It’s the holiday season and that means cookies and butter and pie, yay!
It’s hard to imagine depriving yourself of those delicious holiday treats, but with so choices around, it’s hard not to overindulge.
The morning after a holiday is rough, and usually promise ourselves, never again. But…tis the season. So how do you detox after holiday feasts?
If you’re having a hard time committing to your diet over the holidays, you’re not alone. Food is a lifestyle not a diet. The good news is you don’t have to be perfect to maintain your weight over the holiday season. Try following these simple detox tips after each yummy holiday meal and start the new year fresh and ready to finally achieve your health and fitness goals.
How Detoxing Works
There are a lot of misconceptions that surround detox diets. From crash diets that freak your body out and only make the problem worse to flushing without replenishing the system, fad detox diets are everywhere.
It’s important to note that detoxing doesn’t mean starving, nor does it mean you’re performing a flash sale on your digestive system. For a detox to be successful, you have to remove the bad toxins, keep the good bacteria, and fill the freed spaces with nutrients.
Completely cutting fats and sugar after feasting all holiday season can hurt you more than help you. In fact, research has shown that our body can get addicted to these components and go through withdrawals when we quit cold turkey.
Fasting has been used for centuries to help people “lighten up” after a long winter and has been known to give the faster some mental clarity akin to enlightenment. Although we can’t promise a spiritual experience, we can assure you that a few days of careful fasting will help you detox after that big Thanksgiving dinner.
There are over 100 trillion microorganisms from about 400 different species living in a healthy gut, and maintaining them and their environment helps your body efficiently absorb all of the good stuff and eliminate the bad.
Though you can get a lot of probiotics from food sources, it might be worthwhile to take a probiotic supplement over the holidays to give your body that extra boost.
When this reaction happens without an actual threat—which occurs a lot in today’s safe but stressful society—your body simply stores fat and stops burning calories. Yikes! To get your metabolism back on track after a stressful situation, take some deep breaths.
Breathing deeply activates the vagus nerve, which calms the body and brain and jumpstarts those fat-burning processes again. Just five slow, deep breaths can help to reignite your metabolism.
Also, sugary drinks don’t make you feel full, even though they’re the single biggest source of sugar calories in most people’s diets. Not only do you never fill up on sugary drinks, your body craves it more and enters a vicious cycle of sugar indulgence.
Skip the sodas and fancy coffees this holiday season and switch to water, tea, and black coffee to help your body detox after a sugar-filled season.
Try going for a walk after meals to help clear glucose from the bloodstream and help oxygenate your organs so digestion goes smoothly.
Reach for healthy fats, such as those found in protein-rich foods like nuts and omega-3-rich fish. Other fat-smart foods include avocados, coconut butter, and extra virgin olive oil. When you feel a sweet tooth craving coming on, try to satiate it with these alternatives and you can keep the pounds from piling on over the holidays
Autoimmune diseases on the rise
Something strange is happening to our immune systems. Over the last fifty years there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of autoimmune diseases, conditions in which the body’s immune system begins to attack itself. Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Diabetes Type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus are just the more well-known of over one hundred autoimmune diseases, all of which are reaching record levels.
In the US alone approximately 24 million people have an autoimmune disease of some kind.
What causes autoimmune diseases?
Theories abound as to why these conditions are getting such a stranglehold on the developed world. Chronic inflammation is a possible cause. It would be wrong to say that inflammation per se is bad as it forms a crucial role in the body’s immune response to viruses and bacteria, and healing injuries. The problem occurs when this inflammatory response is called upon unnecessarily and its action is directed towards the body’s own tissues, as in the case of autoimmune disease. The result is the body literally destroying itself. So where does inflammation come from, and what do we do about it?
Chronic inflammation a contributing factor
So why does the inflammatory response get out of whack in the first place? It would seem for many autoimmune conditions a contributing factor is an overproduction of cytokines, which are small proteins released by cells affecting the inter-cell communication. The cytokines trigger inflammation and respond to infections. So the next question is why are too many cytokines produced? A major cause is something called oxidative stress. Today we are bombarded by chemicals, pollutants and free radicals. When the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to counteract them, oxidative stress is caused, making the body more likely to develop age related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Cancer, and of course autoimmune diseases. So where do antioxidants come from? Food. Non-processed, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Could cannabis provide an answer?
