Learn more and connect with Laura via her website www.lauraciniwellness.com

Hannah:
Welcome to the Burn Pod, listeners. We have a returning guest joining us for this podcast and a few other awesome topics coming your way. Now you may or may not have listened to the podcast previously. If you haven’t, definitely jump on back and check them out because Laura Cini, owner of Laura Cini and an expert in nutritionist and naturopath with over 20 years experience is on board with us today. Now she works with clients and specialises in boosting energy, sustainable weight loss, detox, and cleansing, skin support, sleep, and personalised nutrition. She’s up to date with the latest research and uses evidence-based herbal and nutritional medicine. But today, we are going to get into a topic that I know we all have questions about and around and we’d love to hear a lot about, and it’s all about detoxing and cleansing. Welcome back, Laura.

Laura Cini:
Oh, it’s good to be here, Hannah. It’s excellent. Fire away with your questions.

Hannah:
Awesome. Well, I know that some of our listeners have already, I guess, met you over podcast, but just to maybe give them a quick rundown on you and your business.

Laura Cini:
Yeah, for sure. Okay. I’m a natural therapist. I am an expert nutritionist, naturopath, and herbal medicine practitioner. I’ve had over 20 years experience in helping clients improve their health. I see clients. I’ve got a practise in the city and also one in North Hobart where I see clients there. I also do podcasts, obviously for BurnTheory. I’m a regular on ABC Radio, write for the Hobart Magazine, articles on health for them. Also got some social media stuff, so Facebook and what’s the other one? Oh, Instagram.

Hannah:
Yeah.

Laura Cini:
So yeah. Look, I deal with all sorts of health issues because natural therapists have got a really good solid background in health science and a solid background in understanding more traditional medicine, herbal medicine, and nutritional medicine as well. We can deal with all sorts of health issues. So as you mentioned, anything from sleep to sustainable weight loss, to skin issues, to digestive issues. Look, the list goes on. We deal with a lot, a broad range of health issues. I really love what I do. It’s always great to have a chance to have a chat about it.

Hannah:
Yeah, and we had such a great chat last time. I learned so much and actually, my sister, she was like, “Oh, I’ve been listening to the Laura Cini podcast on sleep,” and she’s got these different lights that she’s gone out and purchased because her sleep’s terrible. She’s trying all these different things that you mentioned in the podcast and it’s starting to work for her. So she’s getting a lot out of it.

Laura Cini:
That’s wonderful. Look, it’s really lovely because podcast is such a great way to reach people because people are busy. So having something, 20, 25 minutes, something to listen to while you’re chopping up the veg for dinner or while you’re in the car or taking the dog for a walk, it really helps just to get some good, fundamental basics around things like sleep or sustainable weight loss. Then if people want to take it to the next level, then they can book in and come and have a chat to me in an appointment. But yeah, I really enjoy the podcast too. I listen to a lot myself.

Hannah:
Yeah. This is such a good way to get a lot of information, but without having to sit there and read as well.

Laura Cini:
Yeah.

Hannah:
It’s multitasking at it its finest, I find, podcasts.

Laura Cini:
Yeah, exactly.

Hannah:
Yeah. Well, let’s get into the big one, the big question. It’s definitely a hot word. People always say that they need to detox or they’re like, “Have you heard about the liver plans or the lemon detox diets or all these other fads,” but what does detox actually mean?

Laura Cini:
It is a very almost overused term and there are many urban myths and misconceptions and many products out there, I think, that capitalise on perhaps people’s vulnerabilities and their lack of knowledge about how to detox. Really, look, detox just means taking out the rubbish. Your body make rubbish every day as a normal part of your metabolism. As a normal part of its day to day job, it creates rubbish like we would in our house. So what it has to do is take out that rubbish or get rid of it. That process is called detoxing or having a cleanup and look that, but some people are under the misconception that you’ve got to do these blitzers. You got to do these detox blitzers, and yes, if they’re done well, they can be really useful, but what is the main thing to remember is that it’s happening every day. It’s happening all the time. It’s something that your body has to do to remain efficient and in good health.

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And it’s something that the body naturally does itself, doesn’t it?

