It is about that time of year when the birds sing a little louder, the sun shines more often between showers, and the flowers softly bloom when they feel that their time has ripened. We are on the cusp of the spring season.
What is beautiful about that is simply the freshness the new season brings. The crisp clean air awakens you as you inhale every morning that you step outside. There’s a sense of new beginnings, the feeling of a new chapter, like a cool early morning when the house is still quiet but the sun is coming up and you're making coffee; ready for a new day. When Spring has Sprung, we are graced with cleanliness and the will to clean away what may no longer be serving us from the last chapter. It is this shedding of old ways that continues our growth in life, as we evolve through seasons.
With spring time, rolls in the classic trend: spring cleaning! That’s right. The new opportunity to go out with the old and in with the new. So what does that mean for us as individuals that hold the intention to support ourselves on a mental, emotional and physical level? Well, to us it means beginning to clean, and love away that which once served us, but has reached the end of its chapter. That being habits, attitudes, foods, environments, substances, relationships, thoughts, or beliefs that condense our potential by continuing past cycles. By no means does this have to be done by force. Loving it away involves the art of accepting what this piece of our life has brought to our lives, and acknowledging the growth served from that lesson. When met with grace, the old way can be passed on for the new way. The new way now becomes the main focus.
This release of old patterns, foods, habits, attitudes etc. is, in our humble opinion, a holistic detox. One can detox on a physical level just as much as they can a mental and emotional level. When we do so, our bodies can be relieved from chronic inflammatory conditions, our minds of worry or fear driven thoughts, and our emotions from confusion or chaos. This is the holistic detox - to become aware of and make adequate choices around what we want to keep in our life from season to season.
So now, begins the Holistic Detox - here are points we believe are important to consider:
Detox Begins in the Mind
Letting go of, or accepting anything in life first starts with a choice. When we make and affirm the choices of our conviction that we will do something, and we do it, we confirm the power of the mind. That which no longer serves us in our lives will be let go by choosing to focus on what we wish to allow in, and loving the parts of us that we choose to leave behind. Foremost, the choice to accept that state we are in now, and to focus our attention on that which serves our dream and mission.
Starting with our internal environment: food, thoughts, water quality, and air all contribute to our baseline health. Eliminating foods that are toxic to us is a major focal point in common detoxification approaches because it is a pivotal cornerstone to alleviating bodily burden and serving ourselves with whole, vital nutrition.
Thoughts creating the inner home, in which we live mentally. Fully acquainted by our thoughts each day, if we become willing to notice the thoughts that leave us feeling scared, worried, anxious, depressed, excessively fatigued, or small - we are able to better diagnose the belief that keeps us in low-vibration cycles. These low vibration cycles keep us from having the attitude to make consistent dream affirmative choices.
Of course the finishing elements - water & air - must be clean as well. Air supplies oxygen as the most required nutrient used by the body. Water also needs to be clean for adequate, safe and healthy hydration.
Our external environment is just as important as our internal environment. Keeping your environment clean by having a safe space to return home to; a place for happy thinking, relaxation, fun and creative times to make memories in! Anything that doesn’t serve a happy or fueling environment can detract our energy on a mental & emotional level.
We are most served by inputs that support a state of homeostasis or flow. This includes loving and compassionate relationships, a health community and home within it, a sense of fulfillment in your career, and even hobbies and interests that drive creativity and inspired expression.
Surrounding ourselves with positive, inspiring influences helps us to decrease stress levels, alleviate inflammation and integrate our body-mind. This serves us as our external environment which greatly influences the way in which we perceive and feel about the world.
Creating our environments means allowing ourselves to be the modus for intending to make choices that serve how we wish to experience the present moment. When we make choices that are in alignment with our own needs, then the needs of those we are in relationship to and the rest of the world, we are in alignment with dream affirming creation. This boils down to why exactly detoxification starts in the mind. As we begin to choose to make choices that are serving how we want to show up, we are letting go of that which may be holding us back from our ability to do so.
2. Where Do Toxins Come From in Our Environment?
A main source through which people become toxic is through poor digestive function or intestinal inflammation. Interestingly enough, toxicity is directly achieved from the inside out. Poor digestive function leads to toxicity of the blood, and a build up of toxins in our liver and kidneys. For this reason, it is of utmost importance to keep our digestive health strong, and our detoxification systems clean with clean food, water and air.
