Tag Archives: Life

Detoxification vs. Cleansing: What’s the Difference?

Renewal, growth and hope are abundant with the coming of spring. It’s a time of thorough cleaning, ridding your house and yard of the grime, dirt and old junk that has been collecting through the winter. Well, just like your house, your body is exposed to a barrage of dirt and grime in the form of pesticides, synthetic additives, environmental pollution, processed food, vaccines, chlorinated-fluoridated-and-who-knows-what-else water, heavy metals and so much more. Don’t you owe it to yourself to rid your body of these health depleting toxins?

Let’s first talk about the differences between “detoxing” and “cleansing”. Detoxification is something the body does naturally, neutralizing and eliminating toxins from the body. The heart of detoxification are the six channels of elimination. Namely, the liver, kidneys, colon, lungs, lymph and skin. Detoxification occurs in two phases. Phase I modifies a toxin directly and sends it to Phase II, where chemical groups are added, transforming them into harmless substances that can be easily excreted. Picture it like this. Say you have a bunch of garbage piling up in the kitchen (phase I). You then bag it all up and take it to the curb for the garbage collector to haul away (phase II). Seems easy enough, right? It is if your liver is in good health. The liver, when working properly, clears 99% of the bacteria and other toxic substances from the bloodstream before allowing it to circulate back through the body.

Cleansing, on the other hand, refers to the numerous tools and therapies available that help clear out stored waste and restore balance to the gastrointestinal tract as well as the rest of the body. The goal in cleansing is to release the poison stored in your cells in a manner that your organs can safely keep up. Releasing too many stored toxins at once may put a strain on an overworked system resulting in what is referred to as a “healing crisis”. Symptoms can include but are not limited to headaches, gas, skin breakouts, etc. Cleansing can make sick people sicker so it is imperative that you choose a program that’s best for you. Check with your health care practitioner before embarking on any program, as cleansing may not be appropriate for people with certain health conditions.

Detoxifying the body is a nutrient driven process and water fasting is generally not advised. The greater the toxic load, the higher the need for macro and micro nutrients. The documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, has recently made juicing the most popular way to purge the gunk as well as increase energy and lose weight. Although juicing supports the body with live enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients, keep in mind that strictly juicing lacks protein, essential fatty acids and fiber. For most people, a raw foods or whole foods cleanse is the perfect place to start. Simply reducing your exposure to hormone-laden dairy, factory-farmed meats, pesticide-laced produce as well as sugar, caffeine, alcohol and processed foods can give the body the chance it needs to eliminate years of toxic buildup.

Since the average person has at least 116 synthetic compounds in their body, reducing the toxic burden is so much more than just the food you eat. Toxins disguise themselves in air fresheners, cleaning and body care products, furniture, perfumes and 1,000’s of other places. Simply put, if you can’t eat it, don’t put in on your skin or clean your house with it. Remember too, as you’re purging the impurities from your body, take some time to address emotional and spiritual cleansing techniques as well. Yoga, meditation, infrared sauna, massage, reflexology, acupuncture and other forms of healing are highly recommended. This is vital to restoring the connection between body, mind and spirit.

Whatever path or program you choose to preserve and improve your health, a more natural, less toxic life will benefit you AND the planet!

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

Spring Cleaning: Ridding Yourself of Toxic People

Seven days. Just seven more days until we claim ALL of our house back. You may have noticed that my weekly blog hasn’t been so weekly. In fact, it hasn’t even been monthly. Back in January, my husband and I moved from our tiny, cozy apartment into a gigantic 3,000 square foot house situated on almost three acres. Along with Trent, who’s 15 and already lives with us, we invited our almost 20 year old daughter and her on-again-off-again “boyfriend” to move in as well. My husband and I thought this was a great idea as they would have their own space, be able to save some money, and if they “broke up” at least she would be home and he would have to go.

Well. Here we are two months later and we are counting down the days until they move back out. I love her to death, him not so much. I was willing to put how I felt about him aside and come from a place of understanding and compassion because it seemed the right thing to do. That lasted five minutes. I won’t bore you with the myriad of reasons why I can’t even tolerate being in the same room with this kid. But I do know this. Having tension and negative energy permeating my home has taken its toll on ALL of the occupants, even my pets! I am not a hater and I refuse to let the immature actions of someone I don’t care to know make me into one.

