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Back it up" for your energy & metabolism

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2014-05-09

It’s not just what you eat. It’s how it gets there.

Eater’s Digest, from Replenish PDX is a monthly reflection on the journey of food.

This month: loving your liver for energy, metabolism and bright eyes!

In Sean Croxton’s Thyroid Sessions(the awesome free online event happening now), you’ll hear me speak about “backing it up” when it comes to the function of the thyroid.

But just what do we want to back it up to so that our thyroid can provide us with energy and metabolism as it’s meant to do?
Back it up to Digestion.

And by digestion I don’t just mean what you eat (though that’s critical too!), but also how each of the organs in your digestive systems works for you.

Those organs include your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small & large intestines but also your pancreas, gallbladder and your beloved liver.

Interestingly, in ancient Chinese practices the cycle of the day and the cycle of the year had correspondence with organ systems in the body. The relevance even relates to the seasonal foods during that time of year and how they feed and fuel those associated organs.
Waking up at 3am on a regular basis?
Could be your liver.
Feeling a bit of anger as we enter into the season?
Um. . . could be your liver.

(And believe me when I tell you that you’re not alone!)

That’s why each spring I like to back it up and bring my own attention (and yours too), right back to the importance of the liver with a liver loving cleanse. In these venerable philosophies, that connect the outside to the inside, spring is the time of the liver.
Rejuvenate: A TrulyFood Spring Cleanse kicks off with an introductory class on Saturday and provides the opportunity to move into deep restoration with a one week food-based protocol that starts this coming Monday.
Your liver is a powerhouse of activity.

It’s the biggest internal organ in your body and has hundreds of functions. One key role is acting as the gatekeeper for your entire system, filtering all toxins and foreign substances from the bloodstream, breaking them down, and excreting them.

Some of the toxic substances that your liver has to contend with are produced right within your own body! These include excess hormones and neurotransmitters. Other substances come from your environment ~ what you eat, what you breathe and even what you put on your skin.

There are both voluntary and involuntary invaders that the liver encounters. It’s working overtime, all the time, every second of every day, without much gratitude or payback.

Hey, your liver deserves a break today!
What does the liver have to do with thyroid function?

It’s a two way street, a round-robin and a bit of a cyclical relationship between your thyoid and your liver, really.

While your thyroid hormones (got enough of those?) are needed for your healthy liver cells, it’s the liver that has a starring role in converting the hormone that your thyroid makes into the one that your cells can use. (And you need to be able to use your thyroid hormones for good metabolism and weight management, energy throughout the day, and the bright eyes you have when people ask you what you’ve been doing to look so great!)

That’s why, in my book, it stands to reason that at least once a year we need to pamper our livers. Love them. Give them some extra attention. Say thank you to our livers for all that they do for us.
Unfortunately your liver won’t appreciate a simple Hallmark card.

What it will most appreciate is a vacation. . .

A vacation that includes time away from some of its usual workload, delicious healing food, as well as daily massages.
Doesn’t that sound good?

Here’s how you can “back it up” and love your liver today!

I love the idea of liver massage as much as my liver appreciates the loving.

It’s gentle and effective and anyone, any age, can do it. I’m ready to wrap my liver in some love with castor oil, and old washcloth and a hot water bottle this coming week. In fact, I may have to start before we kick into cleansing gear.

This protocol of massaging and oiling the liver is called a castor oil pack. It’s a great way to love your liver and boost its productivity.

Castor oil ~ massaged on the liver region, located beneath the right rib cage ~ can penetrate the skin to increase circulation, promote elimination and enhance the healing and rejuvenation of the cells beneath the surface. It’s remarkably effective, if not a little sticky.

This week I invite you to give it a try. Truly, all you need is some castor oil, an old washcloth, a hot water bottle and a little bit of intention. It’s a perfect way to love your liver and yourself.
You both deserve to get a little wrapped up in love this spring.

And if you’d like some further liver loving, Rejuvenate: A TrulyFood Liver Cleanse, is an optimal way to step into appreciation. . . appreciation of delicious seasonal foods, appreciation of the power of community healing, appreciation of your self and particularly appreciation of your liver. (Think what the rest of your body gets out of the deal too!)

If you’re looking to find me next week, I’ll be on liver vacation. I hope to see you there!



Eater’s Digest Homework:

Simple Castor Oil pack preparation

  • Put on an old t-shirt or tank top that you don’t care about.

  • Start to heat water for a heating pad.

  • Lift your shirt and locate the placement of your liver by hooking your fingertips under the bottom right rib on your ribcage.

  • Pour some castor oil (sticky stuff!) into the palm of your hand and rub it directly on the skin at this location.

  • Drape an old washcloth (one you don’t care much about) or small towel over the oil.

  • Fill your water bottle with the hot water and lay that over the towel on your right side.

  • Pull your shirt down over the water bottle and lie down to relax.

This is best done before bed, while reading and in a restorative position.

upcoming. . .

First, don’t forget to join me for the Thyroid Sessions!

This is a free online event and you can catch me there next week.

Tomorrow night I’ll be joining Sean Croxton and two of my fellow presenters on Underground Wellness Radio to answer your thyroid questions.
You can register for the Thyroid Sessions by clicking right here.!

Second, remember to “back it up”!

Rejuvenate: A TrulyFood Spring Cleanse

Saturday, May 10th

(We’ll send you the recording if you can’t make it live!)
Group Cleanse Dates: May 12th through May 18th

  • Are you aware of your toxic load in these toxic times? It’s pretty scary.

  • The good news is that you can DO something about it. You’ve got the power!

  • Get ready to cleanse your liver with LOVE!

Sign-up now to secure your spot.

Even if you think you already know HOW to cleanse, the TrulyFood Seasonal Cleanses promise to deliver a difference. Come find out what hundreds of others know.
Click here to learn more.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome.
Is there an ingredient you’d like to learn more about?
Is there a nutrition class you always wish existed?

Let me know!
Andrea Nakayama

Functional Nutrition

503 866.8079

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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