Processed & Inorganic Foods
What is processed food? Processed foods are any food stuff that has been processed, broken down, packaged, canned, fortified, stored with additives, preservatives and shelf stabilizers. A processed food is simple to find, but sometimes tricky to notice! It is important to identify processed foods as not being whole and completely good for our health. This is because processed foods have largely been either stripped of their nutritional value, or have been combined with mystery ingredients, which serve as chemicals to our bodies.
Household & Beauty Products
Household cleaners, and beauty products such as lotions, makeup and fragrances can have within them harmful chemicals, plastics, and parabens that can also accumulate as toxins. For the average healthy individual, an occasional use of these products is alright, however the accumulation of the byproducts from these chemicals can be harmful over time. It can be noted that 60% of what is on our skin is absorbed by it! It is great for us to keep in mind our environment and what products we choose to use in and around our homes and bodies if we come into contact with these chemicals often. Organic and DIY versions of many beauty products and cleaners are available on the internet.
Kitchen cookware can also present problems when it comes to leaching heavy metals and chemicals into food. Cheap cookware, and cookware made from Teflon directly impacts the health and cleanliness of food it is used to cook. It is best to cook with stainless steel, ceramic, glass or cast iron when cooking. These materials are far less toxic, and typically last longer for cooking use.
This ropes into household cleaning products from the above point. When utilizing an abundance of toxic chemicals to clean carpets, windows, bathrooms, kitchens and surfaces - an accumulation of these chemicals become airborne. Many spray deodorants or air fresheners are a huge culprit to the toxification of indoor air. These toxic chemicals should be avoided and replaced with a natural replacement. There are many ‘natural’ and organic cleaners and air fresheners out there. Incense, candles, and essential oil diffusers are great options. For newly constructed homes, or even commercial buildings - it is ideal to utilize an air filter to remove the outgassing of chemicals, and industrial materials from carpets, paint and flooring.
This is a big one. Our bodies utilize water as a fundamental component for over 10 billion biochemical processes in the body. For this reason, adequate hydration is essential. The quality of the water we drink, bathe in, and cook with is also important. The reality of it is, most of the water in the world is not readily available to drink. Filled with prescription drug residues, chemicals from run offs or even chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine added to municipal water supplies, drastically affect our baseline health and ability to effectively detoxify. Remember, any foreign substance will need to be detoxified by the liver, and kidneys. When we are surrounded by toxic sources of water, sourcing fresh, clean and natural spring water will be fundamental.
It is best to source water either from a local natural spring, through findaspring.com, a website that finds local natural springs in your area to find fresh mineralized water. Or, I utilize local Glacier Water supply machines which may be more convenient for the typical city-dweller. These machines supply Reverse Osmosis water at the 5 Gallon or single gallon quantity. Reverse osmosis is a filter, and goes through a process that removes ALL substances in the water, which leaves it de-mineralized. When using these machines, be sure to add a tsp of high quality sea salt to re-supplement the water with trace minerals that are naturally found in spring water.
What exactly are heavy metals? This is a commonly asked question, as ‘heavy metals’ are not an often accounted for ingredient per se to avoid in our lives. Heavy metals include aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel or arsenic. These often show up in trace amounts within our food or water. Although in trace amounts, the accumulation of heavy metal build up can be very toxic over time as it disrupts the ability for every one of your cells to carry out their functions.
Individuals will ask; “why would I need to avoid heavy metals? I’m not intaking metal…”. The thing with heavy metals, is that they are ubiquitous. Common traces of heavy metals are found in unfiltered water supplies, especially in uncivilized areas or older cities in which plumbing pipes are old, cracked or broken. Another common source in which heavy metals are found is within canned and packaged foods, or supplement powders. Sourcing of such foods are important to be aware of - but often, the packaging of such foods are what causes the leaching of heavy metals into food. Canned fish for instance, often leave trace amounts of aluminum from the cans, as the food gets transported and sits in preserved solutions for months on end. Dental mercury amalgam fillings are also very common in those who may have had teeth work done before the technological upgrade made to the synthetic materials used in such dental procedures. When these fillings are present in the mouth, dental health has the potential to suffer, but more so overall health, as these fillings continue to release a trace amount of Mercury into the body with every swallow.