Laura Cini:
Well, it does. Your body’s got an incredibly comprehensive detox system. If you think about how our rubbish system has evolved over the years in that we’ve got green waste and we’ve got recycling of plastic and then we put out our compost bin, and so we’ve got different methods of getting rid of different types of waste. Also does the body and it does that through various channels. To keep it really simple, you wee out waste every day. You breathe out waste, carbon dioxide that’s breathed out and processed through your lungs. You sweat out a certain amount of waste every day through your skin. You have bowel movements, so you get rid of waste through your bowel. You’ve got the chief big boss that’s in charge, if you like, where most of these detox processes occur and that’s the liver. Of course, everyone’s heard of the liver and that is your main organ of detox really. That breaks down all this rubbish into forms that your body can actually then wee out, sweat out, or get rid of through bowel movements.

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I guess the main reason that we do detox or the body does go through that natural process is to get rid of, as you said, waste or toxins. I guess the next question is what is a toxin? Because I think we refer to that word around, but what does that actually mean in terms of internally in our body?

Laura Cini:
Yeah. Look, that is another word that is thrown around a lot and perhaps misused sometimes. Basically, obviously, you create this metabolic waste through daily processes. The body makes hormones, for example, then it uses those hormones and then it needs to get rid of them. Doesn’t need them anymore. So there’s all these things that are occurring in your body that your body will make and then will need to get rid of. So there’s that one level of detox. I suppose what’s complicated the detox process or added an additional load onto it is we live in a very different world that our body was actually designed for. We have a lot of, you could call external toxins that we’re exposed to every day. For example, there’s air pollution that you breathe in through your lungs, gets into the bloodstream and the liver, which is, if you think about it, filtering around about seven litres of blood every hour.

Hannah:
Wow.

Laura Cini:
Then has to break down that whatever, air pollution, has come into the body and get rid of that. We also have things like pesticide residue on our foods the body doesn’t want inside. We’ve got personal care products that we use on our skin and a lot of those have got a lot of-

Hannah:
[crosstalk 00:09:14].

Laura Cini:
… toxins. Yeah. Look, if you want to put it bluntly, they are full of an enormous amount of crap, really. A lot of people don’t realise that that’s absorbed through the skin, gets into the bloodstream, and then hits the liver and is an additional job that it’s got to do, and things, certain medications that we might need to be on for all sorts of reasons, but the liver has to break those down, and things like alcohol as well. When I’m talking to clients, I talk about liver loaders, if you like. When you’re assessing a client’s health, you’re going to look at how many liver loaders are in their lives day to day that are adding to that detox job that the liver’s got to do.

Hannah:
Yeah, I see. We already touched on how the body gets rid of it as well, but I guess now, we started talking about the liver. What does the liver do and how does the liver specifically get rid of the toxins, get rid of that?

Laura Cini:
Yeah, sure. Because sometimes it needs to change toxins into something that’s waters soluble because then the body can actually sweat it out or wee it out or will be going out, will be gotten rid of through the bowel movement. So the liver, it’s highly complex. It’s got a couple of phases of detoxification. What it will do is it will take all those substances and there’ll be a process in the liver called phase one detox. It will change a lot of those substances into other substances. Then they will go through another phase in a detox called phase two detox in the liver. It’s quite a complicated process that occurs and it needs to change a lot of those substances into other substances that are easy for the body to get rid of.

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Are there any particular toxins from our external world that are really hard for the liver to breakdown or really bad for the liver to breakdown?

Laura Cini:
Yeah, there are. There are a number. For example, there are many chemicals in the environment. Some of your listeners might have heard of xenoestrogens, for example, or a lot of plastics, a lot of contaminants in our water, in our food, in our furniture, in our carpet, in our environment generally, that actually act like oestrogen in the body. They’ve got a chemical or a molecular structure that is very similar to oestrogen that the body makes. They’re called the xenoestrogens and they are really quite difficult for the body to break down and get rid of, so hard to deal with, for women particularly. They affect men as well, but for women, you often see quite a heavy xenoestrogen load, which will add to their normal oestrogen load that their body is making and can cause all sorts of issues with fluid retention, issues with trying to burn fat. It can really slow down weight loss and a whole host of other things. So they are problematic. Look, the other thing, and I’m not going to be very popular by saying this, but alcohol’s-

Hannah:
Alcohol, yeah.

Laura Cini:
Alcohol.

Hannah:
I know you’re going to go there.

Laura Cini:
Sorry. Look, I’m not anti-alcohol, but what I usually explain to clients is that alcohol is such a toxic substance that the body, the liver puts it very high on the priority list to break down because you don’t want alcohol circulating through your body’s tissues because it is quite damaging. The liver has to go, “Whoa, okay, we’ve got alcohol coming in. Let’s just put our other detoxification substances. We’ll just put them lower down on the priority list a bit, and so we’re going to prioritise this alcohol because we got to break this down and get rid of it.”

