It's a ritual every year, eat and drink horrible stuff from Thanksgiving through Christmas then make a New Years resolution to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight. Problem is, this commitment lasts maybe a month and then a lesser version of the holiday lifestyle starts up again. Getting on track with eating and exercise is what the Urban Caveman website is all about. There are over 100 articles dedicated to an active and lean lifestyle with many challenging what you’ve come to think is healthy.

 

Reading the articles on Wheat, Sugar, Dairy, and Grains, is where you begin to understand what compromises the body, whereas the recipes and reads on Kale and Nuts provide you info on what fuels the body effectively, and articles such as Pushups and Pullups discuss effective exercise which regenerate and challenge the body.

 

These tips encompass detoxification, but are really habits to incorporate regularly for a course to true health.

1)
Eliminate the Crap (a given)
A) Snack bowls.

We all did it: frequent stops at various bowls of treats strewn around our house and others. Chips, nuts, candies, chocolates, and whatever fudge-like colorfully decorated bar Aunt Mable made.  Throw 'em away and hide the bowls.
B) Alcohol
A no brainer. Not that there are many calories in alcohol, but two main problems:

- stunting the Liver's many vital processes

- killing off good bacteria necessary for efficient digestion
C) Figure out the difference between good and bad foods.
The entire website is dedicated to understanding what foods make the human body function optimally and which ones cause problems. Start with the article Eating Right which takes you to various reads.

2) Tea
I am a big fan of hot tea on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. You are re-hydrating and rebooting the body by cleansing and jump-starting the blood and various organs like the stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys. Green Tea in itself is a potent antioxidant and other herbal blended concoctions containing licorice root, mint, mullein, milk thistle, dandelion, direct their beneficial chemical properties toward certain organs and functions. Check out the Yogi Teas and Traditional Medicinals at your local market.
A quick note on Coffee
Although not crazy horrible and actually having some benefit for the vascular system and cognitive ability, coffee has caffeine levels that can create problems for the adrenal glands. In addition, caffeine can be addictive for some, creating physical dependency. Coffee is also very acidic, not the best liquid to ingest on an empty stomach.


3) Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs
Most of these can and should be taken in through food selection, rather than a cupboard full of synthetic vitamins from GNC, but some vitamins, from a quality manufacturer, can help solve problems or eliminate conditions.
Quercetin: a natural antihistamine and antioxidant.
Fish Oil: Omega-3 is a potent anti inflammatory, essential for digestion, quality skin, nerve and brain function.
Magnesium: the most depleted mineral in our soil, critical for all cellular function, proper blood pressure, is a natural anti-inflammatory, and electrolyte balancer in the kidneys.
Licorice Root: Treats ulcers and digestive disorders, soothes inflammation and protects the stomach by fortifying the stomach’s protective mucous coating, lowers stress, an expectorant for lungs, boosts immune system, suppresses infection, protects against cancer-causing toxins and tumor formation.

Ashwaganda: Rejuvenating, calming and strengthens the immune system, relieves mental fatigue and memory loss, rejuvinates the adrenal glands.
Astragalus: Stimulates and strengthens the immune system to fight infection, increases stem cell production in bone marrow, increases white blood cell count, activates anti-cancer 'killer' cells, effectively soothes and fights respiratory infection and illness.

Bromelain: a powerful proteolytic enzyme for digestion and anti-inflammatory properties.

Look for whole food vitamins, meaning they are not synthetic. Innate Response is my choice: http://www.innateresponse.com/

4) Breathe
Around 1800 gallons of blood are moved through the lungs each day, (with exercise more), oxygenated, and then travels12,000 miles in the circulatory system throughout the entire body. This is a great opportunity to push toxins out and oxygenate tissue throughout the entire body. The ribs, and their many joints attaching to the spine, also enjoy range of motion to stay pliable. Since resting breath is about 10-15% of capacity, pausing to take in a few really deep breaths and expel with force is a great idea.

Read more about breathing HERE

5) Shakes Loaded with Nutrients
Convenient, quick, portable, blended for efficient digestion, shakes or smoothies rock! I created Structure Lean Fuel protein powder for this very reason. Throwing in kale, spinach, and other greens with your coconut milk, naked juice, and fruit make a powerhouse of a meal to start the day.

NOTE: All proteins are not created equal. Read more HERE

6) Exercise with Purpose & Direction
Having a weekly plan of action, a global set of goals, and how to get there is essential to achieve results. Taking a few minutes to sit down and write some goals out, do a little homework, or even hiring a fitness professional to learn how to do stuff correctly, can really put you on track. Too many people show up at the gym thinking 30min of cardio and a few standard weight exercises is enough. 'Leg day', 'Chest & Shoulder day', are relics from the past. The workout itself should have focus and determination of what you’re doing and why. Don’t just go through the motions.

7) Eat More Raw Food
- Salads, but make your own dressings.

- Greens in your morning shake. (you won't even taste it!)

- A piece of cauliflower, broccoli, or carrots while you’re preparing dinner.

- A salad with some grilled meat for dinner.

- Read the article Is Organic Better

8) Meat with Good Fats ... Fruit with Good Fats
- Wild fish, Grass-fed beef, pastured chicken
- Coconut, Olive, Avocado

9) Take Long Walks

2-5 hours of walking per week is an integral part of any exercise program. This is an opportunity to drain the system, use stored fat for fuel, and fully oxygenate, stimulate, and regenerate every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. Your heartrate should be 50-70% of its max.

 

10) Fast / Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting isn’t some hippie juice-detox-starve thing. Going without food from say 7pm the night before until lunchtime the next day or the 20/4 (20 hrs of fasting, 4 hours of non-fasting), or simply skip a meal, allows the body to recalibrate and regenerate with other numerous benefits, including: 

 

- Ketosis (stored fat is pulled and converted for fuel)

- Fat usage and burning is up-regulated genetically (you burn fat more efficiently)

- Increased lifespan, improved cognitive function, elevated immune system and response

- Allow the pancreas to regenerate by not releasing Insulin (Improved Insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake)

- Reduced oxidative damage & improved tissue repair

- Apoptosis: cell death and regeneration (weaker cells, hanging on by a thread are eliminated so healthy cells can thrive)

- Improved genetic expression (cellular encoding and processes function optimally)

11) Garlic & Ginger

2 foods that are highly effective in purifying the blood, aiding digestion, and boosting the immune system. Keep them around always, and add them to your freshly prepared salad dressings.

-Leavitt January 2013

blog_bk_2.gif

Detoxing Your Way Out of the Holidays