.
“You don’t want to breathe in mold spores and bacteria. We would recommend that you wear gloves and a mask,” Brokaw said, referring to surgical masks sold in drugstores.
If you have ever wondered what you are looking for when buying foods at the store, here is a comprehensive list to assist you. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, have food allergies, or just want to eat healthier…this list will help.
Inflammation is the body’s way of defending itself against disease and is a self-protective mechanism that can support the natural healing process. However, when the inflammation is chronic because of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, then this can leads to conditions where disease manifests. The good news is that there are various natural anti-inflammatories that can ease many of the chronic inflammatory conditions.
Below are a list of the key ingredients that can improve inflammation…
Curcumin. This is the active compound found in the Indian spice turmeric. Its curcuminoids can
reduce pain and inflammation by inhibiting NF-kB, a protein complex that controls transcription of DNA, cytokine
production and cell survival. It is involved in the cellular responses to stimuli such as stress, cytokines, and plays an integral role in regulating the immune system response.
Serrapeptase. This is a proteolytic enzyme that can dissolve and safely digest inflammation within the body. Once the inflammation is removed, it’s possible for the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms to come into play. Serrapeptase is derived from the silkworm intestine but is now manufactured within a laboratory. When serrapeptase is taken it can safely eliminate inflammation that can appear as various symptoms including redness, swelling, pain and more.
Ecklonia Cava Extract is a super nutrient that can help to support healthy blood flow and circulation. Studies show it may reduce blood glucose levels, while supporting blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and other trace minerals can help to support healthy lungs, joints,
tendons and connective tissues. This is an organosulfur compound that occurs naturally in plants and can help with a variety of health problems related to and including stress, inflammation, allergies and gastrointestinal conditions.
Any of the above nutrients can help to provide inflammation relief. Curcumin and Serrapeptase are particularly powerful as they are highly researched and have been documented as helping thousands of people improve their health conditions, due to their anti-inflammatory properties. When they are taken on a daily basis, they can provide long term results. Alongside taking these nutrients it’s recommended to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, as it’s then possible to find significant relief from the painful symptoms of inflammation.
Safe to say that most people enjoy chocolate. Especially at the holidays. So if there is a way to enjoy good food without the extra calories from processed packaged foods this is the way to do it. A couple of added benefits are that it has low cholesterol, low sodium, 5 ingredients or less, and it tastes great (so it’s kid friendly). This is a simple Almond or nut bark recipe that will have you coming back for more.
Raw honey that is unprocessed and unfiltered has live enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals and is considered a Whole Food, straight from the hive. Honey provides a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and three times the riboflavin then maple syrup. Organic honey Is a source of natural antioxidants. Local raw honey can also help with people who struggle with allergies. 1 tablespoon only has 60 cal and 17 carbohydrate (16 sugars). Most of the sugars come from fructose with a bit of glucose and even less sucrose.
The ORAC scale measures the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity in different foods. Free radicals are produced during normal metabolism and cell function, as well as from stress and pollutants in our air, water and food. The oxidative stress caused by these free radicals is implicated in everything from the aging and wrinkling of skin to DNA damage, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. The health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability.
Digestive enzymes, primarily produced* in the pancreas and small intestine, break down our food into nutrients so that our bodies can absorb them.
Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.
This is just a small representation of the larger ORAC chart, but you see how high Cacao Powder is on the list…very antioxidant rich.
If you choose to use maple syrup instead of honey, make sure you read the labels. Pure maple syrup and is sap boiled down to make syrup. For every 39 gallons of sap, it makes just 1 gallon of maple syrup. This may help you understand the price difference. Breakfast syrup’s or pancake syrup, are not made with maple at all. They are made from high fructose corn syrup and flavored with an aromatic compounds and caramelized sugar, among a few other spices. Canada produces 80% of the worlds maple syrup. The United States divides the grades into grade A and grade B. Grade A is considered premier and what’s meant for eating. Grade B is so dark that is generally used in baking or cooking. The sugars in maple syrup primarily come from sucrose. Maple syrup may be considered healthier because of its overall less sugar, more importantly Less fructose than honey. Maple syrup provides more minerals than honey such as iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. For 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and there are about 56 calories and 13g of sugar.
