This Friday I just finished a 3 day “refresh” from beachbody and it got me thinking about how common the topic of detoxing is, especially for people who have a desire to lose weight quickly for an event. Plus I had some extra time to think about this topic this week because I spent quite a bit of extra time in the bathroom “detoxing”!
So many problems in our American culture come from excessive use of foods and drugs (recreational, prescription, and alcohol). Addiction can range from food, sugar, salt, drugs, alcohol, etc. Look at your habits and ask if there is something that you do, eat, or drink every day that you would really miss if you gave it up? Not every addiction is unhealthy, some are positive like eating good foods, drinking water, sleeping, and exercising. One of the best things we can do is to become “hooked” or “addicted” on feeling good with healthy habits.
While there are so many addictions in our culture, I am going to focus on food and the detoxes that involve food. Detoxification is the way our bodies heal and repair themselves. When we detox several bodily systems are involved: the cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, digestive system, urinary system, respiratory system, and the skin.
The digestive system is where it all truly begins, the organs that are particularly important to detoxification are the intestines, liver, and gallbladder. In order for detoxification to be effective than the digestive system must be in order. Have you ever attempted a detox before and the only result was constipation or diarrhea for days? Well that is a good hint that your digestion needs to be tuned up before you attempt a detox. If your gut flora is imbalanced then that can cause injury to your intestinal walls, which will then allow undigested food to leak into your bloodstream. Gross, I know!!
But I really want to detox…
And I really want a unicorn…seriously though, you have got to fix the gut before you can effectively detox. It is not a quick fix. Yes, you might have less belly bloat for a few days if you just drink lemon and water but chances are you are going to be one grumpy turd who is craving sugar after its all done! If your body is not digesting properly then chances are you have poor fat digestion which clogs the liver and the lymphatic system. Take the time to heal your digestive system, and once your tummy is working properly then get into detoxing. Give yourself 3 months to regulate your gut and blood sugar before you attempt a detox. Trust me, you want to be successful if you are going to go through a detox!!
My gut works, now what…
So you poop a delightful sausage like turd daily, you do not belch regularly, and your farts do not smell….Awesome!! Those are 3 good signs that you have a working digestive system. Nice work!
So now you are ready for a detox…there are so many different techniques and different types of detoxes out there. And like everything, it is going to be up to your bio-individuality on what works for you.
The traditional detoxes that have been around for thousands of years are fasting, saunas/sweat lodges, herbs, water, rest/meditation, enemas, and a variety of bodyworking techniques. All of these help remove toxins that may be creating irritating and/or harmful effects in the body. Toxins can come from external sources like air pollution and internal sources like food additives, food, and drugs.
Detoxing (only for good gut readers)
A few great supportive therapies to help with elimination and circulation are:
Dry Brush massage, click here for a great video with how and when to dry brush
This is the dry brush that I highly recommend from amazon –
Bouncing on a small trampoline with light bounces is a great way to get the lymphatic system moving, start with 5 minutes at a time and then work up to 20 minutes at a time. You can march on it or lightly bounce. I like this one from amazon
It is vital that your digestive system and blood sugar are regulated before attempting a fast that only involves juices. Most juices do not contain any fat which causes huge sugar spikes, this puts your pancreas and liver in overload. It is also the reasoning for the massive sugar cravings afterwards. There are ways to properly use juice fasts with a balance of good fats to help the body metabolize all the sugar. It is important to remember that each one of us is an individual which means there is no one size fits all. Fasting and detoxing can be extremely beneficial, but not when they are only done with a book or website. It is vital to have professional nutritional assistance when detoxing.
Detox programs are only for healthy people that eat well. It is not appropriate for people with heart conditions, extreme fatigue, underweight conditions, or poor circulation. Releasing too much toxicity can make sick people sicker! For all people fasting and stringent detoxes should be done only under the care of a nutritional therapist, naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, etc. Pregnant or lactating women should avoid heavy detoxification.
Just sum it up already…
Gut, gut, and gut! If you did not already get my point, get your gut health optimal before attempting any detox. With getting your gut healthy it will help regulate blood sugar and then your body may be ready for a detox. While you are getting your gut healthy dry brush daily, bounce away, and sweat to help remove toxins.
When you are ready to detox then it needs to be the right detox for you, so do not spend hundreds of dollars on “one size fits all” detoxes. Work with a NTP, ND, etc to find the right detox for you. It is vital that you are supported with the correct amino acids, vitamins, and minerals so that as you expel the demons that you put the good stuff back in 🙂