To Detox or Not to Detox? That is the Question!

It seems like every time we turn on the radio or television, we’re bombarded with ads and infomercials for “get fit quick” programs.  It’s so easy to fall for all the gimmicks, whether it’s an appetite suppressant, a fancy workout regime, a meal replacement or an energy drink.  But the reality is, we didn’t put our weight on overnight.  It was the result of the choices we made and the habits we formed over an extended period of time.  And there really aren’t any short cuts for losing weight, if you do it the healthy way that is.  Once again, we have to make wise choices and form healthy habits over an extended period of time if we want to look and feel better.

So even though we know all of this, why do we keep falling for all the crash diets?  That’s easy – we get frustrated and impatient.  We want to be at our goal weight RIGHT NOW, and we’re willing to do anything to get there, even if it’s not the healthiest route to Svelte-ville.

Speaking of crash diets, today I want to talk about detoxes and cleanses, and the wrong and right way to carry them out.  While they are meant to facilitate the clearing of toxins and other harmful materials from our bodies, more and more people are using them as a quick fix, a way to shed pounds before a big event or vacation.  We hear about the celebrities doing them before the big awards shows, so they must be a good thing for everyone, right?…WRONG!

Detoxification is the body’s NATURAL internal cleansing process and the way it constantly heals and repairs itself from the damage done by toxins (chemicals, pollution, allergens, medications, poor-quality foods, stress, heavy metal exposure, etc.).  It frees up cells and organs to function properly and efficiently.  Detoxification and cleansing processes are nothing new.  They’ve been around for thousands of years across many cultures through fasting, sweat lodges, colonics, herbs, exercise, etc.  They have been found to bring emotional and spiritual clarity and improve physical health and energy.

The body treats processed foods as a toxin!

Eating a properly prepared, nutrient dense whole foods diet is the first step to making sure your body is effectively detoxing all the time.   After all, junk foods are toxic to the body, and eating too much food in the wrong combination impairs the detox process.  We eliminate toxins through our cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestive, urinary, and respiratory systems as well as our skin.  The liver is the body’s master detoxification site, responsible for cleaning the blood that nourishes the whole body.  It filters the toxins  and prepares them for elimination.

Before we jump into an extreme detox or fast (such as Arden’s Garden or Master Cleanse),we must first do everything we can to make sure all our elimination pathways our open.  We need to eat healthy foods to facilitate good digestion, stay adequately hydrated and take steps to balance our blood sugar, minerals and fatty acids.  We can also do other things to facilitate the elimination of toxins during a cleanse, such as getting daily exercise, sitting in a sauna or getting a massage.

So make sure you carry out your next cleanse or detox program the RIGHT way.  If you’re thinking about trying one as a crash diet in order to lose weight quickly, please think again.  It can be very dangerous to our bodies when we go from all to nothing and back to all in such a short amount of time.  However, if you’ve been working on your health for a long time and are already taking steps to eat well, exercise and make other healthy choices, a cleanse can be an appropriate way  to clear out your elimination systems and give them a fresh start once or twice a year.

If a person doesn't have good digestion, even the healthiest diet can clog the body's detoxification pathways, making a cleanse pointless and even harmful!

As I’ve been learning about detoxification over the last few months, I realized that I’ve carried them out all wrong in the past.  I now know that how we break a fast or cleanse is just as import as the cleanse itself.  It’s important that we ease back into our regular way of eating, rather than going all out and eating whatever we want (GUILTY AS CHARGED!).  I now feel much better equipped to do a detox in the future and to help clients and friends select and prepare for one themselves.

If you have questions about various detox programs or therapies you’ve heard about, please let me know.  If I don’t know the answer, I’d be happy to do some research and let you know what I find.  At Longevity, we provide a number of detoxifying therapies, such as lymphatic treatments, massage, foot baths and saunas, and carry several high-quality cleansing supplements, herbs and health shakes in our pharmacy.

Detoxification programs can be a great thing, but only if we know our bodies and know what we’re doing!  I hope this gives you something to chew on.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Filed under Healthy Tips, Rants and Cravings

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