Cacao can fuel energy and mood. It is an excellent source of fiber good source of protein and iron. It is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. A half half a cup of raw organic cocoa powder has 110 cal, 2 g of fat 16 carbohydrates, 10 of which is dietary fiber. It contains 8 g of protein and will give you 10% of the iron you need for your daily requirements. It is considered a stimulant and should be eaten occasionally not every day.
Raw Organic Coconut Butter
Raw organic coconut butter is comprised of puréed, raw coconut meat, not only coconut oil. Coconut oil is up your fat, and is made up of medium fatty chain acids. MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are absorbed in your digestive track. Because coconut oil it is 90% saturated fat it will become a solid at 75° or colder and turn into a liquid if warmer than 76°. 1 tablespoon will give you 105 cal, 11 g of fat, 4 g of carbs half of which are dietary fiber, and 2 g of protein. Coconut butter will also give you 6% of the iron you need daily.
All nuts will give you different fat content, carbohydrate content, and protein content. Of all nuts pecans are the highest on the ORAC chart (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). Soaking drying all of your nuts and seeds will lead to better digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Homemade Chocolate Almond Bark
1 cup cocoa butter (or coconut butter)
1 cup Cacao powder
1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup
3 tsp vanilla extract
optional: chopped nuts
Gently heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat. mix until ingredients are combined and chocolate sauce is smooth.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Pour chocolate sauce over parchment lined cookie sheet .
Place cookie sheet in freezer.
Freeze for 2-3 hours or until completely hard
The simple definition is this: a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances; detoxification.
Cleansing and Detoxing have be around for hundreds of years. Since ancient times, individuals had actually already recognized the numerous benefits of cleansing. The Chinese started with vapor bathing in their lots of hot water pools, and the Japanese are firm followers of detoxing by steaming in their warm mineral swimming pools.
We all know that the ‘detox craze’ is upon us so I decided to compile a few of my favorite detox articles for your perusal. These articles are from all different types: doctors, stay at home moms, some in favor of cleansing, some think it is a bunch of crap. You can decide for your self, either way it is very informative.
Juice cleanses, colon cleanses, fruit detoxes, sugar detoxes—we’ve all seen these things, but do they actually work? What are they supposed to do? Let’s take a look at the science behind the fad.
Cleanses and detoxes are trendy, popular, and promise to clear out nasty toxins from your body and make you healthier. It’s a tall promise. So, we decided to talk with Las Vegas-based registered dietitian Andy Bellatti, nutrition researcher Kamal Patel, and science writer and educator Beth Skwarecki to see if they can measure up to the claims.
What Cleanses and Detoxes Promise
There are tons of different cleanses and detoxes. For the most part, a cleanse and a detox are the same thing. They’re typically used interchangeably and have the same basic goals: to remove “harmful” things from your body. Sometimes, they aim to target a specific organ like the liver or colon, and supposedly, detoxing makes you feel better.
There’s no specific definition of a detox or cleanse, but they often involve limiting your food intake to pressed juice, avoiding specific types of food, or drinking a concoction of juices that supposedly rids your body of toxins. These supposed toxins are rarely described by cleansers in detail, but generally referred to as “poisons” or “pollutants.” In the medical field, toxins can refer to just about anything, from alcohol, to foods, to medicines, to asbestos. “Detoxing” can also refer to treatment for drug addiction, but that’s very different—here, we’re specifically discussing these food-and-drink cleanses.
There are far too many of these cleanses and detoxes to dig through, but here are 10 that Shape Magazine deemed popular in the last year, to give you an idea of what they’re all about. As an example, let’s take a closer look at the Master Cleanse, one of the most longstanding and popular cleanses out there. Here’s an excerpt from the book that describes exactly how the Master Cleanse works:
The cleanse starts with a herbal laxative tea both morning and evening. If this is not sufficient to clean out the intestinal tract, he advises a salt-water wash. These stops are necessary to remove the toxins loosened by the lemon juice cleanse.
