Expanding your awareness and understanding of where toxic sources come from and how to reduce your exposure to toxins can improve many facets of your health and your energy level.  Earlier this month I facilitated a 14 Day supplement-free whole food detoxification program teaching participants about the many problems, signs and symptoms associated from exposure to environmental toxins in our food supply, in the products we use and from chemicals.  Toxic exposure is disruptive and burdensome to the liver, to digestion, absorption and use of nutrients from food, and to the protective and defensive capacity of the immune system.  The liver is the main organ for detoxification, and it is supported by the kidneys, bile, vitamins, minerals, amino acids (protein) and antioxidants from plants, fruits and vegetables.  Several factors inhibit the liver’s capacity to detoxify AND eliminate the onslaught of toxic exposures that people come in contact with daily.  Sluggish detoxification and elimination pathways allow toxins to build up in the body causing interference within the energy-producing mechanisms resulting in weight gain, inflammation, immune function disturbances, and allergies.

The detoxification process happens in 2 phases.  Phase 1 is a process that uses enzymes to change toxins into compounds known as Intermediates.  Phase 2 is elimination of the Intermediates.  Elimination is executed from 6 different pathways each of which require specific nutrient support.  Eating a whole foods based diet that has S.O.U.L (Seasonal, Organic, Unprocessed and Local) is a powerful way for people to reduce the amount of toxins they are exposed to, and to support Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification.  Scientific research and functional medicine research shed light on many protective and therapeuiic benefits that support detoxification and the elimination of toxins from eating whole foods (foods that look as they do in nature).

During the detoxification program participants were given a 14-Day meal plan to follow that was centered around foods with therapeutic benefits to increase the body’s capacity to detoxify.  They were also guided to eliminate foods that increased the body’s toxic load, and were educated about the potential of certain foods and products which increase the body’s burden to be healthy.  Here are some recipes from the meal plan:

♥Fresh Citrus Slaw: Shred 1/2 cup cabbage & 1 cup broccoli slaw and steam for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and blanch.  Dice 1 bell pepper, 1/2 bunch cilantro, 3 green onions and sections of 2 large oranges.  Combine all vegetables in a bowl.  Dressing:  In a measuring cup squeeze remaining juice of oranges, 1/2 of a lemon, 1/2 of a lime, 1 teaspoon each celtic sea salt and raw honey.  Whisk and pour over slaw.

♥Cauliflower Hummus: Remove outer leaves, wash and rough chop cauliflower into florets. Steam for 8-10 minutes.  In a food processor combine: juice of 1 lemon & 2 cloves minced garlic & puree for 30 seconds, add  1/4 cup tahini and puree for 1 minute, add 2 tsp. cumin and puree 30 seconds.  Add 1/2 of the florets and puree 1-2 minutes add the remaining florets and puree 1-2 minutes. While pureeing slowly drizzle  2 tablespoons  olive oil.  Add water in 1 tablespoon increments until desired creaminess.

♥Mushroom Meatloaf: Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line roasting pan with parchment paper or silicon mat. Season 1 pound ground turkey,  venison, bison or elk with Italian herbs and let marinate for 1-24hours.  Heat coconut oil over medium low heat; add 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 diced onion and sauté for 5 minutes, add 12 diced crimini or shitake mushrooms and 1 tablespoon coconut aminos and sauté 5 minutes, let cool.   Brown seasoned meat and combine with mushroom mixture. Bake for approximately 50 minutes covered until internal temperature is 160.