Tag Archives: Detox

Super Spring Detox Foods

detox foodsI live in a northern climate so the end of winter signals a new season of fresh produce and nutrition-rich foods.  Even though all these foods are available from the grocery store in the winter, getting them straight out of the garden or fresh-picked at a farmers’ market early in the growing season can’t be beat.

When it comes to cleansing your body of harmful toxins, food really is the best medicine.  Many of your favorite foods also cleanse the liver, kidneys, skin, intestines, and other detoxifications systems.  Add more of these nutritious and delicious spring time foods to your diet to help ward off the harmful effects of pollution, food additives, second-hand smoke, and other toxins.

Artichokes—increase bile production. Bile helps the intestines eliminate toxins from the body. They also contain a substance that helps the liver break down fatty acids, reducing its already immense load.

Asparagus– an excleent source of vitamin K and folate.  Asparagus also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium and selenium.  Due to its high folate content it is a particularly good option for pregnant women.

Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites, and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Onions—demonstrate powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer activity. Onions also thin and cleanse the blood and lower LDL cholesterol without lessening HDL cholesterol. Onions also help detoxify the respiratory tract and fight asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, and diabetes. Onions help cleanse the body of viruses and the intestines of harmful bacteria.

Watercress—increases detoxification enzymes in the body and acts on cancer cells in the body. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Centre in the United Kingdom, smokers who were given 170 grams of watercress per day eliminated higher than average amounts of carcinogens in their urine, thereby eliminating them from their body.

Adapted from Weekend Wonder Detox by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, ROHP (DaCapo, 2014)

Check out my new book 60 Seconds to Slim.  Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more.  Follow my blog on my site HealthySurvivalist.com, Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.  

Detox For The Holidays Made Safe and Simple

1369381414_83633With the holiday season right around the corner, there is no better time than the present to fortify our diet and cement healthy eating.  Ironically, while healthy eating is our birthright, for many of us it seems like taking the plunge into eating a whole foods-based diet is the equivalent to traveling to some distant land.  But it doesn’t have to be such a scary or foreign experience.

In my work as a functional medicine doctor, my priority is to guide each patient through a safe, simple, realistic, and  pleasurable transition into healthy eating. Because whole foods-based diets remove all the sugary, fatty, chemical-laden, artificial stuff from the diet, they sometimes get called a detox or a cleanse.

Why is detoxification important?

When our bodies become toxic it means that our natural method of ushering out metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD) has exceeded the threshold for what the body’s innate detoxification system can tolerate.  With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected.  From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!

How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse?

Usually a constellation of complaints help to determine whether or not you are toxic and to what extent you need to cleanse.  Some examples of what might indicate a toxic system are:

  • constipation
  • persistent headaches, muscle aches, and muscle fatigue
  • inclusion of large amounts of swordfish, tuna, shark, etc. into diet
  • mercury fillings and dental amalgams
  • food allergies
  • stubborn weight loss
  • hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement such as “the pill” or progesterone cream
  • consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea, or eczema
  • a lifetime of consuming the SAD diet

To find out if you are toxic, take a look at The UltraSimple Diet.

How long should you stay on a cleanse? 

Typical cleanses that harness our body’s natural processes for filtering and removing waste tend to be gentle and can therefore  be tolerated for longer periods of time than more extreme protocols.  A safe cleanse is one which doesn’t make you starve yourself or take fancy pills, potions, or expensive drinks.

Safety means allowing the body to do what it wants to do naturally, with a little assistance from some guided healthy eating, appropriate supplements, and relevant lifestyle modifications.  I usually have my patients do a cleanse for 7 days to 6 weeks, or even longer, depending on their particular needs.  Work with a trained medical provider to help determine what length of time is right for you.

How to prepare for a cleanse?

Like we would plan for any big trip to a new destination, we need to prepare, plan, and set out some main goals for our journey.  And by the way, as in all travels, it’s always a good idea to leave some room for the serendipitous excursions to occur.  When handled properly, they can be the best part of a trip!  So how can we plan for a safe and simple detoxification protocol?