I was then to drink between six and twelve glasses of lemonade, which consisted of lemon and maple syrup in proper proportions, with a small amount of cayenne added to wash out the mucus loosened by the cleanse.
Sounds gross, right? Well, it might be worth it for you if you believe the promises purported by Master Cleanse creator Stanley Burroughs:
For the novice and the advanced student alike, cleansing is basis for elimination of every kind of disease. The purpose of this book is to simplify the cause and the correction of all disorders, regardless of the name or names. As we eliminate and correct one disease, we correct them all, for every disease is corrected by the same process of cleansing and building positive good health.
The hyperbole goes on from there, but you get the idea. Kamal Patel sums most cleanses up like so:
What ties these diets together is a dual aim: weight loss plus a notion that we have built-up toxins in the body which are slowing us down and possibly killing us. So a typical cleanse, let’s say of juices only, is meant to shift your intestines away from digestion and absorption and towards “ridding the body of toxins”. That’s where the benefits are claimed to lie, but they may actually lie elsewhere.
Most cleanses have similar promises, claiming that going on some sort of juice fast (or other cleanse) can free your body of harmful toxins.
What Happens in Your Body When You’re On a Cleanse
We’re all aware that fruit and vegetables are good for us, so following that logic suggests that a diet of just fruit and vegetables must be super healthy, right? Right??
Not really. If you drink nothing but juice for a week, you’ll lose weight, but it’s because you’re not eating, not because your body is “detoxing”. Water is stored in your muscles with glycogen. When you eat a low calorie diet, you use up those glycogen stores, and lose the water weight with it. You’ll gain that water weight right back when you return to your normal diet. You’re also missing out on all those other vital nutrients like fat, fiber, and protein. In fact, some cleanses suggest that you avoid exercise when you’re on them because your caloric intake is so low—which leads to fatigue and dizziness.
After a few days, your body is basically running on fumes, and without protein your body might start to break down muscle tissue instead. Likewise, the lack of fiber in your diet tends to impact the function of your large intestine, which might explain why people tend to describe their gut feelings on a juice cleanse as similar to the stomach flu.
Most importantly, a juice cleanse doesn’t do anything that your body doesn’t already do on its own. Andy Bellatti reminds us that our bodies are already pretty good at removing toxins. If they weren’t, and you needed a yearly detox, we’d all probably be dead:
Will drinking nothing but juice for three or five days land you in the hospital or result in irreversible nutrient deficiencies? No, but it is also unnecessary. Our bodies remove toxins on a daily basis thanks to the kidneys, lungs, and liver. The whole point of going to the bathroom is to flush out toxins!
Beth Skwarecki adds that while most of these cleanses and detoxes aren’t dangerous, they can cause some problems. Since juices don’t include much fiber, the body ends up absorbing more fructose sugar, which—as we all know—isn’t good for you:
The ones that are mostly sugar (like with lots of fruit juices, or the lemonade thing) may put you on a sugar crash roller coaster and negate the potential good effects of fasting that have to do with insulin sensitivity and such.
The good news on depriving yourself is that it takes months to get any serious vitamin deficiencies. Most of these cleanses are probably stupid but not seriously harmful (if all you’re doing is restricting food for a few days). As for the claims of eliminating toxins, well, even the ones that name specific toxins don’t actually give any mechanism by which the diet/herbs they’re pushing affect what your body does with them.
Skwarecki’s final point is key: most commercial detoxes don’t list what a toxin is. And even when they do, they don’t give an evidence that they work. If they did, we could test the effectiveness of their claims. In a 2009 investigation by Sense about Science, they checked 15 commercial detox products and found that none could name toxins, agree on a definition of detox, or supply any evidence for their claims.
All of this is to say: the only thing a detox or juice cleanse actually does to your body is make you hungry and nutrient deprived for a few days.
Better Alternatives to Cleanses
So, cleanses don’t really do anything productive and a special juice mixture won’t remove toxins from your system. That doesn’t mean you can’t do other things to get your health back on track.
In fact, the idea of a cleanse is basically just a reboot of your diet, which Bellatti agrees with:
There is something to be said for doing “food resets.” That is, going back to the basic tenets of healthful eating (mainly eating whole, minimally processed, largely plant-based foods) to reaccustom the taste buds to more subtle flavors. That, however, should not be confused with a cleanse.
