Perhaps one of the most important forms of preventative medicine is ensuring that our bodies are not overburdened by toxins. Unregulated toxin exposure leads to storage of toxin in body cells, development of symptoms, and sometimes even chronic conditions. Unfortunately, toxins are everywhere – both internal and external, therefore completely eliminating toxins from the body is not a realistic goal. However, there are many small steps that can be made in order to monitor the levels of toxins that reach the body.
How do toxins affect the body?
• Difficulty focusing and persistent brain fog
• Difficulty losing weight despite good diet and exercise
• Digestive issues
• Joint aches
• Skin issues
• Chronic sinus drain
• Mood swings
• Allergies and asthma
A toxin is defined as any substance that causes bodily harm. External, internal and/or lifestyle toxins penetrate our bodies every day. Our immune system, liver and kidneys work together to remove toxins. However, overexposure causes our bodies to store toxins, in many cases, for years. It’s only after the burden of toxins become too high that we develop symptoms and sometimes, chronic conditions.
External and environmental toxins are typically the first that come to mind. Pollutants such as automobile exhaust, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, radiation, smog, inhalants, heavy metals, and solvents are everywhere. Avoiding any combination of these toxins or each altogether is impossible, unless you never set foot outside again. But even then, toxin exposure can occur.
Our bodies produce toxins in three main categories: metabolic reactions, intestinal microbes, and emotional toxins. Metabolic reactions are the body’s daily processes necessary for function, such as digestion and the transport of substances into, out of, and between cells. By-products of metabolic reactions including carbon dioxide and ammonia are both considered toxins. Intestinal microbes such as bacteria, yeast, and fungi aid in digestion and the absorption of food, however, overgrowth of these microbes can be toxic to the body. Emotional toxins including stress, trauma, abuse, and unhappiness are considered toxic as well and can stem from or lead to hormone imbalance and poor lifestyle habits.
Certain lifestyle habits may introduce toxins into the body at varying levels. Habits such as eating more processed foods, sugar, and turning to addictive substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco to cope with daily stresses of life all introduce toxins into the body. Even medications can introduce toxins, such as prescription drugs. Certain sweeteners and food additives are highly toxic and have been linked to Alzheimer’s and ADD/ADHD. Hormones and Antibiotics in cattle and poultry can cause hormonal disruption in our bodies.
The presence of toxins inside and all around us may seem like discouraging information, but managing the amount of toxins that enter the body and ensuring that the body does not become overburdened by toxins are certainly achievable goals. Detoxifying the body starts with pinpointing the areas of our lives that encourage toxin exposure, from there reducing toxin exposure becomes simple. Many assume ‘detox’ means total body cleanses, with fasting, strict diets, and elimination of most food groups, however detoxification can be achieved with small steps rather than giant leaps. For example, try buying organic produce to reduce the amount of herbicides and insecticide exposure, use green cleaning products and detergents, re-evaluate toxin encouraging lifestyle habits, or try a few of the anti-inflammatory recipes listed below.
Core Restore Detoxification Program
For those looking to jumpstart the detoxification process the Core Restore Detoxification Kit is a great way to begin. The program lasts for seven days (although there are 14 and 28 day kits as well) and leaves the participant with more energy, clearer skin, better eating habits, and reduced reliance on caffeine and sweeteners. The liver (one of the main detoxifying organs in the body) is safely stimulated to use both Phase I and Phase II pathways to detoxify the body by three active formulas – Core Support, Alpha Base, and PhytoCore. Along with the active formulas the Core Restore Detoxification program eliminates foods that prevent detoxification and encourages the use of foods that aid in detoxification. The Core Restore Detoxification program is a simple, easy-to-follow, way to boost detoxification and develop habits that will lessen daily exposure to toxins and better manage body toxin levels.
If you have questions or are interested in trying the Core Restore Detoxification Kit give us a call (714) 442-6642
If you’re looking for smaller steps to get started detoxifying the body, try incorporating some of the foods and recipes listed below that help encourage detoxification.
