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Top 3 'Detox' Essentials

In last week's blog post, I discussed my issues with detoxes. In case you missed it, they are: skipping/ignoring the basics, unsustainable/radical diets which may impose health risks, use of products (price and quality), and the lack of individualization. Read full article here.

As promised, I've provided a few tips that are safe and effective 'detox' essentials. They help achieve the goals of: regular elimination through bowel movements, urination, and sweating. Ultimately, applying these techniques daily will promote health, regardless of your age, medication list, diagnoses, or interest in detoxing!

1. Drink enough water. Yes, yes - you've heard this before, and yet, many people don't drink enough each day. In the context of detoxing, this is going to help eliminate water-soluble waste through urination. What waste actually gets excreted in urine you may ask? We excrete pesticide/herbicide/insecticide metabolites, hormone metabolites, phthalates, mycotoxins (toxins produced by some mold species), and urea - just to name a few.

I generally get people to monitor the colour of their urine to determine if they're drinking enough water. It's normal for urine to be dark yellow in the morning, but this should become, and remain, more of a pale yellow throughout the day. Clear urine indicates too much water consumption. Note: If you're on a B Complex Vitamin, this strategy won't work because your urine will be a (normal) neon yellow colour.

Specific tips if you're struggling to drink enough water:

  • For every cup of coffee or caffeinated tea, match with equal size of water.

  • Consume herbal teas (decaffeinated) if you don't like water - bonus, you get the health benefits unique to each tea.

  • Always start the day with a glass of water.

  • Buy a water bottle and bring it to work, in your car - wherever you go!

  • Download apps that help encourage water intake ex. iHydrate

2. Sweat Daily- ideally, in the form of physical activity due to the dozens of benefits associated with exercise, but saunas, hot yoga classes, and hot baths also do the job! Similarly to urine, studies have measured the constituents excreted in sweat, which include: urea, lactic acid, ammonia, minerals (potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, etc.), mycotoxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, etc.

Tips to increase daily exercise:

  • Find a workout buddy - accountability greatly improves compliance to exercise.

  • Use online exercise programs (my favourite: Fitness Blender.)

  • Play. Grab a frisbee, play catch, jump rope, kick around a soccer ball - whatever appeals to you.

  • Resist Netflix.

  • Address obstacles that are preventing you from exercising - fatigue, poor sleep, low motivation, pain.

  • Get an individualized assessment and work-out plan.

3. Increase fibre. It's been estimated that our ancestors consumed a whopping 100g of fibre each day. The current recommendations for men and women is 38g/day and 25g/day and yet, many sources believe most people don't meet this. Fibre is key for stool bulking and is one piece of the puzzle to ensure we are having regular, healthy bowel movements. You should be having an easy to pass, complete, fully-formed bowel movement each day.

Like urine and sweat, there are certain things we want to get rid of daily. These include: steroid sex hormones (like estrogen), undigested food components, bacteria biomass, and the body's metabolic waste products, like bilirubin.