But he does add:
Nutrition and health is about the big picture. What you do for five or seven days out of the year is pretty inconsequential.
Rather than worry about ‘detoxing,’ people would be better off thinking about eating nutritious, health-promoting foods on a daily basis. Think leafy greens, beans, whole fruit, nuts, and seeds. The idea that six months of unhealthy eating can somehow be remedied by drinking nothing but green juice for 72 hours is erroneous.
Likewise, an actual fast, as in, just drinking water, has some research showing that it’s useful. Patel explains:
There is a lot of misunderstanding about what a detox is and how to do it, so let me explain how I understand detoxification.
Detoxification is what your body does naturally to neutralize, transform or get rid of unwanted materials or toxins. It is a primary function of the body, constantly working and interacting with all other functions of the body. So when I am talking about detoxification, it is about improving and optimizing the function of your body’s own detoxification systems. This is done by decreasing the amount of toxins we put into our bodies while at the same time supporting our body’s detoxification and elimination systems with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
As a culture we are very aware of our external cleanliness. We clean our teeth daily, we bath and wash our hair daily or every other day and we like to look and smell clean because it makes us feel better. Similarly, I see detoxification as internal cleansing. The problem is that it’s often hard to know when our internal cleansing mechanisms are not functioning well. Unlike other parts of our body it is very hard to know how well our liver is working, and our liver is the main detoxification organ. Apart from synthesizing and secreting bile, the liver acts as a filter for toxins and bacteria in the blood and chemically neutralizes toxins, converting them into substances that can be eliminated by the kidneys.
Although it is mostly ignored by our current medical system, the detoxification system is a key component of our body’s functioning. Most of the molecules made by our bodies every day, are for getting rid of waste products. We need hundreds of enzymes, vitamins and other molecules to help rid the body of unwanted waste products and chemicals. We need to manufacture these molecules to help take the good from what we ingest and get rid of the unwanted. Although the bulk of the work is done by the liver and the intestinal tract, the kidneys, lungs, lymphatic system and skin are all involved in this complex detoxification system.
The purpose of a detoxification program is primarily to support these organs of elimination so that toxins present in the body can be metabolized and excreted. Time and time again I’ve seen the benefits a good internal cleanse can bring.
Most of us equate a detox with deprivation—or worse. We think hunger, weird food, kale juice and colonics. We might feel better at the end, but is it really worth the pain and suffering? The thing is, you don’t have to suffer. There’s another kind of detox that’s all about fabulous, delicious food. It’s a new kind of detox that’s a giant jumpstart for your health and a reboot for your metabolism. It’s fun, easy to do and a direct route to feeling fabulous. It’s what I do with my patients, and you can do it in just 10 days.
Over the last 20 years, I’ve taken care of tens of thousands of patients who suffered from the harmful effects of the wrong foods: industrial, factory-made science projects, boatloads of sugar and flour—152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour per person per year, to be exact! It’s done more than make them struggle with weight and yo-yo diets. It’s completely derailed their health. Worse, they blame themselves for not being able to succeed at controlling their eating habits or cravings.
Millions of us, over half the population, suffer from FLC Syndrome. That’s when you Feel Like Crap. Sometimes it’s annoying little symptoms such as achy joints or muscles, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, allergies or gas, or more serious problems such as autoimmune diseases, migraines, asthma, acne, irritable bowel, reflux, arthritis or worse.
When I use the word “detox” I mean a scientifically designed medical detox from sugar, and all things that turn to sugar. The fun part is that it’s done simply by taking out the bad stuff and putting in the good stuff…lots of good stuff. Maybe I should call it The Feel Good with Good Stuffplan!
5 Reasons You Need to Detox
You have FLC Syndrome: Feel Like Crap.
You wake up feeling less than vital, vibrant, alive, joyful and full of energy. Even if you are thin but have symptoms of being toxic like fatigue, brain fog, achiness, digestive issues, allergies, headaches—really any symptoms at all—the detox can help heal you quickly. Most of us don’t connect what we’re eating to how we feel. In the 10-day “feel good with good stuff” plan—the program in my new book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet—you will learn how you have put up with needless suffering. Feeling good is only a few days away.