  1. Take some basic measurements before you begin to track your progress as you go through your program.  For example, if weight loss is your goal, measure your waist, hips, and record your weight.  If, migraines are an issue, determine the duration, intensity and frequency.  Keep a journal; this will help you in more ways than one!
  2. Make lists!  Organize your pantry, toss out the junk, gather recipes, sketch out weekly menus, make shopping lists for healthy foods you will be eating and formulate a cooking schedule to ensure you allot time to prepare food for the week.
  3. Use journaling as a way to “cleanse” your inner world and relieve yourself of mental and emotional stress.
  4. Gather any supplements you need to take that have been advised for you by your medical provider.
  5. Think about the kind of exercise that will best complement your end goal and plan for it in your schedule.
  6. Detoxification requires you to slow down.  Make sure you fit time for deep relaxation into your plan.
  7. Often, unsavory side effects appear in the initial phase of a cleanse.  Two side effects to look for and keep track of in your journal are:
  • Constipation.  Move those bowels!  Drink plenty of purified water.  Try warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.  Often, taking 300 mg of magnesium citrate is helpful or try an Epsom salt bath.
  • Food allergies or sensitivities.  These can be obvious or obscure.  But chances are, as your body lets go of toxic waste, it will be easier to recognize a hidden reaction to gluten, dairy, soy or any of the other common food allergies.

Common symptoms the first few days of withdrawal from a toxic lifestyle and the SAD (Standard American Diet)

The following symptoms are very common at the beginning of the program and should dissipate within the first few days. Don’t worry, these symptoms are indicative that your body is eliminating toxins and are a good sign!

  • bad breath
  • constipation
  • achy, flu-like feeling
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • hunger
  • irritability
  • itchy skin
  • nausea
  • offensive body odor
  • sleep difficulties (too much or too little)

These symptoms can occur for a number of reasons. First, eliminating food allergies and un-junking the diet causes reactions similar to withdrawal from other addictive substances like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, or heroin. Note: We are often most addicted to the foods we are allergic to! Getting off those allergens can cause a brief, flu-like achy syndrome that may last one to three days. Second, toxins in our digestive tract may make us feel ill if we don’t eliminate them. The best way to get relief from these symptoms is to follow the recommendations below.

How to avoid withdrawal symptoms

Initially, those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty. Symptoms usually disappear after three to four days. It is best to slowly reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour, and over-the-counter medications (except as directed by your physician) a week or two before you start your program.

  1. Drink at least six to eight glasses of filtered water daily.  Stay away from plastic bottles; glass bottles are okay.
  2. To prevent headaches, make sure your bowels are clean.
  3. Fatigue is normal during a cleanse so allow more time for rest and sleep. To boost energy, exercise for 30 minutes a day.  Walking outside in fresh air is best.  Roll up those sleeves and let the sun hit you with some vitamin D!
  4. Take 1,000 mg buffered vitamin C with breakfast and dinner.  Take 300 mg magnesium citrate at dinner.
  5. Don’t wait until you are starving to eat!  Balance your blood sugar by eating protein-based meals and snacks every three to four hours.  Excellent sources of protein are baked or broiled fish, lean poultry, and legumes such as edamame or black beans.
  6. Heat is a great resource while cleansing as it helps draw out toxins from within.  Try a sauna or a warm bath with Epsom salts for 20 minutes a few times per week.
  7. While safe, these types of cleanses can still be stressful on the body and mind so remember to relax.  Actively engaging your parasympathetic nervous system helps restore your energy which your body needs to replenish itself.  Meditation, deep breathing, or any calming activity is good.
  8. Eliminate all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten, or addictive substances.  By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior.  Reset your biology to eliminate all triggers.
  9. Keep a journal and track your symptoms.  You should feel better in three to seven days.  If you do not feel well at this point, please exercise caution and check in with your doctor.
  10. Tune in to your body and listen to the cues it provides.  A cleanse is a great journey to learn more about understanding how to operate your very own owner’s manual!

