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Overdid the Compromises? 7 Simple, Frugal, At-Home Detox Options {GUEST POST}

December 11th, 2012 · 18 Comments · Uncategorized

This is a guest post from Jill Marks, editor of Modern Alternative Kitchen and author of Festive Traditions.

The holiday season is a hectic and crazy time of year. Even if you are intentional about keeping it low key, chances are good that you still have a couple of parties or events to attend. While it is obviously important to celebrate the holiday season with the ones you love (as Jesus is the reason for the season), it is also important to keep your body healthy during this busy time of year (is there a worse time to be sick?).

You may not always be able to control the food that is served to you, and it is likely that even the biggest real foodies out there will make some indulgences, so I want to show you an excellent way to flush your body of toxins and keep it as tuned up as possible: detoxification, also known as “detox.”

When I say detox, I don’t mean kicking back at a super-expensive spa where you sit in a sauna for hours at a time and eat lettuce and carrots for days on end. Not quite. Instead I am talking about ways that anyone can gently remove the harmful toxins that are slowing down their bodies to restore their health. All for mere pennies. And from the comfort of your own home!

Please note: I am not a medical professional. Nothing in this article should be construed as medical consultation or instruction. Be sure to consult a health professional about any concerns regarding your health before following any of this article’s suggestions. While the information found in this article is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects.
How to Detox at Home

image by Dr. Patrick George

Why You Should Detox

Detoxification occurs through the liver. The liver is the powerhouse of the body because it performs so many vital functions for the body to work the way God intended. It is the second largest organ in the body (after the skin) and performs more than 500 functions! Obviously I don’t have space to write about all of them (nor would you want to read such a lengthy post), but I will give you the highlights:

  • It produces bile for digestion and absorption of vitamins, proteins, cholesterol, immune factors, and hormones.
  • It regulates blood sugar.
  • It is vital in blood clotting.
  • It is a conversion machine: glucose to glycogen (stored energy), hemoglobin to iron, and dangerous ammonia to urea (i.e., waste).
  • It synthesizes, stores, and processes fat.

One of the most important functions that the liver performs (and the one we are going to focus on today) is cleansing the blood. Through first metabolizing and then expelling drugs, alcohol, and environmental toxins, the liver detoxifies the blood all day every day (and you don’t even know it!).

Because of all of the functions this amazing organ performs, it makes sense that we want to support it as much as possible and help with the detoxification process after our liver has been under high amounts of stress.
detox bath

image by jmrodri

Methods of Detox

These are just a few of the many ways to gently detox and support your liver year round:

  • Bath-This is my favorite way to detox! I try to indulge in a detox bath at least once or twice per month, although it is safe to do this three times per week. Your skin acts like a sponge, soaking up everything it comes in contact with. This can be helpful when wanting to remove nasty environmental toxins as quickly and efficiently as possible, and immersing the body in a warm bath is a very effective way to do it.

Here is a bath mixture that is super easy and economical, and contains only three ingredients:

1/2 cup epsom salt (for magnesium and to flush toxins and heavy metals from cells)
1 cup baking soda (cleanses, alkalinizes, and is a natural anti-fungal)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (to soothe and soften the skin).

Add the ingredients to a warm bath and soak for 10-20 minutes.

(Note: you may experience lightheadedness and nausea during the bath, as your body is ridding itself of toxins. I found that the first few times I did this I could only stay in the bath for 10 minutes, but I have now gradually built up to the full 20 minutes). You might also want to allow for 15-20 minutes of rest once you get out of the bath tub.

  • Ginger Tea-A cup of ginger tea a day would be a great addition to your real food diet. Consumption of ginger tea has been shown to improve blood flow, boost the immune system, and aid in carrying waste out of the body. To make ginger tea, peel and slice approximately one inch of ginger root and boil in two cups of filtered water. Drink warm or cold, and add honey or lemon if the taste is not palatable.
  • Kombucha-In Modern Alternative Mama‘s (free!) ebook entitled Kombucha, she states, “Kombucha causes the body to detox and it cleanses the liver, which reduces the burden on the body…kombucha helps to make the liver more efficient and increases the efficiency of the body’s natural detoxifying processes.” I drink a minimum of 6 ounces each day, and I increase my intake if I am doing a heavier detox or during times when I am not able to eat 100% real food.
yoga to detoxify

image by lululemon athletica

  • Yoga or Pilates-A great way to release toxins from your body is by sweating it out! Through stretching and compressing the muscles, along with deep breathing, both yoga and pilates use the entire body.I have a yoga video that my sister gifted me last year (much to my dismay-I thought it would be awful! Wrong!). I love being able to stretch my body more and more each time I turn the video on, and it encouraged me to look into the science behind yoga. I found out that doing a “twist” of any sort is particularly beneficial, as it “wrings out” your organs, much like you would wring out a sponge, rag, etc. I like the visual of “wringing out the toxins,” as tough poses are more bearable when you know the benefits!
  • Massage-Who’s excited that massage is on the list? I am! Try this on for size: “Honey, I ate too much junk over the holidays. I need a massage and a bath and then I will be better.” That is a win-win situation right there!

