The average American has 116 synthetic compounds in their body, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. We’re exposed to toxins from food additives and preservatives, the environment, smog, exhaust and pollution, heavy metals, digestive distress, dry cleaners, obesogens, non-organic foods, pesticides, xenoestrogens, chemicals, and so much more.

Toxins are stored in fat cells. All toxins brought into your body have to be processed by your liver. The liver converts harmful chemicals into water-soluble molecules that are released when you eliminate (this is why it’s so important to have daily bowel movements). Toxic overload and a congested liver make it difficult to lose body fat and increase your risk of disease.

Detox equals reduced inflammation equals lower body fat, plus diminished bloating and puffiness, healthier looking skin, alleviation from constipation, reduced aches and pains, improved sleep, increased energy, plus more.

Detox tips

1. Consume an appropriate amount of clean, filtered water daily. Your body is 85 percent water and physiologically water works as a catalyst to most functions within your body. Water is important for eliminating toxins from your body. Add the juice from a fresh lemon and/or lime.

2. Stay away from anything called a diet. Diets are a major stressor to your body that destroy your metabolism and create hormonal disruption, muscle loss, fat storage, and added weight gain once you’re off the diet. Your body requires specific nutrients for the detox process to occur.

3. Go easy on the booze. Excessive alcohol consumption disrupts your blood sugar and your hormones, causes dehydration, is estrogenic, toxic to the liver, stimulates appetite, and adds inches to your waist line.

4. Drink more organic green and white teas.

5. Eliminate vegetable oils, processed soy, refined sugars and soda pop (liquid sugar with chemicals), pasteurized dairy products, high-fructose corn syrup, wheat and gluten, table salt, and hydrogenated trans fats. These items cause stress to your body, creating disease and nutritional deficiencies, increasing toxic load, excess inflammation, and stimulate fat storing hormones equals added body weight and risk of disease.

Avoid toxic artificial sweeteners such as NutraSweet, Equal, Splenda, and aspartame. Instead, use Stevia, an herb that will not elevate blood sugars and has zero calories.

6. Opt for organic foods over commercially, non-organic foods that are full of antibiotics, pesticides, chemicals, GMOs and xenoestrogens. Especially avoid farmed salmon and other contaminated fish. Start with grass-fed beef and bison, free-range poultry and eggs.

7. Minimize exposure to Electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Simple things you can do — remove all electrical devices from your sleeping area; avoid using electric blankets and electric heating pads; avoid using your laptop on your lap; avoid carrying your cell phone in your pocket or on your hip; stop using the microwave oven; switch out fluorescent light bulbs for incandescent bulbs.

8. Eat smaller meals versus fasting for days on end. Always eat breakfast that includes an organic protein source. Individuals who consume a diet deficient in protein have trouble detoxifying environmental toxins/pollutants.

9. Include plenty of organic fruits, a variety of leafy greens and more vegetables. Fresh vegetable juicing is phenomenal for boosting the detoxification process. The chlorophyll from the leafy greens enhance detoxification.

10. Practice at least 2-5 minutes of deep, full diaphragmatic belly breathing daily. Deep breathing is the source of all energy in your body. It transforms your energy and releases endorphins that make us feel happy. Without sufficient oxygen, cells begin to die and energy cannot be sufficiently produced.

Benefits of Deep Breathing: Toxin elimination, less stress, increased energy, composed mind, improved mood, enhanced appearance and changes to your physiology on a cellular level.

11. Don’t eat after 8 p.m. The night is the time for your body to rest and detox, not digest your food. Eating too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep, create digestive distress, reduce your production of growth hormone, and minimize the detoxification process.

12. Quality sleep. Keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking around the same time. Your body repairs physically and psychologically at night during sleep. This is a time for your body to balance hormones, repair tissues and regenerate.

13. Ditch the toxic products. Switch to more natural cleaning products such as white vinegar and baking soda. Use organic, non-toxic skin care products void of chemicals. Swap out your plastic storage containers and plastic water bottles for glass or other eco-friendly materials. Get rid of Teflon cookware and replace with stainless steel.

14. Detox your mind. Your thoughts are the most powerful way to maintain health and well-being and to heal your body. Minimize time spent with energy vampires and negative people. Generate positive emotions and thoughts — this is key to detoxifying your mind.

15. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Form win-win relationships. Determine who is trustworthy and displays character traits of integrity, honesty and authenticity. Dissolve those relationships that no longer serve you in a positive light. Enjoy relationships that nourish your soul and make you feel good.

16. Keep a food journal for at least one week. Research shows that people who journal what they eat tend to lose twice as many pounds and make healthier food choices. This is especially helpful during your detox.

17. Your skin is a major organ of detoxification. Saunas, especially infrared saunas, accelerate the release of toxins. Dry skin brushing before you shower stimulates your lymphatic, immune and nervous systems, improves circulation and allows for greater removal of toxins.

18. Practice yoga. Rebounding on a mini trampoline is extremely beneficial for every cell and organ in your body. Doing so flushes the lymphatic system, plus bouncing boosts your immune system.

19. Exercise is a natural form of detoxification. Brisk walking, high intensity intervals or any workout that cleanses the body of toxins.

20. Reward yourself. Allow yourself time to rest without feeling guilty. Get your daily dose of sunshine (Vitamin D). Indulge in a warm bath with Epsom salts and a relaxing essential oil such as lavender. Schedule a massage or sauna — both increase the effectiveness of detoxification by releasing toxins from your body. Listen to your gut (intuition) and give your body, mind and soul the love and support it needs.

•Ahwatukee Foothills resident Paula Owens is a nutritionist, fitness expert and weight loss coach with more than 20 years of experience. Reach her at

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