Have you ever had a moment with your mirror where you noticed your usually bright and dewy complexion is looking a little dull and spotty? Have you ever gone to put your favourite pair of jeans on and noticed it took an extra couple of awkward jumps around the room and some quick breathing to get the fly done up successfully? Did this lead you to run to your computer, forehead and upper lip glistening with sweat, partially from fear, partially from just trying to get your pants done up, and google the dreaded "C" word.... "Cleanse"?- trust us you are not alone.
Enter now the luring image of hot lemon waters for days, greenish brown smoothies with a putrid taste or perhaps the memory of the time you did the Wild Rose Cleanse and overdosed on almond butter or almost sh*t your pants before that big work meeting. It feels like another lifetime ago, yet it’s still so real…
Let’s be honest, the moment of completion is what kept you going, as well as the thought of clearer skin, smoother bowel movements and an instantly tighter butt. It may have worked, or perhaps it was the high you felt knowing you had accomplished something difficult that you had set your mind to, but old habits die hard, and as soon as those two weeks go by it can be like nothing changed.
We are not here to argue the benefits of cleansing, frankly we don’t judge or have an opinion when it comes to your body and what feels good. That is your speciality. Rather, in this post we want to toss around a different concept. The crazy, perhaps outlandish idea that we could successfully support our bodies in our own natural cleansing processes without all the torturous legwork. I, for one, am sick of these cleanses centred around loosing weight or trying to somehow mould my shapely physique into some unattainable cookie-cutter idea of the perfect figure which the media enjoys shoving in my face on the daily. The older I get the more I realize that my relationship with my body improves when I care for it, not by crash dieting. I know, cleanses aren't marketed as crash diets, but I am definitely guilty of jumping on board for a cleanse for the wrong reasons and I don't think that I am alone. We can practice this by introducing subtle interventions in our everyday lives and by doing this we may be offering a much-appreciated leg up, slap on the back or high five to our already exhausted body systems that are working overtime for us.
Lets start by introducing a very important, sometimes ignored, massively abused, but oh so resilient LIVER. Our Livers are complex detoxifying systems. They take all the garbage we throw at them and through a series of complicated processes help the body to expel it in a non-threatening way. The liver takes that wild night of partying or few too many glasses of Pinot Noir and somehow forgives you and all your shame the next day. BUT, very much like your jaded ex that you texted before passing out- the Liver doesn’t forgive without SOME level of resentment (only slight resentment, but also the kind that builds up over time and ends in an explosion.) In simple terms, the liver takes a hit. Its good at building itself back, repairing damaged cells and preparing to fight another day, but over time it becomes increasing desperate for a little help from you. On that final note of doom and gloom (where you may be doing a brief mental summary of your wild party years and quietly shivering inside).…. and without further ado, cue the portion where we talk about practical things we CAN do to help our livers. For simplicity’s sake here is a nifty list with a couple of suggestions. It’s never too late people!!!!
Start Drinking More Water
Ok if any of you know me personally, you know I am the #1 world leading water pusher. I also can chug a glass of water in under 10 seconds, like a seagull opening her gull (its embarrassing but that’s what people say it looks like.) Chances are I have either asked you about your water intake, or subtly placed a full glass of water in front of you. BUT WHY is she so water obsessed you may have asked yourself.
Here is why: The kidneys use water (aka urine) to flush out toxins. Water is literally a vessel for toxin release. No water- no urine, unhappy kidneys unable to do their job, simple. A majority of us are massively dehydrated! So many symptoms of dehydration are preventable, and we blame on other things we think are the culprit. The thing is, water is the foundation of everything that happens in our body, without enough of it, you’re putting a plug in the flow of your bodies cleansing process. Chug that glass of water as soon as you open your eyes in the morning and feel its almighty power! Look at you go, taking care of yourself and stuff! Add some lemon, drink it hot, drink it with some electrolytes, or better yet, drink TEA!
Take home: ELIMINATION OF TOXINS/CLEANSING = KIDNEYS = THINK WATER.