But what if there were a substance that were both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent? Well it just so happens that the cannabis plant does both.
Biochemist Dennis Hill, who himself used cannabis to treat his prostate cancer, describes how compounds within the cannabis plant called cannabinoids ‘have the ability to suppress the inflammatory cytokine response. It’s no surprise that plant cannabinoids can have an anti-inflammatory effect when we consider how they work in the body. The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and therefore correspond to functions such as memory, mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensation. Whereas the CB2 receptors can be found in the periphery, modulating the immune system and includes the inflammatory response.
As it happens, plant cannabinoids can work in a similar way to the body’s own endocannabinoids, with two in particular standing out as having particular therapeutic potential.
CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect without the high
THC, the compound in cannabis that gets you stoned, has been shown to be a powerful analgesic. But it is its non-psychoactive cousin Cannabidiol (CBD) that scientists believe could have particular benefit for inflammatory conditions due to its interaction with the CB2 receptors. This is because CBD stimulates the vanilloid pain receptors and inhibits the breakdown of the body’s own cannabinoid Anandamide by suppressing the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH). All of which elicits an anti-inflammatory effect.
But there’s a further string to Cannabidiol’s bow. Remember how the body’s out of whack inflammatory response can be caused by excessive oxidative stress? Well it turns out that CBD is also a powerful antioxidant, something discovered by scientists as far back as 1998 and even recognized by the American federal government who hold a patent saying as much. It should be pointed out that THC is also an antioxidant, but many people find its psychoactive effects difficult to manage, so CBD offers a more palatable, non-mind-altering alternative.
However, for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease, it’s all well and good quoting scientific studies that have never made it outside of the laboratory, when what you really want to know is if it works in real life. Increasingly, many autoimmune patients are taking the first option and finding great results.
This is now offered at Steeped in Health, or ready to ship. If you would like more information, just contact me.
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One of my favorite things, especially starting this time of year is a warm cup of tea. Not only is it comforting, but, while the advantages of green tea are many, and well noted, there's another type — black tea — shown by recent research to positively impact not only your quest for weight loss but to lead to a healthier gut microbiome in the process. What can be better than that?
The precise benefit stems from the way black tea (and green tea, too) can change the ratio of gut bacteria, decreasing the percentages of a type previously linked to obesity, and increasing bacteria associated with lean body mass, Prevent Disease reports.1 Research from the University of California published in the European Journal of Nutrition,2 revealed that not only may drinking black tea change your gut microbiome for the better, it may also improve your gut function.
It now appears that both green and black teas have metabolism-boosting effects, with green tea working by way of your bloodstream and black tea by way of your gut bacteria. In addition, antioxidant polyphenols in both green and black tea fight against free radicals, (major anti-oxidant, aka anti-aging) helping to ensure proper function of DNA and cell membranes.
Researchers showed that mice that ingested green or black tea extracts exhibited a change in the ratios of two significant microbiome family groups, recording a decrease in bacteria linked to obesity and an upsurge in bacteria associated with lean body mass.
If you are dedicated and serious about healing leaky gut and autoimmune disease you need to take a look at food additives that trigger or contribute to leaky gut. So, what, exactly, is leaky gut? Known in the medical literature for more than 100 years as “intestinal permeability,” and in my opinion, many modern doctors don’t know how to ID and treat it. It is increasingly prevalent and complicated especially given the array of “food” choices we have today. It is however, believed to be at the root of many diseases.
Signs and symptoms, you have leaky gut include inflammation, joint pain, inflammatory skin disorders and rashes, food allergies and sensitivities and all sorts of other health problems.
Processed foods are easily accessible, but mounting research shows some of the most common additives on ingredients lists could be unleashing digestive destruction. Here are a couple we should talk about:
1. “Meat Glue” - Otherwise known as microbial transglutaminase, this special enzyme serves to hold proteins together. (Hence the name meat glue.) It’s often used in imitation crab meat, for example, California sushi rolls, to improve the texture in meats like ham (processed meats) and surimi.
Thankfully, this food additive that triggers leaky gut is required to be on the label, although it is sometimes called TG enzyme. Another label warning sign? Products formed from pieces of whole muscle meat, or that have been reformed from a single cut, must disclose this fact on their label, as part of the product name, for example, “Formed Beef Tenderloin” or “Formed Turkey Thigh Roast.”
