Monday, December 23, 2013

5 signs you need to DETOX!

To put it into greater context, imagine living in a very small space. What would it be like if you could only remove 20% of the trash you brought in? How does that space feel after a week? How about a month? Now imagine what this would be like in a year. Pretty nasty, huh? This is how your cells feel when they cannot release toxins and waste.
Here are five tell-tale signs that your body is screaming for a detox:

1. Energy drain: One of the main complaints that I hear from clients is that they are exhausted, have no energy, and rely on caffeinated pick-me-ups like coffee and {cringe} diet soda to get through the day. This begs the question, why are we so damn tired? Put simply, we're sleeping less, stressing more, and eating far worse than the 20 through 50-somethings of several decades ago.

2. Excess weight: A toxic body is typically an overweight one, and usually the result of a heavily processed diet, fraught with chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, and booze. Removing toxins, reducing your chemical load, and essentially creating a "clean slate" in an overtaxed system can {and will} create a shift in the body where weight falls off effortlessly. Yes, really.

3. Cravings: If you're among the vast majority of Americans who have a serious sweet tooth, you're in good company. The nature of food addiction, more specifically, sugar addition, has been studied and shown to be extremely common and as intense as addictions to opiates like cocaine and heroin. Part of the reason it's so hard to kick the habit is that over time, our brains actually become addicted to the natural opioids that are triggered by sugar consumption. Like with drugs, a diet loaded with sugar can generate excessive reward signals in the brain which can override self-control and lead to addiction. In fact, researchers at Princeton University report that sugar-loving mice demonstrate all three criteria of addiction: increased intake, withdrawal, and cravings that lead to relapse. Yowza.

4. Brain fog: Also known as monkey mind, mommy brain, or my personal favorite, "dumb as rocks", this phenomena exhibits itself when your mind completely drifts off doing even the simplest of tasks, partaking in a conversation, or anything else that requires you to focus. "Hello, McFly?"

5. Tummy troubles: In the form of indigestion, bloating, constipation, or reflux, these woes are quite literally the direct result of "garbage in, garbage out". These symptoms can result from undiagnosed food allergies or sensitivities (think gluten, dairy, etc.) as well as your healthy gut bacteria {ground zero for your entire immune system} being out of whack.
Other symptoms include poor sleep, headaches, puffy eyes and dark circles, allergies, frequent illness, stress, mood swings, skin breakouts, body odor, and chronic pain. Long term, toxins can cause inflammation and lead to more serious conditions like autoimmunity, heart disease, or cancer. Now have I caught your attention?

Fear not, there is a happy ending to this story! Periodic detoxing or cleansing can boost your ability to rid your body of built up toxins, lose weight, and have a strong and healthy immune system. Just as you clean your home and change the oil in your car, doing a good internal cleanse will help you feel (and be) lighter, have more energy, kick cravings, think clearly, sleep better, and have fewer symptoms of discomfort.

Fortunately, there are a lot of options for someone who wants to experience the benefits of detoxing. Unfortunately, having so many options can create a sense of overwhelm and what I like to call "analysis paralysis". Ever been there? Me too. From fasting to juicing to eating strictly raw foods, the options are endless, and many leave you starving and cranky.

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