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura Cini:
If your liver functions really good and you are in generally pretty good health, then some alcohol, for many people, is not a problem, but it can become more problematic when the liver’s under a fair amount of load already-

Hannah:
Already, yeah.

Laura Cini:
… for example, and if there’s a large amount of alcohol.

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). [crosstalk 00:14:16]-

Laura Cini:
Then yeah,-

Hannah:
Yeah. If we’re talking large amounts of alcohol, I know that majority and me as well will get to say, post Christmas and New Year’s and that’s when the whole idea of a detox or a cleanse is something that’s real… We want to do it, basically. A lot of us will start some crazy something, something. Is there something that we can do post, I guess, that large or an excess of alcohol that usually occurs over that time of year to support the liver to digest that or to eliminate that?

Laura Cini:
Oh, definitely. Definitely. I do this with a lot of clients. There’s definitely, especially post Christmas or if you’ve had a month where you’ve had a lot of social stuff going on and you’ve had a fair bit of alcohol, you’ve eaten a fair bit of rubbish food. Look, yeah, there’s loads of things you can do for sure. As a general rule, I’d be advising clients, “All right, you’ve got to try and clean up your food intake. You’ve got to try and eat the best quality food that you can within your budget to try. If you can afford some of that organic food, fabulous. Look, if not, no, you’ve got to live in the real world and you’ve got to work within your budget.”

Laura Cini:
But that’s a really good idea. Often, I’ll say, “Right, let’s just have a couple of weeks with no alcohol and try and perhaps clear some of that backlog.” There are some really good herbal medicines that can help facilitate liver function and can actually help repair and regenerate damaged liver cells. We’ll also look at the nutritional intake because there are so many nutrients that your liver needs as raw materials to actually do its job.

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura Cini:
You need B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc. You need amino acids from good quality protein. You do an assessment of what they’re eating and you say, “Okay, your diet is pretty decent or maybe we need to look at some of these nutrients. We might need to supplement them or add in some foods that are rich in those nutrients.” So you basically just try and support the liver to do its job through nutrition, possibly herbal medicine. You try and minimise the liver loaders coming in, so you might minimise the alcohol. You might try and get really good equality sleep. You might obviously work on hydration. The liver [crosstalk 00:16:59]-

Hannah:
Yeah, I was going to say-

Laura Cini:
… seven litres of blood.

Hannah:
… [crosstalk 00:17:00] amount of water.

Laura Cini:
Yeah. Hydration’s really, really important. So you’ll ensure that a person is drinking enough fluid. You’ll get really get back to basics in that way.

Hannah:
Yeah, clean, healthy eating, eliminate your alcohol, and plenty of water and sleep and movement.

Laura Cini:
Yeah, exactly. That’s fundamentals that you need.

Hannah:
Yeah, which is what most people feel like they need and ultimately, go out and try and find anyway post Christmas and New Year’s, but there you go, guys. That’s going to help your liver after the overindulgence that usually is Christmas period.

Laura Cini:
Oh, look, you’ve got to be realistic and you’ve got to live in the real world. You can’t live in a cave. God, I’ve got to be honest. Sometimes, Hannah, I’d love to spend a day or two in a cave in the quiet just by myself, but look, it’s not realistic. You live in the real world. There’s going to be air pollution. There’s going to be stress. There’s going to be a bit of alcohol. So you can’t be too hard on yourself, but just recognise if the kind of symptoms that your liver might be a bit overloaded, the kind of symptoms you’re going to get are things like you might be having trouble losing weight, burning fat. You might be retaining fluid. You might be getting headache or foggy headed. There might be skin issues, having breakouts. Digestive system might be a bit cranky and you’re not having regular bowel movement, and that is so important. The body’s [inaudible 00:18:46] approximately. It’s hot in there. You need to be getting rid of your waste every day.

Hannah:
Yeah, which is, I guess, what my next question was, which was how do you know if the body actually needs a detox, and they’re some of the key signs.

Laura Cini:
Yeah.

Hannah:
I guess you know in yourself. You feel sluggish and uncomfortable. You know when things aren’t feeling or working as well as they should.

Laura Cini:
Yes, exactly.

Hannah:
That’s the time to detox. Just to refer back for listeners that might have missed that previously, when we talk about detox, it’s going back to the basics. It’s going back to eliminating the toxins that you’d put in your body like alcohol, increasing your water intake, getting good sleep, and looking at what you’re eating.