Seriously though, the intense, rhythmic pressures and strokes of massage on the muscles and tissue release toxins (again, think of the “wringing out” idea). Massage also boosts circulation by pumping more oxygenated blood to your heart. An added benefit? Sometimes you can squeeze a little nap in during the massage!

  • Water-As all of these toxins are being released, they need to be carried away (and out!) by something. In addition to kombucha and ginger tea, drink plenty of water. This may actually be the most important factor on this list, so be sure to drink up!
  • Rest-You may find that you are more tired than usual while engaging in some detox practices. While detoxing helps your body function easier once the toxins are removed, the detox process itself can be exhausting on your body. Be sure to get plenty of sleep at night (aim for 7-8 hours) and schedule time for a 15-20 minute nap if needed.

Festive Traditions

Of course, the most fundamental way to detox, other than drinking plenty of water, is to eat healthy! As you reduce the amount of unhealthy food you put in your body and increase the amount of health-promoting nutrient-rich food you consume, your body will slowly expel toxins and restore you to good health!

The best way to do this during the holiday season is by avoiding all of the high fructose corn syrup, pesticides, MSG, and other toxins that are abundant in the standard American diet. I recognized this as an issue during the holidays and wanted to provide a cookbook with some great go-to recipes for the real food cook. On November 23 I released Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide to the Holidays. This cookbook contains 31 recipes that are perfect for all holiday occasions, from big Christmas morning brunches to intimate New Years Eve dinners.

My inspiration for writing this book was memories of the holiday season from when I was a kid – memories of warm drinks around the Christmas tree when we came in from playing in the snow, the sweet tartness of cranberries in cookies and sauces, the smell of a roasted turkey in the oven – as well as the desire to create and incorporate new holiday traditions in my own family. It can make meals for families of three or families of thirty, and is specially tailored to handle picky palates.

If you have the additional challenge of providing food for friends or family with allergies, I think you will find this book very helpful. All of the recipes in this book are free of soy, and many are gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free. All recipes are marked with icons clearly depicting their allergens, so you can quickly and easily identify recipes that work for you and your guests!

Autumn Stuffed Squash

Are you interested in seeing what recipes are included in Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide to the Holidays? Check out the table of contents:

Appetizers and Drinks

  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Spicy Nuts
  • Pumpkin Pie Nuts
  • Marinated Goat Cheese
  • Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Bacon Wrapped Figs
  • Coconut Hot Chocolate
  • Pastured Eggnog
  • Christmas Punch

Main Dishes

  • Roasted Turkey
  • Salmon with Probiotic Dill Sauce
  • Chicken and Rice Soup
  • Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Cream
  • Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

Side Dishes

  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cheesy Potatoes
  • Autumn Stuffed Squash
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Christmas Salad

Desserts

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
  • Crock Pot Stuffed Apples
  • Chocolate Creme Pie
  • Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
  • Traditional Buckeyes

Breakfast

  • Gingerbread Muffins
  • Potato-Crusted Quiche
  • Soaked Oatmeal Pecan Waffles
  • Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Biscuits

Festive Traditions: A Real Food Guide to the Holidays is available for purchase. We are running a special discount for Kitchen Stewardship readers to receive 25% off the cover price of $7.95, making this ebook only $5.96! Use code KSDISCOUNT at checkout to receive the discounted price. The discount is only available until Tuesday, December 18. (Buy it HERE!)

These recipes are excellent tools to support your detox and help you avoid as many additional toxins as possible. No matter what method you choose, however, be generous to your liver and you will be healthy enough to enjoy the holiday season!

Graham, Jill, and JavaJill Marks is the editor of Modern Alternative Kitchen. Jill has been on a real food journey for the last 18 months and is passionate about all things food. She is a Jesus-loving, Bible-reading, kombucha-brewing, raw milk–drinking, real food–eating gal. She was born and raised in the Midwest, but is currently living a non-mainstream life in Seattle with her husband Graham and their Boston terrier Java. To learn more about real food, you can find Jill on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Jill’s book and will earn commission if you begin here.

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18 Comments so far ↓

  • Be Kind to Your Liver this Holiday Season! | Modern Alternative Kitchen

    [...] am super excited to be guest posting at Kitchen Stewardship [...]

