There’s nothing better than the holidays: enjoying libations, goodies and rich meals together with friends and family. However, add-in the hustle and bustle of the season, stresses and responsibilities and before long, we are getting bogged down. Did you know that the average weight gain per season is 7 to 10 pounds? With that added weight comes stored toxins and increased oxidative stress which can set you up for future disease. But don’t despair! You can enjoy the fun and festivities and mitigate some of this damage by incorporating just a few affordable and easy-to-implement tricks. You will set yourself up to be your best healthiest self for the start of the new year.
1. Dry Skin Brushing: Did you know that one third of our body’s toxins are excreted through the skin? Dry skin brushing helps to un-clog pores and excrete toxins that get trapped in the skin. Use a natural bristle brush with a long handle. Get undressed stand in the bathtub. Starting at your feet, brush in long sweeping motions towards your heart. Brush several times as you move up your body overlapping as you go. Move on to your arms and upper body always brushing toward the heart. Then turn on the shower and cleanse the skin with a natural soap, alternating hot and cold, if you wish to stimulate circulation. After getting out of the shower apply a natural moisturizer to your skin.
2. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) baths. Many factors can lead to tension, making us uncomfortable physically and mentally. This can disrupt sleep and lead to more serious mood issues. Magnesium is excellent in calming the nervous system and in relaxing smooth muscles. Sulfate is calming as well as detoxifying. Magnesium and sulfate are well absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin in a bathwater medium. By a process called reverse osmosis, toxins exit the body and the magnesium and sulfate enter the body. Use 2-3 cups per bath depending on how large your tub, and soak for at least 20 minutes. If you find that you are getting loose stools, use less. Do this up to 5 times a week.
3. Exercise. Increase calorie-burning, circulation and perspiration with extra exercise! Interested in that new yoga studio or gym? Look on-line for deals and discounts, such as Groupons, that can make it more affordable. Fit it in, it is worth the time!
4. Hydration: The human body is composed of over 60% water! Water is what helps carry nutrients to our cells and waste products out of the cell. Help your body detoxify by simply adding more water into your regimen. Use glass bottles, add lemon or cucumber and make it available and within reach. If you work at a desk, make it a point to get up and refill. As a rule, drink half of your weight in ounces every day (75 ounces for someone weighing 150 pounds). Drink an extra 16 ounces more for every caffeinated beverage you consume.
5. Bitters: Herbs such as dandelion, gentian, chamomile, goldenseal and peppermint are classic bitters. These herbs engage and excite the digestive system, alerting it to secrete the enzymes important to digest and assimilate our food. Without properly-working digestive enzymes, our digestion can become sluggish because we are not breaking-down the food particles well enough. Try these before a meal to stimulate digestion: bitter green salad (beet greens work well in this season), a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a quarter cup of water 20 minutes before the meal or a bitters tincture. After the meal, drink teas containing ginger, fennel or chamomile. If you are out for the evening, an aperitif is generally known to be a digestive stimulant and can be a good choice in alcoholic drinks.
Incorporate these tricks now during the holiday season and then join us for the “Lighten Up” program for a more in-depth weight loss and detox program in the new year. This is easy-to-implement at home and you will have the guidance of a naturopathic physician and a group support network to address any questions or challenges that may come up.
- Informational Meeting: Thursday, January 12th 2017 @ Vitalize Acupuncture
Learn more about the program and what it entails. Presentation, Q & A, take-home instructions and materials.
- Start Detox Program: Monday, January 16th (start at home, end at home 1/25)
- Meet @ Vitalize: Thursday, January 26th, 6:00-7:30p. Close detox & opt-in weight loss program
- Start Weight Loss Program: Friday, January 27th (start at home, end at home 2/9)
- Meet @ Vitalize: Monday, February 13th, 6:00-7:30p. Close program, ideas for long-term success.
Why detoxification? The liver and kidneys function as the bodies ‘filter’ for harmful substances. It is important that this filtration system receive cleaning on a regular basis to insure that the liver detoxification process of Phase I and II are functioning effectively and that toxins are neutralized and able to be eliminated through the kidneys.
Many of the toxins, also known as POPs or persistent organic pollutants did not exist 30 years ago. These toxins/POPs include pesticides, herbicides, and industrial chemicals that can enter our bodies through food, water, and air. These can become trapped in our body’s organs and fat tissue, which over time can negatively impact our health and vitality. We start our weight loss program with detoxification first to help our bodies mobilize and eliminate those toxins released from fat so that toxins do not continue to circulate and disrupt our fat tissue and thus our endocrine system.