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5 simple steps to thrive in a ‘toxic’ world

If your body is struggling to keep up with an unmanageable level of toxins, it can affect your life and how you feel. It can result in symptoms like headaches, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, acne, food intolerance and more.

Today, you’ll learn the basics of how this happens (trust me, it’s impossible to avoid toxins in our lives these days) and what you can do about it.

A toxin is something harmful (natural or synthetic) that you encounter in your environment. Its impact on you is determined by your current health, the specific toxin and the amount your body is exposed to. Toxins come from the food you eat, the clothes you wear, your makeup and beauty products, the chemicals you use to clean your house, your air freshener, your laundry detergent ... you name it.

The good news is that your body (especially the liver) is designed to be a detoxifying machine ... but there’s a catch. It can only do its job if you give it the right environment to thrive. Otherwise, it’ll work about as good as a plugged-up vacuum that blows a bunch of dust and debris into the air when you turn it on.

Here are five simple steps you can take to boost your body’s ability to do its job:

Say “goodbye” to gluten, dairy, corn, soy, alcohol and caffeine forever. Just kidding – three weeks without these inflammatory foods will give your liver a break. Otherwise, it’s like trying to mop up the floor with the sink still overflowing. Get your bowels moving. Get plenty of fiber from fresh fruits and vegetables. Cruciferous veggies are your best friend when it comes to detoxing. Research shows that sulforaphane (found in broccoli) is a powerhouse at removing toxins from the body. Always drink filtered water. You need to drink at least half your body weight in ounces. There are only a few ways for toxins to leave your body: bowel movements, urine and sweat. All of these processes need water and/or fiber to work optimally.Eat organic. Is it really worth the price? If you’re wanting to cleanse or detox to feel better, the answer is “yes” because your liver needs a break to catch up so it can do its job better and move the healing process forward. Start slowly by following the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen Food List. Do light-intensity activity. Your heart pumps to move your blood, but your lymph system doesn’t have a pump. So, help it out with some body movement. It’s impossible to avoid all the toxins you face every day, but you can be mindful of the ways you can reduce your toxic load and boost the functioning of your powerful, natural detoxing machine.

Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple steps to get you looking and feeling your best. However, if you are facing some unique challenges or feel like your health is already a mess, seek the help of an expert. That’s the quickest way to get on the right path and start living and enjoying the life you want.

Fran Sutherlin is a local registered dietitian, health coach, speaker and owner of Sustainable Nutrition, which has offices in Durango and Bayfield. She can be reached at 444-2122 or fran@fransutherlin.com.