Over the past month while I have been out of work, besides recovering from surgery which has been going swell, I have put a major effort into healing and especially helping my body detoxify itself. All my results from the functional medicine doctor I saw told me my body required some much needed TLC. I began with several supplements from the FM doc including a probiotic, digestive enzymes and magnesium all that I take daily. I also have another supplement to help with methylation due to my MTHFR mutation. MTHFR is a gene mutation that impacts the methylation cycle of our bodies. Without getting too technical, in this post anyway, methylation is how our bodies detoxify our systems, among other things. When the MTHFR gene mutation is present, those individuals don’t detoxify as well as they could. This poses a big problem! Especially when autoimmunity is present. However! There are many things that we can do to help our bodies along with the detoxification process and many I have been trying and starting to implement in my daily life over the past month. It’s been somewhat of a challenge to remember to do everything and a it’s certainly different being conscious about most of the things that I do, but it will help in the long run.
My Detox list:
Drinking warm lemon water in the morning. Lemon water is a great way to wake up your body and digestive system. It is also helpful for your lymphatic system and liver, which are important to detox. I add a tablespoon of ACV, juice of one lemon and 8-10 Oz of warm water. If I’ve over done it on the lemon I’ll add a bit of honey to smooth it out. Many people add cayenne as well, but I steer clear of nightshades, so that’s a no go for me. It still works just as well though!
Dry skin brushing. On top of this being a mini massage, dry brushing is helpful for the lymphatic system, circulation and it will exfoliate your skin. The liver is also part of the lymphatic system, who knew! So obviously it is important to support the lymphatic system as well. I was able to find a brush that was soft enough at Whole Foods. The brush should be a little tough, but not harsh! To brush, you start at your feet, do one leg at a time and always move toward your heart. Use flowing strokes upward. When I looked it up on YouTube for videos, there were a few different methods on where to start brushing. But what I’ve read most is start at the feet. But you do what you’re comfy with!
Castor oil packs. Now, I’ve only done this once, but I loved it, so it’s definitely going to be added into the rotation. It forces you to relax for 45-60 minutes, who wouldn’t want that? Castor oil packs are helpful to the liver in the detox process and they also help with inflammation. When reading about them it looks like they can help with PMS or PCOS symptoms as well, bonus! It looks like this has the potential to be messy, but it wasn’t for me, just tricky. Maybe I read enough and was warned enough before hand. You either saturate flannel or rub castor oil directly on your skin (it stains, so have a sheet/blanket/towel underneath you). Put plastic over the flannel/oil soaked abdomen, then place a heating pack on top. Rest with it for 45-60 minutes. Afterwards regardless of your method, wash it off. Its a heavier oil, so regular body wash will be tough. I used Le Hubby’s auto body bar soap (shhhhh). This isn’t to be done daily, a few times a week is good.
Changed up hair/skin products. I was always aware that hair and skin products, like body wash/lotion, were something to be looked into, but I didn’t realize how much until I saw this stat that ‘products used on the skin, get absorbed into the blood stream in less than 30 seconds’. I’m not sure how entirely accurate 30 seconds is, but still, 30 seconds?!?! Holy smokes! This prompted a quick switcheroo. The body wash/lotion switch wasn’t difficult. But finding a natural, non toxic hair care routine that works for my hair seems to be a bigger issue. I’ve begun researching the no-poo method as well as others and it seems like it is amazing for one person, and totally sucks for other. So I just have to try it out! I’m going to start with store bought non-toxic brands first before going totally au-natural. This is probably another blog post in itself, my review of what I’ll be trying, but I’m on my first now, and may be switching it up soon. I also found a website www.ewg.com that ranks all household products by toxicity level. If you really want to freak out, give it a look!
Cooking regularly. This has probably been the best part of being home recently for me. I have been able to experiment and take time to cook all the recipe’s I’ve been meaning to over the past year. This also means that the recipes and food I have made are that much more nutrient dense and healthy. One of the immediate benefits I have found so far has been in the way I am able to prepare my lunches. Yes, I prepped my lunch and brought it to work before, but now I am able to assemble my own salad depending on the day and what I want. What I have added in my salads are a crap ton of greens. Mostly kale and spinach. Now this has been helpful in several ways. Greens are helpful in the detox process but are also an incredible source of folate. Which is helpful for people with MTHFR. Greens are also great for migraine prevention, something that I have definitely noticed a difference with! The past few months I haven’t gotten my usual ‘time of the month’ migraine, hallelujah!
What I still have to add. There are a few things I have yet to add into my detox routine. I want to try tongue scraping, oil pulling, essential oils and cranberry concentrate. Hopefully all these new habits will help my body get rid of nasty toxins it has been holding onto for far too long!