You can’t lose weight and keep it off (you want to fit into your jeans).
The scientific establishment has convinced us that losing weight is just a matter of calories in/calories out, that it’s about energy balance, about eating less and exercising more. How’s that working out for you? Probably not so well! Problem is, the scientific establishment is different from the established science. The science says sugar and flour calories are WAY different. First, they trigger addiction and overeating. Second, they spike insulin and inflammation, which makes you store belly fat and blocks your ability to feel full. The verdict is in: Sugar calories are worse than whole food calories. Sugar spikes insulin and triggers inflammation, a double whammy guaranteed to mess up any attempt at long-term weight loss.
You can’t control your sugar and carb cravings (you may be suffering from food addiction).
The fact is that sugar and flour are biologically addictive. The science behind it is clear and conclusive. Yet we blame the fat person for being a lazy glutton, which leads to shame and guilt. I am here to tell you it’s not your fault. Your biology has been hijacked by the food industry. They have done a hostile takeover of your taste buds, brain chemistry, hormones and metabolism. More than 300 food industry insiders spilled the beans to Michael Moss in his book, Salt, Sugar and Fat, explaining they hire “craving experts” to create the “bliss point” of junk food to create “heavy users” and increase their “stomach share.” Sugar is the new nicotine. In fact, sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine. If you are trying to use willpower to lose weight you will fail. You have to use science to unhook yourself from the addictive power of sugar, flour and hyper-processed, hyper-palatable food-like substances (or “non-food junk” as my friend Dr. Aviva Romm calls it).
You never have detoxed.
Most of us have never in our life taken 10 days to put nothing in our bodies but delicious, whole clean food. Just 10 days. Even if you think you are healthy and feel good, you may not realize that your normal state is not your optimal state. Think of it as a tune-up, a super-quick, super-easy way to supercharge your health.
You need a STAYCATION.
All of us stray from living in a way that supports our health: too little sleep, too little exercise, too much bad food, too much stress, not enough time for ourselves. The best way to reset your life is a 10-day detox. Simple, delicious foods. No toxins or drugs, by which I mean sugar, flour, processed foods, caffeine or alcohol. Self-nurturing practices: deep breathing, sleeping 7-8 hours a night, a little exercise, self-love. All this works to get your body and mind back to their original factory settings—and quickly!
5 Ways to Detox, Lose Weight & Feel Great
So now that you know why you need a detox, how do you do it without pain and suffering? How do you take a shortcut to feeling great? Here’s a little secret that the diet and food industry, the medical establishment and Big Pharma don’t want you to know: Most of us are only a few days away from health and happiness. Even if you have a really bad case of FLC Syndrome or even a chronic disease, food is the most powerful medicine on the planet to fix it.
Be a turkey (a cold one) and take a drug holiday.
There is no way to handle a true physiological addiction except to stop it completely. Addicts can’t have just one line of cocaine or just one drink. Go cold turkey. But you won’t have to white-knuckle it because if you follow “5 Ways to Detox” you will automatically reset your body’s neurotransmitters and hormones. Stop all forms of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners. They all cause increased cravings and slow metabolism, and lead to fat storage. This especially includes liquid sugar calories—a latte can have more sugar than a can of soda—that makes you eat more all day and drive storage of belly fat. Also get rid of anything with trans or hydrogenated fats and MSG (watch for hidden names). Ideally, for 10 days you avoid any foods that come in a box, package or can or have a label, and stick to real, whole, fresh food. And the best way to really detox is to give up all grains for 10 days. Give up all drugs, too. Caffeine and alcohol are the two biggest after sugar.
Power up the day with protein.
Protein, protein, protein at every meal, especially breakfast, is the key to balancing blood sugar and insulin and cutting cravings. Start the day with whole farm eggs or a protein shake. I recommend my Whole Food Protein Shake. Use nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken or grass-fed meat for protein at every meal. A serving size is 4-6 ounces or the size of your palm.
Eat unlimited carbs (the right ones).
