We live in a much different world today than the one our grandparents or even our parents lived in. Unfortunately, we’re faced with toxins and pollutants at every corner. The typical North American diet is laden with preservatives, additives, MSG, aspartame, pesticides, caffeine, sugar, and trans fats. On top of that, we have to deal with environmental pollutants, with chlorine in our drinking water (not good!) and with a witch’s brew of chemicals in cosmetics, hair products, and household cleaning products. These toxins can accumulate in your body’s tissues (especially in fat tissue) and prevent it from operating on all cylinders. Plus, if your body’s overloaded with toxins, it’s almost impossible to lose weight because your organs are so busy dealing with the immediate danger of poisons, they can’t focus on their “to-do list,” which includes fat metabolism. Geez, this is depressing! I need a stiff drink!

But fret not, my friend. Seriously! The human body is extraordinarily resilient and there are ways to protect yourself from the toxic onslaught. Nowadays, you just need to give your body a helping hand in ridding itself of the gunk, and you need to do it on a regular basis—kinda like brushing your teeth to prevent plaque buildup. Love your liver and it’ll love ya back!

One of the easiest and most effective “gunk-prevention” strategies going is adding a “greens supplement” to your daily regimen. Green food supplements are whole-food supplements. They’re not synthetic, manufactured, isolated vitamins and minerals, but concentrated “real food,” derived from real food. And that’s good because everyone knows that Mother Nature is the best manufacturer! Most contain wheat grass, barley grass, chlorella, blue-green algae, spirulina, and other concentrated whole herbs, plants, dehydrated vegetable and fruit juices and sprouts. You’re getting a whole whack of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. But you’re also getting a mega-detox potion and enough “wonderfuel” to keep your cells alkaline and charged like the Energizer Bunny! Incidentally, I’ve talked to several people who said that after taking their greens in the a.m., they eventually gave up coffee because the supplement gave them the energy boost they needed in the morning.

10 More Ways to Get the Gunk Out

  1. Get sloshed regularly! Drink like a fish! That’s right, you need to drink plenty of pure, filtered water in order to flush out toxins. Eight to 10 glasses is good. If you drink bottled  water, shove a lemon slice into the bottle. Lemon is an excellent liver detoxifier and blood cleanser.
  2. Get rubbed the right way! Deep tissue massage is great for mobilizing toxins stored in tissue.
  3. Tea it up! Go for herbal teas that have gentle detoxifying action. Milk thistle and dandelion are excellent choices. You can also buy milk thistle and dandelion supplements or tinctures at your local health food store.
  4. Do sweat it! Skin is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for one-fourth of the body’s detoxification each day. Skin’s also known as the “3rd kidney.”  That’s why exercise is so important to our health—we need to sweat!
  5. Make like a kangaroo! That is, buy a rebounder. Bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline for only 7 to10 minutes a day is one of the best ways to stimulate your lymphatic system (your body’s sewer) to release wastes.
  6. Eat detoxifying foods. Onions, garlic, artichoke, avocado, cabbage, celery, beets, kale, spinach and other leafy greens are just a few of the potent foods that help your body purge the garbage. Actually, just about any fruit or veggie will do the trick!
  7. Do a 7-to-10-day cleanse. It’s worth contacting a nutritionist or naturopathic doctor who can give you guidance about doing a good liver, colon and kidney cleanse.
  8. Rub-a-dub-dub. Detox in a tub! Add one to two cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to a nice hot bath, and its sulfur compounds will draw toxins from your body through the skin. Epsom salts also relax the nervous system and muscles and help reduce swelling and soreness.
  9. Eat your beans, bran and broccoli! What I’m talking about is fiber, fiber and more fiber. You don’t want toxic wastes sitting around, lingering in your nether regions for long periods of time.
  10. Try dry skin brushing. What the heck is that? Well, remember what I said earlier about the skin being a huge detoxifying organ? Brushing your skin all over with a special bristle brush while your skin is dry is an excellent way to help rid your body of toxins that can gather beneath the skin’s surface. Just Google dry skin brushing and you’ll find detailed instructions.

Here’s to a cleaner, leaner, much healthier you!

Sisters Janet & Greta Podleski are the authors of four #1 bestselling cookbooks known for their unique combination of great-tasting, healthy recipes, useful nutrition tips, and corny humor.