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This may come as a surprise to you but we have tightly regulated mechanisms that control our appetite. Those involve hormones and neurotransmitters which together ensure that we limit the amount of food we eat in order to maintain our weight within a certain range. Un fortunately foods that combine fats and sugar such as most processed foods, cakes, chocolate, ice-cream, etc. can dramatically override those regulating mechanisms. Sugar itself, alcohol, certain drugs like marijuana and lack of sleep can also disturb them and lead us to over-eat.

 

At this time of the year however, there is a seasonal factor which potently combines with the above: an extra helping of Christmas cheers, making it almost impossible to remain fully in control of what we eat and drink and crucially how much.

Come January, the need to purge and erase the after-effects tends to become a cheerless theme as we set off on the traditional post-Christmas "detox". Yet our liver cannot afford to wait January to detox, it has to get on with the job day and night all year around, regardless of the seasonal challenges we may inflicts on ourselves, otherwise we would die very quickly. 

The breaking down and detoxification of the various poisons and toxins that make their way inside us is only half the story. Once detoxified, the metabolites (the broken down bits that are left) must be eliminated through the skin, bladder, lungs and bowel. Our health and well-being depends on the efficiency of both elimination and detoxification. The two are interdependent. If elimination is slow it will jam detoxification which in turn will clog elimination.

Our constitutional health is in direct proportion with our natural ability to sustain the flow of detoxification through to elimination. Not all of us are blessed with a strong constitution that can sustain and quickly recover from excesses. It is possible, however, to improve it by directly stimulating detoxification and accelerating elimination. Both actions are best coordinated to be useful and to reap the full benefits from our efforts.

There are many foods and natural substances that will stimulate detoxification. You may even find them on your Christmas menu…here are a few of my favourites:

 

  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric
  • Grapefruits
  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Cinnamon
  • Brussel sprouts and other cabbage family vegetables
  • Lemons
  • Chocolate

 

Elimination on the other hand is only stimulated in limited ways

 

1. by speeding bowel transit:

    1. Have regular colonic hydrotherapy treatment
    2. Stimulate bile output from the liver by eating enough healthy fats like flax, olive, and coconut oil; adding bitter foods regularly to your diet especially endive and radicchio and taking bitter herbs like milk thistle, gentian and dandelion root

2. by increasing sweating through:

    1. Exercising
    2. Sauna
    3. Steam
    4. Infra-red sauna
    5. Epsom or Dead-sea salt bath (300g per very hot bath for 15 minutes cover well and keep warm afterwards to increase sweating)

3. by (re)hydrating :

    1. Ensure that you drink plenty of hydrating fluids like water and herbal teas
    2. East plenty of quality water soluble fibres like flax seeds and chia seeds

4. by breathing:

    1. Breathing out is how we eliminate gases. Consciously breath out and regularly practice forced out-breath

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