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How Infusions Can Kick Your Detox Up a Notch

We recently finished our 14-Day Whole Life Detox program led by our Health Coach, Melissa Rapoport. If you completed the program, you are walking away with more energy and mental clarity, several pounds lighter and a clean slate to start the summer toxin-free. 

If you weren’t able to make the Detox program with Melissa but are still interested in clearing your body of the everyday toxins you encounter or if you want to continue the benefits from the program, infusions can help support the detoxification process. 

How Detox Infusions Work: 

The liver is essential for clearing toxins out of your blood. It is your natural filter and our Detox infusion gives it a jumpstart by feeding it targeted nutrients that transform and bind to toxins, while adding antioxidant support to improve liver function.   When your liver is overburdened, you may feel sluggish, experience brain fog, have chronic headaches, poor sleep, constipation, and undesired weight gain. 

Providing your liver with targeted nutrients helps support it in its task to lower your toxic load. These vitamins, amino acids, and minerals are key to improving liver function and aiding in the detoxification process. Moreover, getting them infused allows your body to absorb 100% of the dose because it bypasses the GI tract and liver, which greatly reduces the dose by the time it ever gets to your cells. 

What’s in Medical-Grade Detox Infusions?

B Complex– contains B1, B2, B3, B5, & B6 to help your cells function better and make energy.  B vitamins are crucial to the detoxification process.

Vitamin C– a potent antioxidant, high doses of vitamin C helps flush toxins from the body.

Magnesium– an electrolyte that is needed to keep your nervous system and muscles functioning properly & keep your body balanced and relaxed. Stimulates cell activity to release toxins and heavy metals into the bloodstream to then be filtered out by the liver.

B12- essential for all biochemistry and body functions that involve methylation, including production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitters, liver detox, and maintaining health of the nervous system.  As we age, it is harder to absorb B12 from the gut, another reason to regularly get B12 by infusion.

Taurine- amino acid that improves liver function and promotes elimination of toxins

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): Boosts the immune system, increases Glutathione (antioxidant), and supports the liver to clear the body of toxins.

Methionine: Sulfur containing amino acid, where the sulfur helps inactivate free radicals in the body. Protects the cell from pollutants and aids in excretion of heavy metals.

Why It’s Important to Flush Toxins and Heavy Metals:

  • If you have an excess of toxins, your liver will get overburdened
  • Your liver uses glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) to process these toxins out and it will use up your glutathione supply (why we recommend adding on a glutathione infusion at the end of your Detox infusion!)
  • As your glutathione levels get depleted, you become more susceptible to getting infections like Covid
  • If your body isn’t properly excreting toxins, the toxins are stored in your fat cells (this can cause weight gain too!)
  • Leaves you feeling more vibrant and lighter

Everyday Toxins You May Be In Contact With:

  • Air pollutants
  • Mercury found in fish
  • Medications and bacteria in the water supply
  • Herbicides and pesticides found in food
  • Hormones, antibiotics and herbicides in our animal protein like chicken or beef
  • Plastics from water bottles
  • Cleaning chemicals like hand sanitizer

Detox infusions are just one of many amazing tools we have at Blum Center for Health to support the detoxification process. Helping your liver function optimally is a whole lifestyle approach – including diet, sleep, hydration, self care, and the household products you use (and don’t use). Our Functional Medicine doctors and our Health Coach are available to work one-on-one with you to evaluate your toxic load and get you back to feeling better and brighter! 

Text or call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment to jumpstart your summer with a Detox infusion! Schedule a FREE consultation with our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP, to get your questions answered. 

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Mythbuster: The 3 Real Reasons You Need to Detox

Here’s a marketing myth-buster: Your liver is an amazing organ that does a beautiful job filtering your blood, making toxins less harmful to the body and removing them from your bloodstream. You do not need to “detox your liver” as many health marketers would lead you to believe. 

Here’s the truth: You are exposed to toxins daily, and those toxins accumulate in your fatty tissue (even in the brain!) and when your liver gets overburdened filtering these toxins, your body suffers. The purpose of our Spring Whole Life Detox is to release the toxins and support your liver to do the job it needs to do. You will feel better and brighter. Period. 

Why detox now? Reason #1: We are making a shift from winter to spring. Coming out of winter most people tend to feel heavier, in their body but also emotionally and even spiritually. Detox helps bring vibrancy, positivity and better health by literally “lightening your load.”