Anti-Inflammatory and Detoxification Recipes
Foods that help Detoxification
Any fresh or frozen fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, avocados, blueberries, bananas, apples, blackberries, mangos, and peaches
Broccoli, sweet potatoes, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, arugula, spinach, kale, turnips, cauliflower, radish, beets, turnips, onion, watercress, bell peppers, cucumber, celery, garlic, and lentils and beans (canned beans can be used as long as they are BPA-free)
Grass-fed beef, wild caught fish, and organic or pasture-raised chicken and turkey
Wild and brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, tapioca, buckwheat, and grain-free oats (unless they are gluten free)
• Fats and Oils
Extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and nut oils excluding peanut oil
• Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and sunflower seeds
• Dairy Products
Unsweetened non-dairy milks such as almond, cashew, hemp, or coconut milk
• Spices and Condiments
Pink Himalayan salt, turmeric, garlic, ginger, rosemary, and cocoa
Stevia, xylotol, and erythritol
• Plant Proteins and Legumes
Anything but soy
Foods that prevent Detoxification
Oranges, grapefruit, canned syrupy fruits, and artificial berry juices high in sugar
Corn, soybean and soy-based foods, and canned vegetables in sauces
Bacon, eggs, shellfish, sausage, hot dogs, lunch meats, pork, and conventional beef
Refined flours and gluten-containing: wheat, spelt, rye, oats, barley, and kamut
• Fats and Oils
Butter, margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil, hydrogenated oils, corn oil, shortening, mayonnaise, and cooking sprays
• Nuts and Seeds
Peanuts and peanut butter
• Dairy Products
Dairy from cows: milk, cheese, yogurt, frozen yogurt, and ice cream
• Spices and Condiments
Mustard, ketchup, barbeque sauce, relish, soy sauce, chocolate, and iodized salt
White and brown sugar, maple and corn syrup, sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, honey, agave nectar, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
• Plant Proteins and Legumes
Edamame, tofu, soybeans, and miso
Quinoa Oatmeal, serves 4
• ½ cup of quinoa
• 1 cup of steel-cut oats (which are gluten free)
• 4 cups of water
• 1 tsp olive or coconut oil
• ½ cup of almond milk
• Pinch of sea or Himalayan pink salt
- Heat water on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is near boiling
- Rinse quinoa in a strainer to remove bitter after-cooking taste
- In a saucepan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add oats and stir until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add quinoa, hot water, and salt and bring to boil.
- Once boiling turn down the heat and let simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
- Add almond milk and turn off heat
Berry Smoothie, serves 2
• 2 cups of unsweetened almond or coconut milk
• 1 frozen banana, sliced
• 1 cup each of frozen strawberries and blueberries
• Optional: Use any combination of frozen fruit for desired flavor
- Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth
- Pour into glass and serve
Green Chia Porridge, serves 2
• 2 cups of water
• 1 banana
• 10 soaked almonds, walnuts, or cashews
• 2 Tbsp of chia seeds
• Flesh of 1 avocado
• 3 cups of baby spinach
• Optional: ½ cup of raspberries for garnish
- Combine water, nuts, avocado, banana, chia seeds, and spinach in a blender
- Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy
- Garnish with raspberries
Sweet Potato Toast, serves 2
• 1 medium sweet potato
• 1 banana
• 2 Tbsp of almond butter
• Dash of cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake sweet potato. Cut the sweet potato lengthwise to speed baking time, about 45-60 minutes. This step can also be done the night before to save time. Otherwise, pierce sweet potato with a fork 4 or 5 times all over the surface and microwave for 4 minutes. Then flip and microwave for another 4 minutes, or until soft.
- Take each sweet potato halve and top with 1 Tbsp of almond butter and ½ banana each.
- Dash cinnamon over top and serve.
- Optional: Add chia seeds if desired or try another topping combination such as avocado, sea or Himalayan pink salt, and pepper or berries instead of banana. This recipe is very flexible, all you need is the sweet potato as the base and your choice of toppings
Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad, serves 2
• 4 cups of fresh baby spinach
• ½ pint of strawberries, hulled and sliced
• ½ avocado, pitted and diced
• 2 Tbsp of olive oil
• 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar
• ½ tsp of fresh lemon juice
• ¼ small red onion sliced thin
• ⅛ cup of sliced raw almonds
- Pour olive oil, balsamic, and lemon juice into small bowl and whisk thoroughly to mix. Set aside.
- Mix spinach, strawberries, avocados, onions, and almonds together in a salad bowl.
- Top salad with desired vinaigrette and serve.
Cannellini Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, serves 12
• Six 15 oz cans of rinsed and drained cannellini beans
• 6 cups of vegetable broth
• 3 large red bell peppers
• 3 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 minced garlic cloves
• 1 ½ oz of fresh basil, sliced thin, plus whole basil leaves for garnish
• Sea or Himalayan pink salt and ground black pepper
- Combine beans and broth in a large pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes while peppers roast. If you wish to save time, use red peppers that are already roasted.
- Coat peppers with a small amount of oil and set over an open high flame, turning occasionally with a pair of tongs. Once blackened all over, transfer peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow peppers to cool.
