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Posts Tagged ‘Detox diet’

lemon detoxEast Asian medicine says one should eat according to their constitution and nature of foods. Our top 10 foods for detoxification are balanced between those that warm and cool. When eaten together they will benefit most body types. I love adding these to a cleansing diet simply based on their wonderful flavors. Not surprisingly, scientific evidence is mounting to support their benefit as well.

In East Asian medicine there is a strong tradition of eating a wide variety of colorful foods that are right for one’s own constitution. Everyone’s body is different and this should be taken into account when choosing the types of foods that are right for you. For instance if you are a cool type  you might prefer warm drinks, need lots of sleep, and put on weight easily. Your body will respond well to warming and damp transforming foods to stimulate your body to function better. Note- In the winter season foods are best taken lightly cooked to avoid injury to the digestion for all constitutions.  Confused about which foods are right for your constitution? Ask your acupuncturist!

Foods for detox-What’s cool

1.) Beets Long known to support the liver in purifying blood, beets are a powerhouse for detoxification. A great source of folate and betaine, beets lower overall inflammation in the body. They are also great for regulating menstruation and menopause. Beets are cool and sweet in nature and nourish the blood.

2.) Artichokes These yummy guys are high in fiber and contain cynarin and silymarin which promote liver and gall bladder function. They are also high in the antioxidant vitamin c and folic acid. Folic acid is especially important in women who are trying to conceive as it reduces neural tube defects in babies. They nourish the yin and cool to offset warming herbs and hot constitutions.

3.) Carrots A simple shredded carrot salad with olive oil and a touch of salt is a mini liver detox when eaten daily. Carrots are high in fiber which binds toxins to help them be eliminated. Their nature is cooling. They clear heat, detoxify, strengthen all

organs, nourish the eyes, and moisten the intestines.

4.) Blueberries  A power packed fruit with a low glycemic index that won’t spike your blood sugar. These little guys give you a dose of anthocyanins which are antioxidants to help your body eliminate toxins. They are a great source of vitamins C and E as well as manganese and fiber.  Blueberries are cool in nature and nourish the yin energy. As always be careful in eating too many raw fruits and veggies as they can be damaging to the digestion.

5.) Broccoli Cools and clears heat, aids resolving water retention. From a Western perspective it is high in Calcium and also vitamin C which aids in Calcium absorption. It is high in vitamins A, K, E and folate. It is a good source of trace minerals like manganese, phosphorus, B 6. Broccolli can aid the liver in Phase I and II liver detoxification. It is high in di-indolylmethane (DIM) which stimulates your body to metabolize estradiol more efficiently.

6.) Seaweed This cold in nature sea vegetable is a powerhouse. Seaweed is useful in promoting thyroid function and is loaded with nutrients. It’s high mineral content and plenty of chlorophyll make it a super detoxifier which supports the liver. Because of its cold nature it is great paired with something warming like ginger or garlic. This will balance its effects.

7.)Lemon Cooling and nourishing to the digestion. Adding lemon juice with a little salt and olive oil can brighten up many simple dished like cooked greens or steamed beets. Beneficial bioflavonoids, citric acid and a bright delicious flavor explain why lemons top our list. Lemon has also antibacterial effects and aids in production of bile for fat digestion. High in antioxidants like vitamin C, it is effective in treating inflammatory conditions.

The hot list-warm and hot foods for detox

You’ll notice this list is a little shorter. In our Western culture most of us have an excess of heat. Most cleaning diets aid in clearing heat. These warming foods are used as a balance to the cooling foods. These foods will heat up any cleansing diet!

7.)Garlic (hot) and Onion (Warm) Garlic and onions have similar health and anti-inflammatory properties. They act on the heart and liver assisting phase two liver detoxification. Their active ingredients are gluthathione, quercetin and allicin. They are also high in vitamin C. They are anti-viral and anti-fungal. The heating nature of garlic and can offset some of the cooling properties of other foods used in detoxification like dark greens and seaweed. Don’t overdo it especially is you are a person with a hot constitution (red face, likes cold weather and cold drinks, possible night sweats.)

9.) Fresh Ginger Fresh ginger is hot in nature.  In Chinese medicine it is thought to aid the immune system, warm and regulate the digestion and reduce the toxicity of other herbs. Fresh ginger aids in your detox by stimulating digestion, circulation and sweating. A natural anti-inflammatory, studies have shown ginger to be more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

10.) Parsley This bright herb is slightly warming. It promotes digestion, regulates and moves the body’s Qi or vital energy. It’s high in vitamin C, vitamin K, beta-carotene and folate.  It balances blood sugar and boosts glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant. a great addition to salads and soups.

