The below text is excerpted from Amie Valpone’s best-selling cookbook: Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation and Reset Your Body.
After years of western medicine (including numerous bone marrow biopsies, CT scans, MRIs, colonoscopies and more) that yielded no real answers, I set out to heal my body and embarked on years of self-study. What I discovered was fascinating. I was “toxic” – a term western medicine didn’t understand. You name it. I had it. I was diagnosed with a handful of chronic issues and was off the charts for heavy metals, mold, Lyme disease, PCOS, Hypothyroidism and practically everything else they tested me for. What I needed was a full-blown detox, in the truest sense of the word—not a trendy 2-day juice cleanse. Funny thing is that I thought I was healthy (no drinking, drugs or fast food), however, I learned toxins come from countless places— pesticides, toothpaste, dish soap, laundry detergent, perfumes, shampoo, processed foods, car exhaust, cosmetics and more. While the word detox is thrown around a lot and is often misunderstood, functional and integrative medicine use detox practices to reset your digestion and reduce the exposure of toxins.
Our bodies were built to deal with natural pollution created by digestion, respiration, and metabolism, but they’re not designed to handle the enormous amount of artificial pollutants we’re exposed to in today’s chemical-filled world. The only way to deal with this toxic overload is to assist the body’s natural self-cleansing mechanisms with detoxing. My best-selling book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, goes into great detail about how to detox your body and heal yourself from unwanted symptoms.
Where do Toxins Come From?
Over the past several decades, our exposure to toxins has increased through pollution, water contamination, pharmaceutical drugs, widespread use of pesticides, and increased use of chemicals in our food and personal care products. As we age, these contaminants accumulate in our fat tissues and organs, increasing our overall toxic residue. This buildup may result in health complications and illness, with accompanying symptoms like those mentioned in the quiz. You can reduce your toxic exposure by changing your diet, your home environment, personal care products, supplements, water source, and even the quality of the air you breathe. Such changes will help put you on the path toward optimal health and well-being.
How to Detox
You can’t detox over a single weekend; there is no shortcut. If you care about your health, detox needs to be an ongoing process that becomes a way of life. Instead of approaching it in fits and bursts, it’s better to develop a deep understanding of the harmful environment we live in, and then bring that awareness to everyday life, gradually eliminating toxins from the body every day.
I reveal my detox journey in my book Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, where I go into great detail on how to detox your food, cleaning supplies, personal care products and beauty products because we often forget our skin is our biggest organ. Being healthy isn’t just about eating clean, it’s about living clean. What we put on our skin gets absorbed into our bloodstream and our liver has to filter these toxins to keep us healthy! What I soon realized is that many of the symptoms that we suffer from can be reversed by cleaning up your gut health (where almost 70% of your immune system lives) and supporting your liver on a daily basis to remove toxins from our lifestyle. Most of us were brought up with the mentality that a drug or topical ointment is prescribed to get rid of our symptoms, however, these aren’t addressing the underlying causes as to why the symptoms appeared in the first place. In my book, I list the most trusted resources for integrative and functional tests that get to these underlying causes—something I wish I had handy 10 years ago.
So, how can you start detoxing today? Eating clean, reducing your exposure to toxins and being aware of the toxins in your environment is a great way to start the detox process. Here’s a recipe from my cookbook that you can make for your Thanksgiving gathering this year. It’s full of clean, whole, fresh ingredients and naturally free of gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, eggs and corn.
Amie Valpone, Xo
Golden Bell Pepper Soup
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