  • Jamie via Facebook

    Are any of these safe during pregnancy? It’s not the holiday splurges getting me this year, it’s the pregnancy cravings! I need help!

    Jill @ Modern Alternative Kitchen Reply:

    Hi Jamie!
    Yes, detox bath, ginger tea, and yoga/pilates are all safe during pregnancy. If you haven’t already been drinking kombucha BEFORE you get pregnant, it is not advised to start during pregnancy (kombucha can cause more intense detox effects during pregnancy and toxins can affect the baby). Also, massage is safe during pregnancy, just make sure your massage therapist is familiar with massaging pregnant women! Good luck!

    Janette Reply:

    If safe for pregnancy, would it be safe to assume it’s alright during breastfeeding? How about kombucha during bf?

    Suzanne Reply:

    I’m also curious about safety during nursing. I’ve always heard detoxes are bad while BFing.

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Suzanne,
    As far as I know, detoxes that would release toxins into your body that your body would then need to get rid of are bad during breastfeeding, like food detoxes. So you look at each one individually – the bath, for example, should be pulling toxins right out, having nothing to do with milk supply. Kombucha, I’d say if you haven’t used it before, don’t start while nursing, same for pregnancy. Yoga, no problem, and ginger tea, I’d look that one up! :) Katie

  • via Facebook

    Jamie Reese – I’m pretty certain ginger tea is fine, and detox baths should be too. Most say don’t start kombucha if you didn’t already drink it before preg. Hopefully Jill will chime in on the post too!

  • via Facebook

    Ginger tea is definitely fine during pregnancy. :) It’s safe for all ages (even newborns, in a pinch) and good for so many things. I drink it all the time while pregnant. The baths are typically safe too, just don’t make them too hot and you may not want to stay in too long initially. Massage is great, but make sure that your provider is familiar with pregnant women. And of course water and rest are safe. :)

    If you are having trouble with pregnancy cravings, it *could* be related to a vitamin deficiency and you might want to ask your doctor or midwife if there’s something you should be doing. B vitamins and magnesium deficiencies are quite common in pregnancy.

  • Lisa

    Are you familiar with liquid zeolites for heavy metal detox? I am still unsure of them due to conflicting information. Any thoughts?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lisa,
    I hope Jami chimes in…I have no idea!
    :) Katie

  • Real Food for Thought 12/15/12 | Modern Alternative Kitchen

    [...] you see my post at Kitchen Stewardship this week? I talked about easy ways to gently detox from all of the junk that we come into contact [...]

  • Becky

    Can I just add a little something? As an LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist), PLEASE PLEASE tell us if you are detoxing when you come in for a massage! Many of us are trained (if your MT is any good, that is. If not, find a new one! It hurts us all when one or two of us is not good at this profession!) in many modalities and we cannot know if you want to detox unless you tell us. We may know several modalities that can help you detox better, such as MLD (Manual Lymph Drainage), Deep Tissue, Visceral Manipulation (NOT for pregnant ladies), and can also sometimes, depending on the state and various ordinances, use various clays, scrubs, and oils that can help with detoxing.

    But we can’t do any of that unless you tell us specifically that you are detoxing. :-)

  • 'Becca

    Thanks for the bath “recipe”–that sounds like a great, easy thing to do when feeling toxified!

    My mother and uncle are professional storytellers, and they swear by ginger tea with honey as a soother for sore throat. Hold each mouthful in the back of your mouth for a moment before swallowing for best results. It works pretty well for me and also helps loosen sinus congestion and reduce the overall ill feeling. We usually shred the ginger (in blender or with mini grater) and then strain the tea, but that feels like a lot of work to a sick person, which often has stopped me from making it–so I am pleased to know that slices will work!

  • What are Some Suggestions for Healthy Sugars? Real Food for Thought 12/29/12 | Modern Alternative Kitchen

    [...] during the holidays and need a way to rid your body of the toxins? Here is a post I wrote over at Kitchen Stewardship on gentle ways to detox, and a recipe for some great detoxifying [...]

  • Lindsey

    Do you think the detox bath is safe for children? Could I/Should I cut the ingredients in half? Thanks!

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    Lindsey,
    I’m fairly certain (but not positive) that detox baths are just fine. At our house, we use Redmond Clay to do it, and they have a great free download ebooklet at their site with lots of questions (although it doesn’t specifically cover children and baths, bummer). You can get pretty much the same detox effect from a foot soak, too!
    :) Katie

  • http://www.ineedrenovations.ca/

    It is super easy, with only a few ingredients, and since I save our bacon fat, it was nearly free for us. If you are a little short on bacon fat, I bet the bacon-y flavor would still shine through if you used, say, half a cup of bacon fat, and half a cup of olive oil.

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Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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