I find that Spring is often the season when people feel like giving their bodies a “spring clean” like their houses. Therefore I thought I would write some thoughts about detoxes.
There has been so much written, said, and sold, to do with different detox ideas and products.
I think it is important to remember that we are all individuals and so not one idea or product can be for everyone.
Therefore, think about your particular health state, and about your previous detox experience/s or reactions.
The detox programme used should suit the individual, but sometimes the individual may not realise that their programme is not the best one for them.
As the name suggests, when you begin to detox you are releasing / freeing toxins stored in your body. Your lifestyle and health state has a big impact on the amount of stored toxins you have built up. You produce toxins daily simply as a by-product of your bodily processes – and generally your body systems are designed to expel / release these toxins.
Then there are toxins produced by lifestyle factors, such as consuming processed foods; drinking alcohol; not drinking enough water; exercise (under / over); smoking tobacco; taking recreational drugs; prescribed medications; anxiety / stress / worry, etc. These toxins can build up over time.
There are a number of benefits from detoxing. It is always a good thing to release toxins from your body; however it’s the speed at which that is done that is important.
If you know that your lifestyle is one where you consume, or produce a lot of toxins, then I would suggest a quick 2 day detox is not for you. Start your detox slowly and gradually increase. The amount of toxins you are exposed to would determine the length of your detox. For example, if you are a non-smoker but drink alcohol and caffeine products daily as well as eat processed food daily, then I would begin by having a week of no alcohol, followed by a week of no alcohol and no caffeine and reduced processed foods and increased fresh vegetables. Then another week of continued no alcohol, no caffeine and no processed foods only fresh vegetables and lean protein. And naturally throughout all of these weeks increase your filtered water intake.
You may find yourself craving certain foods, and may also experience different physical and emotional releases. Because of that I always recommend people inexperienced in detoxing to do so under the supervision of their health practitioner.
If your lifestyle is one which you mainly eat fresh fruit and vegetables and lean proteins, with only the occasional processed and sugary foods, minimal alcohol and caffeine, exercise relatively regularly, and are on no prescribed medication or recreational drugs (including tobacco), then you may want to go a little further with your detoxing. Once again, begin gradually with perhaps first eliminating all processed foods, sugary foods/drinks, caffeine for a day or so, while increasing your filtered water intake and fresh vegetables (either as salads, smoothies or juices). Then if you feel ok, you may want to take it further by eliminating all meats and dairy and have just fresh vegetables for a day or so. Then gradually re-introduce lean meats.
Once again though, my suggestion would be to seek support if needed during your detox, especially if you have not detoxed before.
What you may find during your detox is that not only are you clearing out physical toxins, but you may have all different sorts of emotional toxins come to the surface and it may be an opportune time to come and have a session to defuse your stress reaction to these emotions.
Another good thing about a couple of days of just vegetables is that your body takes less energy to digest them in comparison to meats and processed foods and so that frees some “available energy” for your mind/body to recuperate in areas that have previously not been able to do.