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  • Above Health Nutrition

Gut Health Spring Cleaning

Updated: Dec 23, 2022

The 1,2,3’s of Detox that no one is talking about…

As the warmer months roll out, the idea of Spring cleaning is everywhere! Detoxification or “detox” is all the buzz BUT what you may not know is there is an equally important process called drainage in the body that actually needs your attention BEFORE you can detox.

Let's break it down…

So what is drainage?

Our drainage pathways are key for the physical removal of waste toxins from our body. The main organs that support this process are the liver, gallbladder, lymphatic system, kidney and colon. To help you better picture how drainage pathways work in the body, I like to describe them as the “bathtub model”...

If we imagine we are taking a bath, we have fresh water flowing in. The fresh water represents all the beneficial things we do for our body like daily movement, eating nutritious foods, hydration, joy, connection, sunshine, etc.

Because we are bathing in the bath water, that fresh water now mixes with dirty bath water. It is not a bad thing! It is normal and necessary for our bodies to produce waste, the key is balancing the flow of dirty water out and fresh clean water in.

So what is drainage continued...

The bath water represents our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that carry fluid to move waste out of the body. A healthy lymphatic system is always flowing, like a running river, taking the debris and dirt from the water to the drain to remove it from our system. We need the drain to be open to allow our bathtub to drain properly!

The drain in the bathtub is our liver and gallbladder, this is where a very key digestive and detoxification chemical is produced and stored called bile. Bile is so important to the drainage process because it acts as a digestive substance to help us take the trash from the body out through a bowel movement! The bathtub drain leads to our sewer system underneath the tub, aka our intestines and colon. This is the base of our drainage system and the final step that physically removes waste from the body.

So a backup, or congestion, in our drain or sewer system can lead to a major back up in our drainage pathways. If this happens, we can experience symptoms that suggest our drainage pathways aka our bathtub model might need some extra support.

Why is drainage so important?

If there is congestion in our sewer system, we are going to see a backup in our bathtub causing it to overflow. When this happens our body sends an SOS for backup. We call in our secondary drainage organs like our skin, lungs and kidneys for additional support to mop up the overflowing water.

This is where we might see some of the secondary conditions like acne or eczema because our skin is pushing out the excess toxins from our system.

In the lungs, this could look like exacerbations of asthma or shortness of breath. Our kidneys main job is to produce urine. Congestion here can look like waking up multiple times to use the bathroom at night and frequent or urgent urination. Inflammation can occur when our drainage pathways are congested. Inflammation is one of the underlying causes of IBS!

What are symptoms of drainage pathway congestion?

  • Not having 1-2 complete bowel movements daily

  • Inability to sweating

  • Skin flares like eczema and acne

  • Hormonal symptoms - think PMS, mood swings, breast tenderness and heavy painful periods

  • Puffiness & fluid retention

  • Low energy regardless of sleep quality and quantity

  • Poor tolerance to alcohol or caffeine

  • Weight loss resistance

To name a few!

Do any of these symptoms resonate with you? If so, we want to get your bathtub draining!

Here are the 1,2,3's of supporting drainage aka draining your bathtub:

Daily bowel movements

  • If you aren’t having a fully evacuated bowel movement at least once per day EVERY day your bathtub isn’t draining. This can be a major reason for hormone symptoms like PMS, skin issues like acne and even weight loss resistance.

Bitter foods

  • Promote motility to prevent constipation

  • Support bile production and liver health

  • Prime the digestive tract for our food

Daily movement

  • Walking, standing and even stretching all count - we don’t have to go to the gym or do a formal workout class to get the benefits of movement.

*Learn more about how to support your drainage pathways on our Instagram @abovehealth

Feel like your bathtub needs more support? The No Drama Digestion program is a one stop shop to get your bathtub draining and eliminate your digestive challenges for good! Want to learn more?

The pea is actually part of the legume family but is commonly referred to as a starchy vegetable. They are a great source of easily digestible plant-based protein. It contains a good bit of fiber that will help fill you up, slow digestion and is beneficial to our digestive health. Peas come in three major types: garden, snow and snap. They start to come into season in the spring! Visit a local farm or farmer’s market to see what kinds of peas are available near you.

*Serving ideas: enhance salads, blanching, adding to soups for texture, fresh or freeze dried for a snack on the go.


  • 2-3 heads of endive, separated into leaves

  • 1 lb cooked peas (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 large jalapeno

  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

  • 3 ripe avocados

  • 1 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds

  • 2 cloves chopped garlic

  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • Zest and juice from one lime

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil peas for about 15 minutes or until soft. Remove and drain. If using frozen peas, let them thaw to room temperature or boil for about 2 minutes or until tender.

  • Puree the peas in a food processor.

  • In a large bowl add the pureed peas and all other ingredients. Mash together to desired consistency

  • Serve in your endive boat and garnish with sunflower seeds, peas and cilantro.

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