Originally posted on my site, DrHyman.com

A Heavy Metal Detox Juice for Your Next Cleanse

heavy-metal-detox-juice-768x1024Heavy Metal Detox Juice. What? And, no, I don’t mean like the music. Heavy metals, like mercury and lead, can accumulate in your system and cause all kinds of problems. You get them from the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the food you eat. You can’t avoid them. The problem is that they build up in your system and your body can have a hard time getting rid of them. Heavy metals have been implicated in hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, neurological disturbances, learning problems, depression and food allergies.

Cilantro –  it’s also called Chinese Parsley, and, when dried, coriander – is a powerful natural chelator. Studies have shown that if you consistently eat small amounts of cilantro, you can reduce the heavy metal load in your system. You can do this in any way you want. Cilantro can be used in a multitude of foods from soups and stews to guacamole or Coconut Chicken with Lime and Cilantro.

One of my ways is to add some cilantro to this Heavy Metal Detox Juice.

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Ingredients:

  • romaine lettuce – 1 bunch
  • celery – 4 stalks
  • parsley – 1 cup
  • cilantro – 1 cup
  • apple – 1/2 (optional)

Instructions:

Wash your greens thoroughly.

Put them through the juicer.
Drink.

If you find the juice too strong, add 1/2 an apple. That will take the edge off.

 

Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

Are Juice Cleanses Healthy? Why Some Wellness Experts Worry

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 10.21.56 AMWe won’t beat around the guava bush: Juice cleanses are crazy hot right now. But are they really as good for us and our over-worked digestive tracts as they sound? Or is it a tad more complicated than that? We asked a handful of New York City wellness experts to weigh in.

The Nutritionists

“Most often, I find that people who gravitate to cleanses are seeking a quick-fix for weight loss, or they’re looking for a quick detox—a clean-up of their diets without having to think about it too much,” says Marissa Lippert, a registered dietitian and author of The Cheater’s Diet. The problem? Surprise! Most see a return of the weight when they re-incorporate carbs, even healthy, complex ones. “It’s essentially a false sense of security and weight loss for a very short period of time,” Lippert says.

True, seconds Cher Pastore, R.D. She says people absolutely should not expect lasting weight loss and should keep cleanses short: “I believe a one- to three-day juice cleanse can be a part of a healthy eating plan. Any longer, I wouldn’t recommend it.”

The Acupuncturist

Traditional Chinese medicine puts an emphasis on balance, so in general, we don’t use fasting medicinally, because it is considered extreme, says Jill Blakeway, M.Sc. L. Ac., clinical director of the YinOva Center. “However, there is an old Chinese saying: ‘Grains are for energy, meats are for strength, and vegetables are for keeping the body clean.’ So a short period of fasting using vegetable and fruit juices can be cleansing.” Eating a simple diet gives your digestive system a rest, says Blakeway, but ultimately the job of detoxification is left up to specific organs. “I usually suggest acupuncture to support the organs of detoxification, such as the lungs, large intestine, bladder, and kidneys. Massage can also be helpful to enhance the flow of lymph, skin brushing is helpful to people who are cleansing,” she says.

 Read how an M.D. weighs in on this subject at Well+Good NYC >>

 

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More reading from Well and Good NYC:

Your Guide to the Most Essential Kitchen Tools for Happy Cooking

A healthy kitchen calls for high-quality, efficient kitchenware. Here are a few of my favorites – you may recognize them from many of my recipes. Each of these is nothing short of an essential tool for my kitchen.

blenderBlendtech high-speed blender. It’s a pricey bit of machinery but it is well worth it. Like the Vitamix, it’s more expensive competitor, this blender pulverizes anything into a fine flour, dough or liquid without a ‘sandy’ texture. Makes the smoothest smoothies, grinds nuts into nut milk, and dough from dates and nuts. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use it at least once.

