In my spare time, I consume lots of information on the topic of health and wellness.  The more I learn, the more difficult it becomes to ignore.  In order to be better at implementing what I learn, I'm developing a system of what I call, "the daily detox."

The premise is simple.  All I need to do is incorporate some simple steps into my everyday routine that help my body to recover from the multitude of stresses that bombard it on a daily basis.
The inspiration came from what I observed in my own daily activity.

I'm one of those people who make a mess whenever I'm actively doing something.  Part of the blame for this is due to my short attention span.  I pick an item up, do something with it, get distracted, and move on to something else without putting the item away.  As you would imagine, this habit leads to lots of disorder in my environment.

In the past, I would allow many days to pass before truly cleaning up my mess.  By then, cleaning everything up was a nightmare.   I've since ingrained the habit of cleaning at the end of my tasks (or at the end of the day). This helps keeps things organized while preserving my sanity.

Looking back, I realized that I've been treating my internal environment in the same way.  I lived from one day to the next without giving much thought to giving my body the fuel it needs to "clean up" internally.

Our bodies do a decent job of repair and regeneration......but.....we sometimes do a better job of increasing toxicity. We eat the wrong things, are exposed to toxic chemicals and we do an overall lousy job at giving our bodies the help it needs to properly detoxify.   The older I get, the more I realize my body isn't as efficient as it used to be.  The effects of my poor choices are becoming more evident day after day.   But, on the flip side, our bodies are ultra-resourceful and respond well to any positive behaviors. Just a few simple daily detox actions will go a very long way.

#1 Hydration
Let's start at the most basic level.  The most obvious way that our body cleanses itself is from waste elimination.  The easiest way to promote/increase elimination is through adequate water intake.  When you drink more water, you'll use the restroom more. It's as simple as that.  Anytime I slack on my water intake, my body holds onto more waste products then when adequately hydrated. 
I read a book once that talked about how scientists were able to keep heart cells from a chicken alive in a petri dish for over 20 years (chickens normally live 7-8 years).  These cells remained functional because they were placed in a saline solution that contained the right balance of oxygen, water, and minerals.  Each day, the researchers were tasked with removing the waste products created by the cells.  Once they neglected to remove the waste, the cells died.  Here's the thing, when we don't properly eliminate waste, it doesn't just disappear into thin air, it's stewing in our bodies.  You take showers every day, aren't you also interested in cleansing the body from the inside?

#2 Healthy Lymph
Another critical component that we can't neglect is the lymph.  Our body contains more lymph fluid than blood.  This lets you know how important the lymphatic system is to our health.  When we talk about detoxing, the lymphatic system HAS TO BE a part of the conversation.  We rarely think about our lymph but it's a critical component of our health and well-being.  Our white blood (immune) cells live in our lymph fluid.  You wanna know what else is there?  Cellular waste. 

Unlike the respiratory system where the heart pumps automatically, the lymph needs our help.  In order to properly do its job, it requires movement.  When you're sitting all day, our lymphatic system suffers.  Lymphatic stagnation results in acne, puffiness, swollen face/arms/legs, cellulite, under eye bags, constipation, bloating and so much more.  The good news is that we can easily incorporate detox actions to promote a healthy lymph.  These include:

Next on my daily detox is sweating. It's one of the main ways our body eliminates waste (aside from going to the bathroom).   Imma be honest with you.  Sweating on a daily basis is not an easy task for me.  I don't enjoy sweating, especially while working out (I know, that sounds bizarre).  This is why I enjoy sauna's so much.  They do all the work for me which is why I made the investment of acquiring an at-home sauna.  Even though I have a sauna sitting just a few feet from me, I still don't use it daily.  But I'm making an effort to use it at least a few times a week as part of my daily detox.  The list of benefits from using infrared saunas are too long to list.  During that intense sweat, you're not just releasing fluid, your body is also using that opportunity to get rid of toxins and chemicals.  Ideally, I'll work up to using it each day.   If you are one of those people who love working up a sweat at the gym,  then go sweat, and sweat often.  

The other area we need to focus on during the daily detox is the gut.  We have 10X more gut microbiome than any other type of cell in the body.  We can not ignore the health of our gut.  I love unhealthy foods which are horrible for our gut health.  But I've decided to incorporate some strategies to counteract the outcomes of eating processed foods.  The easiest thing for me is to take a probiotic on a daily basis.  It makes such a difference.  

But I need to do more.