Why detox now? Reason #2: We’ve been living through more than two years of a global pandemic. It has taken a toll — whether you’ve suffered with COVID-related illness, the chronic elevated stress and anxiety of living through the pandemic and the weariness that is plaguing just about everybody — you are left in need of a serious reboot.

Why detox now? Reason #3: Most people encounter many toxins every day and these toxins are undermining your health and you don’t realize it!  Where do toxins come from?  Here are some examples:   

  • chemicals in the air
  • mercury in fish
  • medications and bacteria in the water supply
  • pesticides and herbicides in food
  • hormones, antibiotics and herbicides in the animals we eat
  • even plastics from water bottles
  • And now let’s add hand sanitizers and antiviral cleaning chemicals to the list

Normally, your liver is in charge of helping rid the body of most toxins.  Here’s what happens when your body becomes overburdened with too many toxins for your liver to handle: 

  • Your immune system becomes compromised and your liver uses up your glutathione supply, not to mention many other nutrients, to process these toxins out. (FYI Glutathione is the mother of all detoxifying antioxidants, and helps prevent damage to your cells).  
  • Next, you get run down and become susceptible to infections and are at risk for developing disease, including viruses, like COVID. 
  • And if that’s not enough, your fat cells do a great job of storing toxins (ewww!) which results in excess weight.  

Supporting your liver with targeted nutrients so that it can do an amazing job lowering your toxin load is what detox is all about!  And then you feel better!  And the best way to begin is to focus on eating lots of liver loving food.

This is the perfect time to give your body the nourishment it needs to support its innate ability to regenerate and thrive. To help you feel like you again.

If you’re like me, you might be feeling any of the following symptoms: sluggish, lack of clarity, chronic headaches, poor sleep, constipation, undesired weight gain.  If you do, your body is yelling out to you…it’s time to detox!

Lastly, Detoxing is also about lifestyle — from what you eat (and don’t eat) to chemicals found in your home, hydration, sleep and self-care. It is synergistic, working together to reduce your toxin load. And, in our upcoming Whole Life Detox spring reboot, I’ll be showing you the how and the why. 

If you’re ready to jump into summer full of energy and optimism, feeling lighter in your body, consider joining me for our 14-Day Whole Life Detox. Two LIVE workshops, a private Facebook Group, all the materials and supplements you need plus me at your side every step of the way. We begin soon! Learn More

 

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.

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10 Ways To Help Your Body Detox Right Now

Spring is in full bloom, summer is on the horizon and it’s time to give your body the boost it needs to once again feel vibrant, enthusiastic and energized! 

Living through more than a year of a global pandemic has taken a toll — whether you’ve suffered with being sick from COVID, the chronic elevated stress and anxiety of living through the pandemic and how it’s affected your family, or poor food choices from the altered reality that you’ve been living — you are left in need of a serious reboot.

This is the perfect time to give your body the nourishment it needs to support its innate ability to regenerate and thrive. To help you feel like you again.

If you’re like me, you might be feeling any of the following symptoms: sluggish, lack of clarity, chronic headaches, poor sleep, constipation, undesired weight gain.  If you do, your body is yelling out to you…it’s time to detox!

Even without COVID, most people encounter many toxins every day and these toxins are undermining their health and they don’t realize it!  Where do toxins come from?  Here are some examples:   

  • chemicals in the air
  • mercury in fish
  • medications and bacteria in the water supply
  • pesticides and herbicides in food
  • Hormones, antibiotics and herbicides in the animals we eat
  • even plastics from water bottles
  • And now let’s add hand sanitizers and antiviral cleaning chemicals to the list

Normally, your liver is in charge of helping rid the body of most toxins.  Here’s what happens when your body becomes overburdened with too many toxins for your liver to handle: 

  • Your immune system becomes compromised and your liver uses up your glutathione supply, not to mention many other nutrients, to process these toxins out. (FYI Glutathione is the mother of all detoxifying antioxidants, and helps prevent damage to your cells).  
  • Next, you get run down and become susceptible to infections and are at risk for developing disease, including viruses, like COVID. 
  • And if that’s not enough, your fat cells do a great job of storing toxins (ewww!) which results in excess weight.  

Supporting your liver with targeted nutrients so that it can do an amazing job lowering your toxin load is what detox is all about!  And then you feel better!  And the best way to begin is to focus on eating lots of liver loving food.

Detoxing is also about lifestyle — from what you eat (and don’t eat) to chemicals found in your home, hydration, sleep and self-care. It is synergistic, working together to reduce your toxin load. And, spring  is the perfect time to detox! 

