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New diet and trends are always sweeping Austin. One of the ones that’s always constant is detoxing. While detoxing is important, the common juice detox might not be the best way to go about it. Austin health enthusiast Jasmine Carbaugh (@wellwithmina) is here to tell us how and why to do it naturally!
Health doesn’t come from one particular diet, exercise, pill, or potion. It comes from supporting all of the body’s systems so they can function optimally and synergistically. None of our bodily processes work in isolation and everything is connected, which means when something is off, you can’t just treat the symptom. It’s usually the case that one symptom is just a small part of a larger issue that needs to be addressed. This is when the ability to detox becomes an important and necessary step in getting your health back on track.
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The word “detox” has been overused by the health, fitness, and supplement industries for years in order to sell products and grow profits. It has become so popular, in fact, that most people think of detox products when they hear the word rather than the physiological ability to detox that already exists within all of us. There’s almost a negative connotation for the word that is directly related to how diet culture has coopted it to make money off of people who are suffering from health issues and seeking to improve their health.
Luckily, you can naturally detox in a healthy and sustainable way. No gimmicks, false promises, or failed attempts necessary. Here are my tried and true recommendations for helping your body do what it does best – eliminate the bad so you can feel good:
Are you surprised by this one? You can’t expect to improve your physical health if your mental health isn’t being taken care of. Managing stress is always a good idea, so make sure you take time out of your busy schedule to prioritize some self-care activities that will relax your mind, body, and spirit. While you’re at it, use some natural body care products made by my favorite Austin brand, Latika Beauty. They have a skincare line for men made with black charcoal and the best bath bombs I’ve ever used. What better way to take care of your body’s largest organ than with high quality skincare products made right in the heart of ATX! Detox bath recipe: 1 cup baking soda, ½ cup food-grade diatomaceous earth, ½ cup raw apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup bentonite clay, ½ cup Epsom salt or Ancient Minerals magnesium flakes.
Purge Your Plastics
We’re all well aware of how bad plastics are for the environment, but did you know they’re also bad for your health? BPA-free products have become more popular in recent years as people learn about the negative effects of using, and inadvertently consuming, plastic chemicals that leach into food. The reason is that these plastics are endocrine disruptors that interfere with or mimic hormone production. You can find them in plastic bottles and containers, food, cosmetics, toys, metal can liners, detergents, flame retardants, and pesticides.
A new study published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal found that the health impacts of synthetic chemicals in the U.S. has doubled over the last 5 years. Some of the findings include increased weight gain in women and polycystic ovarian syndrome, and prostate cancer and semen damage in men. These are no small findings and shed light on the dangers of disrupting our bodies normal functions.
What can you do to rid your life and your body of plastic chemicals? Start by finding ways to minimize your use of them and swap out products for healthier alternatives, like glass and silicone. I found these awesome Zip Top silicone storage bags at Target made by local ATX brand, Finell. They’re made of 100% platinum silicone + no BPA, lead, PVC or phthalates. And they’re cute, versatile, and eco-friendly!
Sweat It Out
It’s easy to think of being sweaty as dirty and unappealing, but the truth is that it’s one of the body’s major detoxification pathways. Not only do you want to sweat, you don’t want to block your body from sweating and releasing built up toxins by wearing antiperspirant deodorants. Shocking, I know! I promise there are ways to do this without feeling like you’re walking around sweaty and stinky. First, you want to exfoliate your arm pits with a natural salt or sugar scrub to remove any dead skin and build up from your standard deodorant. There will be a detoxing phase when you switch to a natural deodorant where your body will purge any built up toxins, which might seem like things are worse for a few days to a week. Then you can start using your natural, aluminum-free deodorant by applying when your skin is completely dry and clean.
You’ll need to adjust your expectations as you transition because natural deodorant is not an antiperspirant, but you will sweat and smell less because your body will be able to function properly and excrete any stored toxins. I have tried quite a few natural brands and my favorite is Smarty Pits. You can find it at Blue Elephant on North Lamar or online.
Another great way to encourage detoxing naturally through sweat is by getting in the sauna. I highly recommend trying an infrared sauna because you can get a deeper, more intense sweat at a lower temperature using infrared lamps. Instead of heating the air around you like in a traditional sauna, the infrared sauna uses near or far-infrared lights (or a combination of both) to heat your body and encourage even more sweating by heating from the inside out. Near-infrared penetrates the deepest and encourages cellular detoxification by heating your core body temperature faster than other saunas can. Sauna has been used as a healing tool for centuries by different cultures and has become popular in Western society over recent years as more people are looking for ways to improve their health.
“Sauna treatment raises the body’s core temperature, increasing central and peripheral vascular circulation, respiration, and sweating. An increased cardiac output and heart rate are accompanied by decreased peripheral resistance and blood pressure. The increase in respiratory rate raises oxygenation and lowers carbon dioxide content. Sweating leads to a loss of water and electrolytes. Perhaps more important, sweating is accompanied by excretion of organic and inorganic chemicals stored in body fat and organs. The excretion of lipid-based chemicals has been touted as the most important role for sauna: its detoxification mechanism.” (Source) Austin has a good selection of sauna studios where you can easily get your sweat on. Check out CYL Sauna Studio, Generator Athlete Lab, The Ocean Lab, Cryo Wellness, Evolve Cryo + Wellness, and a few others you can find by doing a quick Yelp search. I was going to CYL Sauna Studio weekly before becoming pregnant, and it was one of my favorite wellness activities because I felt so rejuvenated from it.
Have you tried any of these natural ways to detox? It is true that we live in a more polluted world than ever and avoiding toxins completely is pretty much impossible, but there are things we can do to help decrease our toxic load and encourage healthy detoxification. Juice cleanses might make sense in theory, but they are nothing compared to reducing your daily toxin exposure and helping your body’s innate detoxification pathways run smoothly.
Author – Jasmina Carbaugh, Primal Health Coach Institute Student & Wellness Enthusiast
Follow Mina on her Instagram: @wellwithmina