Cindy Santa Ana & Sandra Chaloux

| 05/03/2016

7 Steps to Cleanse Your Body of Toxins: Internal Spring Cleaning with Cindy Santa Ana

7 Steps to Cleanse Your Body of Toxins: Internal Spring Cleaning with Cindy Santa Ana

I attended a one-day Unlock Better Health retreat with Cindy Santa Ana recently and really loved her recommendations for cleansing your body of toxins as well as her healthy recipe demonstrations. With Cindy’s permission, I am sharing her recommendations for internal spring cleaning with you here. -Sandra

This spring you may feel the need to rearrange furniture, power wash the deck, and spruce up the garden beds, but our bodies need a little spring cleaning too! You don’t have to go on a crazy juice diet or deprive yourself of food for days on end to give yourself a “cleanse” either.

Detoxing or cleansing mean different things to different people. I simply believe that our health improves if we can give our bodies a little rest from the toxic burden it is assaulted with every day.

To properly cleanse your body, you need to start with cleaning up your diet. A diet heavy in processed foods, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar will overburden your body and cause it to not function properly. But, even those with squeaky clean diets need a little reboot once in awhile.

Every day we are assaulted with chemicals in the air, our water, our food, and the environment as a whole. Cleansing your body can assist your natural detoxification pathways and make you feel better as a result.

I like cleansing in the spring because it feels natural and we’ve just come out of a long winter with heavy foods, like stews, casseroles, hearty pies and baked goods. Those foods were nourishing in the winter and kept us warm, but now it’s time to release the excess and clean the pipes, so to speak!

The cleanse works best if you give each of the following steps several days (a week for step 1) to really work, then move on to the next step.

Step 1: Clean up your diet. For one week, cut down on red meat, gluten, sugar, treats, soda, caffeine, alcohol, nuts, seeds and any processed or fast food. This doesn’t mean complete avoidance, but try to cut back as much as possible to assist your digestive tract. Increase leafy greens, load up on veggies, fish, whole grains like quinoa and lots of water. The more you cut back, the greater success you’ll have. Plus, you may even lose some weight. Caffeine can blow out your adrenal function.

Step 2: Let’s clean those pipes! The first detox pathway is the colon. You can’t do a liver cleanse or gallbladder cleanse if you’re not moving waste out properly.

We’re going to talk about poop for a minute. If you aren’t pooping once or twice a day, you are likely full of toxic sludge. You can learn a lot about your health by paying attention to your poop and comparing your output to the Bristol stool chart. Your poop should be easy to pass.

If you’re constipated, start by slowly increasing your fiber. Women should get 40 grams of fiber a day and men should get around 50 grams of fiber a day. Increase your fiber intake slowly so you don’t experience gas and bloating.

Water –You need water but not too much. If you are thirsty, drink water. You need to find the right balance of water for your body. If you are working out or it is hot outside, drink more water. Match your water intake level to your activity level, temperature outside, and intake level of foods that contain water such as watermelon and cucumbers or herbal teas. If you are having headaches and are sleepy and sluggish, you probably aren’t getting enough water. Please avoid water in plastic water bottles and containers. It is best to drink water from a stainless steel or glass reusable container.

Start with daily lemon water in the morning, add in lots of filtered water and herbal teas. Minimize foods that take a long time to digest while cleansing, such as meat, nuts and seeds, soybeans, legumes, and lentils. Herbs, like slippery elm and buckthorn, can help with constipation.

Step 3: Cleansing the Urinary Tract. Again, lots of water throughout the day is helpful, as is eating parsley, cilantro, asparagus (natural diuretics) and pure cranberry juice (not too much because of fructose). Make sure the juice is pure and has no added sugar.

Step 4: Cleansing the Liver. Add in dandelion tea or greens (add to salads and smoothies), beets, ginger and citrus fruits. You can also add turmeric to everything you eat (I add it to eggs, soups, ground meats, stews, pretty much everything). Milk Thistle is a supplement you can take to aid in liver cleansing. You can also increase carrots, beets, and dark leafy greens, such as arugula and green juice, to aid in cleansing the liver. You will need to add fiber to your diet to assist the body in removing toxins that the liver has filtered out. I like flax and chia seeds for this. (Note: Whole Chia seeds are fine but flaxseeds need to be ground. Our bodies can’t break down whole flax seeds).

Step 5: Cleansing the Lymphatic System. Daily movement/exercise is essential for our lymph nodes and system to work effectively to remove toxins.

One of my favorite lymph loving exercises is daily dry skin brushing before the shower. You can get a dry skin natural brush at Target in the makeup and bath products section for $5. Before every shower, grab a natural bristle brush and brush towards your heart. Start at your feet and move up (avoiding the face and chest). (Dry skin brushing can also reduce the appearance of cellulite). I also love rebounding on a mini trampoline to get lymphatic fluid moving. Massages are great for the lymphatic system also. Go get one! You can also use a warm washcloth at night (wiping your skin towards the heart just like dry skin brushing) to stimulate the lymph and sleep better. I also like Pau d’arco tea, burdock root, and cats claw for herbal therapies.

Step 6: Chemical & Heavy Metal Detoxification. If you take prescription medicine, antibiotics, get vaccinations, have dental amalgams, or you are exposed to toxins via your environment, then you also need to do a heavy metal cleanse. This can be a little more intensive than your run-of-the-mill spring cleanse, but stick with me. Adding in chlorella, spirulina (the highest protein source available: 65% protein), and blue-green algae can draw the metals out of your system. You can add these powders to your smoothie to disguise the flavor.

Heavy Metal Detox Juice: Juice the following: 3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, 1 handful parsley, 1 handful cilantro, 1 green apple, 1/2 fennel bulb, 1 lemon

Step 7: Spiritual Cleanse. Do you need an emotional detox or a spiritual cleanse? If you have unresolved emotional issues bottled up, it is not good for you to hold onto them, and it is time to get rid of those too. Journaling can help you express and process your deepest darkest thoughts. Some find journaling a good way to unwind before bed – it is very cathartic. Journaling can also be done in the morning -a free flow of thoughts can help you get stuff out and also help with weight loss. Often poor eating habits are really a means of self-medicating from something bothering you emotionally.

Breathe (slowly and deeply), practice daily meditation and gratitude, and journal during your cleanse for the best results!

Remember to give each of these steps several days to really work, then move on to the next step. Let us know how it goes and please reach out if you have any questions during your spring cleanse! Good luck!

Cindy Santa Ana is an AADP Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Author of Unprocessed Living. Learn more about Cindy and on her website


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