Starting the Week Off Right: Oil Pulling


I’ve been into my fair share of hippie dippy things. Making thread friendship bracelets well into my twenties. Owning a book called Hippie. LENTILS. So when I heard about oil pulling, which generally consists of swishing unrefined coconut or sesame oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes to draw out impurities, I wasn’t immediately like, “weeeeeird, I ain’t trying that, that’s for those people who wear crystal deodorant.” (Side note: I tried a well-known natural deodorant and it didn’t work and now I am ashamed of my body.)

My biggest fear was actually how tired my face would get from swishing so long, plus a teensy weensy fear I’d accidentally swallow the oil and it would harden inside me and stay there for seven years like gum. But I’ve been having pretty severe gastrointestinal issues (charming!) and I was rocking a bit of a hangover from the night that culminated in my #neknom video, so I’ve been oil pulling since last Saturday. And I don’t hate it nearly as much as I thought I would.

First of all, it got me to a point in my hangover where I could actually drag my ass downstairs to eke out 20 minutes on the elliptical, so kudos for that. It also has done amazing things for my morning breath. Unlike some of the grossos who give up brushing and flossing when they discover oil pulling, I still do both, but my teeth just feel cleaner.

As for the elimination of toxins, the jury’s still out. I’ve been on an elimination diet to identify my food allergies, so it could be the oil pulling, or it could be the dairy, gluten, coffee, or alcohol I am no longer consuming. But I find the whole process therapeutic, even in the shower, where I was afraid I would feel like I was suffocating due to a nasty habit of typically mouth breathing under the stream of water. I just wake up, turn off the fan I run to drown out the sound of horns outside my window and turn on the heat, scoop a teaspoon of coconut oil into my mouth, try not to gag while it softens into oil form, and go about my morning. Twenty minutes later I spit it out into my garbage (you run the risk of clogging your pipes if you spit it into your sink, since it will re-harden into a solid) and brush per usual. I figure that even if I don’t make it to the gym or have a salad for lunch, at least I’ve done something maybe good for my body that day. And at the very least, my cheeks will be super yoked. You know you want to get those cheeks in shape before summer.


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