10 Ways to Help Your Body Detox Right Now:

Eat only whole foods, avoiding food that is highly processed, void of essential nutrients and generally full of unwanted additives and chemicals. The Spring is here! Look for fresh produce at local farmers markets where food was recently harvested. It contains more nutrients and tastes delicious!  Liver loving food is rich in antioxidants, colorful whole foods, lots of fiber, dark leafy greens and cruciferous veggies!

Remove sugar from your diet. One of the most important things you can do for your health is to stop eating sugar. Sugar suppresses your immune system! And, sugar in all forms can be toxic for the body, putting you at risk for fatty liver, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Stick with natural sugars found in fresh fruits or other whole foods, such as raw honey or pure maple syrup added in small quantities to a recipe.

Pay attention to your body and how it feels after eating certain foods. Consider a 3-week elimination diet from common allergens and/or inflammatory foods such as dairy, gluten, soy, sugar, alcohol. Each person responds differently to foods and not all foods that are considered “healthy” are right YOUR body. 

Eat an abundance of seasonal vegetables in your diet each day including a variety of colors.  Best picks for the Spring include cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, collard greens, garlic, onions, and Swiss chard. Also, vegetables and fibrous fruits, such as berries, provide beneficial fiber, an important part of the elimination of excess waste in your body.

Hydrate! Drinking adequate water ensures good filtration of the kidneys, digestion, and bowel regularity. Eliminating waste in your body is vital to preventing toxic overload in your body. As a general rule, drink half your body weight (in pounds) as ounces. When exercising and in the warmer months, add more! Add fresh lemon and receive even more benefits for your liver. Consider a good water filtration system that uses a carbon filter.

Purge your home from harmful chemicals and environmental pollutants. Dump the harsh chemical cleaners and opt for a simple but effective solution of equal parts of water and vinegar. Be aware of harmful substances in your cosmetics and toiletries such as oxybenzone, parabens, and phthalates. Add an air purifier and/or a green plant.

Make time to unwind. Making time to rest in today’s fast paced world we often need to be reminded to do. Incorporate stress reduction each day, such as mindfulness, taking a 10-minute walk, reading, writing, listening to music — anything that slows you down and brings you into the here and now.  

Consider intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is generally considered a time period of caloric restriction such as 14-16 hours a day. When you “fast” it gives your body time to digest and ultimately deplete our glycogen stores (stored liver glucose). When this happens, your body looks for another source of energy to function. It turns to using your fat stores. This state, known as ketosis, results in the generation of new mitochondria, reduced insulin resistance and weight loss.

Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! Studies confirm that a lack of sleep correlates with a lack of concentration, weight gain, poor eating habits, as well as puts stress on your immune system. The best way to make sure you include adequate sleep each day is to plan it. Set a bedtime each day by shutting your electronics off at a certain hour while setting up a bedtime routine to help you unwind at the end of the day. Shoot for a minimum of 7-9 hours a night.

Be positive! Ever spend time around someone who’s energy is addictive? Being pessimistic is nonproductive, and bad for your health. Just be kind … to yourself, and others.

If you’re ready to jump into summer full of energy and optimism, if you want to recover from COVID — whether you had the virus, It’s time to detox! Consider joining me for our 14-Day Whole Life Detox. Two LIVE workshops, a private Facebook Group, all the materials and supplements you need plus me at your side every step of the way. We begin soon! Learn More

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.

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6 Time Sensitive Reasons to Detox in January

Phew! Welcome 2021! Never in my life has the notion of “New Year, New You” been more relevant. This time last year the word COVID wasn’t in our lexicon and politics just felt like another day. Enter the realities of COVID-19, the eruption of social justice movements all over the world, and the divisiveness of the 2020 United States election and one thing is clear: We need to detox. 

First let’s answer the question: What is detox? 

On a day-to-day basis we encounter overload from unhealthy exposures such as chemicals in the air, mercury in fish, medications and bacteria in the water supply, pesticides in your food, chemicals in your toothpaste and other personal care products, and even plastics from your water bottles.

And beyond that, and this is important, you also add to that toxin load with negative people, social isolation, hypervigilance regarding COVID, obsessively scrolling social media, listening to the news, and having to duck and cover from the onslaught of awfulness that has permeated the year 2020. 

It is Time to Detox.

6 Time Sensitive Reasons to Detox in January

Improve immune system function — When your body is overburdened with toxins, your immune system becomes compromised, setting you up for catching viral and bacterial infections, like COVID, influenza and pneumonia during the winter months. Your immune system, which mainly lives in your digestive tract, also protects you from toxin-triggered autoimmune conditions. If you want to improve your immune system, a sound whole foods detox is a must-do.