2. Sugars - Glucose was found to increase gut permeability and produce changes in distribution of the main protein of the tight junction in the lining of the intestine, causing leaks. Americans, especially since the “low-fat” craze have eaten an increasingly high amount of sugar. This has increased the amount of inflammation in the body and the digestive track, further exacerbating leaky gut. Unfortunately, the “low-fat” craze tricked people into thinking sugar was healthier than fat leading people to eliminate healthy fats and increase sugar in processed foods.
3. Sodium -A high-salt diet does more than affect your heart. Turns out, it’s also blamed for loosening up those tight junctions that keep your gut function strong and healthy. Interestingly, a high-salt diet could be behind a spike in autoimmune diseases. Excess salt can impact your innate immune system. We need some salt to live, but in general, Americans are getting way too much. I know for me…. I can immediately feel the effects of sodium.
4. Emulsifiers - You may have heard that a common food additive is tied to colon cancer. Emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (often known as cellulose gum) are used in things like nonorganic dill pickles, frozen baked goods, non-dairy creamer and more. They’ve also been linked to metabolic dysfunction, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer and leaky gut. It seems emulsifiers act like detergents to disrupt the mucous layer that lines the gut
5. Gluten - When I work with clients, I tell that it’s imperative that they remove gluten and grains from the diet. (Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in some grains occasionally.) (Glutagenics can help wth this)
Researchers of the food additives that trigger leaky gut study also say gluten is a no-no. They noticed increased gut permeability when immune cells are exposed to gliadin. (Gliadin is a class of proteins in wheat and are a component of gluten. It helps give bread the ability to rise during baking.) Gluten often hides out in unexpected places, including sauces and gravies, where wheat flour is used as a thickening agent.
Foods & Supplements that Counteract Intestinal Permeability Luckily, there are food ingredients and supplements that can help soothe and heal a gut that’s fallen victim to intestinal permeability, AKA leaky gut. Here are a few:
Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.
In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, in addition to the symptoms seen in adults.
There's no cure for celiac disease — but for most people, following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.
The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly and are different in children and adults. The most common signs for adults are diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. Adults may also experience bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.
However, more than half of adults with celiac disease have signs and symptoms that are not related to the digestive system, including:
Dermatitis herpetiformis is an itchy, blistering skin disease that stems from intestinal gluten intolerance. The rash usually occurs on the elbows, knees, torso, scalp and buttocks.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is often associated with changes to the lining of the small intestine identical to those of celiac disease, but the disease may not produce noticeable digestive symptoms.
Doctors treat dermatitis herpetiformis with a gluten-free diet or medication, or both, to control the rash.
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor if you have diarrhea or digestive discomfort that lasts for more than two weeks. Consult your child's doctor if your child is pale, irritable or failing to grow or has a potbelly and foul-smelling, bulky stools.
Be sure to consult your doctor before trying a gluten-free diet. If you stop or even reduce the amount of gluten you eat before you're tested for celiac disease, you may change the test results.
Celiac disease tends to run in families. If someone in your family has the condition, ask your doctor if you should be tested. Also ask your doctor about testing if you or someone in your family has a risk factor for celiac disease, such as type 1 diabetes.
Celiac disease occurs from an interaction between genes, eating foods with gluten and other environmental factors, but the precise cause isn't known. Infant feeding practices, gastrointestinal infections and gut bacteria might contribute to developing celiac disease.
Sometimes celiac disease is triggered — or becomes active for the first time — after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.
When the body's immune system overreacts to gluten in food, the reaction damages the tiny, hair-like projections (villi) that line the small intestine. Villi absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat. If your villi are damaged, you can't get enough nutrients, no matter how much you eat.
Some gene variations appear to increase the risk of developing the disease. But having those gene variants doesn't mean you'll get celiac disease, which suggests that additional factors must be involved.
The rate of celiac disease in Western countries isestimated at about 1 percent of the population. Celiac disease is most common in Caucasians; however, it is now being diagnosed among many ethnic groups and is being found globally.
Celiac disease can affect anyone. However, it tends to be more common in people who have:
Untreated, celiac disease can cause:
Has had Hashimoto's for 13 years. I am passionate, I live and breathe, helping you to overcome your struggles with weight, stress, and chronic health issues.