Weed feed and seed detox
Every day we are exposed to a vast number of toxic substances that we may not even be aware of – in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the environment we surround ourselves in.
To stay truly well, it is vital to help your body clear these toxins. The beneficial nutrients in whole natural foods, and in naturally derived remedies in our detox program, combine to support your body during the detoxification and repair processes.
This digestive repair program is a cleansing, healing program which allows your body’s detoxification and repair systems to recover and function efficiently.
This program is designed to rebalance disturbed intestinal bacteria, restore poor digestion, prevent allergic exposure, and repair the ‘leaky gut’. These factors can all contribute to the entry of toxins from the gut into the body, causing systemic inflammation. This dysfunction of the intestinal wall, and the consequent toxic invasion, is associated with many chronic diseases.
The following protocol can be summarized as a ‘weed, seed, feed’ process:
- WEED – removal of adverse microbial pathogens
- SEED – is the replacement of beneficial ‘friendly bacteria’ in the gut
- FEED – providing nutrients that sustain the growth of these beneficial bacteria, and help repair the ‘leaky gut’
2 Week Detox For Busy People
Needing a quick spring clean?
If you are generally well, but have overindulged recently (e.g. post-Christmas or big celebration) or have completed a full detox and are looking for something to do as an annual or bi-annual ‘spring clean’, you may benefit from the Metagenics Express Detox Program. This program lasts two weeks and should be enough to get you back on track and feeling great!
The Truth About Detoxing Part 2: Weed, Seed, Feed
Last week I walked you through the liver’s natural detox pathways and this week we’ll talk about specific foods you can eat to support healthy liver function and detoxification! I’ll also include a single-day meal plan to help inspire you to think about other meals you can make to promote your body’s natural detoxification function. Finally, we’ll go over some lifestyle changes you can make to support your lymphatic and other detox systems in the body to encourage healthy elimination of toxins.
But first! There is one very important step we need to remember before diving into a liver detox for the first time and that is that our digestion and elimination systems must be working optimally to be able to actually remove the toxins from our body. First we must weed and then seed the gut before we can focus on feeding the body foods to promote liver-detox.
Weed, Seed, Feed
To “weed” the gut means to remove all the offending foods like refined sugars, grains, and oils, and alcohol for a period of time to give the gut a break from the foods that irritate the gut lining. If this is your first time ever “weeding” the gut, you may want to stick with this step for at least a month. A month is a long time, I know, but I promise you this step is crucial and will help with any of the reasons you personally want to do a detox- anything from brain fog to weight loss.
Next, we “seed” the gut, by introducing probiotics and/or more fermented foods! After clearing the gut of most of the pathogenic bacteria during the “weed” phase, it’s time for the good gut bugs to move in. Probiotic supplements and fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and low-sugar kombucha are great to add to your diet to begin to grow your gut’s beneficial bacteria populations and improve the health of your microbiome.
And finally, we can “feed” the gut! This is the fun part when we can start to focus on eating the foods that help promote healthy liver detox and elimination. Foods high in specific nutrients like vitamins B, C, E, and minerals like Selenium and Zinc are a good place to start.
Key Nutrients for Liver Support
B vitamins play an essential role as a co-factor in many enzymatic processes that take place in the liver so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, ideally from both diet and supplements. This is one of the few supplements I recommend for basically everyone as they help increase energy levels naturally, but they’re also great if you’re interested in doing a spring detox. Luckily B vitamins are found in a variety of whole grains, veggies, meat, and seafood, so if you eat a diet full of a variety of fresh, whole foods and take a B complex, your liver should be happy!
Vitamin C is also crucial for reducing free radical formation, which impairs the liver’s natural detoxification abilities. When doing a spring liver detox, you may want to consider supplementing with vitamin C as well, as getting enough through your diet can be tricky. However, citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables are very good sources of vitamin C, so if you don’t want to supplement, try including these in as many meals a day as you can! Remember that leafy greens are incredibly versatile- you can add them to smoothies, omelets, and sauces, make salads, or simply blanch them for an easy side with dinner!
Vitamin C isn’t the only antioxidant that supports healthy liver detox: Vitamin E and Selenium are also important for the liver, as they support glutathione peroxidase activity. Think of glutathione as the big boss of antioxidants. Our bodies naturally produce glutathione, but production can slow down due to a sluggish liver. Vitamin E, C, and Selenium help to boost glutathione production which in turn boosts liver detoxification capabilities. Sadly, our soil is largely depleted of Selenium today, so supplementation is often recommended. Vitamin E can be found in eggs, wild salmon, almonds, and olive oil!
Last but not least, we have zinc. And if you enjoy alcohol on a pretty regular basis, this one is especially important for you! The liver requires adequate zinc levels to convert alcohols to aldehydes in phase 1 detoxification. If you’re low in zinc, this conversion cannot happen, which increases the toxic load on the liver, which can lead to a whole host of metabolic issues. Foods high in zinc include oysters, grass-finished beef, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
Lifestyle Recommendations to Promote Detoxification
Feeling gung-ho to get started with your detox diet? That’s amazing! But there’s one important component to detox that mustn’t be overlooked- our lifestyles! There are actually some important things we can add to our daily routines to ensure that the toxins we’re liberating during phase 1 liver detoxification are being safely eliminated.
In short, supporting the lymphatic system is key. Ensuring daily exercise (especially exercise that gets the heart rate up and sweat dripping) is a simple way to keep lymph moving and circulating in the body. Another great way to promote lymphatic drainage is dry brushing. Never dry brushed before? Here’s how to do it: Use a natural coarse-bristled dry brush and brush the body with moderate pressure starting at the toes and moving towards the heart. The process takes about 2 minutes and will leave you with some scratch marks all over your body, but that’s how you know you’re pressing hard enough to reach the lymphatic system.
I love following my dry brushing up with a 20 minute Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate crystals) are great to aid detox as they begin to draw out toxins from the skin after soaking for long enough. The magnesium also helps to relax the body, so this is one of my favorite ways to end the day- whether I’m detoxing or not!
Finally, being mindful of the products you use in your home and on your body is extremely important to keep toxin exposure to a minimum. Choosing natural and organic home and body care is a must- especially when detoxing. Since this can be an expensive transition to make all at once, I recommend transitioning over to natural products one-by-one as the products you’re currently using start to run out.
Detoxification Support Meal Plan
Like I mentioned in the first part of this blog post, I’ve been following a liver-support diet for the past week or so to help encourage gentle detoxification. Here is an example of what a typical day of eating looks like for me on this protocol. You can make each meal for yourself or use this as inspiration to create your own healthy and delicious meals with some of the superstar liver-supporting foods in the graphic above.
1L of filtered water with an option to add the juice of 1 lemon.
Beet, orange, ginger smoothie with chia seeds and collagen peptides. Optional coffee or matcha tea with full-fat coconut milk.
Two sunny-side-up eggs on a bed of arugula topped with bee pollen, dukkah, avocado, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
Tumeric-honey glazed salmon with sesame roasted broccoli and steamed sweet potato.
Green apple with almond butter and cinnamon or a turmeric-tahini hot cacao elixir (this is a super yummy bedtime snack!)
If you are interested in getting started with your own liver detoxification diet but have specific dietary restrictions or needs, I’d love to help! You can email me at [email protected] to schedule a free consultation.