Coffee grinder. I grind everything but coffee with this. I grind nuts and seeds and make small amount of flour from oats and dried fruit. It is the equipment that I tend to give to my kids to use while they are “helping” me in the kitchen. Because the grinder will only grind if the top is on securely, it is totally safe in the hands of a 2-year-old. Also, it makes a great sound and has ultimate impact when you see it pulverize pumpkin seeds.

S_19402_LImmersion Hand Blender. I use this when I am making pureed soups. You can puree right in the pot without having to transfer the soup to a blender which makes it much easier and cleaner!. It won’t completely puree a soup with nuts in it. That you will have to do in the blender.

Mason Jars. In every size and shape. I use them for storing everything from dried goods to soups, sauces and nut milks. They are also cool looking so make a nice gift when filled with food and tied with a ribbon.

Non-stick ceramic pots and pans. I use Ozeri Green Earth. These are really incredible. They work like Teflon without the price tag and all the chemicals. These pans are free of PTFE and PFOA, and only cost ¼ of what the Teflon equivalent costs.

Good metal mixing bowls. Worth their weight in gold. I like having a set of 3 in small, medium and large.

Pyrex baking trays. I use them for roasting vegetables in the oven, cooking chicken in or baking cakes and brownies.

heart_springformSpring form pans. My newest discovery. Perfect for making any type of “no-bake” desserts. They come in cool shapes and sizes too. They can make you look like a professional when you are a first timer…

Juicer. There are a lot of juicers on the market. Unless you’re going to spend a ton of money on a cold press juicer then just an inexpensive one will do. I have the Breville Juice Fountain Plus. It clocks in at $100 with free shipping from Amazon which makes it affordable, but the downside is that if you use a juicer like this you have to drink it right away. Because of the way the juice is extracted, the enzymes start to break down within 15 minutes. Comparatively, the cold pressed juices can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. The gold standard of cold pressed juicers is the Norwalk. I dream about this juicer but, sadly, it comes with a very steep price tag.

 

Originally posted on my website, Tapp’s Tips.

The One Diet That Can Cure Most Disease: Part 1

Red, Yellow, GreenIf I told you there was one diet that could cure arthritis, fatigue, irritable bowel, reflux, chronic allergies, eczema, psoriasis, autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, migraines, depression, attention deficit disorder, and occasionally even autism and that it could help you lose weight quickly and easily without cravings, suffering, or deprivation, you might wonder if Dr. Hyman had gone a bit crazy.

But it’s true. And the story goes like this.

Food is medicine. Bad food is bad medicine and will make us sick. Good food is good medicine that can prevent, reverse, and even cure disease. Take away the bad food, put in the good food and magic happens.

The problem with current medical thinking is that it treats diseases individually, requiring specific diagnoses and labels: “you have migraines,” “you have depression,” “you have psoriasis.” And then you get the migraine pill, the antidepressant, and the immune suppressant.

What if you didn’t have to treat diseases specifically or even need to know their names? In fact, I often see patients—like one I saw yesterday—who came with 20 pages of analysis from a dozen doctors from the Mayo Clinic. Her “diagnoses” were “muscle pain, fatigue and insomnia,” and she had been given no recommendations for treatment. Not very helpful!

I recently saw a patient treated at Harvard by multiple specialists. She was on 42 pills a day for severe allergies, asthma, and hives. She even died twice and had to be resuscitated after anaphylactic shock. In just a few short weeks, simply by changing her diet, she got off all her medications, and her allergies, hives, and asthma were gone.

Another patient, who suffered for decades with reflux and irritable bowel and whose symptoms weren’t controlled with acid blockers and “gut relaxers,” got complete relief from his symptoms one week after changing his diet.

What if you could just treat the whole person with dietary changes, upgrading the information given every day to your body through food? Food is information carrying detailed instructions for every gene and every cell in your body, helping them to renew, repair, and heal or to be harmed and debilitated, depending on what you eat. What if you could send messages and instructions to heal your cells and turn on healing genes? And what if, by some simple changes in your diet, you could get rid of most of your chronic symptoms and diseases in just one week (or maybe two!)?

