By Linda | April 10, 2012
My inbox is filled with inquiries about detox diets. Many are looking for a quick way to burn winter fat, while others want renewed vitality.
Your body, in particular your liver, naturally detoxifies in Spring. Signs your liver is having trouble with this duty include fat you can’t burn off, hormone problems, allergies, frustration and anger. Many toxins are estrogen mimics, which leads to the added pain of PMS, mood issues and fibroids.
You can stimulate weight loss and relieve such health issues by giving your liver what it needs: Spring foods, good fats, high quality protein and less toxin exposure.
Our livers can be overwhelmed from things like air fresheners dangling in our cars, flame retardants from our beds, BPA from plastic wrap, pesticides, perfumed laundry detergent and harsh cleaners. Not only do we stay fat in the face of such chemicals, we tend to get moody and sluggish. Stress compounds the problem.
It turns out such toxins may increase risk of autism spectrum disorders in unborn children. Maybe it is all the chemicals, not the added weight per se?
A healthy liver can get rid of most toxins with a little help from you.
Start by getting out in nature, especially lush green areas, and move. Walking and other movement stimulates the body’s qi, and thus energy, relieving frustration, balancing moods and burning fat. The stress-reducing benefits of exercise are also key. Taking in the color green also supports your liver.
Shift to appropriate Spring foods. Sour and bitter flavors, most abundant in Spring, give your liver a boost. Begin your morning with a mug of warm water with fresh lemon or grapefruit juice. The sour flavor on an empty stomach stimulates the liver detox pathway. You might even consider a morning detox cocktail (see recipe at end).
Incorporate greens into meals, especially bitter dandelion, rapini and mustard greens as well as asparagus, artichokes and salads with arugula, radishes and romaine. Cooked greens are best steamed or boiled, then flavored with a generous pour of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. The broccoli family also helps the liver detox.
Include protein at each meal, including grass fed meats, lamb, wild salmon, small fish, soft boiled eggs and soaked almonds. Despite the juice fast claims, your liver needs protein to detox.
Skip the alcohol and sugar for a few weeks. Sugar, and fructose in particular, causes the liver to get fatty. Avoid fried foods and other sources of liver-aggravating vegetable oils. Stick with EVOO, grass fed butter, ghee and coconut oil. See if you can get most of your foods from the produce and meat sections, less out of cans and packages.
Depending on your constitution the right liver herbs brewed into a tea or tincture and sipped before meals will also help. Licorice, burdock, boldo, dandelion and milk thistle are a few to consider.
I enjoy liver-cleansing foods and herbs most of the year (who doesn’t like garlicy sauteed greens?), so I am almost always detoxing to some degree, more in spring less in winter. This enables me to stay size 2-lean and balanced without dieting, fasting or eating like a bird. Why not skip agonizing diets and eat in a more detoxing way year-round? You too can be a natural fat-burner and a happier human being in the process.
Liver Flush Cocktail Recipe
1 lemon, peeled
½ grapefruit, peeled
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
½” piece peeled fresh ginger
1 large clove garlic, crushed
Blend all with enough water for a smoothie consistency. Sip slowly on an empty stomach each morning for 7 to 10 days in Spring. Follow with an appropriate liver-cleansing herb tea.