So what is the best way to be aware of, avoid and detoxify heavy metals? Utilize the above points on heavy metal sourcing to conduct some independent research. We have already touched on water supplies, finding a filtered water source near us that is most easy to obtain consistently will be fundamental. Remember, enough clean water is an essential aspect to our baseline health. Sourcing proper water will benefit you in detoxification, as you flush your body of toxins, while avoiding toxic water supplies.
Next, avoid all canned or packaged foods. Unless specifically stated on the package of canned foods. Processed supplement powders that you take regularly can be tested for evidence of heavy metals in trace amounts. Reliable companies often supply this lab work on their website.
Lastly, take the proper measures to remove heavy metals from your mouth. In the long term, this will be worth every penny of your investment to replace with a healthful replacement such as ceramic fillings.
One quick note - the core supplements that can be used to help detoxify heavy metals are : activated charcoal, and a peptide called ‘Metal Free’ by BodyHealth. These two will help absorb toxins and the heavy metals from the cell, to remove them through the body safely.
Inorganic food includes all food stuff that is produced from soil or farming practices that integrates chemicals to reduce the disruption of wildlife within the growth of the crops. When eating inorganic food, our bodies absorb a higher intake of foreign chemicals, and a lower intake of nutrition. Given that a highly nutritious diet is another fundamental aspect to our baseline health, it is important to reduce the intake of inorganic food as much as possible, if not entirely. Unless stated as ‘organic’, you can assume that a food that is being sold is inorganic. The higher abundance of nutrition in your diet will help aid your liver in the detoxification process.
Sourcing organic food is best when done from a local organic or biodynamic farm, if that is possible for you in your area. Another option is to buy organic food from a local grocery store. Although these are still organic foods - sourcing from local farms allows freshness to be clearly communicated with the farmer you are buying from. Not to mention - organic food is far more delicious!
Alcohol is best to be avoided or minimized in the detoxification process. This is because our bodies recognize alcohol as quick energy, empty calories, and a neurotoxin. When drinking alcohol, it is best to stay adequately hydrated to mediate the effects of its toxicity. Eating a meal that is largely protein or fats will decrease the severity to which alcohol may cause blood sugar imbalances, and energy crises within the body.
Stimulants & Sugar
Stimulants such as coffee, energy drinks, and processed sugar are best to be kept at a minimum to support detoxification. Coffee and stimulants are containers for caffeine - which is a compound that is directly processed by the liver. When we minimize intake of caffeine to one serving a day, we allow our liver to process caffeine without an overload of it. Caffeine also pushes minerals out of the body through the urine. If we continue to drink caffeine in high amounts, we excrete vital trace minerals from the body that help support our baseline health and energetic capacity.
3. Set the Baseline for Your Health
Now that we have touched on common sources in which our worlds become toxic, let's break down the fundamental principles of health that will support you in the detoxification process.
The quality of our sleep impacts us greatly. One can consider sleep as their chief anabolic physician, meaning that as we sleep, the restoration cycles of our body take the forefront. When we sleep effectively, our bodies enter into a rest state, in which our brain enters a new state of consciousness, and our physical body regenerates on a profound level. The best way to ensure one has adequate sleep, is by maintaining a regular sleep cycle, morning and nightly routine. A regular sleep cycle should ideally be between 7-8 hours. Some will say their body rests adequately at 6 hours. Research shows 8 - 9 hours as the optimum threshold. Listen to your body, and find the timing that works best for you and your lifestyle. What's most important is the cycle - meaning the timing of when you sleep. This optimizes your sleep and wake hormones and the balance of your body's processes.
Dr. Sherry Rogers famously stated ‘the best solution for pollution is dilution’. She could not be more right about this when approaching hydration as a mode for effective detox. As stated above, quality water is essential. So is quantity. When our bodies are toxic, we can think of a stagnant swamp. With a flowing ‘river’ of water to hydrate ourselves, we are best able to effectively detoxify our cells with water being a primary flushing agent. Toxins are carried from our cells in this elimination process.
Our nutrition can be considered as the essential building blocks of our health. The saying we are what you eat is inherently true, as every thing we take into our body is either absorbed and turned into our cellular structures, or contributes to the processes taking place naturally in the body everyday. Getting ‘right’ with our nutrition can certainly be done, and is best acquainted by a consistent deep innerstanding our bodies' messages and what they’re communicating for us. In the essence of detoxification however, there are clear guidelines of ‘misuse’ of nutrition that will withdraw from consistent results.
