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A Good Spring Cleaning Flushes Out Fats and Toxins by Ann Louise Gittleman

Diet Detox

pring—when the natural world reawak- ens and bursts with renewed energy—is an ideal season to clean up our act. A cleansing diet to eliminate toxins from our body is as much a rite of spring as sweeping debris from our home. In my nutrition practice, I have often seen how after a sedentary winter of consum- ing heavier foods, our bodies may be carrying around as much as fi ve to 10 pounds of toxic wastes.

S While a properly functioning

human body has its own built-in detoxifi cation system, it can be easily overwhelmed by today’s proliferation of environmental toxins. The newest environmental assault on the body’s detox system is electro-pollution, ac- cording to research highlighted in the 2007 BioIniative Report, a metastudy of 2,000 peer-reviewed studies compiled by an international group of researchers, scientists and health policy offi cials. Compounding the problem,

Paula Baillie-Hamilton, a British medical doctor specializing in human metabolism, reported in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine that environmental toxins also play havoc with our body’s built- in weight regulation system. In short, the more toxic our body becomes, the harder it is to lose weight.

Detox Equals Weight Loss Clinical research from the University of Quebec as far back as 2002 sug- gests that toxins slow metabolism. It is widely held that because many toxins

are fat-soluble and stored in body fat, as the fat melts away, the toxins are released into the bloodstream; this inhibits the pro- duction of thyroid hormone, with a resulting metabolic meltdown.

According to

Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the season to support the prime organs of detoxifi -

cation—the liver and gallbladder. The liver alone impacts some 400 bodily functions, so it deserves support. The following symptoms recommend giv- ing these organs some special care: n Chronic tension in neck and shoulders

n Sensitivity beneath the rib cage (particularly the right side)

n Feeling tired and sleepy after eating n Nausea, especially after eating fatty foods

n Hormonal imbalances with hot fl ashes due to perimenopause or menopause

n Premenstrual irritability and bloating n Light-colored stools n Waking between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Detox Diet Basics Start off each morning for two weeks (or up to a maximum of two months), with hot lemon water, perhaps spiced with cinnamon and ginger, for an add- ed metabolic boost. The antioxidant D-limonine in lemon thins bile and is helpful in breaking down fat-trapping toxins. Use the juice of one small lemon to eight ounces of warm water. Then, sip a total of 64 ounces of

cran-water between meals throughout the day. Mix one ounce of unsweet- ened cranberry juice per seven ounces of pure water. Cranberry helps to bal- ance pH, suppress hunger and combat cellulite and water retention, while drawing out fatty wastes by targeting lymph (a secondary circulatory system beneath the skin that works to rid the body of toxic wastes, bacteria, heavy metals, dead cells, trapped proteins and fat). Sipped daily, this antioxidant- and phenol-rich elixir works to help reduce bloating and melt fat from hips, waist and thighs. Nutrient-rich spring greens like arugula, collard or dandelion greens, lettuce, parsley, spinach, Swiss chard and watercress are classic foods used in a spring detox. Other good choices are antioxidant foods that supply the body with glutathione, the liver’s premier antioxidant, also known as, “the toxic waste neutralizer,” which is vital to organ detoxifi cation. Broccoli sprouts are one of the best sources of glutathione; so is asparagus. Eating lightly steamed kale, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage can also support the liver’s ability to detoxify the body. Finally, eating adequate protein

is essential to ensure that the liver can produce the enzymes it needs to break down toxins into water-soluble substances for excretion. Protein plays a crucial role in tissue growth and healing, strengthening the immune system and burning fat. Eat at least 4 to 6 ounces of wild salmon, free-range or- ganic poultry or hemp protein each day during detox. Choosing a daily dose of high-quality glutathione-boosting whey protein powder or a brown rice/yellow pea protein powder is another way to pump up the detox process. Such spring cleaning can help

purge our body of toxins and give our whole system the cleansing boost it needs, simultaneously preparing it for even more healthy weight loss in com- ing months.

Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. and certi- fi ed nutrition specialist, is an award- winning New York Times bestselling author and media expert. Fat Flush for Life is the latest in her book series on body detoxifi cation and weight loss.

March 2011 17

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