Reduce Your Exposure to Toxins
I know I know, get off your high horse, stand down from that pedestal you are on, we hear you and we will climb down in a few sentences, promise. I like to have a drink as much as the next guy and I will be first to admit I do not have a perfect diet. The 80/20 rule works for me because I can't see a future without pizza in it, and you know what? I am good with that. Here are some things I can handle considering from time to time.
Try and limit your alcohol intake. Take a day off to allow your liver to recover and bounce back. If you are going to drink, take Milk Thistle before and have some ready on the bedside table for you with that sexy glass of water for when you wake up. Try and buy organic or local if you can and when you can. Choose whole foods over processed foods. Slow down on the darts. Find simple ways, when possible to choose things to support your body. Within your means, in whatever way you can- no shame, guilt or judgement allowed. These feelings are also toxic and need to be reduced. You can't be perfect! Enjoy life and be kind to yourself when you can!
Take home: LIMITING TOXIC SUBSTANCES = LESS LOAD ON THE LIVER AND OTHER ORGANS.
Get That Fibre
When we think about cleansing, it is natural to think about bowel movements. Our bowel moments are full of useless material (indigestible fibre, toxins, mucous, intestinal secretions, bacteria, calcium, iron etc.) -all things we are ready and happy to see go. To support our digestive system in doing its important job (processing and eliminating), the body asks us for a couple of things to help: fibre, and water (again with the water.. that horse is dead by now.)
Think of fibre as a big broom that rolls through your colon and scrubs down the sides of it picking up decaying, old AF material that has been ready to be eliminated for ages. Fibre (specifically soluble fibre) needs the help of its old pal water to expand and sweep those sides clean.
Including some of these foods will really help up your fibre game:
Fruits (esp. pears, berries, oranges), Vegetable (esp. broccoli and carrots, also dark greens), Beans, Oats, Almonds, Chia, Whole grains, Flax, Nuts.
Take home: BULK UP = HAPPY BOWEL MOVEMENTS AND WASTE REMOVAL
Start Taking Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Yes, we know Thrive conveniently sells fresh made Milk Thistle Capsules, BUT we only do so for a reason! Milk Thistle is one of the first plants we learned about in school and probably one of the most widely prescribed plant used by herbalists.
Here is why: Milk Thistle seeds contain a constituent called “Silymarin” which has been widely researched for its usage in various liver diseases. Silymarin is known to protect the liver via its potent antioxidant activity, toxin blockades, support of protein synthesis and inflammation mediation. One of the top uses for Milk Thistle however is its Antifibrotic activity. This means reducing scarring of the liver, aka cirrhosis caused by things like alcohol when used chronically over time.
There are almost no known medical interventions to treat liver scarring (cirrhosis) in western medicine. MILK THISTLE is beyond valuable in this regards and something everyone should consider taking.
We dare you to go research Milk thistle. If scientific articles are your thing we promise you won’t come up empty handed.
Take home: MILK THISTLE = REPAIR AND REDUCE SCARRING = MORE EFFECTIVE LIVER
Include Cleansing Herbs in Your Daily Routine
Most cleanse programs or cleansing pills utilize a variety of herbs to achieve their suggested action. Even the Wild Rose Cleanse is a combination of fast acting, more aggressive herbs used in a short window. This can be very effective, but also (as you may have experienced) can feel somewhat invasive and dramatic.
By introducing mild and effective herbs for cleansing on a daily basis, in the form of tea or capsules you can still have the benefits of mild cleansing without the extreme protocols or changes to routine.
Some herbs that can be used regularly for cleansing are: Red clover, Heartsease, Cleavers Turmeric, Calendula, Dandelion leaf/root
Many of these herbs are amazing in tea and while providing added health benefits also ensure you are getting more water in your system. Our Skin and Body-Cleanse and Restore Tea blend is packed full of gentle lymphatic and depurative herbs to help aid your body in preforming its natural detoxification processes. For an extra special treat I love to add this beautiful tea blend full of Calendula and Red Clover blossoms to the bath too!