Bolster your health —  Toxins are stored throughout your body — in your fat, bones, tissues, cells and even your brain. Long-term exposure can affect your immune system (autoimmune disease, anyone?), metabolism (trouble losing weight, anyone?), behavior and mood (depression and anxiety, anyone?) and can lead to disease (hello, cancer).  Depression, anxiety, joint pain, sluggishness, sleep disorders, brain fog and the inability to lose weight can bring you down. You must reduce your toxic load to help your body function at its best. 

Recenter — It’s been a tough year. A really tough year. Starting 2021 with a Whole Life Detox, like ours, will help you regroup and find your center. Mind-body medicine promotes looking at all the areas of life that are throwing you off balance. Daily habits, such as watching/listening to too much negative news, scrolling through social media feeds, engaging with overly activating or over depleting television before bed and not having self-care time-outs that promote wellness, are areas that often need detoxing. 

Weed out energy zappers — Who or what depletes your energy? Are there people who you experience as emotional vampires? Has working remotely left your work life and personal life so intertwined that you’re overburdened, not knowing where one begins and one ends? Sheltering at home has created new challenges (and new opportunities). A well-rounded detox helps you evaluate what needs to change.

Increase energy and promote mental clarity — Who isn’t ready for a boost of positive energy?  You will experience, both from a medical standpoint and a psychological standpoint, an increase in energy, and an uplift in mental clarity. Many people report clearer thinking and the ability to deal with stressors more easily. Ready to say “yes, please”? 

Jumpstart weight loss resistance — Yes, the “COVID 15” is a real thing — stress eating, more sedentary, boredom, isolation — has led to an average of 15 pounds per person. Detoxing helps rid the body of toxins stored in fat cells, and revs your metabolism to jumpstart weight loss.

What else you need to know: We live in a world filled with toxins. With over 8,000 chemicals in circulation in the environment, you need a program that will help your liver clear them out and reduce your toxin load.  Using targeted supplements and eating a detox diet is what we mean by detox. Otherwise your liver pathways get jammed, become overburdened, and toxins can accumulate in tissues and fat cells. You may not realize that this accumulation is making you feel crappy. Let’s detox! 

Click Here to learn more about our medically-sound, safe detoxification program I am hosting this January.  We’ll do this together, as a group, and I will be with you every step of the way! 

 

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.

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Don’t Make These Mistakes During a Detox

Detoxifying your body at least once a year is a must-do.

You live in a world filled with toxins: With over 8,000 chemicals in circulation in the environment, you need to protect your body by boosting the detoxification and removal of these damaging compounds. Otherwise, your liver’s detox pathways get jammed, become overburdened, and the toxins can accumulate in your  tissues and fat cells. You may not even realize that this accumulation is making you feel crappy!

Clearing toxins out of your body is critical for preventing illness and reversing chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

But, here’s the thing: You have to do it right to reap the benefits.

That’s why we run our popular online group coaching program, 14-Day Whole Life Detox, every spring!

7 Mistakes to Avoid to Get the Most out of your Detox

Eat Enough FoodA real detox — a medically-sound, healthy, safe detox — reduces your body’s toxic load with targeted nutrients to help your liver effectively do its job. A proper detox includes real whole foods. Detoxification does not include starvation!

Skip the Juices — A low-sugar juice, made primarily of green vegetables, every day is fine, but a proper detox is not a “juice cleanse.” Too high in sugar, many juices, particularly made with fruit, create spikes in your blood sugar and often result in an energy crash that comes from too much sugar and too little fiber.

Use the Correct Supplements — A medically-sound detox is very different than a colon cleanse that you pick up at your local natural foods market. A colon cleanse does just that — makes you poop, which is necessary to eliminate toxins. But proper detox supplements do much more. They help support the detoxification process in your liver, which then helps clear the toxins from your body.  Proper detox support also provides the right kind of fiber to bind toxins in your stool — a very necessary step for elimination.

Avoid “Healthy” Packaged Foods — Skip the majority of gluten-free crackers and breads, for instance. While the marketing on the package may make it sound like a great choice — Gluten-free! Dairy-free! High protein! — most of those claims hide the bad stuff that you find on the nutrition label. Look for whole foods in the ingredients, and make sure the product is low in sugar, and high in fiber. Recently I saw a gluten-free bread with potato starch as the first ingredient. Honestly, would you eat potato starch by the spoonful?