Yes, that’s right. Unlimited carbs. Did you know that vegetables are carbs? And you get to eat as much as you want. Unlimited refills! There is one catch. I only mean the non-starchy veggies such as greens, the broccoli family (including cauliflower, kale and collards), asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, fennel, eggplant, artichokes, peppers, etc. What’s out are potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash and beets—just for 10 days. Also skip grains and beans for 10 days. It supercharges the results so you lose weight and feel great.
Fight sugar with fat.
Fat is not a four-letter word. Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Fat makes you full, balances your blood sugar and is necessary for fueling your cells. Along with protein, have good fats at every meal and snack including nuts and seeds, which also contain protein, extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocados and omega-3 fats from fish.
Use friend power, not willpower.
Extraordinary new research shows that obesity is contagious. You are more likely to be overweight if your friends are overweight than if your parents or siblings are overweight. But health is contagious too. In a large social experiment I did with my friend Rick Warren at Saddleback Church we got 15,000 people to lose 250,000 pounds in a year by doing the program together. They met in small groups, helped, loved and supported each other. And those who did it together lost twice as much weight and got twice as healthy. I call it the Love Diet! Every “body” needs a “buddy.” Find a friend or form a small group and do the detox together.
Feeling sluggish or out of sync? Struggling with skin problems, aches and pains, or digestive problems? Can’t seem to lose weight? It might be time for a body detox.
Practiced for centuries by cultures around the world — including ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — detoxification is about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.
How does detoxification work?
Basically, detoxification means cleaning the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. The body also eliminates toxins through the kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymph and skin. However, when this system is compromised, impurities aren’t properly filtered and every cell in the body is adversely affected.
A detox program can help the body’s natural cleansing process by:
Resting the organs through fasting;
2.Stimulating the liver to drive toxins from the body;
3. Promoting elimination through the intestines, kidneys and skin;
4. Improving circulation of the blood; and
5. Refueling the body with healthy nutrients.”Detoxification works because it addresses the needs of individual cells, the smallest units of human life,” says Peter Bennett, N.D., co-author of 7-Day Detox Miracle with Stephen Barrie, N.D., and Sara Faye.
How do you know if you need to detoxify?
Bennett suggests that everyone should detox at least once a year. However, Bennett cautions against detoxing for nursing mothers, children, and patients with chronic degenerative diseases, cancer or tuberculosis. Consult your health care practitioner if you have questions about whether detoxing is right for you.
Today, with more toxins in the environment than ever, “it’s critical to detox,” says Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D., the author ofDetoxification. Page recommends detoxing for symptoms such as:
Puffy eye or bags under the eyes
How do you start a detox?
First, lighten up your toxin load. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugars and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins in the body and are obstacles to your healing process. Also, minimize use of chemical-based household cleanersand personal health care products (cleansers, shampoos, deodorants and toothpastes), and substitute natural alternatives.
There are many how to articles on how to detox, and instructions for detox. Many people detox for weightloss. Some use DIY liquid diets for dieting. Questions like how do I, or what do I do are common when talking about detox.
Another deterrent to good health is stress, which triggers your body to release stress hormones into your system. While these hormones can provide the “adrenaline rush” to win a race or meet a deadline, in large amounts they create toxins and slow down detoxification enzymes in the liver. Yoga, Qigong andmeditation are simple and effective ways to relieve stress by resetting your physical and mental reactions to the inevitable stress life will bring.
Which detox program is right for you?
There are many detoxification programs and detox recipes, depending on your individual needs. Many programs follow a 7-day schedule because, as Bennett explains, “it takes the body time to clean the blood.” His program involves fasting on liquids for two days, followed by a carefully-planned five-day detox diet to allow the digestive system to rest. Page recommends a 3-7 day juice fast (drinking only fresh fruit and vegetable juices and water) as an effective way to release toxins.
1. Eat plenty of fiber, including brown rice and organically-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Beets, radishes, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, spirulina, chlorella, and seaweed are excellent detoxifying foods.
2. Cleanse and protect the liver by taking herbs such as dandelion root, burdock and milk thistle, and drinking green tea.
3. Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
4. Drink at least two quarts of water a day.
5. Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.
