Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What am I? Chopped Liver?

No!  Not chopped liver, a nice healthy liver!  Well, a nice one that takes some minor abuse but a healthy one that bounces back stronger each time!  

A reader asks: "...I was wondering if you had any ideas (or can point me in the right direction) on how to cleanse and detox your liver?"

I drink.  And when I say I drink, I mean a weekend is not a weekend unless margaritas are involved.  ;)  That said, I am VERY careful about what things I put into my body to 'counter-balance' the minor harm a Saturday night may cause.  Is it the healthiest option I could make?  Hell no; but here is a short list of things I do to keep my liver functioning properly.

1.  Juice leafy greens (mixed with fruits to make it palatable).   Kale is among my favorite.  See the recipe below for Liver Detox Juice which consists of fruits and veggies known for being nice to the liver.

2.  Green smoothies.  Instead of juicing, you can throw a bunch of crap in a blender and voila!  Instant healthy goodness!  (see my favorite green smoothie recipe below that incorporates baby kale, an uber-healthy addition that your liver will love!)

2.  Avoid alcohol, coffee and caffeine at least mostly.  Alcohol and caffeine are both rough on the liver.  Since I have chosen my poison, I avoid the other...mostly.  I choose organic margaritas and wine, so I drink very little caffeine.  

3.  Take raw garlic.  This is Uh-mazing stuff.  It does wonders for your immune system, your liver and tons of other areas of your body.  To take raw garlic, chop up a raw clove into pill-size pieces.  Swallow like a pill.  Do it several times daily!

4.  Dry Brush.  Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system which can increase the ability for the liver to cleanse itself.  First, you purchase a dry skin brush and each morning, first thing after rolling out of bed, dry brush.  The rule of thumb is to start at your feet and brush your whole entire body in upward or circular motions towards the heart.  

5.  Milk Thistle.  You can purchase Milk Thistle extract at your local health food store or online.  Follow the recommended dosing instructions on the bottle.  Milk Thistle is a miracle liver formula.  Made from the thistle of a flowering plant in the daisy family, it is not made of dairy like many would assume.  It is a well known liver detoxifier.

6.  Turmeric.  Again, like garlic, another SUPERfood!  Turmeric will benefit you in a million ways and cleansing your liver is just one of them.  Sprinkle is on freshly popped popcorn, put it in hummus, add it to sauces and smoothies, sprinkle it on edamame...just consume it however you must!  Remember: nutrients and such are better when they come straight from the source...not from over produced supplements.  You can also buy turmeric root at an Indian store or a health food store and juice it!

Megan's Favorite Green Smoothie

1 medium organic  banana
2 handfuls organic baby kale
1 Tbsp flax oil
1 Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 drops stevia extract
dash cinnamon
dash turmeric

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high for about 20-30 seconds until smooth.

Liver Detox Juice (use organic ingredients)

1 grapefruit (peel removed)
1 beet
1 carrot
1 apple
1/2 bunch kale
1/4 lemon (peel also)

Juice all ingredients together.  Stir and enjoy.  To boost the liver cleansing abilities of this juice, add in the recommended dose of milk thistle extract.

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