It’s usually around this time of year and in the Spring that peeps do a detox. While detoxing can be beneficial to your body and mind, there are a few things to know before jumping into any ol’ cleansing program.
What is a detox/cleanse?
It’s a process in which one rids their body of toxic or unhealthy substances. Most detox programs advise you to eliminate alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and process, unhealthy food. It’s advised to eat organic, whole foods and lots of clean, fresh water!
What are some of the common detoxing sites in the body?
Your liver metabolizes drugs and filters blood before it circulates to the rest of the body. It also produce blood-clotting proteins, and is a central player in all of your body’s metabolic processes. Simply put, your liver does a lot of work, and needs to be cleaned aka detoxed from time to time.
Your kidneys filter up to 2 quarts (!) of waste a day which is disposed through your urine. They’re important because they keep the composition, or makeup, of the blood stable, which lets the body function properly. Another hard working bodily system.
This is where food is digested and nutrient absorption takes place. The colon aka large intestine is where waste is prepared to leave your body.
Ok so we’ve looked at the various sites you can hone in on and cleanse/detox your body. Of course, it goes without saying that you can do a generalized detox too, which cleanses your body as a whole. This is where I suggest you start (full body cleanse) if you’ve never done a detox before. It’s gentle, very safe and yet very effective.
Here’s a Q I get a lot from gals who are on their journey of weight loss, healthy eating and living…
Do I need to do a cleanse?
Well, if you eat clean 90% of the time, probably not. But not too many of us eat that clean, all the time (not even me!). So if you eat processed foods (even just once a week), drink any alcohol, or (gasp) smoke (please stop now–you’re literally killing yourself slowly)…then yes. You do need to do one.
I recommend 2-4 times a year, depending on your eating habits and environment (city or country living). I suggest Spring and Fall if you’re taking the twice a year route, otherwise once a quarter is ok too i.e. January, April, August and November.
How long should a detox be?
For optimal results, it should last at least 30 days (unless you’ve picked up a “first timer” kit, then it’ll be shorter). At the very least, you want it to last 21 days. Anything less than that and you most likely won’t be proper results.
A 3-day or 7-day detox/cleanse it not effective at all. It’s a crash diet. And you should never do one. Get a reputable product, like those from Renew Life or Blessed Herbs. The price can run you anywhere from $38-$275; I use the Renew Life brand and pay the lower fee…it just make good financial (and health!) sense.
Important things to do when you’re doing a detox
- eat lots of fresh food — veggies and fruit, and clean protein
- avoid all sweeteners — especially artificial ones
- drink lots of filtered water — double the amount you would normally drink, to flush out the toxins and help the detox do it’s job
- use “natural” skin care, toothpaste and deodorants (avoid anti-perspirants) as the chemicals in these products work against all your cleansing efforts
What you should never do when detoxing
- never do one without researching the product first
- never do one just to lose weight
- never eat a low cal diet — anything under 1200 calories a day is dangerous and just not sustainable (whether you’re detoxing or not)
- no need to remove meat, you’ll need the protein if you’re exercising while on you’re detoxing and veggie protein might not be enough
- never, ever, in any circumstance (not just while detoxing) eat soy. Doesn’t matter what’s been “done to it” to make it “safe” to eat. It’s not. It’s one of the most genetically modified (GMO) crop on the planet (organic or not) PLUS it messes with women’s hormones so much, it can cause a whole whackadoodle of health issues. Stop using soy milk in your lattes and stop eating it, too.
Some FAQs about detoxing
- if you’ve never done a detox before, or you currently eat a diet with lots of process, unhealthy good, you may experience some initial side effects i.e. diarrhea, headaches, chills, body aches. This is normal and quite common and can last anywhere from 1-3 or 4 days when starting your cleansing program. If these symptoms continue past 7 days, stop detoxing and consult your doc.
- is it safe? If you do a proper one, then yes, it’s extremely safe. I suggest you always consult a doc first if you don’t know what you’re doing and as mentioned above, do your research. At this time the only detox kits I recommend are from Renew Life and Blessed Herbs. If you found another one, and are wondering if it’s good, leave me a comment b’low and I’ll take a looksie at it for you.
- does it matter when I start the detox? I do suggest you ensure you’re close to home the first 3 days of your detox. This gives you the comfort and privacy you may need of your own bathroom (yup, expect some gunk comin out of your colon!). I always start my detox on a Friday, which gives me some time for my body to adjust. If you can, take that Friday off from work 😉
- why should I detox if I eat fairly well and exercise regularly? There are just so many toxins in our air (I live close to an army base and a nuclear power plant. Double the Toxins!). Your liver (the ultimate detoxifier) can only filter so much and it needs a break from time to time. You’re lending it a helping hand.
- how should I feel during my detox? At the beginning it may feel like you have the flu, espesh if this is your first detox, or your body is heavy with toxins. As you progress, you will feel better and by the end you should have a lot more energy, feel lighter and enlightened and feel, well, gooooood.
Some detox kit suggestions for you
First Timer Detox Kit (note* this kit is under the 30 day rule, but if it’s your first time, this is where to start)
Full Body Detox Kit (what I use)
Parasite Detox Kit (to balance microbe and candida parasite, very common)
Candida Detox Kit (also what I use about once a year)
I hope this answer a few Qs you may have had about doing a detox. This is the brand I’ll be doing when I start my next one. I’ve used it numerous times before and it’s a quality product that works. If you have a detox kit that you like using, share it with us in the comments b’low! And as always, any positive comments are welcome, questions too!