That is entirely possible. Some people call it detox, Some people call it an elimination diet. I call it the inclusion and abundance diet.

I call it UltraSimple!

The best part of this approach is that you don’t have to trust me or any “expert.” You simply have to trust your body. It will tell you very quickly what it likes and doesn’t like.

If you are constantly putting in information that is making your body toxic, sick, and fat—hyper-processed industrial junk food, sugar, flour, chemicals, additives, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, inflammatory foods, or what I call anti-nutrients—it acts like poison in the body. It inflames your gut and your cells leading to whole-body inflammation that you experience as pain, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and depression and that leads to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

This one diet, The UltraSimple Diet—getting the junk out, getting inflammatory foods out, adding healing, detoxifying, anti-inflammatory foods—has the power to heal in a way that medication can’t and never will be able to.

I have used it for decades with tens of thousands of patients with remarkable results. We are beginning studies at Harvard that will look at how to tackle the toughest diseases with a simple change in diet.

This approach can work faster and better than any medication. The power of this simple diet change—getting rid of the bad stuff and putting in the good stuff—can often reverse the most difficult-to-treat medical problems and give people the experience of profound wellness, even if they don’t have a serious illness. It is something everyone should try just once. Most of my patients say, “Dr. Hyman, I didn’t know I was feeling so bad until I started feeling so good.”

Let me share a story, one that is very common in the world of functional medicine, which is the science of treating the roots causes of disease, the science of creating health.

One patient, a medical school professor and doctor, came to see me after struggling for years with psoriatic arthritis. He was crippled by pain and inflammation, despite taking powerful immune-suppressing drugs, including an ibuprofen-like drug, chemo drugs, and a drug called a TNF alpha-blocker that suppresses the immune response so much that its side effects include overwhelming infection, cancer, and death. Still, he wasn’t better, and at 56 years old, he was planning to quit. He couldn’t operate any longer and could barely walk up the stairs. He had psoriasis all over his skin, and it was destroying his joints. He also had reflux, depression, canker sores, constipation, and trouble with concentration. His liver function tests were abnormal, and he was overweight.

He had a horrible diet. He ate oatmeal with milk and sugar for breakfast, tuna with soup and cookies for lunch, and fish or meat with vegetables and potato or pasta for dinner. He snacked on cookies and protein bars. He avoided chocolate and fatty foods. He ate out more than five times per week and craved sweets and caffeine, consuming three to four cups of coffee and one diet soda per day. He drank about 12 alcoholic beverages per week, including wine and the occasional scotch.

So, I put him on The UltraSimple Diet, getting rid of industrial food, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar and adding whole, real foods. I also got rid of the most common food allergens and sensitivities.

At his first follow-up visit, he arrived pain-free and said he hadn’t felt so good in years. He reported an 80% reduction in pain, could climb stairs more quickly, and was no longer limping. All his pain and stiffness were gone. His hands had been swollen and difficult to open, but now, the swelling was gone and he could operate again. And he had quit all his medications after the first visit (even though I told him not to). His reflux and migraines were gone. His mood had improved, and he was less irritable. He was no longer constipated. And he lost 15 pounds.

If there is one thing I could encourage everyone to do, it is to take just one week to see just how powerful a drug food can be. There is nothing to lose but your suffering. It doesn’t take months or years to see change. It happens in days or weeks.

In my next blog, I will explain exactly what this diet is, why it works, and how it heals your body. And I will show you how to get started.

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below—but remember, I can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

 

Originally published on my website, DrHyman.com.

The Best Way to Detox – 4 Delicious Recipes

Liver-detox-juice-1024x768I have always stressed the importance of detoxifying your body. This post is to help you to really understand what it is. Detox 101 so to speak.

What are Toxins?

Toxins are chemicals or poisons that are known to have harmful effects on the body. The presence of these toxins in the system are the root of most disease. Cancer, skin rashes, depression, inflammation, weight gain, joint pain, neurological dysfunction, and so many more, can all be caused by toxic build-up.

