When you travel are you the planner who pores over maps or apps and prepares for the experience? Or are you the spontaneous person who lobs a few things in a bag and hits the road? Doing a Cleanse or doing a Detox is like a journey – because you want to arrive at a different place to where you started; you want to end up with fewer toxins, less stress and a feeling of achievement and relaxation.
When it comes to doing a detox it really pays to prepare and research so that you have a detox that is easy and successful.
The first thing to clarify is the kind of detox you are thinking of. Health practitioners call their programs of healthy diet and perhaps herbs and supplements with optional cleansing procedures as a “Detox” – they will hardly ever call it a “Health Detox”.
Specialist programmes of Heavy Metal Detox often refer to it as “Chelation” rather than “Detox”.
And narcotics programs often call their residential systems for the treatment of addiction, “Detox” too. Sometimes these programs include Spiritual or emotional support and counseling and perhaps nutritional support, but the focus is on dealing with the substance producing the addictive behaviour.
So to be clear, I am a Health Practitioner – a Naturopath to be more exact and my use of the Detox word always refers to a period of clean eating with supportive cleansing techniques like skin brushing, sauna and nutritional support. When discussing the Detoxification of Toxic substances like Mercury, Aluminium or Arsenic, to mention the most common pollutants I’ll use the more exact word, “Chelation”. And I do not address issues of the treatment of addiction to street or pharmacy drugs in this blog. Being clear about the system of detox you want to is crucial.
What is your WHY?
If you feel overwhelmed and exhausted you may choose to do a few days having a break away from your usual routine. You can do this at home or push the boat out and spend the time at a spa. Either way your diet will be greener than usual with some of the greens probably being in the form of Green Smoothies.
Part of any Detox or any Cleansing program and yes they are different, is your diet. The proponents – I nearly called them apostles of Fasting will say that you have to do a water only fast to detox properly and my point of view is that if you starve yourself you will NOT detox properly. We notice water fasting in religious writings and that’s where they should stay. We CAN get all the benefits of Water only Fasting by following what Professor Valter Longo calls a Fasting Mimicking Diet without doing the struggle and stress that doing without food brings most people.
As a Naturopath I regard the Diet as a supportive background for a Detox – it is NOT the main player and should not be expected to do what a diet simply cannot do. The main action of detox – that is of getting toxins out of the body is provided either by special detox herbs or vitamins as well as the support of cleansing techniques like Enemas, saunas or Epsom Salts Baths.
The Detox diet must not introduce any toxins to the body – we have those already! That means it must be vegetarian and probably vegan and focused on being organic because we don’t want sprayed and polluted food in a detox programme. But even with these criteria we have a lot of freedom in what we eat.
Your Detox diet should be tasty and varied with no requirement to follow a calorie count other than not to go overboard so that you need to lose weight afterwards!
What Does Your Doctor Say?
Standard advice to go see your medical professional is I think somewhat dependent on whether he or she actually knows anything about Detox. Many orthodox medical professionals still hold to the simplistic and almost brain dead formula that “There is no need to detox because the body does it anyway, that’s what the liver is for blah blah blah” and if you get that opinion you may reckon that you wasted your time going to see them. Nevertheless if you are taking any prescription drugs it may be worth checking with the Physician who advise that you take them. This is true even if you feel like NOT taking the drugs – always expect to come off prescription medicines slowly and discuss it with the “Doc” concerned.