While we sleep, our bodies are at work ridding toxins and maintaining health in all areas. Our blood, lymphatic system, digestive system, everything is at work bringing toxins and other harmful substances to the surface so they can be rid easily. One of the three detox pathways is through our mouths. Just like our moms instructed when we were younger, we must brush our teeth upon waking. To avoid reabsorbing these toxins, it’s best to perform a series of self-care rituals first thing in the morning.
#1 Teeth Brushing
It’s simple, obvious, and most of us have been doing it since our first teeth grew in. Brush for 2-3 minutes with an all-natural toothpaste.
This is my must-have Toothpaste
, also available at most health-food stores.
#2 Tongue Scrape
Research has concluded that using a tongue scraper is the best way to remove toxins and bacteria from the mouth. Good news is that tongue scrapers are
- easy to use
- will help you maintain fresher breath all day
- they improve our salivating production to help with digestion
- will expose taste buds, leading to a sensation of more flavorful foods.
Purchase a Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner here for just around $5, or find that at your local health-food store and most drug stores.
#3 Oil Pull
Oil pulling is a great way to further help detoxify the body. How does it work? –Toxins are easily absorbed by fat molecules, so swishing the oil in your mouth will pull the toxins out of your body and into it for easy disposal.
Method: Take about one tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil or sesame oil and scoop it into your mouth. Swish (without swallowing!) for 10-20 minutes. Then, spit the oil, along with the bacteria, toxins and parasites it has pulled, into the trashcan. This process helps to cleanse your mouth, lymphatic system, and also pulls congestion from your throat and loosens up sinuses. Be sure to spit everything out, then do a follow-up rinse with warm salt water or an All Natural Mouthwash to clean any remaining oil.
Water is our most precious resource here on Earth, and in our bodies. Without proper hydration our bodies can easily become prone to illness.
#1 Morning Flush
Just as we detoxified through oral hygiene, it’s best we continue the process and flush our blood and lymphatic system. Overnight, things have been brought to the surface. Water makes up about 60-75% of our body mass. A lot of this, as you can imagine, circulates through the blood and lymph. So, just like we change our bath water, we must refresh the fluids in our bodies. Our entire body will benefit from this from every muscle and joint to every hormone and nerve function, leading to greater energy and endurance to take on the day ahead. After your oral hygiene routine, drink 16-32 ounces of filtered water, warm or room temperature.
You may add:
- a squeeze of lemon for a deeper liver flush and alkalizing effect in the body
- a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to increase digestive strength
- or a dash of pure sea salt to increase mineral absorption in the body.
#2 Time it Right
Water intake at the right time is nearly as crucial as hydration itself. Water has a neutral pH (acid-alkaline balance), whereas our digestive system operates best in a low pH state. By drinking water before, not during or after meals, we can best support a healthy and strong digestive system.
- Discontinue water intake 30 minutes before a meal.
- Avoid water intake during meal time.
- Continue hydrating your body 45-60 minutes after a meal.
If you must drink water during a meal, choose to sip on warm-to-hot water with a squeeze of lemon or apple cider vinegar, or sparkling water.
#3 Daily Consistency
Without proper hydration our bodies tend to become weak, fatigued, fragile and immune-compromised. Stay hydrated by drinking at least half to equal your body weight in ounces, daily (and at the right times!). For example, I’m 128lbs. 130/2 =64. 64 ounces equals 8 cups. 8 to 16 cups of water is a healthy hydration range for me. I’ll drink about 12 cups on average daily. Do this consistently for several weeks and you will notice brighter eyes, a clearer complexion, mental clarity, more fluidity in your muscles, joints and ligaments, and greater energy. What can get better than that? No- tea, coffee and other soft drinks aren't considered water!
- 100lb person: 6 to 12 cups of water daily.
- 150lb person: 9 to 18 cups of water daily.
- 200lb person: 12 to 24 cups of water daily.
Of course, your body will know when too much is too much, so pay attention to signs and as always, consult your doctor.
In a busy world of work, family, traffic, deadlines, stress can easily take over our lives. Stress is meant to keep us safe from harm, to alert us if a car is headed in our direction, or if we’re at the edge of a cliff. In these instances, our bodies natural stress response will turn on fully, allowing us to make a quick & decisive acts to prevent harm. However, many of us get stressed when the car in front of us drives too slow, or if we’re late for an appointment, this is unhealthy stress. Unnecessary stress can lead to inflammation in the body and less effective productivity. Reduced stress leads to reduced infalammation, reduced signs of aging, and an all-around happier person to be around! People who manage their stress tend to be more resilient, flexible, adaptable and optimistic too!
Breathing is our most important anatomical function to being alive. If we learn to breathe in the right ways, we can more easily and often effortlessly manage healthy levels of stress.
Slow, deep breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which secretes calming hormones in the body.
Try this deep breathing exercise when you wake up, before you go to sleep, when your sitting in traffic, or when a baby is crying loudly at the table next to you in the restaurant.
- Sit up straight.
- Place your hands on your stomach.
- Inhale slowly through your nose into your stomach, feeling the expansion in your lower abdomen.
- Exhale through your nose or mouth, releasing air from the bottom of your stomach first, up and out through your breath.
Repeat for several minutes until you feel calm and centered.
To deepen the effects, breath in slowly, fully expanding your lung capacity, then hold at the top for three counts, and release. Continue releasing all your breath until it’s completely out, then hold for three counts, and inhale again slowly.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. It allows your body to be fully exerted, which puts you more at ease. Of course, everything in moderation, even exercise. Too much exercise (unless you’re an Olympic athlete) can create a stressful, toxic state in the body. Aim for what feels comfortable to you, and if you’re starting off slow, focus on gaining momemtum. If a 20 minute walk around the park feels good to you, great. If you’d rather bike Mount Everest, that’s great too. It’s good to challenge yourself, but know your limits. Every body is different.
#3 Environmental Factors
There are so many ways our bodies can take on stress. But the good news is that there are also many ways to relieve stress.
Common everyday things that can cause stress are:
- Schedules & deadlines
- Not getting quality sleep
- Malnourished eating habits
- Other stressful or negative people
- Too many decisions
Relieve stress with:
- Meditation & deep-breathing… even if it’s just one fully dedicated minute several times a day!
- Yoga… movement + mindfulness.
- Minimizing distractions… mental clarity, focus, efficiency, productivity.
- Healthy eating habits… anti-inflammatory foods.
- Happy people, friends… fun, laughter, good times.
- Being outdoors… fresh air, sunshine on your skin.
- Vacations… a dedicated time to relax.
- Good quality sleep… best feeling ever.