Are You Toxic??

I have always been intrigued by toxicity within the body, and I have even maintained a few daily habits over the years designed to reduce toxicity(details later). I recently saw a video of Dave Palumbo speaking on the subject and I want to share the highlights with you.

Toxins are in ALL of us! No matter how healthy we think we are, or how perfectly we eat, toxins accumulate in our bodies. You see as athletes and weightlifters, we accumulate lactic acid from our daily activities. We also tend to eat a higher-protein diet. Protein intake acidifies the body, which is why it’s always good to include vegetables and/or a shot of apple cider vinegar to meals whenever possible. There are also countless chemicals to which we are exposed daily that accumulate within our bodies.

They’re bad for you because…Once these toxins are in our bodies, they are stored in adipose tissue (body fat). This is yet another reason to avoid the perma-bulk where an athlete perpetually carries excess body fat (toxin storage)! Think of your body like a machine…like any machine it can’t run smoothly and efficiently when chambers are clogged, filters are full, or axles aren’t greased. And that is exactly what happens when the body is loaded with toxins. Muscle building, fat loss, and other metabolic processes are limited if not shut down altogether. Think about it…it’s the same principle as when you’re fighting a cold or flu. You’re body just wants to survive. It doesn’t care about you’re bicep peak, your power clean workout, your upcoming photo shoot, or your big game Friday night. It just wants to rid itself of this attacking enemy and get back to normal. Only then will you be able to make progress in your physical pursuits.

Signs of toxicity…You like System of a Down…just kidding – cool song!

Skin: Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It’s primary role is to function as a border to separate the external world from the internal. Your skin also plays a HUGE role in regulating fluids. Skin clarity and tone are big indicators of overall health. If you’re always breaking out, looking blotchy, or have skin lesions or irritations (eczema or psoriasis), these are signs of toxicity.

Eyes: How bright, clear and white are the whites of your eyes. I’m not talking about yellow, or jaundice here. Just clarity and brightness. The best way to check this is to take pictures now and then use some of the detox methods below. Then take pictures afterwards and you’ll be shocked at the difference. People will notice!

Sweat/smell: IN short, your sweat should not smell like ammonia, maple syrup, death, or any other abnormal scent for a human being to emit. These smells are indicators that your body is exuding toxins, or at the very least, burning protein for fuel (NOT GOOD)!

How to detox…not celebrity rehab with Lohan & company.

Fasting…It takes about 8 hours for meal to clear your digestive system. If you’re constantly eating, your body is always digesting. When your busy digesting, you can’t remove toxins. So here’s the fix…Try this once  a week. 12 hours is all you need. Sleep for 8, then wait 4 hours to eat your first meal, and boom, you’re there! For example, stop eating midnight. Sleep until 8am, then get up and wait until at least 12 noon to eat your first meal. You can maximize the detox effect from 8am-12pm by adding a few of the tips below to help your body release those toxins.

Ionized/Alkaline water Our bodies are very pH sensitive. 7 is considered neutral and anything below 7 is an acidic state. This is also a toxic state for our bodies. In order to balance our pH levels, we need to consume foods and beverages that alkalize the body. Most vegetables are great sources of alkaline foods. Spinach and kale are among the best, so make sure to include those as often as possible. Water is also a great option, but most waters are actually below 7 on the pH scale. You can get a pH test kit and test your water at home, but even bottled water are normally acidic. Fiji is a natural source of alkaline bottled water. There are also several other brands that sell ionized or alkaline water. Some people go so far as to purchase home ionizer kits, but those can cost in the thousands of dollars. An easier option is the $45 ion pod water bottle that can ionize and filter your tap water in 5 minutes. Shoot for 3 of these per day to make sure you flush those toxins out of your body and create a favorable environment!

Black Mica: This is a relatively new (and expensive) supplement that come from Japan. The mineral has properties that pull solids and impurities out of water. You can put a few drops in a glass of muddy water and watch the crap settle to the bottom. The idea is that when you add this to your water and drink it, it has the same effect inside your body. FYI, those toxins will end up in the toilet…be prepared!

Fiber (Soluble and Insoluble): Among its many other benefits, fiber binds to toxins and helps your body excrete them. There 2 kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Vegetables are great sources of insoluble fiber. They contain plant matter that our bodies cannot break down. Oatmeal and flaxseeds are awesome sources of soluble fiber. Another option is to use a fiber supplement, but make sure to choose one with both sources of fiber AND no sugar.

Apple Cider Vinegar: I like to take a shot (about 1 TBSP) of raw Apple Cider Vinegar a few times per day with meals. The vinegar must be raw and contain “the mother”. It serves several purposes. First, it helps control blood sugar. Second, it alkalizes the body. Third, is some really cool immune system assistance the helps keep me flu-free!

Lemon juice: First thing each morning (especially on the fasting morning), drink warm water with real lemon juice (about 1 TBSP or 1/2 lemon). Cold water would constrict blood vessels and the digestive system. Warm water loosens things up and helps them function properly. The lemon juice contaisn limonene, which helps flush toxins from the liver. I first heard of this from John Meadows, but Anne Louise-Gittleman is responsible for this health tip.