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5 Simple Ways to Detox Your Life

Waterfall blissBy Amber Zuckswert

As we step into the dawn of a new year we have one simple choice: To bounce out of bed with radiant energy, eager to jump into the adventures and endless opportunity of the day. Or, sluggishly roll out dreading work with brain fog, anxiety and worry. This vital choice begins and ends with what we decide to eat and how we move our bodies. Many of us have danced, drank and eaten our way into oblivion over the holidays. Excess sugar, fat, salt, alcohol and caffeine slurped down during those festive parties clog and slow the vital filtering abilities of the liver, kidney and colon. While lack of consistent exercise has stagnated lymph flow, slowed the metabolism, and atrophied muscle.

Luckily the body is incredibly resilient and has its own extraordinary internal detoxification system. Here’s a brief look at three critical organs involved:

  • The Liver: Your first line of defense against toxins is your liver, which acts like a filter in preventing toxic substances contained in foods from passing into your blood stream.
  • The Colon: This organ has bacteria that produce both healthy and unhealthy chemicals. You want to keep your colon flowing regularly since its main role is to flush out toxic chemicals before they can do you any harm.
  • The Kidneys: Like clockwork, the kidneys are constantly filtering your blood and getting rid of toxins in the form of urine.

Now that we know a bit more about our amazing bodies, lets jump into my 5 simple ways you can detox your life for vibrant moments and ultimate longevity.

  1. Reduce Your Exposure: The vast majority of household cleaners, nail polish, laundry detergent, paint, bug repellent, sunscreen, even make-up and perfume are full of toxic hormone disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals that wreak havoc on our cells. With 7 billion people on the planet we live in the most toxic environment of all time, but we can choose to control our immediate surroundings for boundless health. Do your best to eliminate your skin’s and lung’s exposure to these products and opt for more natural alternatives. Learn what to avoid and why at www.ewg.org.
  2. greens for livingVote with Your Fork: Costa Rica has an extensive history of pesticide and herbicide use thanks to many large corporate plantations of mono-crops. And while the tides are turning slowly toward more sustainable agriculture legislation within the government, the consumers hold the true power. By choosing to buy local organic produce we are voting with our dollars to ensure personal health and a sustainable future. How do you buy organic when it’s not currently sold in grocery stores or markets? Join an organic produce and super-food club like the one I’ve created at The Center for Epic Living. 
  3. Eat More Whole Plant Foods: Organic fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, seaweeds, and sprouted grains hold the macro and micro nutrients, minerals, water, and fiber that our cells crave. Their fiber sweeps the digestive track clean, while their compounds, like chlorophyll, encourage your cells to release stored toxins. Plants are also low in calories and much more nutrient dense compared to animal products and anything in a bag, box or can. Whole foods come from the Earth and are perfect as is. Heavily processed foods are stripped of their nutrients. They pack a high calorie and toxic punch while leaving your body starving for real nutrients. Crowd out the processed foods by simply add more plants to your plate. Eat the plants first and then reassess your hunger.
  4. Sweat Baby Sweat: Whether it’s a jog at Playitas, a vertical climb to Diamante falls, or a soak in the Quepos hot springs, sweating is one of the many ways our bodies flushes out waste. As the temputatures rise this summer be cautious of over loading on chemical laden sunscreens and tanning oils that clog your pores and trap everything your body is trying to toss. Coconut oil is a wonderful all natural option. Dry brush your skin daily to slough off dead particles and let it breathe free of potions. It is our largest organ and absorbs everything after all. 
  5. Move More, Sleep Deep: Consistency is key with these two. Aim for at least 30 minutes to an hour of movement per day to burn fat and rattle toxins loose. Vigorous exercise gets the heart pumping and lymph flowing. Pilates and yoga build strength and flexibility around the spine and joints, while simultaneously massaging the organs and calming the nerves. When the body is taken care of physically with a balanced approach, including mindful methods and vigorous activities, sleep comes with ease and depth. The deeper we sleep the more repair and detox time we give our cells. Ramp up both exercise and sleep for a wealth of new energy.

So, what do you think? Can you implement any or all of these simple techniques into your life? Will 2014 be your best year ever?! Know that there is a supportive community of like-minded guys and gals who share your zest for living to the fullest here in Quepos and Manuel Antonio. We’ll help you stay motivated and inspired to reach your true potential, because when you shine your brightest you allow others to do the same. You are worth it and I believe in you. Be the change.

standing splitAmber Zuckswert is the Founder of The Center for Epic Living in Manuel Antonio. She’s an internationally recognized Pilates and yoga instructor, professional contemporary dancer, and holistic nutritionist from San Francisco, CA. Amber loves nothing more than empowering others to create their most epic self —  mind, body and spirit. Check out her passionate work on Epicself.com and visit her studio at Epiclivingcenter.com.


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