To Detox…Or Not?
Another change of seasons is upon us and it's one of the best times to give your body a chance to shift gears. Many of us are coming off a summer of barbeques and a bit more celebrating than normal and this is a very popular time for people to change their eating and exercising routines. A popular way to make that shift is to do a short detox or cleanse. However, just the word "detox" can conjure up many unpleasant images and so, I thought I'd share a few of my own thoughts on some of these programs.
First, detoxing or cleansing programs can range in severity from fasting to less harsh programs, but all programs are similar in that they allow your body to work more efficiently and effectively by eliminating unhealthy foods and toxic ingredients. By doing so, your body is then able to eliminate stored toxins.
Detoxing programs are much debated within the medical community and care should always be taken to choose a program that is appropriate to your health needs. You can choose a program that can be done easily at home or if you don’t want to go it alone, there are many spas and wellness centers that offer guided programs. If you do have specific health issues you should seek the guidance of a doctor or other qualified practitioner. However, even with its controversies there are many benefits that are noted by people who have used detox programs. Here’s our list.
Top 10 Reasons Why People Detox
1. Creates Mindful Eating habits
2. Allows stored toxins to be flushed
3. Increases energy levels
4. Creates clarity of thoughts
5. Allows immune system to recharge
6. Decreases varying symptoms of disease
7. Allows you to determine food sensitivities and allergies
8. Encourages inward focus on all levels
9. “Cleans the Slate” for beginning new food behaviors
10. Potential Weight Loss
Since the philosophy of all programs is to shift from allergenic, inflammatory and unhealthy foods to healthier ones, there are many options available to you. No matter which you choose, just by eliminating poor food choices, you will begin the road to a healthier life-style.
Many people enjoy juice fasting for detoxing. Juicing of fresh fruits and vegetables provides an abundance of nutrients to the body. This helps to support the immune system and eliminate harmful toxins from the body.
There are also a myriad of herbal cleansing products available to use. I prefer whole food herbs and suggest researching and choosing healthy alternatives that will not be invasive or too harsh. There are also detox programs available that allow you to eat ordinary foods at their most basic level. This means fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins. Most important to these programs is the elimination of all sugars, processed foods of any kind, dairy and, if you choose, meats.
With any type of program, the transition back to your regular diet is very important. You should introduce food groups one at a time. This allows you to see which foods negatively affect you. When you then eliminate those foods all together you will begin creating a healthier life-long eating plan.
For more information on our own guided detox program see our Fresh Start Program.