Set Aside Some Down Time Every Day — Our lives are rush, rush, rush. Our stress hormones keep pace. Stress is toxifying, and adds to your toxic burden. While you’re detoxifying your body, it’s essential to give your body a break to do this heaving lifting. It’s a good time to add some meditation, an epsom salts bath or a walk in the woods to your day. Breathe, your body depends on it.

Be Sure to Sweat — Toxins escape your body in three ways — through your bowel movements, your urine, and your sweat. Aerobic exercise, sauna and steam rooms are all ways you can turn up the heat. Aerobic exercise, in particular, increases the blood flowing through your body, releasing toxins through your sweat, and encourages detoxification by bringing more oxygen to your tissues.

Reintroduce the Foods You Eliminated One-by-One — If you jump right back into your “pre-detox” ways, well, you will be right back at Square One. Add one food back at a time over the course of 3 days. The most successful people keep a written log of their symptoms when reintroducing foods. It might be the most overlooked part of detoxifying — nearly everyone who does a detox, comes off without making the changes their body is telegraphing it needs.

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.

 

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6 Signs You Found the Right Detox!

Truth #1: The beauty industry and its celebrity trendsetters have corrupted “detox.”  They’ve led you to believe that you must starve yourself, advocating extreme, medically-unsound programs that promise weight loss, beautiful skin and liver detoxification. They’ve built a $5 billion industry through marketing, Instagram and bad nutrition.

Truth #2: A real detox — a medically-sound, healthy, safe detox — reduces your body’s toxic load with targeted nutrients to help your liver effectively do its job. A proper detox includes real food. Detoxification does not include starvation.

Why You Need to Detox

Clearing toxins out of your body is critical for preventing illness and reversing chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.

We live in a world filled with toxins: With over 8,000 chemicals in circulation in the environment, we need to detox. Otherwise, your liver pathways get jammed, become overburdened, and toxins can accumulate in tissues and fat cells. You may not realize that this accumulation is making you feel crappy!

It does not matter how vigilant you are, you are exposed to chemicals in your food, your water, your home, your clothes, your furniture, your cosmetics, your personal care products, and even the gas you put in your car.

Signs You Are Carrying a Toxic Load:

  • You have difficulty losing weight.
  • You constantly feel tired.
  • You experience achiness in your joints.
  • You experience brain fog.
  • You suffer with headaches.
  • You experience mood swings.
  • You feel heavy in your body and in your mind.

A good detox program can lead to a reversal of these symptoms, and protect you against disease.

That is why we offer our 14-Day Whole Life Detox at Blum Center for Health every spring! In-person only (don’t worry we will be offering an online class in June!) I will be co-teaching with Dr. Blum! That’s right, Dr. Blum is leading our first session. Live in the neighborhood? Get more info here >>> https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/asp/main_enroll.asp?fl=true&tabID=103.

Top 6 Reasons You Need to Detox

Remove toxins from the body — Toxins are stored throughout your body — in your fat, bones, tissues, cells and even your brain. Long-term exposure can affect your immune system (autoimmune disease, anyone?), metabolism (trouble losing weight, anyone?), behavior and mood (depression and anxiety, anyone?) and can lead to disease (hello, cancer).  

Improve immune system function — When your immune system is compromised, you are vulnerable to colds and flus, and perhaps most importantly, toxins can trigger autoimmune disease. A healthy immune system helps protect you from autoimmune conditions, and fortifies you against viral and bacterial infections.

Improve your health — Depression, anxiety, joint pain, sluggishness, sleep disorders, brain fog and the inability to lose weight can bring you down. You must reduce your toxic load to help your body function at its best.

Increase energy and promote mental clarity — You will experience an increase in energy, and an uplift in mental clarity. Many people report clearer thinking and the ability to deal with stressors more easily.

Lose weight — Detoxing helps rid the body of toxins stored in fat cells, and revs your metabolism to jumpstart weight loss.

Improve skin quality — This is one of the benefits the beauty industry has hung its hat on. But, beyond reducing acne, and giving skin a natural glow, detoxing with antioxidant rich foods reduces the toxins that promote premature aging. It can also help clear psoriasis and eczema.

 

If you live near Blum Center, consider joining Dr. Blum and me for our 14-Day Whole Life Detox Group Program, a healthy, safe jumpstart to reduce your toxic load, promote weight loss and bring balance back to your body. Dr. Blum kicks us off on Monday, April 29th at 6:30pm. Space is limited. Join Now

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

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Coffee Was My Lifeline. Why Did I Give It Up?