The goal is to include other elements that support gut health that goes beyond simply popping a pill.   I want to feed and nourish the good bacteria so they thrive.  This basically means eating more fiber. One thing I've recently was swap out sugary processed snacks for juice or fresh fruit.  I've also made sure to prep salads on the weekends again. At the very least, I can take a swig of apple cider vinegar which is great for the gut.   The goal is to make a deliberate effort to get fiber in each day.  It's all about balance.  By the way, since eating better in an effort to be more mindful of my gut, I easily shed several pounds.  Not bad.

There's so much more I could add to this list, but for now, I'll keep it short.  Stay hydrated, move, sweat, and feed your gut.  Doing these things daily (or as often as possible) will go a long way towards making sure that our bodies remain in great health.

Once upon a time, I was a "naturally slim" gal.  For the most part, it took little effort to keep my girlish figure. Then, things changed.  It probably was a combination of less activity (working from home) and poor eating choices (constant access to a stocked fridge).  Either way, I slowly put on an extra 10-15 lbs that seemingly came out of no where.

At my height/frame, 10+ lbs makes all the difference in the world.  After experimenting with multiple ways to shed the weight, I came to the conclusion that it's critically important to incorporate a few powerful and easy to maintain habits that really work.  It's always nice to learn from others who've discovered their keys to keeping a healthy weight.  Recently, Simone shared her go-to tips via Instastory.  I quickly captured them to see what we can learn from her healthy lifestyle.
Before we begin, I want to address the obvious. Simone has a very slim frame.  One might look at her and dismiss her advice because Simone looks like one those girls who don't have to put a millisecond of thought into maintaining her figure.  If that were true, then would she even have any tips to share?

If she doesn't have to do anything to keep her tummy toned, then why do ab workout videos? There would be no need.

I used to hold this belief that some people did nothing to experience the benefits they enjoyed. For instance, I classified Kelly Rowland as a naturally slim person born with a set of toned abs.  Then I learned that the woman did hundreds of sit ups before bed.  My mind was blown.  From that day forward, I realized that I need to learn from those who exhibited the qualities that I wanted, and not assume that they did nothing to create their results.

Ok, enough rambling.  Here's a recap of what Simone shared as her keys to staying slim.
First let's discuss her disclosure about how much liquid she consumes.  Water, green tea and coffee are her beverages of choice.  According to her, staying hydrated helps suppress her appetite.  Sound familiar?  Ever since I learned that the underlying reason for hunger could be thirst, I've started reaching for my water bottle before defaulting to a snack.  So far so good.

We've already discussed, at length, how green tea can be a great appetite suppressant. Not only does it help you ward off cravings, it's loaded with antioxidants. 

The other day I watched a video where a girl addressed a question that she was constantly receiving from her followers.  They noticed that she ate quite a lot according to her Snapchat stories, yet she stayed slim.  One explanation for how she was able to maintain her weight was because she consumed around 8 cups of green tea daily.  Green tea is one of those miracle drinks that you gotta get familiar with.  Not only does it help curb appetite but when paired with exercise, it helps you burn more calories at rest.  It's an ally in our war against unwanted weight.

Simone goes on to reiterate a lesson that I just recently shared about eating our last meal earlier in the day.  Devouring a heavy meal then going to bed is a recipe for disaster.  Not only are we robbed of valuable human growth hormone (HGH), our sleep isn't as sound. By the way, HGH is responsible for helping keep us lean and toned. Eating late meals is like you're begging to put on weight.

Finally, Simone reveals a couple of gems.  Her favorite workout videos.

Whenever I see a workout video on YT, I immediately scan the comments for testimonials.  This slim waist video has over 2 millions views so there were several testimonials available.  Many of the reviewers said they noticed a difference in around 3 days.  That's super exciting.  I like the fact that focus of the workout is to slim the waist, not just to build bulky abs.

The second video is also from Vicky. Again, the comments are very promising.

Reece Faul

Started a week ago unbelievable the difference I do it once in the morning and once in the evening 4-5 times a week, gunna keep on doing it until I have skinny waist!

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i've been doing this for 3 days , my waist is so small .... 3 days ! how ?

Who's ready to give these workouts a try?

I've experienced it time and time again.  After a long day of trying to get everything done, I finally get a chance to sit down and scarf my dinner.  Next thing I know, it's time for bed.  My belly's full, I'm happy and ready to drift off into dreamland.

Over the next several months, the days will grow shorter which means most of us will consume our dinners close to bedtime.  This isn't ideal. We've all heard the advice of not eating our last meal too late. But how many of us really abide by those rules?

