You are what you eat. It’s an ironclad maxim that has been passed down throughout the ages by those in the know to those of us seeking to live a healthier and cleaner life. However, in today’s society, it is a little piece of wisdom that has, for the most part, been misconstrued, processed, deep-fried, and consumed in ridiculously oversized portions.
Add to all of this, our seemingly insatiable penchant as human beings for smoking, drinking, overmedicating, and making merry in all manner of over-indulgent fashions. It is hardly surprising that we sit staring at obesity, blood pressure, and blood sugar graphs that resemble the flight path of the space shuttle Discovery on its way into orbit.
In other words, what we’re trying to say is that a large number of us need a damned good detox, which is why we have decided to furnish you with our guide to detoxing. Everything you need to know to convert your body from the biological equivalent of Chernobyl into a cleaner, better functioning, and, most importantly, healthier you.
Oddly, when it comes to detoxing, the maxim of ‘you are what you eat’ needs to be turned on its head for some time. Think instead, ‘You are what you ‘don’t’ eat.’ According to Robert Storey M.Tech.Hom, our professional health consultant with a background in naturopathic medicine, the most important thing to do when embarking on a detox is to stop adding toxins in the first place.
As he explains, “What most people fail to understand and inevitably overlook before embarking on a detox for any length of time is that step 1 should always be preparing the body for the detox. This means cutting out all the toxic foods and substances that have caused your body to become toxic in the first place.”
Essentially what you’re looking to do is consume only pure and natural foods that aid the function of the lymph, kidneys, and liver and avoid consuming all foods that hinder this regime.
The main culprits to stop consuming are:
- Refined sugar and any foods containing processed sugar
- Processed foods
- Meats – Especially smoked and cured meats
- Refined or processed wheat products
- Foods containing animal fats
- Coffee and tea (except for herbal teas)
Look to replace Dairy with the following alternatives:
- Rice Milk
- Goat milk and its derivatives
- Oat milk (not suitable for people with coeliac disease)
- Hemp milk
Great foods to eat are fruit and vegetables like watermelon, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, and every detoxer’s secret weapon – homemade vegetable juices.
Usually, the preparation period for beginning a detox lasts around a week, but in the world of health and healing, there is never a ‘one size fits all’ benchmark to go by. The question as to what is the correct period to detox is a sticky one to answer simply because of all the variables involved. Some people are more toxic than others, and their biochemistry reacts and responds differently to the process of eliminating toxins from their diet. A much better rule of thumb to go by is how you feel. Your body is by far the best yardstick to measure your progress along the path to healthier living, so listen to it.
Headaches, body aches, skin rash, joint pain, fatigue and lethargy, dizziness, irritability, sadness, mood swings, and interrupted sleep are the most common indicators that your body is beginning to rid itself of toxins. Remember, the intensity of the symptoms experienced varies from person to person, so if you start to experience these symptoms, don’t go into a tailspin and start frantically scanning through reruns of ‘House’ in search of a diagnosis. Only seek medical attention if your symptoms are severe.
Once your symptoms ease off, and you begin to feel a return of energy and vitality, you can start the detox properly. The number of different detoxes once can do pretty impressive, and it’s beyond the scope of this article to list them all here. Your best bet is to consult with an excellent medical professional and decide together which the best detox to undergo is.
The symptoms experienced during the actual detox will vary in nature and intensity but are generally more powerful than those experienced during the prep. What’s more, the length of each detox will change, too, depending on the prescribed regime and the body’s reaction to it.
Overall, detoxing shouldn’t be viewed only as a temporary ‘spring cleaning’ for the body, but rather as an ideal opportunity to change the way we look at what we put into our bodies daily by changing our diets and eating habits and moving forward in a healthier, livelier and more energetic direction.
Lastly, we highly advise that all detox diets should be undertaken with great care, and preferably guided and overseen by a healthcare professional. Good luck.