When I heard the words “carbon smoothie,” I couldn’t help but raise my eyebrows and immediately fulfill my need to know more. So down the research rabbit hole I went, exploring the recent uptick in interest around carbon, a.k.a. charcoal, and its detoxifying properties.
It's called the "10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse" and it was designed by JJ Smith. It wasn't easy to do, but now I don't want to stop. When you see that "detoxing" from sugar, gluten, dairy and alcohol can have such a drastic effect on the way you feel, it really makes you want to take a closer look at why. One of the most interesting things to me was that I actually ended up gaining weight. Probably because I needed to, but still. You have 2-3 green smoothies per day made with things like kale, spinach, banana, berries, peaches, mangoes, flax seed and raw plant protein powder. To make sure I was getting enough calories and fat, I added avocado and coconut oil. I also used decaffeinated green tea in place of water. You are allowed to have 2-3 green smoothies per day plus all the chicken and vegetables you want. The smoothies taste great and before you know it, you are craving them. There is a 3-4 day period in the beginning that you can have headaches and pains, but it's normal and the fourth day is better. I had the toughest time giving up the caffeine, so I have taken it back up, but I just don't have it with cream and sugar anymore. After having nothing for over a week, almond milk and raw stevia tastes surprisingly great.
Lately after my workouts, I've been stopping by a little spot near my house that has an Infrared Sauna. I'm quickly becoming addicted. My muscles aren't as sore, my eyes and skin look healthier, I'm more relaxed and overall, I just feel better. Sitting in an infrared sauna is like getting healthy sun exposure without the destructive UV Rays, which, by the way, make up 20% of real sun exposure. Here, you are only getting the good stuff...the other 80%. The infrared radiation warms you without warming the air around you, so you'll tolerate it much better than a traditional sauna. Here are a few benefits, followed by the ever-interesting (to me at least) light therapy and a brief description of what each color does:
1. Sweat Out The Toxins
Were you aware that toxic chemicals are responsible for up to 80% of cancer deaths? Sweating is one of the body’s most natural ways to eliminate toxins, making it a crucial part of detoxification. Infrared saunas allow you to eliminate about seven times more toxins (like chemicals and heavy metals) than traditional saunas. The sweating is deeper and more profuse. It also helps the fat cells release organic chemicals and biological toxins...it goes deep, up to three inches deep. Most toxins can be released through the skin, relieving the burden on the kidneys and liver.
Infrared sauna therapy promotes relaxation by helping to balance your body’s level of cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone. It also goes a long way towards relieving tension and relaxing your muscles. All that’s really needed is 15-20 minutes a few times per week. The increased circulation and better blood flow you'll experience will help lower blood pressure too. If you’re troubled by muscle or joint pain, or more chronic conditions like arthritis, infrared heat from the sauna can provide drug-free pain relief, reducing stiffness and inflammation. Yes, it's all that.
3. Pain Relief
Along with the relaxing heat, the far infrared light penetrates deep in to the tissues and organs, reducing swelling and inflammation, which help the body heal in a safe, relaxing and non-invasive way. Furthermore, the infrared heat reduces the stress response which results in less painful clinching around pain. If you suffer from muscle aches or joint pain, infrared saunas can relieve this form of inflammation by increasing circulation and relaxing your muscles.
4. Weight Loss
The heat generated by an infrared sauna will cause your core temperature to increase, which can also lead to an increased heart rate — the same increase in heart rate that you experience when exercising. When your body has to work harder to lower your core temperature or keep up with an increased heart rate, your body will burn more calories, resulting in a boosted metabolism and weight loss. Infrared saunas, because of their ability to penetrate the skin more deeply, increase metabolic rate and can help the body burn off anywhere from 200 – 600 calories in a half hour session. Hydration is essential, so never skimp on liquids just for the sake of seeing lower numbers on the scale. Drink up before, during and after – no exceptions! The three inches of heat penetration softens cellulite and increases the flushing of fat from the body. I know....sign you up?
5. Improved Circulation and Organ De-Congestion
Heating the body powerfully shunts blood towards the skin to dissipate heat. This decongests the internal organs and greatly stimulates circulation. Sinuses, joints and many other tissues benefit greatly. The sauna also stimulates the generation of new red blood cells from the bone marrow (an important energy booster), Especially for those whose immune systems are weak or who are anemic. Thus, saunas improve circulation and relieve internal congestion. As the heat from infrared saunas increases your core body temperature, your circulation will increase along with it. Consistent infrared sauna sessions, especially in the middle-infrared level, can stimulate blood flow, improve muscle recovery, and decrease pain and inflammation after intense exercise.
6. Skin Rejuvenation
Infrared sauna technology can help purify your skin by eliminating toxins from your pores, resulting in clearer, softer, and healthier-looking skin. These saunas will also improve skin tone and reduce signs of aging by stimulating better circulation, blood flow and increased collagen production – all of which improve the look and health of your skin. The increased circulation, elimination of toxins and flushing out of cellular debris give you a more radiant appearance. The last thing you'll want to do after your sauna is apply skin care products that contain the toxins you just sweated out, so thank goodness for non-toxic Drunk Elephant! Also, were you aware that our C-Firma Day Serum contains an anti-aging chronopeptide that biotransforms into Vitamin D and mimics the Vitamin D we get through sun exposure? The infrared sauna and Drunk Elephant make quite the duo when it comes to fighting the signs of aging! Shop the entire D.E. collection here.
Infrared LED Lights:
Red: Skin rejuvenation
Orange: Skin revitalization
Yellow: Reduces redness, swelling and inflammation associated with rosacea and sunburn.
Green: Calms and lightens hyper-pigmentation.
Turquoise: Increases intuition and sensitivity.
Blue: Prevents and treats mild to moderate acne.
Purple: Simulates spleen and white blood cells; boosts the immune system.
Shower after you sauna. You don't want the toxins reentering your blood stream.
I've already said it, but I'll say it again: Drink a ton of water.
Use it as a complement to your exercise, not a substitute for your exercise.
Watch out for alcohol...it hits you much harder after you've been in the sauna.
Remember the old saying? Women GLOW, they don't SWEAT. Well...not true. In this case, you'll do both.