Food

Detox Explained

January 5, 2013

I have had several comments from people saying “What is a detox? What am I supposed to do? What is it for?”

I’m sorry; I got so excited last week about it, that I forgot that most regular people don’t get obsessive on these things and stay up all night researching them, and that many people may need a tad more guidance. I’ll start week 1 again next week if you want to follow along, and I promise to be more helpful!

A detox is a way to restore your body’s natural balance. It also helps to clear out all those toxins and harmful foods we harbor in our body. Detoxing clears out your blood system. When your liver, kidney, lymphatic system etc. are so overloaded with toxins and negative foods they don’t work at their best, and your whole system is compromised.
Many experts recommend detoxing at least once a year, however it is important to note that you should consult your doctor if you’ve had any health problems, are pregnant, or just in general, before starting this.

Many detoxes are between 3-7 days. The program I chose is 4 weeks long, and cuts out processed food or beverages, added sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, and alcohol. However the beginning week is the same as these 3-7 day detoxes. The reason I chose 4 weeks is because it slowly reintroduces foods back into your diet (you can also choose to do 21 days on this plan). Here is what the weeks look like:

“What You’re Eating During Week 1: fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils

What You’re Adding Back in Week 2: seafood, beans and lentils, and organic soy

What You’re Adding Back in Week 3: gluten-free grains and eggs” – Whole living Mag.

This may seem daunting, but instead of focusing on what you’re not eating, focus on all the new things you probably never eat, or rarely eat.

Why we cut out certain foods

Many foods we eat are riddled with pesticides, chemicals and growth hormones etc… I’ll save the details for a separate article. Processed foods and high sugar foods are more obvious in their reasons. Nonetheless, some of you may be confused about dairy, gluten, or even meat. I’ll do my best to explain the way I was taught, why these aren’t always the greatest for you.

– Dairy: I was told by my naturopath that if you only buy one item organic, it should be dairy (meat incl. but I’m a veg head). Right off the bat, I’m sure most of us aren’t buying organic dairy. On top of that fact, dairy is tougher for us to process. We aren’t designed to drink or eat another animal’s milk. For many people it causes bad skin, bad digestion, diarrhea or constipation. It keeps you clogged up, mucus wise, if you ever have a cold it should be the first thing you stop ingesting. I’m not saying give it up, but it should be eaten in small doses. And I guarantee, for many of you, you’ll notice a big difference in your health without it.

– Gluten: Poor gluten, it’s gotten such a bad rep these last few years. But it is hard for many people to digest, and it is becoming a very common allergen. I am convinced that it is due more to the processing practices of gluten products, but once again we’ll save it for another article. Nonetheless, it can block you up, increases yeast in the body (a hidden problem for many women), and can be full of sugar. For the most part, I’m talking about processed breads, processed flours etc… not so much barley and oats and couscous. Even so, it is important to cut out all gluten for this detox.

– Meat: Oh meat. I may be bias a tad bit on the subject, but I will put on my neutral hat and present the facts. Unless you catch your own meat, raise your own animals organically and free run, or you have a very reputable source for this, you are eating a lot of unhealthy additives in your food. The protein argument is a waste of time, due to the fact that the amount of protein one needs is actually very little, and easily attainable through vegetable based sources. The iron argument (often never made), is more valuable. It is hard to get all your iron through vegetable based diet, hard not impossible, so if you’re anemic, or a woman in general, you may consider taking a supplement. If that’s not your thang, then you will just need to pay closer attention to your iron intake. Dried beans and dark leafy greens (also high in calcium) will be your new best friend.

Now that we’ve covered the have-nots of the food category, let’s move on to other toxins.

Cleaning Products/Household Items

It’s pretty silly to detoxify our bodies, while still surrounding ourselves with household toxins. If you’re not willing to commit to throwing out your cleaning products or beauty products (It’s costly! We get it!), never fear. Vinegar, Baking Soda and Hot water are miracle workers! Put your everyday products (provided that there chemically) in a box and in your basement, and get au natural. Baking soda is an amazing cleaner, and vinegar will get the smell out of any container you left in your backpack for a week. You can even use Baking Soda as a shampoo, although it takes commitment. If you are interested in buying cleaner products, you know where to find us!

I hope you’ll join me, in a more guided detox, starting January 7th! If you can donate your food, off-limits food, to friends and family that aren’t participating that’d be great! If not just eat up, and join us when you’re ready!

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  • Denise Bellesia January 5, 2013 at 10:57 am

    About milk, you are completely right. I’m a “milk person”, I need a milk for breakfast. However, I have changed it for almond milk and I already can see the difference in my body. I still have a lot to do – I mean “changes” – but one step at a time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!