Detoxing: Fad? Or Actually Good For You?
Does that word make your think of faddy celebrity diets that would be featured in Heat or Grazia where you eat only cabbage and goji berries?
Or maybe you are big into detoxing and are already into juice cleanses and perhaps even home enemas! (If you don’t know don’t ask…)
Today I just wanted to introduce the subject to as we talked about it in my Naturally Slim live group this week and it made me realise that it can be quite a big deal and provocative topic for people.
You see I too thought detox’s were faddy, useless and slightly gimmicky. (The £100 set you can buy from boots in January that promises to detox your whole body is not exactly the bodies natural way of detoxify.) But over the years, as with many things, I have totally changed my mind. I agree that there are elements of detoxing that are money-making schemes and feeds into the short-term ‘diet’ mentality that but that is not the only option.
As I have learnt more about the body and how it works, I have been amazed at how much of a detoxifying machine it is. The liver, kidneys and more are brilliant at daily cleansing the blood and eliminating any nasties from our bodies. At night when we sleep our bodies enter a state of rest and detoxification that on average last until mid morning. This process helps heal, restore and cleanse the body – which is why getting enough sleep is so very important.
So as I learnt this I realised that all these celebrities and glossy mag’s had stolen and stained a perfectly natural bodily process. Detoxifying it a totally natural process and not some weird man made process created to make money and sell weird herbs but when we decide to detox we are merely supporting our bodies own natural process!
Also my limited knowledge of history and people groups further encouraged me to acknowledge that many people groups would go through periods of feasting and fasting. Often this would/still be affected by the season and they would eat according to them, meaning that they would feast at certain times of year according to harvests or festivals and then fast at other times of year .
So you see detoxing is not some weird concept we have made up, but is actually an ancient and natural process.
So as I got convinced of this process I began to implement it. I began with a day of only drinking fresh vegetable juice and/or fresh soup. I had longer period of time where I cut our diary, sugar gluten and focus on vegetable and fish. I have tried long detox/fasts or short mini ones.
* It is worth noting that if you have very struggled with eating disorders on a small or large scale, detoxs like juice fast or soup only diets would not be ideal and could feed old destructive mindsets. Detoxing is about listening to what you body needs, not eating carrot sticks!
So here is what I have learnt:
What have I learnt from Detoxing?
- It is brilliant for showing yourself and your food who is boss. Having a history of binge eating and bulimic tendencies this was a great was to strengthen my self control and remind myself that I can make powerful choices in regards to the food I eat. (If you have struggled with eating disorders in the past and want to detox it is best to inform a few people who can keep you accountable and make sure you are doing it with the right attitude, not a ‘get thin quick’ attitude. I did this and it was very helpful)
- It is hard. Sorry that is probably not what you want to hear, but exercising self control and implementing change in your life and diet is not always a piece of cake (literally). Saying that though it is brilliant to show yourself the strength and ability you have to make good choices.
- It gives you results. I often feel cleaner, more energised and happier after periods of detoxing.
- You can get detox symptoms. If you drinks lots of caffeine or eat loads of sugar you may get withdrawal symptoms during a detox. Headaches, weird bowels and lethargy are all common, but these symptoms with look different for you depending on your body. Persevere – its often a good sign.
- You lose weight. Now if you aren’t maintain healthy natural habits throughout your life then the weight loss wont last, but if your eating in a naturally healthy way then you will keep off any weight you loss.
- It’s not a quick fix. Yes you do see result but detoxing is supposed to be habitual and regular to get full effects.
- It helps you to listen to your body. Detoxing at the heart of it is not about eating salads and drinking water, its really about deciding to take responsibility for your, slow things down and allow you body to heal and become stronger. Yes it is hard and you may just want to eat cake through your detoxing period, but what you are actually doing is allowing your body to follow its natural rhythm. When we listen to our bodies, look after them and make them a priority, they will return the favour in health and wellness.
Here are my tips of natural simple detoxing
- Be realistic. There is not point in doing a juice cleanse (drinking fresh juice only) if you are going to be a grumpy cow or faint! Be realistic start small. Begin by only eating fish, soup, eggs, vegetables and fresh juice?
- Commit. I have learned that there is rarely a ‘good time ‘ to detox. There is always a party, birthday, anniversary, meal out, dinner date or festivity happening, so you just have to decide on a date and stick to it. Begin with just a day long detox and then build up slowly.
- Listen to your body. For example this week I was doing a detox, and began with a day long juice cleanse on Tuesday and then continued on a more basic veg, fish, nuts diet and had planned to do it for 6 days. But I continued to get a cold, and blocked sinuses, started a new job, launch my new naturally slim online program, then today I felt worse due to PMS so decided to not make it a priority and just listen to what my body and continue when I felt stronger.
- Balance. So does that mean I have pigged out now I have decided to stop detoxing? No I just decided to have some natural stimulants via my hot choc mix to perk me up at work, focus on boosting my immune system (by resting) and I will do my other days of my detox another week when my immune system is better. So listen to what your body is saying BUT balance this with your commitment and don’t just wuss out because you have a headache for I am afraid that is the price of high caffeine/sugar/refined carbohydrate intake!
- Eat. Don’t feel like you can’t eat when detoxing just make sure you are eating lots of vegetable, fish, herbal teas and maybe some nuts/seeds.
- Supplement wisely. Supplement don’t make you healthy but they can help increase the health of someone who eats a natural good diet. I would recommend probiotics supplements when detoxing at 1-3 a day and 1g of Vitamin C a day to help boost the bodies healing process.
Remember this isn’t about a faddy diet or getting thin, but about mirroring nature, getting back to traditional ways of eating and living to ensure life long health. So why not book in a detox so you can get healthy and happy?
Have you ever detoxed? Good or bad experience?