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Detox: Gain Energy And Lose Weight - The Basics
Beth M. Ley, Ph.D.

Detoxing the Body - With the introduction of a new year, it's nice to think about getting off to a new start.... which can mean cleaning up and getting rid of the old. Extreme cleanses, done one to four times a year, however, can deplete your body and end up doing more harm than good, and therefore, are NOT what I recommend. I view detox as an ongoing natural process of the body... everyday, not an event that takes place a few times a year.

The safest detox is a lifestyle. - By committing to a healthy diet, supporting your body's natural detoxifying systems with food and supplements, and reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals, you'll trim fat, boost energy, and lessen your body's toxic burden.

Detox Goal: Lose Fat - Most toxins are stored in the body's fat cells, so dropping unwanted pounds will help you start whittling away at metabolism-thwarting chemical reserves too. Start by eliminating the top calorie- and chemical-packed diet pitfalls: Sugar, processed foods and red meat. Aim for 1,200 (women) to 1,800 (men) calories per day primarily from organic produce, grains, and some protein. Train your body to run more efficiently on cleaner foods. Once you start feeling better, you'll tend to want keep feeling better. Program yourself to change. When you eat sugar and processed carbs (bread, ready-to-eat cereals, crackers, french fries, etc.), your blood sugar levels skyrocket and the body has to scramble to produce insulin, which causes a drop in blood sugar and creates a vicious cycle of craving, eating, and crashing. Insulin also increases fat storage in cells. Cut out the obvious offenders-soda, candy, juice, breads (even whole wheat) and desserts-and start reading labels. You'll be surprised at the junk you will find in prepared salad dressings, yogurts and condiments.Craving sweets? Eat fruit! Fructose enters the bloodstream slower than glucose and won't spike blood sugar.

Glutamine - Quitting sugar cold turkey can leave you with head aches and irritable for up to two weeks. To curb cravings, supplement with 1 to 2 grams of glutamine taken twice daily. The amino acid stabilizes blood sugar and is a powerful detox nutrient. Foods high in glutamine: avocados, legumes, hemp seeds, chia seeds, raw cabbage, beets and most high-protein foods including bison, chicken, fish, beans and dairy products.

Eat Well - Aim to eat 10 servings of produce-of which two or three are fruit-and 50 grams of protein per day. Choose organic when purchasing the 12 most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables, including peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, imported grapes, carrots, and pears. If you eat meat, opt for organic poultry and organic, grass-fed beef or bison which is produced without hormones or antibiotics.

Eat Often - Eating small portions every four hours is essential for regulating blood sugar so you don't crash and grab a Snickers. Start the day with a low-sugar green protein smoothie. Then eat your biggest meal-about 500 calories-midafternoon, when your body is at its hungriest and has ample time to digest before bed. Try a 3-ounce organic grilled chicken breast with fiber-packed veggies, such as broccoli and spinach, which help you feel full.

Dr. Beths Green Detox Smoothie - 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 1/3 cup water 2 tablespoons of lime juice 1 -2 handfuls of fresh spinach 1 sprig of fresh mint leaves handful of cilantro or parsely 1 tablespoon chlorella powder 2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seeds 1-2 tablespoons of maca powder Stevia to taste or natural sweetener of choice 2-4 ice cubes Blend until smooth and enjoy; Makes 1-2 servings.

Hydrate - Drinking water aids kidney function, speeds waste elimination, curbs hunger, and facilitates the body's natural detox process by helping you sweat during exercise. Dehydration is also the main culprit behind daytime fatigue and headaches, and even mild dehydration can slow metabolism. To make sure you're not taking in heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals with your tap water, buy spring water or a reverse-osmosis filter.

Keep Things Moving...Eliminate Naturally - Bile created in your liver flushes toxins through your gastrointestinal tract. But without enough soluble fiber to bind to the bile and excrete it, toxins reabsorb into the bloodstream. Flax seeds, beans, legumes (lentils and peas) and fruit are excellent sources of soluble fiber.