Heather and I are kindred spirits. She’s a holistic nutritionist from California who loves surfing, hiking, traveling and learning about the body. She writes about nutrition and health on her blog, groundedapproach, with such wisdom and clarity and I’m so happy that she was able to share some of that here. Thanks Heather!
Summer is meant to be a season of beauty and relaxation, where we come out of hibernation and enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately as soon as the sun comes out women tend to be bombarded with stress. Pressure to quickly become “bikini-ready” takes over and relaxation is replaced with deprivation. Summer cleanses, which usually consist of consuming only fresh vegetable & fruit juice are used as a mechanism to clear the body of accumulated fat. If you’ve been, or are currently a cleanse addict, you are not alone! A phase of juice cleansing is sort of a right of passage for anyone interested in nutrition.
Unfortunately there are a few side-effects that are all too common with the juice cleanse approach to detoxifying the body. Whether it’s water mixed with lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup, or nutrient-dense vegetable juice, if consumed in large quantities, you are likely to experience break outs, a slowed metabolic rate, and fatigue. Although these symptoms are unfortunate, the worst part of these strict detox diets is that they ignore the body’s unique nutritional cravings.
What many don’t realize is that summer already encourages our body’s natural detoxification process, no green juice necessary. So rather than torturing yourself, embrace some of the practices below, for an effective and continual summer cleanse:
Unlike other seasons, in summer we are inclined to sweat. Not only does sweat keep the body cool, but it also cleanses the body of built-up toxins including heavy metals & environmental pollutants. As unappealing as sweat may be, it’s much more beneficial for your body to embrace the heat than it is to stay in the cool indoors during these hot months. So go for a hike, walk, or simply lay out. Let your body do it’s job and purge itself of the toxins that have accumulated over the past 9 months.
Lay in the sun:
The sun has gotten a bad rap in the past few decades. Its wrongfully blamed as the main cause of premature aging and skin cancer, while it’s benefits go unrecognized. Not only is vitamin D essential for mineral and nutrient absorption, but it is also a powerful component in heavy metal detoxification. Vitamin D naturally increases our body’s levels of intra-cellular glutathione (often referred to as the mother antioxidant). Glutathione binds to and effectively removes heavy metals, particularly mercury from the brain. Much more powerful than drinking a vegetable juice if you ask me!
Vitamin D is best absorbed through the skin. So dedicate some time daily to expose yourself to the sun without the use of chemical-laden sun creams. Of course you don’t want to burn so cover your face and make sure to only stay out as long as your skin can handle. For some this means 15 minutes, for others it could be an hour.
Take advantage of nutrient-dense foods:
Summer encourages the growth of some of the most nutrient dense foods available. Everyone knows that antioxidant-rich wild berries, herbs and fresh vegetables are plentiful this time of year. But what many don’t recognize that animal products are also at their annual peak. Cows, chickens and pigs who’s diets are often supplemented with hay and grains in the colder months are able to feast on fresh grass 100% of the time in summer. This leads to beef higher in omega 3’s, carotenoid-rich orange egg yolks and deep yellow butter that is full of Vitamin A & D. All of these nutrient-dense foods help support the liver, our main detoxification organ.
Earthing is the simple practice of walking barefoot to gain antioxidants from earth’s surface. Thanks to lightning which strikes about 100x per second, the ground has free electrons that can easily be absorbed through direct contact with skin. These electrons quench free-radicals, reduce inflammation and stimulate every organ in our body, including our primary detoxifying organs like the liver and kidneys. Take advantage of summers “no shoes necessary” policy and let your body reap the benefits.
Hopefully you can agree that laying in the sun, eating nutrient-dense butter and walking barefoot sound like more enjoyable ways to detox your body than drinking gallons of raw green juice, feeling fatigued and suffering from break-outs. So please take the time to enjoy summers elements and let your body do it’s job, stress-free.
Article and photography by Heather Tupps.