Negative energy, people, relationships can all have an effect on your health just as much as crappy food and sitting around the house watching television. Today’s moral? Rid yourself of anyone in your life who does not encourage, support or add anything positive to your life. The sooner the better. For us? Just seven more days…

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Stay Vibrant!
Tonya

An Apple a Day CAN Keep the Doctor Away

Cameo. Honeycrisp. Pink Lady. No, these aren’t the names of fancy roses but of fresh, delicious apples. When you think of all the different fruits that contain antioxidants, with most varieties of berries topping the list, apples tend to get overlooked. Antioxidants are nutrients in our food that can prevent or slow down the oxidative damage to our body. When our cells use oxygen, they produce by-products (free radicals) that can cause damage. Antioxidants act as free radical scavengers to repair the damage. Another reason apples pack a punch is the pectin, a soluble fiber that helps with total cholesterol and triglycerides. At 80 calories with 5 grams of fiber, apples fill you up with fewer calories. Although apples go out of season by early winter, they are often stored so they can be sold year round. Apples retain virtually all of their flavonoid content for up to two months in your refrigerator.

One of my favorite snacks is a crisp, semi-tart Pink Lady apple with some fresh ground almond butter. Simple and delicious. Toss them in green and fruit salads with some cinnamon spiced nuts or roast some with vegetables such as sweet potatoes or carrots, add some browned chicken sausage and viola, a feast for your taste buds. However you enjoy your daily apple, just eat it in its whole fruit form. Applesauce, apple juice and other processed apple foods are NOT the same. Apples are number one on the Environmental Working Group’s list of the most pesticide laden fruit so make sure to purchase organic apples if possible. To see their complete list, visit their website at EWG.org.

Grandma may have been right after all, an apple a day CAN keep the doctor away!

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Be Vibrant!
Tonya

Knowledge is Power!!

Happy New Year gracious readers! As 2013 begins, I invite you to join me on a year long journey down the road of knowledge. I will cover everything from antioxidants to zinc in a fun and informative way and will include some of my favorite recipes! Together, let’s make this our healthiest year yet!

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Be Vibrant!
Tonya

No Comfort In Food Today

What’s one of the first things you do when someone you know dies? You mourn. You take food to the family. Or people bring food to you. As the parents, siblings, spouses and friends of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy how do you ever eat again?

Now, more than ever is a time to gather your loved ones around you and treasure every minute. If you’re miles apart, pick up the phone and tell them you how you feel. Time is short. Don’t waste precious energy on petty family squabbles or your hard earned-money on giving and gathering stuff. Hug everyone. Especially the children in your life.

No amount of food; comfort, organic or otherwise will dull the devastation right now.

Rest in peace Charlotte, Daniel, Olivia, Josephine, Ana, Dylan, Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, Jesse, James, Grace, Emilie, Jack, Noah, Caroline, Jessica, Avielle, Benjamin, Allison, Mary, Victoria, Anne, Lauren, Dawn, and Rachel.

You’re all angels now.

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Love and Peace,
Tonya

Yes, I’m Human!

This past Thanksgiving my family and friends were surprised to find that I too, on occasion, eat foods that have more to do with comforting my soul than nourishing my body. Thursday’s list included all the traditional favorites: delicious homemade stuffing, classic green bean casserole, (a healthy version of course!), fluffy mashed potatoes, oh-so-sweet, sweet potato pie, Pammie’s creamy, side-dish-of-goodness made of all things corn, honey-glazed ham for the turkey haters, and of course, the bird with its golden, crispy crust and moist, tender meat.(Thanks to brining!) Being as I rarely indulge in grains and sweets, this meal was a treat! Since I was in charge of all things cooking, I could’ve made cauli-tatoes, baked my own grain-free bread to make the stuffing, skipped the corn casserole, etc…but…I didn’t. And it was soooo goood!

You see, I don’t have the issues that keep some people from being able to eat from the more common food groups. I mostly, (that’s right, mostly) avoid grains, beans and dairy because I believe there are better food choices that encourage and promote health. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy an occasional burger WITH the bun or, and I know this is crazy, a scoop of rocky road ice cream complete with cone! This is shocking to those I work with who’ve come to know me as the “food police” and to the students who fill my classes with their eagerness to learn how food can impact them in a positive way. I encourage them to live by the 80/20 rule. If 80% of the time you’re doing what you know you should: eating “right”, moving your body, drinking plenty of clean water, than the effects of the “other” 20% won’t be as bad.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE FOOD!. I’m all about fresh, organic-as-much-as-possible, sustainable food. But I live more by the 95/5 rule which makes me a freak. I practice what I preach. I walk the talk. But yes, Virginia, I AM human.

Be Vibrant!

Tonya

Celebrate Your Life!

