Friday, March 16, 2018

Detox Your Life – Part 1 {Your Body}




Our bodies are exposed to tons of toxins.  We eat them, drink them, lather them on our skin, and breathe them in.  Just thinking about all of the uglies that go inside of our bodies can cause an uneasiness and a sense of urgency to rid our bodies of anything foreign.
Before you panic and do something drastic, let me give you some good news.
  1. Our bodies are stronger than we think.  We have been gifted with immune systems that fight for us every single minute of every single day.  Think of your immune system as the best SEAL team ever.  This team doesn’t have any other job but to protect our bodies.  Also, this team never sleeps.  It is punching the clock 24/7.
  2. I am going to walk you through a detox program that will be easy (if you are committed) and free your body, mind, and environment of nasty toxins.
The definition of detoxification is:  The process of removing toxic substances or qualities from one’s body.
Signs that you need to detox your body:
  • Lethargy
  • Brain fog
  • Weight gain
  • Indigestion
  • Excessive sinus problems
  • Headaches
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Acne
  • Bad breathe
Think of toxins as horrible rebels that want to take out our SEAL team.  Little do they realize that we are on to their drama and we are going to take away their swords and shields and leave them running for the hills.
Detoxing our bodies takes effort and commitment.  I have some great news, however.  It will not kill you and will actually make you feel better.  When most people think about detoxing, they think belly aches, no food at all, and tons of added supplements.
That’s not my kind of detox.  I believe that detoxing our bodies is really just fine tuning our lifestyles.  I am going to share with you a way to pull those toxins out without making you go crazy.  I will warn that if you are a sugar lover or caffeine goddess, you will experience headaches and an overall feeling of grumpiness for the first 2-3 days.  It stinks, I know, but stick with it because the reward of feeling better and improving your health will be worth it.
My advice is if you fall into the sugar or caffeine category mentioned above, reduce your amount by half for a week before starting this program.  It will not be as big a shock to your system and, thus, you will not experience the cold turkey symptoms that may make you feel like jumping in front of a truck.
Are you ready?  Thinking about boarding the detox train?  You won’t regret it!
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Detoxing your beautiful and amazing body:
  1. Before beginning, take a glance at what you're eating and drinking on a regular basis.  Be mindful of when you are eating and what you are snacking on.  Define your goal for detoxing.  Doing this will prepare your mind and you can refer to the goal(s) when you feel like throwing in the towel and running for the nearest junk food aisle.  Also, jot down alternatives to all the foods/beverages on this list.  This will prepare you and keep you ahead of the game.
  2. If you drink from plastic water or juice bottles, find an alternative.  Plastic bottles release toxins into the liquid, especially when they are warm.  Remember, they probably were pretty warm as they were being transported to your local store.  If you work outside of your home, take a cup that you can refill often.  My favorites are the Dyln water bottle and the Corkcicle cup.  They fit nicely in my car cup holder and it keeps my drink cold for over 8 hours.  I can continue to add water to the ice that stays all day.  
  3. Remove coffee and all caffeinated beverages.
  4. Drink LOTS of filtered water and herbal teas.  Stay away from tap water.  The goal here is to visit the bathroom often!  The water will help flush out the toxins.
  5. Avoid sugar at all costs.  Remember, this is not forever.  It is only for a set amount of time.  {We will discuss times in just a sec!}  Read the labels of everything you put into your mouth.  Sugar is added to pretty much everything.  The best rule of thumb for this process is to stay clear of foods that are sold in boxes – crackers, cereals, breads, granola, etc.
  6. Remove all white foods.  This includes rice, bread, and flour.  Brown is best!
  7. Avoid alcohol.  Sorry, it’s not forever!
  8. Say no to dairy.  This includes milk, cheese, and butter.  This is a great opportunity to taste test various nut milks.  I have become a huge fan of almond milk.
  9. Add a probiotic to your day.  I know I said this detox program would not be a crazy one that involved buying the entire supplement store, but a probiotic will help flush out toxins and help your gut bacteria balance out so that your belly feels in tip top shape.
  10. Eat the rainbow.  No, not Skittles!  Eat a variety of various colors of fruits and veggies.  This does not have to be boring and cause you to stare down the produce department.  Be creative with your eating.  Create awesome salads and garnish them with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.  I add some cayenne pepper to the vinaigrette for an added flavor boost.  You can also roast veggies in the oven with a sprinkle of olive oil, salt, pepper, or your preferred spices.
  11. Organic, organic, organic!!  Stay clear of fruits and veggies that are not organic.  If you eat produce that is not organic, you will be adding toxins and chemicals with every bite.  That kind of defeats your purpose!
  12. Keep away from meats, chicken, and pork.  Replace them with legumes.  Thankfully, there is a wide variety of legumes for you to test out.  If you must eat meat and chicken, only eat organic, grass fed beef and free range chicken that you are certain contains no antibiotics.
This program can be done for 7, 14, or 21 days.  It depends on you.  I generally do the program for 7 days.  I notice a HUGE difference in my energy level, calmness, happiness, and gut health.  I always feel like pulling out my Wonder Woman cape and wearing it everywhere I go.  Ok, I don’t really have one…sniff, sniff.  But if I did, I might just add it as an awesome accessory!
Once you have completed the length you desire, don’t rush to the grocery store and overflow your buggy with all things not on this list.  This program not only detoxes your body, but it helps train your body, mind, and taste buds to eat in a healthier manner.
Now I’m not na├»ve, I know sugar and caffeine will be added back.  Heck, I add it back too!  However, do it gradually and mindfully.  For example, if you generally drink 3 cups of coffee, cut back to one and a half.  You will most likely find that your fine with this and actually may  now prefer only one cup.  A trick to reducing cups is drinking it more slowly.  Don’t chug it like the world is void of any more coffee.  Take your time drinking it and really enjoy every sip.
As far as sugar is concerned, choose the days you will enjoy a delightful treat.  Rather than grabbing something sweet on a daily basis, designate official dessert days.  For our family, dessert days are Friday and Saturday after dinner.  It has worked well for us.  That is not to say we never, ever eat sugar on the other days.  We just don’t make it daily occurrences.
Also, remember to continue to read labels and notice sugar amounts and those ingredients that look like you are back in high school on the first day of your foreign language class.  Avoid those as often as possible.
Repeat this program when you notice those crazy symptoms sneaking back up on you.
Ok, now it’s time to begin.  You totally have this!!  Once your designated detox time is up, you will feel accomplished, empowered, and awesome. You go, people!!
I’m excited to hear about your experiences.  Let me know if you need any help, guidance, or have questions.  You can shoot me an email anytime, just head to my work with me tab.  My email is listed at the bottom of the page.
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Cheering you all on!!
Marci
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