- Once cool, peel and remove any charred skin. Then cut peppers in half and discard seeds and stem.
- Add roasted peppers, basil, remaining oil, and garlic to beans. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches if necessary, and blend on high speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth.
- Turn the heat to low to warm the soup, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve garnished with basil leaves.
Vegetable Quinoa, serves 2
• 1 cup of dry quinoa
• ½ Tbsp of olive oil
• 1 clove of crushed garlic
• ¼ cup of diced red or green pepper
• ¼ cup of chopped zucchini
• ⅛ cup of diced yellow onion
• 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
• ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
• ½ tsp of sea or Himalayan pink salt
- Rinse quinoa in a strainer to remove bitter after-cooking taste and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Once heated, add garlic and onions and sauté until translucent.
- Add quinoa and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add remaining vegetables and stir until they start to soften.
- Add broth and bring to boil.
- Lower heat and simmer, covered. Add cilantro and salt then cook for 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is tender.
- Uncover, fluff with a fork, and serve.
Lemon Chicken Kabobs and Tomato-Parsley Salad, serves 4
• Four 6 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
• 2 cups of fresh parsley leaves
• 1 ½ cups of chopped cherry tomatoes
• 1 green and 1 red pepper, cut into inch long pieces
• 1 onion, cut into inch long pieces
• 3 divided Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
• 1 ½ divided Tbsp of minced garlic
• 1 ½ divided tsp of dried oregano
• ¾ divided tsp of Himalayan pink salt
• ¾ divided tsp of freshly ground black pepper
• 3 divided Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Combine 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp garlic, 1 tsp oregano, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and stir with a whisk.
- Add chicken and stir. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- Remove chicken and discard marinade. Thread chicken, tomatoes, peppers, and onions onto skewers and heat a grill pan over high heat.
- Add skewers and cook until done (about 6 minutes), turning often.
- For the salad: combine remaining juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add remaining oil, stirring well with whisk. Add parsley and tomatoes, and toss to coat.
- Serve chicken on top of salad.
Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes, serves 4
• Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas
• 4 medium sweet potatoes
• 1 can of chickpeas (15 oz.), drained and rinsed
• ¼ Tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp each cumin, coriander, cinnamon, smoked (or regular) paprika
• Optional: Pinch of sea salt or lemon juice
Garlic Herb Sauce:
• ¼ cup of hummus (or tahini)
• Juice from ½ lemon (~1 Tbsp)
• ¾ - 1 tsp dried dill or 2-3 tsp fresh dill
• 3 clove of garlic, minced
• Water or unsweetened almond milk to thin
• Optional: Sea salt to taste
• ¼ cup of diced cherry tomatoes
• ¼ cup of minced parsley
• 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rinse and scrub potatoes, then cut lengthwise to speed cooking time. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
- Toss rinsed and drained chickpeas with olive oil and spices, then place on foil covered baking sheet.
- Rub sweet potatoes with a small amount of olive oil and place face down on the same baking sheet (or separate sheet if there is not enough space).
- While sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, prepare sauce: add all ingredients to mixing bowl and whisk to combine, add enough water or almond milk until the sauce is thin enough to pour. Taste and adjust seasonings as preferred.
- Once sweet potatoes are tender and chickpeas are golden brown, about 25 minutes, remove from the oven.
- Flip potatoes and smash insides down a bit, top with chickpeas, sauce, and any additional toppings and serve.
Wild-Caught Salmon with Rice and Collards, serves 2
• Two 3 oz wild caught, skin-on salmon fillets
• ½ cup of uncooked wild rice
• 2 tsp of sesame oil
• 1 tsp of extra-virgin coconut oil
• 3 tsp of fresh dill, chopped
• 2 cups of vegetable broth
• 1 can of rinsed and drained chickpeas (15 oz.)
• 2 minced cloves of garlic
• 1 large head of red collard greens, stemmed and roughly chopped
• 10 fresh cilantro leaves
• ½ of a lemon
• 1 Tbsp of black sesame seeds
• Sea or Himalayan pink salt
• Ground black pepper
- Soak rice in enough water to cover by 2 inches for 2-3 hours, then drain and set aside. This step can be done prior to cooking in order to save time.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease baking sheet.
- Lay salmon fillets on a cutting board and rush them with 1 tsp of sesame oil. Season both sides with dill, salt, and black pepper taste, and then squeeze lemon juice over them. Let sit while rice is prepared.
- Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in a small pot. Add rice and sesame seeds and toast them, stirring consistently for about 3-5 minutes.