One first principle to support detoxification is by withdrawing all overexposure to chemicals and processed foods. These substances will toxify the body and mind, as one unit by way of they’re artificial ingredients not being recognized by the body. Removing all inorganic, processed foods will allow room for whole, organic foods to replace them.
A whole food is one that contains the original ingredients from nature. Consider, when grocery shopping, that if you’re buying ‘whole foods’, you can imagine one man hunting, or gathering these ingredients. An example would be blueberries, pastured eggs, or spinach. A processed food would be recognized in a package, and as an example be; doritos, coca cola, or white bread. When integrating whole nutrition into our diets, we are more apt to consume higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support the detoxification process.
Our breath is such a potent component to who, what and how we are as human beings. Our physical bodies and minds cannot go more than up to 6 minutes without a breath. The abundance of grace our breath brings to our bodies is fundamental. As we breathe deeply, on a mental level, we release stress and tension. On a detoxification level, the deeper the breaths we take, the higher the chance of oxygen being distributed through our cells. As a fundamental nutrient, oxygen allows our cells to live and carry out their processes.
Being intentional about our breath first starts with awareness. Pay attention to how you’re breathing right now. Is your breathing shallow and short, or long and deep? Is your posture slouched, or is your posture leaving space for your lungs to expand in your diaphragm? Bring awareness to how you’re breathing at least once throughout your day. Creating this habit will further bring conscious awareness to how you’re breathing throughout the day. It is not about being ‘perfect’ and breathing deeply all of the time, but becoming aware more and more of how deep breathing can support us on a mental, emotional and physical level.
Thinking is a constant train that our brain is running, all day long. As human beings, our natural inclination is to think, think and think. This is a beautiful aspect of the uniqueness of our species - intellect and consciousness. The quality of our thoughts is what makes a difference in our health and lives. Afterall, our mentality and how we view the world is what ultimately creates our world.
The meaning behind this principle of thinking is to become aware of our thoughts and how they affect us. The more we are able to become aware of our thoughts, the more likely we are to change to another one if it doesn’t serve us. The best way to know if a thought does serve us, is by first identifying what does serve us. In other words, what is our dream, our purpose, our modus operandi? The deeper we know ourselves and what we want to create in this world, the better we can establish for ourselves what values and thoughts will pave the way to that goal.
This one is a big one, especially from our hearts here, at Heroics Training Systems. As functional training professionals, movement that ignites the potential of our bodies is our bread and butter.
We know that movement is right for our bodies, yet some of us forget the essence of movement that truly supports our health. The importance of movement is not to drain the body of energy, nor to burn calories, but instead to connect the body to the mind through the experience of moving itself. This comes by way of listening to what our bodies are telling us, what it needs for movement, and integrating that daily.
We can apply movement in our lifestyle in a way that not only connects us to our body’s needs, but the experience of ourselves in our body’s. In doing so, we learn more about how we grow through challenges faced, while building strength and resiliency through them. This means that daily movement as a practice brings us the unique opportunity to explore our potential and to redefine it by overcoming the challenges training can bring.
It also serves as a happy component of detox, and a healthful lifestyle. When we move, we move the thoughts in our minds that may be stagnant, compressing, or stressful. These thoughts, through movement, can be transformed into new perspectives, and inspired thought. Through movement, we connect ourselves to our human experience by moving the spine, its fluid, and nourishing our central nervous system. We also pump the body by way of the heart, which beats faster and distributes oxygen and nutrients through our bodies through the blood. Finally, movement encourages healthy detoxification by way of perspiring toxins through sweat, pumping the digestive system, and promoting deeper breathing. This pumping allows our bodies to naturally push toxins out the body, accentuating the detoxification process.
Just think of how much more vibrant we would all continue to shine if our inner and outer worlds were integrated with conditions that were serving to growth and life. We can forever use the above principles and tips to support our detoxification on a mental, emotional and physical level. In doing so, we live our fullest potential by being served in the highest possible way through the support of a healthy, thriving environment - internally & externally.
Happy Spring, and Happy Detox, Friends!
Heroics Training Systems