6. Transform stress by emphasizing positive emotions.
7. Practice hydrotherapy by taking a very hot shower for five minutes, allowing the water to run on your back. Follow with cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times, and then get into bed for 30 minutes.
8. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration.
10. What is the most important way to detoxify? “Exercise,” says Bennett. “Yoga or jump-roping are good. One hour every day.” Also try Qigong, a martial-arts based exercise system that includes exercises specifically for detoxifying or cleansing, as well as many other exercises with specific health benefits.
Whether it’s cucumbers splashing into water or models sitting smugly next to a pile of vegetables, it’s tough not to be sucked in by the detox industry. The idea that you can wash away your calorific sins is the perfect antidote to our fast-food lifestyles and alcohol-lubricated social lives. But before you dust off that juicer or take the first tentative steps towards a colonic irrigation clinic, there’s something you should know: detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam. It’s a pseudo-medical concept designed to sell you things.
“Let’s be clear,” says Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, “there are two types of detox: one is respectable and the other isn’t.” The respectable one, he says, is the medical treatment of people with life-threatening drug addictions. “The other is the word being hijacked by entrepreneurs, quacks and charlatans to sell a bogus treatment that allegedly detoxifies your body of toxins you’re supposed to have accumulated.”
If toxins did build up in a way your body couldn’t excrete, he says, you’d likely be dead or in need of serious medical intervention. “The healthy body has kidneys, a liver, skin, even lungs that are detoxifying as we speak,” he says. “There is no known way – certainly not through detox treatments – to make something that works perfectly well in a healthy body work better.”
Much of the sales patter revolves around “toxins”: poisonous substances that you ingest or inhale. But it’s not clear exactly what these toxins are. If they were named they could be measured before and after treatment to test effectiveness. Yet, much like floaters in your eye, try to focus on these toxins and they scamper from view. In 2009, a network of scientists assembled by the UK charity Sense about Science contacted the manufacturers of 15 products sold in pharmacies and supermarkets that claimed to detoxify. The products ranged from dietary supplements to smoothies and shampoos. When the scientists asked for evidence behind the claims, not one of the manufacturers could define what they meant by detoxification, let alone name the toxins.
Yet, inexplicably, the shelves of health food stores are still packed with products bearing the word “detox” – it’s the marketing equivalent of drawing go-faster stripes on your car. You can buy detoxifying tablets, tinctures, tea bags, face masks, bath salts, hair brushes, shampoos, body gels and even hair straighteners. Yoga, luxury retreats, and massages will also all erroneously promise to detoxify. You can go on a seven-day detox diet and you’ll probably lose weight, but that’s nothing to do with toxins, it’s because you would have starved yourself for a week.
Then there’s colonic irrigation. Its proponents will tell you that mischievous plaques of impacted poo can lurk in your colon for months or years and pump disease-causing toxins back into your system. Pay them a small fee, though, and they’ll insert a hose up your bottom and wash them all away. Unfortunately for them – and possibly fortunately for you – no doctor has ever seen one of these mythical plaques, and many warn against having the procedure done, saying that it can perforate your bowel.
Other tactics are more insidious. Some colon-cleansing tablets contain a polymerising agent that turns your faeces into something like a plastic, so that when a massive rubbery poo snake slithers into your toilet you can stare back at it and feel vindicated in your purchase. Detoxing foot pads turn brown overnight with what manufacturers claim is toxic sludge drawn from your body. This sludge is nothing of the sort – a substance in the pads turns brown when it mixes with water from your sweat.
“It’s a scandal,” fumes Ernst. “It’s criminal exploitation of the gullible man on the street and it sort of keys into something that we all would love to have – a simple remedy that frees us of our sins, so to speak. It’s nice to think that it could exist but unfortunately it doesn’t.”
That the concept of detoxification is so nebulous might be why it has evaded public suspicion. When most of us utter the word detox, it’s usually when we’re bleary eyed and stumbling out of the wrong end of a heavy weekend. In this case, surely, a detox from alcohol is a good thing? “It’s definitely good to have non-alcohol days as part of your lifestyle,” says Catherine Collins, an NHS dietitian at St George’s Hospital. “It’ll probably give you a chance to reassess your drinking habits if you’re drinking too much. But the idea that your liver somehow needs to be ‘cleansed’ is ridiculous.”
