In many of my talks, I have always mentioned that the mouth and the stool are windows into what is happening in your gut. I will now add that your skin is also a reflection of what is going on internally. It provides clues and signs that we should not ignore. If we are smart, we can stop the progress of whatever it is from its roots before it manifests into something bigger.
Some of us are in tune with our bodies and can feel it when something is wrong, but the majority of people are not there yet. I have provided a list below with the signs that our body gives us to tell us that detox or a cleanse is long overdue to help put things back into balance.
White or yellow-coated tongue
Congested/uneven/enlarged pores, blackheads, or pustules
Increased belly fat
Inability to lose weight
Acne, rosacea, itchy skin, extreme dryness, skin feels rough, bumpy and/or uneven skin
Fatigue/waking up tired regardless of how many hours you slept
Under constant stress
Carbohydrate and sugar cravings
Needing caffeine for energy
Dull, ruddy appearance of skin
Overproduction of skin oils
There are a few key things that cause many of the symptoms mentioned above. I will give you some insight on what may cause them and some tips on how to address those issues.
Food is energy, it is medicine as well and it is what nourishes the cells inside and out and what allows the body to flourish. It is what gives the skin its glow, luster and its overall beautiful complexion. Food feeds the cells that make us feel good and happy. By food, I mean real clean food and not the processed, refined fast foods that our world is feeding itself on. From white sugar, white flour, hormone-fed meats and dairy products to an over-consumption of alcohol, caffeine and soda.
The latter provides inflammation to our human body which then brews and wreaks havoc on our internal health which sends a message over time that it is not happy.
If we ignore and don’t listen to these messages, the disease begins to creep in and we end up with symptoms that can manifest both internally and externally on our skin like fungus, eczema, psoriasis or sometimes only internally depending on what it is ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, MS. Consumption of a lot of fried foods also causes an imbalance to good essential fatty acids that are required to keep the cells and skin nourished.
The best solution is to consume healthier clean foods. Eat lots of fruit, vegetables, good fats such as chia, avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds, omega 3 oils and organic or grass-fed meats and eggs. Add more fiber to your diet by eating a variety of vegetables. This, in turn, feeds the microbiome and increases the good flora, hence it helps reduce inflammation in our body and gradually we begin to crowd out the inflammatory foods mentioned earlier.
Hydrate with water and herbal teas: not with soda and boxed juices. Eat lots of herbs, and spices such as ginger and turmeric and many other great ones.
Today’s lifestyle is quite fast-paced, and many people find themselves constantly on the road. They are travelling a lot whether by plane or by car. This affects one’s health. Sitting for many hours in a plane or office breathing recycled air and not moving around is not very good for you. Exposure to a lot of exhaust fumes from cars and factories while commuting is also difficult on the body. In some cases, living or socializing with smokers and inhaling their cigarettes can also lead to health issues.
The best solution for this is to make sure that you are hydrating yourself well by drinking 30 ml of water per kg Example: 70 kg is 70x 30 = 2100 ml = 2.1 liters of water a day. As well as eating lots of colored carbohydrates and consuming at least two servings of fruit a day.
Our number one killer and skin ager is stress. It does have a useful function, it is important to keep us alive and primes our immune system but when there is a lot of it, it harms many parts of the human body. From hormones such as adrenals, sex hormones and thyroid causing lethargy, exhaustion, weight gain, insulin resistant-diabetes and the ball can keep on rolling…
The best solution is to prioritize your self-care first. By that I mean you come first, you take care of what is important to make you happy: exercise, eating healthy, sleeping well, finding techniques that help reduce your stress. This way when you are happy and taking care of yourself, you are then able to take care of others. You become more productive and more efficient at work, you become a role model for others to follow building on that energy and positive vibe you have surrounded yourself with. Other stress relievers are sauna, massage and lots of deep breathing and mediation. These help to relax you by allowing the body to shift from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic nervous system.
If you allow stress to take over and rule, you have lost the battle and trust me it is not worth it. Learn to take baby steps to implement the necessary changes to live a less stressful life and you will come up on top as the winner.
Chemicals in personal hygiene products and cosmetics
This is another big topic- the chemicals in our everyday products. Your skin absorbs everything that is put on it. These products contain transdermal penetrating ingredients that allow the chemicals to penetrate your skin and go into the bloodstream. That is very dangerous because we want to be able to control and only allow the good stuff to enter, like oxygen, sun rays for vitamin D production and nutrients, into our bloodstream.
Our bodies and skin are bombarded and burdened with increased chemical exposure from cleaning supplies, clothing finishes, paints and pollution. This is a serious problem and we need to be aware of it. The chemicals ending in the “cone“ family can clog and congest our pores wreaking havoc on the skin.
The solution to this problem is to start reading the labels and not believe the marketing. Don’t fall for words like Toxin Free or Chemical Free.
There is a big list but let’s begin to avoid products with these names:
Coal Tar Dyes
Begin switching to organic products, and if you can’t read the labels then put it down and walk away.
Hormones have a very strong influence on our skin and many of our bodily functions. Example:
Insulin – dark patches on the skin, skin tags appearing on your body especially around & under your breasts, armpits, neck and face
Thyroid and sex hormones – weight loss or weight gain and estrogen dominance symptoms such as PCOS, facial hair growth, acne and mood swings.
If you feel that something is not right and you are feeling not yourself, please go and see your doctor ASAP to help address the problem.
Having studied under the umbrella of functional medicine, I have now realized the importance of how detox and/or a cleanse are so crucial in helping our body get rid of built-up toxins in our bodily system. It is very important to embark on them several times during the year to keep the body rejuvenated and to help clear and balance itself naturally by focusing on a healthier diet and lifestyle.
As you embark on taking those baby steps towards a Healthier ‘U’, you will begin to enjoy the process and you will learn new habits and will begin to focus on different areas that you feel are most important and beneficial for you at that particular moment. It is you that drives the process and just listening to your body will tell you exactly what it needs.
If you do decide to join me this January, I look very much forward to helping you on your journey but I just ask that you check in with your health care provider to make sure you are ready and capable to join me.
Small Changes for a Healthier “U”