Laura Cini:
Yes. They’re fundamentals. There’s a lot you can do yourself with those basics. Then if you want to go to next level and you need practitioner support, then you can look at facilitating liver function perhaps through evidence-based herbal medicine or nutritional medicine. Perhaps if your digestive system needs a bit of help, you’ve got a very slow moving bowel or you’re getting a lot of abdominal bloating, then your practitioner can look at improving your gut microbiome and all those good, happy gut bugs and can look at facilitating your digestive process so there’s less of a load on the liver as well.

Hannah:
Yeah. That nicely comes into my next question, which is what is the deal with these bad diets?

Laura Cini:
Oh, you mean things-

Hannah:
What do they call like it? Like the lemon detox diet? Let’s just eat lemon basically in water for five days because that’s going to be healthy, but what’s the deal with it?

Laura Cini:
Oh, my goodness. These make me really cranky, Hannah, as a practitioner.

Hannah:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:20:37].

Laura Cini:
When clients come in and they’ve spent their dollars on these products and oh, my goodness. Look, these are rubbish. You don’t detox through just drinking lemon water for a few days. Your liver needs a broad spectrum of nutrients. So you need to be eating properly. If you’re just doing a three-day lemon juice fast, that is not detoxing. That might be a fast, which is a different thing altogether. I’m also very, very careful about the supplements in the supplement industry. Unfortunately, the natural medicine supplement industry is full of absolute rubbish, to be blunt, really poor quality products, cheap ingredients, hard for the body to absorb. Sometimes, at doses, they are actually dangerous for the body if they’re taken long term. Look, it’s a minefield. So I really say to clients, just be really fussy about what you buy and please, if you are wanting to do a detox, starvation is not the way to do it and neither is just drinking lemon water for three days or whatever. What is the lemon detox diet? Is that just lemon water for three days?

Hannah:
I think they put some lemon, cayenne, pepper, and a tablespoon of maple syrup or something. It’s just basically living off water for three days. It’s insane. This is a really good time with you to be having this podcast. For our listeners that are listening to this podcast when it came out, which is start of January, I guess everyone always looks for the quick fix and I know you want to immediately make yourself feel better and maybe cut a couple of the kilos that maybe crept on over Christmas, but when it comes down to it, don’t go looking for ridiculous, bad diets. Quick fixes are generally just that. They’re bad. They’re not actually a proper fix.

Laura Cini:
Yes.

Hannah:
When it comes down to it, it is just looking at fueling your body with the good, healthy, clean foods. We’ve got an abundance of it in Tasmania. We’re very lucky. Going for your local grain-fed beef or pork or chicken or whatever protein you have and looking for those whole foods, lots and lots of water with maybe a little squeeze of lemon juice in it, not doing a-

Laura Cini:
Yes.

Hannah:
… lemon detox diet, but a little squeeze of lemon juice can help in the morning to get things going if you don’t love the taste of water, and exercise and sleep.

Laura Cini:
Yes. Get back to the basics. Please be very fussy about what you buy. As a practitioner, I’d advise not self-prescribing, so not to go to the local pharmacy or the supermarket and buying something that, again, promises a quick fix and that you don’t really know the quality of what’s in it. Also, you don’t know if what’s in it may have potential to interact with any pharmacy medicine that you’re taking. That’s another issue that can pop up when people self-prescribe with natural medicine. Because I think a lot of people assume that, oh, it’s natural, so it’s not going to do any harm, but a lot of what’s in those products is not natural. It’s synthetic vitamins and minerals. It’s really poor quality herbal medicine. So yeah, just get back to the basics, quality water, quality food, the best that you can buy within your budget, get some good quality sleep, try and minimise the stress, that’s a big one.

Hannah:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Laura Cini:
Move and sweat and maintain hydration.

Hannah:
Yeah. All the main ones, guys. Well, Laura, thank you so much for joining us. If people wanted to get in contact with you, how can they go about that?

Laura Cini:
Yeah, sure. So my website is my full name, all lowercase, so L-A-U-R-A C-I-N-I wellness.com, and that’s got a link to my social media, Instagram and Facebook. If you want to connect with me, you can also sign up for my wellness group newsletter that I’ll send out. That’s got lots of health tips and information about ABC Radio interviews or podcasts or events coming up. They’re probably the main ways, I think. Yeah, or the Hobart Magazine I also write for and that comes out once a month and you can get that from cafes around Hobart.

Hannah:
Yeah.

Laura Cini:
That’s probably it.

Hannah:
Awesome. Well, thanks again for joining us, Laura, and I’m really looking forward to the next chat.

Laura Cini:
Yeah. Thanks, Hannah.

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