Have you ever noticed that most of your ordinary days, your triumphs and your defeats, even life and death, revolve around food and drink? What do you do to help the new mom next door with a new baby, two other kids under four and a husband who works a 60 hour week?? Bring food. What do you do after the funeral of your great Uncle Martin? Eat and reminisce. What about holidays spent with family you see once a year? Eat and reminisce. Your husband’s promotion at work? Out to dinner of course! Meeting up with a girlfriend or two? Will it be coffee or cocktails? I’m sure you feel me by now.

Sometimes uncomfortable news is easier to give over a beer at your favorite bar because you know your soon-to-be-ex-husband refuses to cry in public. Or at the table of your local mexican restaurant because you know your mother won’t make a scene.  I know because I’ve been at both tables. The first one years ago and bless you Donnie for not making it more difficult than it already was. The other table, however, was a few short days ago. The mother of my husband’s children, I hate calling them my “stepkids” because they mean more to me than that, came to visit from California with her husband. What’s the first thing we did? We all met for dinner. Along with the young man Courtney has been spending time with.  And the “uncomfortable” news? I’m sure, smart readers, you’ve guessed it.  C ( we call her “C” sometimes), had to tell her mom she’s pregnant. At 19. Seven months after moving out on her own. Oops. Reactions ranged from tears to rage all in the span of few moments. Tears because although we are excited to have another grandchild, (we have precious Owen, who is three and half, back home in California with my oldest son Billy), we know the road she is travelling won’t be easy. Doable, of course. Just not easy. The young man took the verbal licking from all the adults at the table for the rest of the meal, while we encouraged and consoled and considered the new momma and the future of this instant little addition to the family. Over food. And drinks. Lots of them. Just kidding.

 

Wow, Really Joe?

Inspiration is everywhere. You just have to look for it. Take this morning for example. While wracking my brain, trying to pick out one, of the too many numerous things I’m passionate about, it hit me. Ok,  it didn’t literally hit me, but I heard him on the phone. His name is Joe and he works for the same company as my husband. They were chatting on speaker phone, so you could hardly call it eavesdropping. Anyway, Joe is like most of us, trying to fill our plates and our bellies, fast and cheap. Joe works on the road a lot. He lives primarily on the fast food dollar menu. I overheard him making a joke, about stopping to get a .79 cent 64 ounce soda, before dining at the restaurant famous for their all-you-can-eat,  white, doughy bread sticks and unlimited iceberg lettuce salad special. Smart shopper right?  Since the restaurant charges three bucks for a soft drink?

People have all kinds of excuses for eating poorly. Most are lacking one or more of three things; time, money or energy.  But doesn’t it make sense that if you use your time wisely, you could have more energy AND save money? The truth is in the cooler. As in the portable, take-me-on-a-picnic, good ‘ol ice chest. There is an endless array of sizes and styles to suit anyone. Of course, the important thing is WHAT you put in it. (Sorry honey, I’m not thinking chocolate milk and mini powdered sugar donuts.) I’m thinking more along the lines of some fresh slices of cucumbers and cashew hummus or maybe some almond butter and a big Honeycrisp apple . Maybe some big chunks of sharp, cheddar cheese and some sort of jerky, I like turkey or venison. Or some tuna salad scooped up with sweet baby bell peppers.  Since we’re headed into cooler weather what about something warm and satisfying like a hot thermos full of homemade soup or stew? Or some stick-to-your-ribs chili? The variety of things to take on the road are limitless.

What’s missing here is the plan. Many of you live from moment to moment and catch something to eat on the run. Like Joe. Like most of us. However, with a little pre-planning you CAN eat healthier. Write down a few menu ideas and make sure you shop for everything to complete those meals. This saves from those last-minute, oh-yeah-I-forgot, trips to the store. Keep in mind meals that work both for dinner and for lunch the next day. Take some time to clean and prep your vegetables. Make some hard-cooked eggs and if your family eats rice, prepare a big pot of whole grain, brown rice to use in meals throughout the week. Use that huge timer saver you have tucked away. You know, your crock pot. Getting up a wee ten minutes earlier in the morning, to put your goodies of the day together, will improve both your health and your wallet!

Hardy man’s lunch box

Raw Cashew Hummus

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for four hours

1/4 C tahini (sesame butter)

1-2 garlic cloves

juice of a fresh lemon

Sea salt and fresh, cracked pepper

Drain water from cashews, saving some water for processing. Place together in food processor or blender with next four ingredients and process until smooth and creamy, adding water as necessary for desired consistency. Season to taste. Enjoy with a medley of fresh veggies!

Be Vibrant!

Tonya