by Dr. Isabel Sharkar
Each year, more than 4 billion pounds of chemicals and pollutants from plastics, pesticides, heavy metals, medications and other sources are released into the environment. There are more than 80,000 chemicals currently used in the U.S. that haven’t even been classified as safe. From Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), polluted air from factories, factory farming, auto exhaust, solvents and heavy metals to pesticides, herbicides, radiation, electromagnetic field (EMF) and GMO food pumped with hormones and artificial food additives—it is safe to say that today it is impossible to live a long and healthy life without incorporating detoxing practices into your lifestyle.
So what do you do and where do you begin?
Diet is everything. With each bite, you are either bombarding your body with toxins or flooding it with nutrients. Eliminate soda, fried foods, processed meat, mucus- producing foods like gluten and dairy, GMOs, refined sugar and foods with ingredients you cannot pronounce, like those sneaky food additives. Eliminate the bad things and put in the good things. Fill your plate up with antioxidants and food rich in nutrients. Switch to organic and eat low-sugar fruit like blueberries and raspberries, dark leafy greens and vegetables, organic grass finished meat, limit your grain consumption and eat high quality fats.
Hydrate. Each of us needs to drink a minimum of two liters of spring water a day, depending on your body weight. Dehydration is the underlying cause of many chronic diseases. Your body needs water to perform many of its functions. Water that is needed to perform these functions is called “bound water” versus water that is needed to perform new functions, which is called “free water”. Stress causes the body to go into dehydration if you don’t have enough “free water” to keep up with the high-stress load. Check out the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, by Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. for more information.
Intermittent Fast. Give your digestive system a break and divert all the energy normally used to digest food toward repairing and regenerating your body. Each of us produces cancer cells on a regular basis, but for most of us, they are destroyed by our immune systems. However, if your immune system is weak, stressed or highly burdened by toxicity or infection, dis-ease results. When you fast, your body is able to clean up the cells that don’t belong in it. In studies, people who fast regularly, live longer.
Sleep. Sleep regenerates your body. Every hour you sleep before 10 p.m. is worth two hours after midnight. That means your body gets double the rest and regeneration if you are in bed before 10 p.m. Clean up your bedroom by removing all EMF and junk light. Turn your bedroom into a cave for optimal sleep or use a silk eye mask. Stop using electronics an hour before bed and switch to f.lux nighttime mode on all your electronic devices to avoid blue light that blocks melatonin production.
Sweat. Exercise and sweat regularly. Many are having an issue with sweating, called anhidrosis. This could either be because you haven’t reached your sweating point or it may be due to an underlying medical condition. Through sweat, the body is able to get rid of toxins. Many cultures understand the detoxifying effects of sweating by regularly frequenting sauna and steam rooms.
Reprogram your mind. Thinking the same thoughts and doing the same actions will only produce the same results. Learn how to transcend negative thought and belief patterns. Practices like gratitude journaling, meditation and yoga are a great way to get out of your head, into your body and the present moment. Develop a daily practice that shifts your focus away from your daily stresses and anxiety. Become familiar with Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work and meditations.
Practice deep breathing. Breathe deeply in and out of your nose. Your lymph system depends on the pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood before your liver detoxifies them.
Detox every season. Detoxify the cells and environment in your body. Move your lymph, do an elimination diet, get your candida under control, do a parasite cleanse, remove unwanted bacteria and viruses and detox heavy metals.
Start by following these fundamentals now and see a qualified holistic practitioner that can help you optimize your body and get you to thriving health. Each of has unique health conditions that may need advice from a practitioner who is experienced.
Isabel Sharkar, ND, is a licensed naturopathic physician and co-owner of Indigo Integrative Health Clinic, in Georgetown. For more information, call 202-298-9131 or visit IndigoHealthClinic.com.