“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” –Hippocrates

2eli3.13.15Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist and Seattle Pediatric Acupuncture. She is passionate about healthy, happy living, food and is a regular blogger.  For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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I thought I’d share my own introduction to the benefits of a simple, food based detox diet. Growing up, my mother was always very health conscious. I was raised vegetarian and we ate organic, farm raised food before it was the thing to do. I remember driving back from the dairy farm down the road very slowly to keep from disturbing the milk. It was unpasteurized with a thick, fatty top.

First experience: Fasting I did my first broth and juice fast in high school. I wanted to go a week but I stopped after 5 days. I was amazed at how good I felt but thought but was ready to eat again. The most miraculous thing that happened involved a small cyst in my arm pit (gross right?) I had had it as long as I could remember. Not a pimple just a small lump that didn’t hurt. During my fast it turned into a pimple and then went away, forever. I asked my doctor about it later that year and he thought it might have been an encased lymph node. Basically, my body thought that this area would never heal and just shut it off. Clearly the diet did something.

Enter food based cleansing I was introduced to the kind of cleansing I do now when I was 19. It took me awhile to be brave enough to do a 3 week cleanse. I followed it with another month of adding in foods I suspected I was sensitive to. This is called “challenging.” First eat the food several times in 1 day and then go back to the anti-inflammatory diet. If you have any reactions like gas, bloating, skin, irritation, headache etc. this food is red flagged as one you are sensitive to.

This cleanse was different than the fast. Number one it was food based (!). I added supplements to increase liver function, sooth irritation in the intestines and promote elimination. Similar to the effects of my earlier fast, I felt great but I had even more energy. My digestion was regulated. I wasn’t bloated and I felt clear headed.  My skin glowed.

Change your habits and change health. I learned so much about my body starting with that experience.  Now in addition to my regular healthy diet I cleanse at least once a year. It’s easy to let a few treats become regular habits. Too much dark chocolate, too much caffeine, a good IPA, and eating out are my usual vices. I’ll never forget being up until 3 AM wired on the caffeine in a chunk of dark chocolate I ate at 3 PM just a day after I stopped cleansing! Beyond that I also use it as a time to detox from other things like TV, phones or the addiction of rushing.  If that isn’t possible, then I add in more of the things that feed my soul like exercise, nature, mediation, and reading.

Make your plan and follow it  So now you’ve heard my story but don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. All you need it three weeks and a plan. If you have a plan for what you CAN eat you won’t notice the things you’ll be avoiding.

Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy , happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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We take the idea of cleansing and reinterpret it through the lens of East Asian medicine. Elemental DetoxIt’s called Elemental because it’s basic yet essenstial. Change your diet and your eating habits and enjoy better health. This 3 week, food based cleanse, is an opportunity to transform your body, habits and health. It supports your needs for individualized, optimal wellness.

Why Detox?

Traditional Medicine has a history of cleansing as a path toward greater health. Our environment and diets have become more and more polluted and un-natural. Processed foods, environmental toxins, and hormones in our meats are just a few things that place a heavy burden on our body. Our pathways of elimination including our digestion, liver, skin, and urination can become sluggish and less efficient in ridding our bodies of toxins. This can in turn affect a variety of things including hormones, reproductive health, mental health, allergies, digestion, skin and musculoskeletal (pain) complaints. A cleanse gives the body a break from additional stressors coming in and allows it to process and eliminate stored up toxins. The results can be incredible.

The beauty of East Asian medicine is that it is always evolving. It’s a system that can adapt to new information, adjust, and add value. When this medicine was first created there was not the level of toxicity and stress that we face every day in modern society. But now there is. Looking at the modern client it is easy to see that their systems are overwhelmed. They also often have combination patterns from an East Asian Medical view. Meaning, for example, they may be deficient (frequently cold, pale, and low energy) but also excessive (sluggish digestion, irritable, with headaches.) This situation lends itself well to treatment though the Elemental Detox.

Habitual Choices vs. Conscious Choices

This program allows you to get down to basics and align your body, mind, and spirit. It takes 3 weeks to begin a new habit. The goal is to give the body and mind a reset button. It can provide a fresh start and a clean slate that can make other aspects of treatment with acupuncture and herbs more effective. It takes commitment, but countless patients have done it and succeeded with great results.

The plan includes coaching  with Lindsey Lawson MS EAMP (billable to insurance for those with acupuncture coverage), supplements, recipe packet, and daily health recommendations.

Lindsey Lawson Acupuncture in Seattle WALindsey Lawson MS EAMP is an Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist and Clinic Director at Glow Natural Health and Seattle Fertility Acupuncturist. She is passionate about healthy , happy living and a regular blogger. For an appointment call Glow at 206 568 7545.

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