There is one word that keeps coming to my mind…FRESH! I’m ready to browse the local farmer’s markets for some fresh eats, swing by the salon for a fresh cut, and feel fresh by kicking everything heavy and wintery to the curb.
Let’s be honest, it’s pretty tough to stay on track with our healthy habits through the cold and dreary months. We rely on heavy foods to keep us full and warm, and maybe head for the couch more often than the gym after work. Although these habits provide the comfort and down time our bodies need, they can leave us feeling fatigued AND with a buildup of toxins. This explains why we have that natural desire to “spring clean” our bodies once the weather starts to warm up!
During this time, our bodies are already in the mode of eliminating toxins so it’s a good time to support it in that role. Drinking plenty of water (with lemon!), eating leafy greens, and exercising are all highly recommended and should act as the foundation for this process. You can also try sauna, dry brushing and a little something called ACTIVATED CHARCOAL!
Activated charcoal (the kind made from coconut shells NOT the one used in your barbecue grill) is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out. It is widely used in emergency centers as a safe and effective treatment for poisoning and drug overdoses!
What is it? CARBON that has been oxygen-treated and so it has an incredibly large surface area. The empty pores ADsorb (which means to bind to – not the same as ABsorb) liquids and gases so that the molecule permanently binds to the charcoal.
***Wondering if toxins are even an issue for you? Toxins can come from thousands of environmental and lifestyle sources including pesticides on food, mold exposure, chemicals in household products, radiation, air pollution, processed foods, and prescription drugs. They can also be created internally when metabolic reactions take place and create toxic waste byproducts. When toxins build up, the ability for your body to remove them quickly is impaired (especially if you spent all winter eating foods that don’t support your digestion and health). The liver and immune system become overwhelmed, eventually leading to toxins in the bloodstream and a variety of symptoms – like you’re not pooping, you’re not losing weight, you have headaches, fatigue, etc.
Activated charcoal can help rid these toxins from the blood and all major organs. For a cleanse, you can try taking 10 grams 90 minutes prior to each meal for two days. Make sure to drink PLENTY of water to ensure the toxins are being flushed out of your body. Also, don’t take activated charcoal within 90 minutes to two hours of taking any prescription medication or supplements as it can prevent proper absorption of those good things too! Activated charcoal does not discriminate between healthy nutrients and toxins, so it will bind to nutrients as well as toxic substances so regular intake could result in lowered absorption of nutrients from food.
Lastly, while this IS gaining popularity in juice shops and detox recipes, it should be noted that there is no research on regular consumption of charcoal so it cannot be said if this is definitively safe or dangerous, though to our knowledge charcoal passes through the body undigested. =)