For over 20 years I have maintained, “Coffee is my medicine.” Imagine the shock when I realized recently, that, in fact, coffee has been playing havoc with my health.

Shock. Horror. Dismay.

Here’s the backstory: From the time I was a toddler I have suffered from migraines. As a young adult I went to the Montefiore Headache Clinic in New York City. I was put on a strict diet, eliminating every known migraine trigger, including coffee since too much caffeine creates “rebound” headaches. Once my system was “trigger-free” for several weeks, trigger foods were added back one-by-one to see what I reacted to.

With one exception: Coffee.

Coffee replaced all medications: One cup of coffee early in the morning, one cup of coffee around 2pm.

My mantra for the last 20 years has been: I can’t give up coffee! Coffee is my medicine! Doctor’s orders!

This came to a crashing halt recently. You see when I committed to the 14-Day Whole Life Detox, I decided to follow Dr. Blum’s plan exactly as outlined. That meant no coffee for 14 days.. The week before I started Whole Life Detox I reduced my coffee consumption from 2 cups to 1 cup.

Then one Day 1 of Whole Life Detox, the reckoning: No coffee.

What happened next shocked me! After completing the detox I decided I would add coffee back into my morning routine. I bought fresh beans, ground it to fill the kitchen with that delightful smell, and brewed the perfect cup of coffee in my French Press. I could not wait to taste it.

Oh, that coffee goodness! Full body, lovely bouquet, chocolatey, caramel flavors.

And then? A big, fat case of the shakes!

What? How can this be? I even tested it two days later to see if I was right. Yep, same response.

And the reality is …. several weeks later … I have less headaches without it.

So here’s the thing: We hold on tightly to the things that cause us pain.

I challenge you: What do you think you can’t live without? Sugar? Bread? Cheese? Meat? Whatever it is, drop it for a week and see what happens.

Looking for an easy 14-day detox to reduce your toxic load, and jumpstart weight loss & healthy choices? Check out the Whole Life Detox. It’s a great place to start. Show Me Whole Life Detox

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

 

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Hashi-toxins: The Link Between Pesticides and Hashimoto’s

By Jill Grunewald

If you’re someone who keeps your finger on the pulse of holistic health and wellness, you’re likely doing so many of the “right” things: tending to your gut health and microbiome, eating nutrient-dense foods and minimizing processed foods, sleuthing out food sensitivities, eating organic as often as your pocketbook will allow, taking the right supplements, hydrating, exercising, and cooking at home as much as possible.

All of these factors are important for overall health and taming the inflammation that the science has shown can lead to degenerative disease—and they’re also, not surprisingly, important for thyroid and immune health. In fact, many are able to manage their Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroidism) and other autoimmune conditions simply by heeding the above.

Yet another important consideration is environmental toxins. I know, it’s a broad term—and one that overwhelms many. Unfortunately, all of us are victim of a modern world where chemicals abound. There’s no way around it. And when the amount of incoming toxins exceeds the outgo, our “body burden” increases, affecting our health on multiple levels including our hormones, immune system, respiratory system, and cognitive function.

The good news is that there are ways to mitigate the inflow of any environmental toxin (offense is your best defense), but there are also simple ways to support our glands of detoxification (see below) so that these chemicals don’t rule the roost and we don’t end up living life with our “toxin goggles” on.

As far as pesticides go, the benefits of eating a chemical-free diet—whether it’s “organic” or simply “sustainably-grown”—are vast and beyond the scope of this article. It’s indisputable that they’re chemicals. But there’s been a significant “campaign” attempting to convince us that they’re not harmful chemicals.

I don’t believe that every morsel of food that passes our lips needs to be organic and as the saying goes, “The dose makes the poison.” But know that “a little here, a little there” can increase your toxic body burden, slow thyroid function, and affect how our immune system functions.

Highlight: Your Thyroid

One of the primary reasons that pesticides (including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and nematicides) are so impactful to our endocrine system is that many of them interfere with thyroid hormone metabolism. Dr. Mark Hyman states, “One of the most important factors that lead to hypothyroidism is exposure to environmental toxins, such as pesticides, which act as hormone or endocrine disruptors and interfere with thyroid hormone metabolism and function.”

The list of pesticides commonly administered to crops is dizzying, but methyl iodide, for example, is a known carcinogen and neurotoxin and is associated with thyroid abnormalities. Additionally, a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that women exposed to the pesticides aldrin, DDT, and lindane were at much greater risk of developing thyroid disease.