Toxins are all around us – in the food, air and water. They cannot be avoided. Our bodies, however, are built to handle them. Like a well-run factory, the kidneys, lymphatic system, and liver all work together to bind and sweep these toxins out of our systems.

Lucy_chocolate
So, if our bodies deal with the toxins why do we need to worry about them? The problem is that, in the modern world, we are exposed to more toxins than our bodies can process. It reminds me of one of my favorite “I Love Lucy” episodes, where Lucy and Ethel are working at a chocolate factory. The conveyer belt starts moving too quickly. Lucy and Ethel get overwhelmed and panic. They end up shoving chocolates in their mouths, shirts, and hats.

This is much like what happens in our livers when it gets bombarded with more toxins than it can handle. It becomes overwhelmed and can’t do its job properly. The liver becomes congested and we feel sick.

Detoxifying foods assist the body to sweep the toxins out of our systems. For example, orange vegetables contain beta carotene which the liver converts into Vitamin A. The liver uses it to help move toxins out of the body. Think of it like adding more workers to the assembly line.

Just as some foods help speed up toxin removal, others – such as processed foods, fried foods, red meat and dairy – are obstacles to this process. They clog up the detox pathways and make the body’s job harder because they give it more and more work to do. Instead of adding more workers to our assembly line, they distract the ones we’ve got with other jobs.

Detox: Critical to Healthy Living

We choose detoxifying foods because we need to. Just like anything that is overworked, the body can get burned out. We lose focus and energy, and we gain weight. That is when disease starts to creep in.

We all love to eat the foods that are bad for us. And once in a while, especially over the holiday season, we do. Cookies anyone? We detox to give the body some extra assistance so that it can do its job, which is to keep us healthy. Take care of your body so that it can take care of you.

Here are my top detoxifying recipes:

The Best Way to Detox After Swimming in a Hotel Pool

keep cool on the swimming poolWhether you’re going on a quick getaway, a fun family vacation, a sightseeing adventure, or visiting family or friends, traveling can be both fun and therapeutic. If you’re staying at a hotel with a pool, it might seem as if the pool is calling your name. While lounging at the hotel pool can definitely be a form of mental detox (no meetings, no computer, no deadlines), it’s important to remember that your skin and hair aren’t feeling that same relaxation.

It’s essential that hotel pools are kept disinfected and clean; we’re all grateful to not share a stranger’s germs or be exposed to harmful bacteria. However, to keep water born bacteria and germs out, most hotel pools rely on chlorine (as well as monitoring PH levels, which affect the disinfecting power of chlorine). If this makes you think of household bleaching products known for “whitening your whites”, you’re on the right track. An active ingredient in both chlorine disinfectant for pools and bleach for household use is sodium hypochlorite. However, they are not interchangeable (they contain different amounts of sodium hypochlorite and pool chlorine contains calcium). While the Health Department regulates the amount of chlorine allowed for use in pools since it is a toxic chemical, many people still experience negative effects of the chlorine after only a short time in a swimming pool.

The most common effect of pool water is drying of the skin and hair. Since water itself is drying on your body (as it evaporates it takes with it your natural oils), when your skin and hair absorb the chlorinated pool water, your body hydration really takes a hit. You’re likely to notice itchy, dry skin and hard to comb, dull looking hair.

Some people also experience skin rashes, eye irritation, the lingering “pool smell”, and increased acne (although other people claim their acne clears up due to chlorine’s drying effect). Pool water can also get into your hair shaft and cause changes in hair color. This can be especially noticeable if you color your hair – think the greenish or brassy look. Nobody wants that! But if you’re like me and have a lot of hair coloring experience (I’ve been almost every shade in the book), you can probably relate to this one.

Now that you know the not so pleasant side effects of chlorinated pool water, you might be surprised to know that the best way to detox after swimming in a hotel pool is very simple: thoroughly rinse your whole body (skin and hair) immediately after getting out. This rinse washes away the chlorine that is stuck on your skin, eyes, ears, and hair so less gets absorbed by your body.