How To Bring the Magic of Christmas into Your Home and Heart



Cue the Christmas music.  It's officially (in my home anyway) the Christmas season. I love the Christmas season for so many reasons.

I love...
  • Family and friends gathering together
  • Christmas movies
  • Christmas music
  • Flavored coffees
  • Hot chocolate
  • Shopping for gifts
  • Decorating
  • Making Christmas cookies and goodies
  • Strangers sharing kindness with one another
I decided a few years ago that I was no longer waiting until after Thanksgiving to start bringing the wonderful Christmas feel into our home.  There is something magical about the season that makes our home feel so much more comfy and cozy.  

In order to put the sparkle of Christmas into our home I -
  • Light candles that have a holiday smell
  • Prepare comfort foods like soups (with a healthy flair, of course!)
  • Turn on Christmas movies (thank you very much Hallmark Channel!)
  • Begin adding Christmas decorations to our home
  • Have my kids start making their wish lists
  • Bake pumpkin bread
  • Play Christmas music
I know that this season is hard for some people.  I can totally relate because I really struggled for a few years with feelings of depression during the holidays.  The holidays left me feeling lonely and, honestly, like something was wrong with me.  My heart goes out to anyone who feels this way.  It is a terrible guilt that we often leave bottled up inside.

We all have our reasons for the sadness the holidays can bring on.  Mine had to do with my biological father.  You see, we never had a relationship.  When he died, I was left feeling so sad and empty.  I had always dreamt of him telling me he loved me and he was proud of me.  His death was a death for my dreams too.  The holiday season exasperated my pain and caused me to grieve for a relationship that never would be.  Christmastime is a time for families, for love, and for children to feel the magic of it all.  I guess the little girl in me broke when I realized that I would never hear "I love you" or "I'm so proud of you".

After a few years of struggling, I made a conscience decision to be purposeful in my thoughts.  I decided that I was no longer going to let something I could not control wreak havoc on my time with my children and family.  While it still hurt, I didn't want the holiday season to be tainted by my broken heart.  If my heart was going to be repaired and I was going to enjoy the season, I had to let go and trust God to lead me in love.  I had to take every thought captive and turn it into praise for Jesus and all that He does for me.  I decided that I could wallow in my sadness or recognize all the blessings God places around me.  I began keeping a blessings journal and I was amazed at what all I began to notice!  Trust me when I say that a blessings journal is a sure fire way to see the love God has for us.

To overcome the holiday blues I did a variety of things.
  • I kept a blessings journal - I wrote down everything I noticed throughout the day - no matter how small.
  • I turned on Christmas music and sang loudly.  I wanted to put the song into my heart!
  • I found others to bless.  It's funny how blessing others blesses us a million times more.
  • I made Christmas cookies and handed them out to anyone who would take them.
  • I spent time with others I knew were struggling.  I wanted to show them God's love and let them know that they weren't alone.  I aloud them to be authentic, cry, and release what was on their hearts.
  • I was purposeful about finding joy in shopping for gifts.  I didn't let it become a have to.
  • I rewarded myself often with a trip to a coffee shop.
I don't claim to know the depths of people's hurting hearts, but I do know that sharing love and kindness always helps - if even for a short time.  Let's be open and purposeful about showing love to those around us this holiday season.  A loving, kind, and listening heart is so much better than a store bought gift.  If you know of someone who is hurting, make time to love on them and let them know that they matter.  

Wishing you a season full of love-
Marci