Another significant source of pesticides that many don’t consider is toxic lawn care chemicals, which are often tracked into homes from our shoes. (If you’re a golfer or live with one, know that golf courses contain some of the most toxic turf known.)

Pesticides also interfere with thyroid hormone conversion, interrupting our ability to convert T4 (our “storage closet” thyroid hormone) into T3 (the more bio-available “big daddy”). One of the issues with taking thyroid hormone replacement, while often warranted, is that some are unable to convert T4 into T3.

Pesticides are also considered xenoestrogens, the synthetic compounds that mimic estrogen. Xeno means “foreign” or “outside the body.” Among other issues, xenoestrogens set the stage for an increasingly common condition known as estrogen dominance (ED). (ED is somewhat of a loose term and doesn’t always mean that there’s excess estrogen—for women, you can be estrogen dominant simply by having too little progesterone. EDs don’t just affect women, by the way. For men, it can show up as aggression, decreased sex drive, or male breasts.)

Additionally, pesticides contain bromine, a well-known endocrine disruptor. Bromine is a halide that competes for the same thyroid gland receptors that uptake iodine, which inhibits thyroid hormone production and can result in hypothyroidism.

Highlight: Your Immune System

The association between pesticides and the immune system is robust. Remember, pesticides are xenoestrogens. Dr. Susan Blum states, “You need to know about [xenoestrogens] because they play a role in the development of autoimmune diseases. A group of researchers from the University of Milan conducted a review of all the studies looking at the role of environmental estrogens and autoimmunity. Over and over, they found a positive association between exposure to different agricultural chemical pesticides and [autoimmune diseases].

“We know that estrogen affects the immune system, because all immune cells have estrogen receptors and these hormones also encourage your immune cells to begin to make too many antibodies. The role of estrogens in autoimmune diseases has been well studied.

“… every chemical you are exposed to adds to your toxic load. Having a high toxic load makes it harder for your liver to handle pesticides and environmental estrogens, toxins that we know will affect your immune system.”

How to Reduce Your Toxic Load

Keep in mind, the recommendations below can apply to most any environmental toxin, whether it’s heavy metals, plastics, antibiotics and hormones in meat and dairy, flame retardants, and toxins in home cleaning supplies and skincare/cosmetics.

Firstly, I realize it’s not feasible for everyone to eat all organic/sustainable all the time. Do the best you can. If you can’t afford to go completely organic, avoid the “Dirty Dozen.” These are the foods shown to have the highest levels of pesticides. For more information on the “Dirty Dozen” (and the “Clean 15”), visit the Environmental Working Group.

Our bodies have six built-in detox mechanisms: lungs, skin, kidneys, colon, lymph, and liver. Once we slow the onslaught of toxins entering our bodies and also support these systems on an ongoing basis, we’re better able to rid ourselves of the toxins already present.

  1.     For lungs, simply breathe, deeply and fully, on a regular basis. Overall, try to avoid shallow breathing. Additionally, high quality oils (coconut, olive, and avocado) and dark leafy greens (spinach, Swiss chard, kale, watercress, collard greens, arugula, etc.) help to support the lungs and cleanse our respiratory filtration system.
  2. For skin, dry brushing and sweating (via exercise or sitting in a sauna—or both) are two of the best detox strategies. Antioxidant-rich, free-radical fighting foods from a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables also help to keep our skin breathing. Quality oils are also helpful, as are bone broth and chlorophyll-containing foods like dark leafy greens, including cilantro, parsley, and sprouts.
  3. The kidneys filter our blood—more than 48 gallons of it daily. And what’s the best way to support our kidneys? Drink water. Get plenty of it and make sure it’s clean and filtered. Kidney-supportive foods include cranberries, blueberries, lemon, beets, sea vegetables, and spinach.
  4. It’s critical that your colon is working optimally. If waste backs up in your bowels, toxins can be reabsorbed into the body. Daily fiber helps to keep our trains running smoothly—if constipation is an issue, supplemental fiber may be in order. Some experts claim that fiber is the most clinically important deficiency in our diet. Fiber-rich foods include true whole grains (vs. processed grains/flour), vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
  5. The lymphatic system is a head to toe network of organs, nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph fluid. It removes waste from every cell in our body while helping to regulate our immune system. One of the biggest contributors to lymph stagnation is dehydration. Other strategies for keeping things flowing are dry brushing, sipping warm water throughout the day, and drinking warm water with fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning. Sitting in a sauna and exercising also helps.
  6.  Ah, the liver. Another “big daddy.” It’s a giant filter and next to our skin, is our largest gland of detoxification. Not only does it filter toxins from food, water, pharmaceuticals (including supplemental hormones), air, and what our skin comes into contact with, but it also helps with thyroid hormone conversion (T4 to T3).