The liver breaks down alcohol in a two-step process. Enzymes in the liver first convert alcohol to acetaldehyde, a very toxic substance that damages liver cells. It is then almost immediately converted into carbon dioxide and water which the body gets rid of. Drinking too much can overwhelm these enzymes and the acetaldehyde buildup will lead to liver damage. Moderate and occasional drinking, though, might have a protective effect. Population studies, says Collins, have shown that teetotallers and those who drink alcohol excessively have a shorter life expectancy than people who drink moderately and in small amounts.
“We know that a little bit of alcohol seems to be helpful,” she says. “Maybe because its sedative effect relaxes you slightly or because it keeps the liver primed with these detoxifying enzymes to help deal with other toxins you’ve consumed. That’s why the government guidelines don’t say, ‘Don’t drink’; they say, ‘OK drink, but only modestly.’ It’s like a little of what doesn’t kill you cures you.”
This adage also applies in an unexpected place – to broccoli, the luvvie of the high-street “superfood” detox salad. Broccoli does help the liver out but, unlike the broad-shouldered, cape-wearing image that its superfood moniker suggests, it is no hero. Broccoli, as with all brassicas – sprouts, mustard plants, cabbages – contains cyanide. Eating it provides a tiny bit of poison that, like alcohol, primes the enzymes in your liver to deal better with any other poisons.
Collins guffaws at the notion of superfoods. “Most people think that you should restrict or pay particular attention to certain food groups, but this is totally not the case,” she says. “The ultimate lifestyle ‘detox’ is not smoking, exercising and enjoying a healthy balanced diet like the Mediterranean diet.”
Close your eyes, if you will, and imagine a Mediterranean diet. A red chequered table cloth adorned with meats, fish, olive oil, cheeses, salads, wholegrain cereals, nuts and fruits. All these foods give the protein, amino acids, unsaturated fats, fibre, starches, vitamins and minerals to keep the body – and your immune system, the biggest protector from ill-health – functioning perfectly.
So why, then, with such a feast available on doctor’s orders, do we feel the need to punish ourselves to be healthy? Are we hard-wired to want to detox, given that many of the oldest religions practise fasting and purification? Has the scientific awakening shunted bad spirits to the periphery and replaced them with environmental toxins that we think we have to purge ourselves of?
Susan Marchant-Haycox, a London psychologist, doesn’t think so. “Trying to tie detoxing in with ancient religious practices is clutching at straws,” she says. “You need to look at our social makeup over the very recent past. In the 70s, you had all these gyms popping up, and from there we’ve had the proliferation of the beauty and diet industry with people becoming more aware of certain food groups and so on.
“The detox industry is just a follow-on from that. There’s a lot of money in it and there are lots of people out there in marketing making a lot of money.”
Peter Ayton, a professor of psychology at City University London, agrees. He says that we’re susceptible to such gimmicks because we live in a world with so much information we’re happy to defer responsibility to others who might understand things better. “To understand even shampoo you need to have PhD in biochemistry,” he says, “but a lot of people don’t have that. If it seems reasonable and plausible and invokes a familiar concept, like detoxing, then we’re happy to go with it.”
Many of our consumer decisions, he adds, are made in ignorance and supposition, which is rarely challenged or informed. “People assume that the world is carefully regulated and that there are benign institutions guarding them from making any kind of errors. A lot of marketing drip-feeds that idea, surreptitiously. So if people see somebody with apparently the right credentials, they think they’re listening to a respectable medic and trust their advice.”
Ernst is less forgiving: “Ask trading standards what they’re doing about it. Anyone who says, ‘I have a detox treatment’ is profiting from a false claim and is by definition a crook. And it shouldn’t be left to scientists and charities to go after crooks.”
And That’s That
You have officially been detoxed, or at least introduced to the concept. I hope these articles were helpful and have given you enough information to make an informed decision on whether or not to detox. I have linked most of the images to the best detox product/system that I have found, hope it helps.