Our liver is one of the most important organs in our bodies. It functions as our primary filtration system, converts toxins into waste products, cleanses our blood, metabolizes nutrients and produces proteins for us - WOW, S/O to the liver!! The liver naturally cleanses itself, but our bodies are constantly being harassed by toxins in our environments and from foods we eat, making it tough for the liver to do its thang. The liver wants to detoxify and help, but an overload of toxins can cause the liver to get sluggish. Air pollution, chemicals in our cleaning and beauty products, and preservatives in our foods cause a nasty buildup in our bodies and can lead to inflammation and make us sick.
A lot of these toxins, such as air pollution, are unavoidable depending on where you live and work, but food is one thing we have control over. So, what foods are fudging shiz up, you ask? You’re probably not going to love this, but alcohol, caffeine, synthetic medications (*cough cough* birth control), artificial trans fats (look out for “partially hydrogenated oil” on the ingredients list of your packaged food, but your liver doesn’t like packaged food so try and stay away from them as much as possible), naturally occurring trans fats (dairy and red meat - obviously naturally occurring trans fat is better than the artificial crap, but try and consume these foods in moderation), and last, but certainly not least on our list, is refined sugar (cane sugar, sucrose, glucose, and high-fructose corn syrup are some other names it goes by. This type of sugar has no nutritional value, is toxic to every tissue type in our bodies, and feeds all types of diseases.) Now, I’m not trying to be a fun-sucker, but the truth is that all of these food/beverage categories are toxic to our livers and negatively affect other organs and systems in our bodies. Personally, I try to always stay away from refined sugar, trans fats, and synthetic medications, but alcohol and caffeine are the two toughest ones for me to stay away from. I try and keep both at a minimum, meaning one cup of coffee per day (~90mg of caffeine), and truthfully, I probably have 4-5 drinks or glasses of wine per week. Maybe thats considered over-indulgence for you, but for me that’s what works for my current lifestyle. However, you know who it’s probably not really working for? My liver.
After getting off of birth control and finding out that it can interfere with liver function, I started researching more about the liver, what it likes and dislikes, and how I can best support it. Since high school I’ve struggled with digestive issues. Whether this was related to my birth control, disordered eating habits, or a combination of multiple things I don’t know, but what I do know is that it is something I constantly think about, because it is physically uncomfortable. In researching more about the liver, I learned that constipation, bloating, and digestive issues could be a sign that your liver isn’t functioning optimally. Some other signs that could mean your detox system needs some love are fluid retention, skin breakouts, sore/red/stingy eyes, PMS, short temper, cellulite, no appetite for breakfast (I hear this one a lot), poor energy, and an increase in body fat. As if the constipation and digestive relief wasn’t enough reason for me to take a break from all of the liver loaders referenced above, after reading the other signs I was sure it was time I give my detox system a break, and therefore, some love and support.
There are tons of liver detox diets and juice cleanses out there and I’m sure some of those are great. However, drinking juices only for 5 days straight doesn’t work for ya girl, so I’m going on what I am calling a “detox system support diet.” This means we are still eating real food, and plenty of it! As I said before, our livers are (hopefully, unless you’re dealing with a chronic illness) functioning, they just probably aren’t functioning properly. It’s like if your shower drain is a little clogged. It’s still draining, but its going really slow and it’s not functioning as well as it should. So, what our liver needs is a little cleaning, and for us to take some of the load off. Switching to non-toxic beauty and cleaning products takes time and money, and if you’ve already done that, or are currently making the transition then that is amazing, but for this particular detox, we will just be focusing on food. I will be sharing my personal protocol for this diet and invite you to join and adjust in a way that works for your specific dietary needs. DISCLAIMER: Please remember I am not a dietician or doctor, I am purely sharing how I am going to apply what I’ve learned from my courses at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, from Dr. Libby Weaver & Dr. Mark Hyman, and through my simple google research to help support my liver/detox system. I will be sharing which foods I will be avoiding and which foods and herbal supplements I will be consuming that aid in detoxification and digestion. Along with the liver loading foods, I will also be eliminating some well-known inflammatory foods, because go hard or go home, right?
FOODS TO AVOID:
Raw fish, shellfish
Peanuts (other nuts are fine)
Processed oils (stick to cold-pressed olive oil, coconut, sesame, or pumpkin seed oil)
FOODS TO FOCUS ON:
Dark leafy greens
So let me reiterate, this is about SUPPORTING your liver so that it can function optimally and hopefully rid you of some unpleasant symptoms you may be experiencing. I am not stoked about giving up my morning coffee, but I am really excited to decrease toxicity in my body and reap the benefits. I will be replacing my coffee with warm water and lemon, or dandelion root tea, maybe chicory root tea, or perhaps a turmeric latte (with non-dairy milk, of course.) To help with energy levels I will be taking a CBD + adaptogenic mushroom blend from CURED Nutrition called RISE (use code tbbooty.) The second hardest part of this detox for me will be no alcohol. I love enjoying a glass or two of wine with friends, or honestly even just by myself, so in order to satisfy that craving I will be drinking kombucha out fo a wine glass feeling ~*!FaNcY!*~ AF. Even though I will be avoiding certain foods, that doesn’t have to mean I am restricting myself. I want to show myself, and you all that eating clean and healthy does not have to feel boring or limiting! It’s all about getting creative and finding alternatives.
Whether you do this with me for the full 14 days, or 10 days, or even just 3 days, I hope you feel AMAZING, because that’s always the goal!
Subscribe to my blog to below and get your hands on some of my exclusive detox system support recipes! & If we aren’t already friends on Instagram, head over to my profile to engage with me while I share updates, what exactly I’m eating on a day to day, and my experience overall!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram if you have any questions.