Have you noticed that some hotels have freestanding shower-heads by the pool or a changing room with a shower? It’s for you to rinse off both before and after swimming. If your hotel doesn’t have a shower by the pool, go directly to your room for a shower. Don’t make your shower steaming hot though, as too much steam can open your pores and let some chlorine into your body through your skin.

vitamin-cSome hotels are even utilizing Vitamin C showers to help wash away the chlorine on your body and remove any chlorine in the shower water. Delos Living, a new company that’s combining cutting edge discoveries in medical research, engineering, and technology to create a new standard of “wellness real estate,” recently partnered with MGM Grand Hotels in Las Vegas to offer a number of Stay Well rooms. These rooms have shower water infused with vitamin C to neutralize chlorine and promote healthy hair and skin, as well as a number of other amenities designed to promote personal health and wellness.

I experienced the dreaded hotel swimming pool effects first hand last week on vacation. The hotel I stayed at had a roof top pool with a bar (see how pools can call your name), so I had to check it out! While I only stayed in the pool for a short time and didn’t get my hair wet, I immediately noticed when I got out that my skin was dry and I had a bit of the pool smell. My hotel didn’t have a shower by the pool, but I quickly went to my room to rinse off and apply lotion.

Besides detoxing with a thorough rinse immediately after you swim, shower with a natural soap, be sure to put plenty of conditioner on your hair, use a moisturizing lotion on your body, consider showering or rinsing off before you swim (this creates a protective barrier from the chlorine), and always, always stay hydrated with good quality water.

Now that you know how easy it is to detox after swimming in a hotel pool, go enjoy that much needed (and deserved) vacation!

 

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18154748891333272199Are you ready for a healthy Vegas vacation?

The first of their kind in the world, Stay Well Rooms at the MGM Grand in Vegas are furnished with a number of amenities designed to maximize health, wellness, and relaxation. From dawn simulator alarm clocks, to state-of-the-art air and water purification systems, to aromatherapy, Stay Well rooms provide an unprecedented opportunity to have a healthy travel experience — even in Las Vegas. Designed by real-estate pioneer Delos Living, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra, Stay Well will change the way you think about travel and hotel rooms. Learn more or book your reservation here.

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photo by: Julien Haler

Get in the Flow

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a professor and former chairman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Chicago, has been working with a concept he calls “flow.” The process of flow occurs when your consciousness matches your goals, allowing psychic energy to flow smoothly. For 40 years, Csikszentmihalyi has been studying what makes people happy, and has found that happiness comes from being in the flow in your life.

You can listen to a talk he gave about this idea of flow here. In it, he says, “There are seven conditions that seem to be there when a person is in flow. There’s this focus that, once it becomes intense, leads to a sense of ecstasy, a sense of clarity, you know exactly what you want to do from one moment to the other, you get immediate feedback. You know that what you need to do is possible to do, even though it’s difficult. And a sense of time disappears, you forget yourself, you feel part of something larger. Once those conditions are present, what you are doing becomes worth doing for its own sake.”

When you are in the flow, your actions are natural, fluid, and graceful. Everything just feels “right.” So, of course, it’s not possible when you are behaving in a way that makes you feel guilt, shame, anxiety, or fearfulness. You can’t be caught up in addiction and be in the flow. And you can’t be caught up in blame or denial or frustration or anger.

When you’re in the flow, in tune with your creative energies and your purpose, you feel it’s worth spending your life doing things for which you don’t expect either fame or fortune—as long as those things make your life meaningful. He writes in Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, “It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.”

Flow comes about when you are challenged by something in an exciting way, and you feel your skills are up to the task. So it’s not about just sitting back and being comfortable; it’s about pushing yourself a little bit. He says being in a state of arousal is actually good,

“Because you are over-challenged there. Your skills are not quite as high as they should be, but you can move into flow fairly easily by just developing a little more skill. So arousal is the area where most people learn from, because that’s where they’re pushed beyond their comfort zone and … develop higher skills.”

*****

Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Connect with her and download free E books at http://www.sherrygaba.com/

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