As someone who suffered from a serious eating disorder, some may say I am treading a thin line when discussing the detox topic.
Mulling it over in my mind a number of times and even dabbling in detox/cleanses for no more than 24 hours, I’ve finally come up with a rational thought process when it comes to detoxing.
Every single day we ingest toxins (parabens, phthalates, BPA, PFCs and pesticides) into our bodies both knowingly and unknowingly. We walk outside and the pollution in the air seeps into our lungs and through our pores, we go home and clean the house using cleaning products composed of toxic chemicals (ie: bleach) which seep through our hands and into our blood stream. We cook or go out to eat and we are digesting pesticides and chemicals from our food that was treated with GMOs before it was brought to our table (unless of course you try and lead a seemingly GMO-free lifestyle); toxins are everywhere and it is basically impossible to escape them.
After treatment I took a great interest on the effect of food, as well as other products (home and beauty), on our bodies. Why do I feel nauseous all the time after I eat? Why do I have chest acne? Why isn’t my hair growing as fast as I’d like? Is it normal for my eyes to burn when I use my cleaning products? All of these reactions have a common root: toxins.
I won’t get into toxins in this post, as this will turn into a New York Times essay; rather, I’m going to talk about why detoxing periodically is the best thing for our bodies, as long as it is being done for the right reasons.
In the past, I would cleanse/detox, or “fast”, as a way to lose weight quickly; now, the purpose of detoxing is to release my body of the harmful contamination it takes in on a daily basis, allowing me to live a healthier and happier life. Trying a quick fix detox of only drinking lemon water with maple syrup and cayenne pepper is not the proper way to go about aiding your body to release chemicals from your body, and you will be sorely disappointed when you still feel poorly and sluggish.
To learn more about whether or not detoxing really works, read this helpful article found on goop.com http://goop.com/does-detoxing-really-work/
Although our bodies detox naturally, we are exposed to more toxins than our grandparent’s (and even our parent’s) generation and we need to help facilitate the process as best we can.
Below, I have listed 3 ways in which you can get the most out of your detox and help rid your body of the daily harm being done to it due to pollution and inescapable toxins.
When you were told drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day was the way to better health, you weren’t being fooled. Drinking tons of fresh, filtered water throughout the day is the best way to help flush out our detox organs, kidney and liver. Aside from helping to flush out our bodies, water is a great remedy for clearer skin, as well as aiding in digestion and keeping us alert.
Try: Lemon Water (warm or cold) each morning before you eat breakfast
Along with drinking water, doing some type of exercise for as little as 20 minutes, is a great way to induce sweat, and in turn, excrete certain toxic chemicals from our bodies. (read more: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21057782)
Try: At home work outs (here), hot yoga, or, if accessible, a sauna
The belief that one must cut out all food while on a detox is flawed in so many ways. The point of a detox is to use it as a lifestyle and to continue that healthy lifestyle beyond detox day. Cutting out foods loaded with preservatives is great, but you should replace it with more wholesome and fresh foods, like organic veggies and in season fruit.
(photo by: Good Life Eats)
When it comes to detoxing it is still a touchy subject among health practicioners and the media. What started out as a way to help release toxins from the body has developed into an unhealthy fad diet that many people abuse due to the fact they don’t fully understand its purpose (I was one of those people!). Before adopting a detox lifestyle, I strongly suggest doing extensive research and creating a detox plan that works best for you!
Question of the Day: What are your favorite detox foods?
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