Dr. Susan Blum states, “Think of your detox system as a little engine that is inside every cell, with the biggest engine in the liver.”

Gentle liver support includes:

  •   Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning
  •   Choosing herbs (via teas, foods, or supplements) like dandelion, nettles, milk thistle, and turmeric
  •   Getting plenty of fiber
  •   Choosing DIM-rich foods (diindolylmethane) found primarily in the cruciferous vegetable family: cabbage, kale, broccoli,      Brussels sprouts, etc. (You don’t have to worry about these foods slowing your thyroid function.)
  •   Other liver-supportive foods include garlic, walnuts, grapefruit, avocado, dark leafy greens, beets, olive oil, coconut oil, apples, and apple cider vinegar.

Remember, offense is your best defense. It’s not only important to be mindful of where toxins live and how to best avoid them, but also to support your glands and organs of detoxification. It doesn’t have to be complicated—and as you can see, some of the most delicious whole foods can give toxins the heave ho. Get these foods regularly and you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Jill Grunewald, HNC, FMCHC, is a functional nutrition and hormone coach and best selling author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook.

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One of Our Favorite Detox Recipes

In cultures all over the world the advent of Spring signals rebirth — the grass and trees turns green, a burst of color transform the landscape and the earth starts to give us Spring produce. Hooray!

It also signals Spring cleaning — our homes and our bodies. Here at the Blum Center we are all about detoxing our bodies in Spring to rid ourselves of the Winter heaviness, and to reduce the toxic load we carry from the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breath — not to mention all the chemicals used in our homes and in our cosmetics. It’s cathartic and a powerful way to celebrate the reemergence of life, and longer, warmer days.

In fact, you can join us to Detox! Our 14-Day Whole Life Group Coaching Program begins Tuesday, June 2nd. Sign Up Now

In the meantime, try out this delicious and easy detox recipe developed in the Blum Kitchen. We love using both red and yellow beets — it adds such beautiful color to the dish.

Roasted Beet, Walnut & Baby Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized red and/or yellow beets, quartered  
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil  
  • 8 cups organic baby kale OR one plastic pre-packaged container (a baby kale and greens blend is fine). Bonus: for those short on time the prepared blend are usually pre-washed!
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees  
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine prepared beets, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Place on a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until beets are fork tender. Remove beets from cookie sheet and let cool.
  4. Toast walnuts on another cookie sheet in the same oven for 7 minutes. Remove and let cool.
  5. While the beets and walnuts are cooling, prepare the Apple Cider Vinaigrette, below
  6. Place salad greens in large bowl, top with beets, and dress with Apple Cider Vinaigrette, to taste.
  7. Enjoy!

Apple cider vinaigrette:

Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve over your favorite salad.

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

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What’s the Difference Between a Detox and a Cleanse?

The terms cleanse and detox are often used interchangeably, and while they both remove toxins from your body, a detox and a cleanse are two different things! At the root of the word “cleanse” is clean, and you should think of a cleanse as a way of cleaning your body. Often a cleanse uses supplements or pills to eliminate substances directly and cleanses normally focus on the digestive tract. On the other hand, detox programs strive to support your body’s natural toxin-eliminating processes. Since the body’s main detoxing centers are the liver and the kidneys, good detox programs focus on supporting your liver and kidneys by giving them the nutrients and supplements they need to function optimally.

So what are toxins anyway? Heavy metals including mercury are top of mind, but the lists also include persistent organic pollutants, plastics, and pesticides. Basically, toxins are harmful particles that can stay in your body, irritating cells, causing inflammation, and interfering with your body’s normal functions.

Signs of toxicity or a high toxic load (and thus the need for a detox or cleanse) include:

  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  •  joint pain,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • and constipation.

But there’s much more to detoxes and cleanses, in fact, season is important. Watch the short video above to see why spring is a great time for a cleanse, to find out why a toxin load is important, and what lowering your toxin load can do for you. Or view the whole video on my Facebook.

For more information, we offer a Detox Treatment kit with our Detox Guidebook, Fiber Blend, Liver Support with Antioxidants, Daily Detox Support, and Magnesium Tablets and you can take our Medical Symptom Questionnaire for toxins.