If you knew the full impact of late night eating, I'm sure you'd think twice.

Eating is my favorite thing to do.  It feels good to eat a satisfying meal after a long day.  But timing is everything.  You've been told to avoiding eating after six to help with weight management.  I tried eating early but found it very hard to do.  If you work a 9-5, you're probably still stuck in traffic by the time the clock hits 6:00 pm.

When my career progressed, my days grew longer and I found myself often grabbing something quick to eat after 9:00 pm.  Whenever I ate a meal after "normal dinner hours," I noticed something peculiar.  I woke up the next day feeling sleep deprived.  All of those days of sleeping full added up. During the last few years of employment with my former employer, I aged quite a bit.

Friends who hadn't seen me a long time would always be like....."wow, uh, you look.....tired."  I knew exactly what that meant.  It meant that my eyes were starting to sink in and that I always looked unrested.  I chocked it up to the long hours and endless travel.  But, I neglected to realize the impact that late night eating was having on my body.

Here's the thing, sleeping is one of the most rejuvenating things you can do.  As we sleep, our body goes into full-on repair mode.  Did you know that around 90 minutes after you fall asleep, your body starts to produce human growth hormones (HGH)?  HGH plays a major role in protein preservation. HGH is referred to as the "ultimate antiaging hormone" because it's heavily involved cell growth, pair, and regeneration.  Children have the highest levels of HGH while the elderly are deficient.

The other major benefit of having high levels of HGH is rapid fat burning.  Not only does HGH keep you looking younger looking, it helps you stay slim & toned.  Some pay big bucks for prescription HGH just to experience the benefits of youth once again. But we don't need purchase synthetic shots because we can easily make our own.

We produce human growth hormone in multiple ways.  One of the most powerful is by sleeping.  It's something we do every day.  Within the first couple of hours of sleep, your body generates high levels of the youth hormone.  But, when you sleep with a full stomach (or shortly after eating) your body is primarily focused on digestion (which requires lots of energy).

Basically, when we eat 1-2 hours before bed, we're robbing ourselves of our HGH producing potential.  Instead of creating ample amounts of the amazing youth hormone, it's busy trying to break down that big 'ol burger you just devoured.

If you're a  late-night eater, I invite you to eat dinner a litter earlier.  Or, if it isn't possible, try incorporating some light activity after eating to stimulate digestion and lower your blood sugar levels before bed.

Going to bed with high insulin levels (which happens when we eat) will rob you of the potential to burn fat while you sleep.  Once insulin is released into the bloodstream, any and all fat burning activity stops! Try this experiment.  Eat your last meal about 3-4 hours before bed and notice how much leaner you are when you wake up the next morning.  It's an amazing feeling to stand in the mirror and gaze at your non-bloated morning belly.  I know that we can't always schedule early evening dinners but, I beg you, please don't make a habit of eating late night, right before bed.

Timing is everything.
I love hacks! Any little tweak that can improve my results, I'm all for it!  Today I've learned something that I have to share with you.  Recently, I've started working out again and I want to see the fruits of my labor as soon as possible.  I wondered if there was a way to maximize each workout for enhanced results, and I think I've stumbled on the answer.

What I discovered today could change everything.  It doesn't require extra time in the gym. In fact, adding one simple beverage to your daily routine could help you lose more weight than working out alone.
Here's the deal.  You may have heard that drinking green tea has a slew of benefits.  But did you know that it's scientifically proven to help you lose more weight when paired with a workout plan?

Here's what happened.

They enlisted women to partake in the study who were broken up into four subgroups:

GROUP 1/ Drank a powdered green tea drink 2X a day.
GROUP 2// Given a placebo to drink 2X a day (not green tea).
GROUP 3// Drank powdered green tea 2X a day & weight trained at the gym.
GROUP 4// Weight trained at the gym and drank placebo (not green tea).

The researchers wanted to see if combining green tea with a workout regimen made a difference did!
The ladies who strength trained and enjoyed green tea during the day were rewarded with a higher resting metabolic rate (RMR) than their counterparts who performed the exact same workout routine.  I don't know if you're aware but your resting metabolic rate holds the key to life! Ok, maybe I'm being a bit over dramatic.....but I'm not. 

You know how some people are able to eat burgers and down milkshakes and without gaining a pound. Those lucky individuals enjoy what we refer to as a "super high metabolism." All that means is that their bodies naturally burn up a lot of calories even when they're at rest (resting metabolic rate).  Someone with a high RMR can spend a day lounging around and still burn a bunch of calories doing so.