Our Nourish-Me Tea blend is there for you on the other side. Nutritive and building herbs can help restore an over-taxed nervous system or to help pick you back up after being sick.
Take home: HERBS/TEA= MILD CLEANSING ON A DAILY BASIS= PREVENTATIVE HEALTH
It's 2019, we KNOW how important sleep is for us. Doesn't mean we are all ready or feel equipped to address our sleep hygiene. But consider this- sleep is not something we do to recharge the old batteries, its actually a critical time for the body to catch up on numerous things that are essential to our survival, and better yet, our ability to THRIVE (see how I got a thrive plug in there..).
When we sleep, our bodies do crazy things like:
Repair muscles, Regulate Hormones (like cortisol our stress hormone), Process information, Regulates inflammation via the immune system, Lower your heart rate to give it a rest, Support cognitive health, Need we say more!!!!!!!
We can maximize what little sleep we can get by keeping our electronic devices off of our bed, and better yet, out of the bedroom entirely. Try to have a couple hours of laptop-free time before you hit the hay, and if you must, turn your screens to night mode to reduce the blue light that could keep you up. You could also invest in an alarm clock with a feature like a warm coloured light that gradually gets lighter the closer the alarm is to going off to mimic waking up with the sun. It can be a life-saver in the winters and it allows you to keep your room free of your cellphone. If you use your cellphone as your alarm, try using a sleep cycle app to help you wake up more naturally. I swear by this, and since using it I find myself actually waking up feeling rested as opposed to hitting the snooze button for the fifth time.
Take home: SLEEP IS FOUNDATIONAL TO LET THE BODY CLEANSE AND RESTORE= SLEEP HYGIENE IS A REAL THING
Clay is one of my favourite beauty secrets. It is super effective, gentle and easy on the wallet. Rhassoul, Bentonite, Kaolin, French Green, Pink.... they all have slightly different mineral compositions and benefits. Check them out and see what kind works best for your skin type. And again, your skin is already detoxifying and eliminating things on its own. Use clay when you feel like you need it and avoid over drying by being sure to moisturize afterwards. I love to play around with different recipes and ingredients like floral hydrosols, flower petals and honey. The options are endless, just do a little research to find something that works well with your skin type. It's not just for your face either! Play around with using the masks on your décolletage, breasts, upper back and even your arm pits. Sounds weird, but trust, it feels great.
Take home: CLAY MASKS = DETOXIFY, REGULATES SEBUM PRODUCTION, ANTIMICROBIAL, BRIGHTENS SKIN, SHRINKS PORES
Dry brushing has existed for centuries in different cultures across the globe and it's ... well....exactly what it sounds like. Using a natural-haired brush to gently dry brush your body, preferably before you shower. The technique is easy, just start at the most distal parts of your body, your hands and feet. Make long brush strokes up your limbs , staying mindful to always brush towards the centre of your body. For your abdomen, brush in clockwise circles. Besides feeling great, it helps improve lymph flow, stimulates circulation, exfoliates skin and can help reduce cellulite over time. This technique helps your body's natural detoxification processes, removes dead skin and promotes regeneration in a very gentle way. Having little rituals like dry brushing can also be a really nice way to give back to yourself and add to your self-care routine. Honour your beautiful body and thank it for all that it does for you. You're worth the extra ten minutes!
Take home: DRY BRUSHING = IMPROVES CIRCULATION, EXFOLIATES, HELPS WITH LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE AND CAN REDUCE CELLULITE
These are just a few simple suggestions we think almost anyone can benefit from. By changing up our daily routine and adding in a few small interventions it is possible to cleanse every day and support our body in doing what it already knows how to do so well. So go ahead and give a little something back to yourself on the daily. Thank those hard working bits of yours for all they do for you and appreciate it for everything it gives you right now, tight jeans or not. Send your hard-working body some love, it deserves it.
In honor of this week’s blog theme we want to offer a discount on Milk Thistle capsules, our Skin and Body; Cleanse and Restore tea blend as well as our Nourish-me tea blend. Until February 14threceive 15% off the 3 above mentioned products with the code "HAPPY15" at checkout!