- Pour 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth and a pinch of salt to rice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 50-55 minutes. Add the chickpeas just before the rice is finished cooking, then replace the cover and let the chickpeas steam.
- After the salmon marinates for a few minutes, place fillets on baking sheet and bake until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
- Heat the remaining 1 tsp of sesame oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour remaining vegetable broth and add collard greens. Cook for 3 minutes, until leaves are wilted.
- Lay bed of rice and collards on each plate and place a salmon fillet on top. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.
Grilled Chicken or Turkey Breast with Sweet Peaches, serves 2
• 2 boneless chicken breast halves (may substitute turkey breast for chicken)
• 2 peaches cut into wedges
• 1 red onion cut into wedges
• 2 Tbsp of olive oil
• ½ Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
• ½ Tbsp of fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
• ½ tsp of fresh thyme leaves
• 1 clove of crushed garlic
• ½ Tbsp of sea or Himalayan pink salt
• ¼ tsp of black pepper
- Combine vinegar, herbs, 1 ½ Tbsp of oil, and dash of salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine onions, peaches, remaining oil, ¼ tsp salt, and ⅛ tsp of pepper.
- Season chicken or turkey with ¼ tsp of salt and ⅛ tsp of pepper.
- Grill chicken or turkey and onions until choice meat is done throughout and onions are tender, about 5-6 minutes on an outdoor grill, or 6 minutes total on a tabletop grill.
- Grill peaches until tender, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Drizzle vinaigrette onto chicken or turkey and serve with onions and peaches.
Oven Baked Beet Chips, serves 8
• 12 beets (can be red, golden, or mixed)
• ½ cup of olive oil
• 2 tsp of sea salt (Himalayan pink salt or celery salt would work as well)
- Preheat the oven to 300° F, and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scrub the beets well and cut the tops off.
- Using a Mandoline slicer, slice the beets until they are paper thin (1/16 inch). Hold the root end and drag the beets across the Mandoline to slice. Because the slices are so thin, there is no need to peel them first.
- Once sliced, place the beets in a large bowl and add the oil and salt. Toss well. If using a mixture of red and golden beets place in separate bowls and divide salt and oil evenly.
- Let the beets sit for about 15-20 minutes, that way they have the chance to release their natural juices. This will ensure they preserve better shape and color.
- Toss again, and then drain. Lay the slices out in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until crisp but not brown.
- Remove from oven and allow them to cool completely. Then enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container to keep them from going stale.
Rice Cakes with Almond Butter, serves 2
• 2 brown rice cakes
• 4 Tbsp almond butter
• Optional: Add fresh fruit such as raspberries, bananas, blueberries, or blackberries
- Top rice cakes with 2 Tbsp of nut butter each.
- Garnish with fruit.
Butternut Squash Fries with Avocado Dressing, serves 2
• Long neck section of 1 small butternut squash (the bottom half can be saved for later use in another recipe)
• 2 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tsp of sea of Himalayan pink salt
• 2 tsp of freshly chopped tarragon
• 1 avocado
• 2 tsp of fresh lime juice
• ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk
• 1 tsp of ground black pepper
• 2 Tbsp of water
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with foil. Wash butternut squash thoroughly and dry. Cut the squash at the base of the neck. Wrap the bottom part and refrigerate for later use.
- Cut the top part of the neck and discard, then peel the skin off and cut into long strips.
- Place strips in a bowl and add oil. If strips are not fully coated, add more. Add tarragon and 1 tsp of salt. Toss until well mixed and transfer to baking sheet making sure to spread strips out evenly.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until crisp.
- While the fries bake, peel and chop the avocado roughly, then place in a food processor (or blender if food processor is unavailable).
- Add lime juice, remaining salt, pepper, almond milk, and water and blend on low until well blended. For a creamier dipping sauce add more almond milk.
- Remove fries from the oven and allow them to cool.
- Once cool, transfer to a plate and serve with avocado sauce on the side or spread on top.
Hummus, serves 2
• One 15 oz can of chickpeas
• ⅛ cup of olive oil
• ½ Tbsp of lemon juice
• ½ tsp of ground cumin
• 1 clove of crushed garlic
• ¼ tsp of Himalayan pink sauce
• Vegetables for dipping
- Combine all ingredients, except dipping vegetables, into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.
- Serve with your choice of vegetables for dipping.
• Hyman MD, Mark. The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook. New York: Little, Brown and Company,2013.
• Ortho Molecular Products. Core Restore Patient Handbook Revitalizing Healthy Liver Function.