Remember Flackers? My go-to healthy flax seed snack (if not, fall in love with them here) . They’re crazy good and crazy good-for-you, too. They’re also the delicious invention of Dr. Alison Levitt—who first created the cracker for clients and friends like me. I love her holistic approach to nutrition and swear by her easy detox tips—and asked her to share them with you just in time for summer.
There’s no better time than now—those transitional weeks between spring and summer—to begin an inner cleanse that energizes and restores balance and optimal health. There are many different levels of detoxification and you certainly don’t need to fast in order to efficiently cleanse. I strongly believe that ‘good food is wise medicine’. If you choose your foods wisely and make healthy lifestyle choices daily, this will automatically support your body’s natural detoxification systems: the liver, kidney, gastrointestinal tract and skin.
Liver & Kidney Support
Given our daily toxic exposure, the liver and kidneys work extremely hard to keep us clean and healthy. We need to treat these organs like our best friend, with much love, respect and support.
To enhance the liver’s natural enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins, increase your intake of the brassica family, turmeric, garlic, avocados, olive oil and lemons with rind. Me, I like to keep it easy with a detox slaw and whole body detox brew. I keep the slaw in my fridge at all times and I try to drink the brew three times a day (it’s best 20 minutes prior to eating).
6 cups shredded or cut mix of purple/green cabbage, add kale leaves and broccoli sprouts
1 small organic red pepper, chopped
1 ripe organic avocado, diced or 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped organic red onion
1 garlic clove finely chopped
4 tablespoons organic lemon juice with a dab of zest
3 tablespoons organic cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons organic parsley leaves
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sea salt a dab of black pepper, and my mom says add a little honey or stevia
Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and voila! Yummy healthy goodness.
Whole Body Detox Brew:
16 ounces of purified water, boiled
Add 1 pure dandelion root tea bag or 2 tbsp. of dandelion root loose tea. Let steep for 5 minutes, strain and cool. Can also add one organic green tea bag
Add 1 tsp. unsweetened cranberry juice
Add 1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Mix and enjoy
Optional: sweeten with stevia or if not concerned about calories, local organic honey.
To lessen your toxic burden even more, eat organic, especially when it comes to dairy, beef (to avoid hormones and antibiotics) and the “dirty dozen” (produce highest in pesticides: apples, celery, nectarines, strawberries, peaches, spinach, grapes, bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale).
The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is vital in the detoxification process so it is critical to keep it functioning optimally. This is why my second favorite cleansing friend is fiber, a wonderful detoxification supporter. Not only does fiber help to regulate, but it stabilizes blood sugar, keeps you feeling full longer and it helps cleanse by pulling out toxins.
I recommend a minimum of 30 grams of fiber per day. Sounds overwhelming? Not to worry. Here are a few hints: Add 1 tbsp. of chia seeds (5 grams) and one tsp. psyllium (4 grams) to your breakfast cereal; if it’s oatmeal (1/4 cup dry has 4 grams of fiber), that’s 13 grams of fiber before you even leave your home!
Need a midmorning nosh? Snack on Flackers (6 grams of fiber per serving) with a tbsp. of hummus (1 gram) and you’re at 20 grams. Imagine now that we have beans and a few vegetables for lunch and you can hit your 30 gram mark by lunch. So you see, easy! Just remember, if you are adding more fiber, do it slowly and think more water. All fiber works more effectively with increased water intake. Remember to drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces every day.
Our lovely precious skin, the great protector over our whole body, plays a major role in detoxifying chemical and waste. In order to help our skin work its magic I suggest daily sweats. If you can move, then I say, sweat it out! If you cannot, then take a sauna and allow your pores to pour out toxins naturally.
Also, literally ‘brush up’ on your detox with one of my favorite tools, a natural soft brush. Sweep it over dry skin before a shower to slough off dead cells, brushing from your feet toward your heart. Dry skin brushing also increases lymphatic flow which helps keep toxins moving out of our circulation.
You deserve to feel your best and your body will love you for trying any or all of these detoxification tips. To your health!
Doctor in the Kitchen, Alison Levitt, MD