I was researching how to raise my resting metabolism and this study came up.  Obviously, our resting metabolic rate will rise whenever we incorporate a workout routine, but adding green tea will give you a slight edge.  In fact, the "green tea" group burned an average of an extra 60 calories a day more than their placebo counterparts.  This may not sound like much but, every calorie counts and it all adds up.  Burning an extra 1800 calories a month without put in the extra effort sounds like the ultimate hack.  Another thing we should note is that the green tea workout group experienced an increase in strength which helped them to lift more, which leads to even more calories burned while resting.

I've already talked about how green tea helps suppress appetite.  Add this to the list of reasons why green tea is so beneficial to your health/fitness journey.

If you want to give this a try, I recommend that you drink the green on an empty stomach.  That's because of another study which discovered that the active compound in green tea (EGCG) is better absorbed when taken without food.  Those who consumed green tea on an empty stomach experienced much greater levels of EGCG (3x or 4x higher) in the bloodstream hours after the tea was consumed.  Maybe this might convince you to swap out coffee for green tea, even if just for a few days a week.

Y'all need to jump on this green tea wagon.  If green tea good enough for Meagan Good, it's good enough for us.

I stumbled on a random piece of information the other day that lead to hours of research on the internal effects of hydration/dehydration.  I've talked a ton about drinking water on this site. But it was mainly geared towards the external beauty benefits.

We all know that if we don't get enough water that our skin could be affected.  But many of us aren't aware of the impact it could have on our weight.  I mean, sure, some individuals experience positive weight benefits when they switch from drinking soda to water, but I'm not talking about that.

There's another type of impact that water intake can have on your weight and eating habits that you should know about.
As we all know, the human body is made up of mostly water.  Much of that water isn't found in our blood but it consists of fluids located in between our countless number of cells.  In a healthy individual, the fluid travels in and out of the cell bringing with it essential, life-giving nutrients.

Water levels in the body fluctuate depending on various factors.  We lose water through normal daily functions like urination, sweating and even breathing.  In any given day, we are losing water just by being alive.

Our body counts on us to replenish that water through 2 main ways:
1. Drinking
2. Eating

Ideally, we drink at least half our body weight of water in ounces a day to keep hydrated.  But, sometimes life happens and we don't drink nearly enough.  I know this happens to me all the time. I'll feel bad for dropping the ball then promise to do better next time.
But, here's the thing, when you're not drinking water, your body is STILL thirsty (internally) and needs to get access to water.  So does what it needs to do by implementing plan B.  What's plan B?  Hunger.  Most of the food we eat has water some content.  It's nowhere as much as when you drink water, but it works.  Once your food is digested, the body extracts water from it for use by our organs and cells.

Plan B isn't so bad if you eat lots of fruits & veggies.  They are high water content foods and do an ok job as a source of hydration. But if you eat typical foods that aren't mostly water, your body has to extract whatever little bit of water it can.  When it needs more water, it asks for more food.  Here you are, taking in all of these extra calories just so your body can scrounge for a little bit of water.  This, my friends, could be a root cause to those extra pounds we've put on.

If that wasn't enough, there's yet another mechanism related to water drinking that causes us to gain weight.  Sometimes, when I'm working for extended hours, I suddenly feel the need to eat something sweet.  I need the sugar in my system.  Once I've satisfied my urges, with high calorie sweets, I feel normal again.  What my body was looking for was access to glycogen which is stored up energy (carbs) in the muscle.

Typically, it's the liver's job to release stored glyogen when needed.  But, when we're dehydrated, the liver struggles to do it's job.  And, of course, our body is self-preserving so it launches Plan B--sugar cravings.  That gives it quick access to the fuel it needs.  If we're trying to manage our weight, tapping into stored glycogen is actually a good thing.  But, not drinking enough water will screw with your normal body functions.  So next time, you have a craving for something sweet, try water first.

Lastly, when your underhydrated, your serotonin levels are impacted. Seratonin has a direct correlation with you feeling full after a meal.  When our seratonin is low, the brain activates our sugar cravings so insulin levels rise (which raises our seratonin).  It's a viscious, ugly cycle and our poor waistline is caught in the middle.

If these arguments aren't enough to help you get back on track with your water intake, I don't know what will.  Not only are there external beauty benefits, adequate water levels could help keep us leaner. As I did my research, I stumbled on another "water fact" directly related to anti-aging.  I'm still gathering data but I look forward to sharing the information with you in the near future.  But for now, experiment with keeping yourself hydrated and see what difference it makes in your healthy weight journey.