Spring Detox

12:41 PM

A detox diet, or cleansing period, is an incredible gift to your body if you do it right. As we look toward the onset of spring (a girl can hope) the optimal time draws near, so I wanted to lay out how to do... and how not to do it.

How to Choose a Cleanse

Cleansing is a two-step process: detoxification and elimination. Any system that does not address this issue will not be effective. If you detox without eliminating (as is the case with any detox that doesn't make use of your colon) the toxins will continue circulating around and may make you feel worse. The theory behind low-calorie detoxes (burn fat, which is where toxins are stored) is a perfect example of this flaw. A detox with elimination but no detox (a high-fiber, laxative system) will fill your toilet, but leave your major organs messy as always. Make sure your system does both by checking that its theories and/or ingredients address at very least your liver and your bowels.

A store-bought product should have research behind it. Foot patches that you stick on overnight that turn brown by morning (yes, this is a real thing) have been proven bogus. Keep in mind, your skin is not your best detox organ.

A detox diet should have enough calories and other nutrients to sustain you. Your body wasn't designed to survive on such an extremely low-calorie diet. While consuming only maple syrup, lemon juice, water and cayenne pepper will trigger your body to burn fat, it will also shift you into fat deficiency which means bad skin, bad mood, bad memory, hormone problems and ultimately weight gain in the stomach region. Don't you think a balanced diet is the best one no matter if you're cleansing or not? (Note: if you are fasting for religious reasons that is a completely different story. Consult with God and your doctor before fasting if you are pregnant because the little one growing inside of you may have different ideas.)

A detox system should not cost more than $50. It should not take less than 2 weeks at a time, or more than 10% of your year (yes, there are detoxes that instruct you to do them once a week, every 4 weeks). Lastly, don't buy anything that only eliminates toxins through your bowel (Yikes!): your body is made up of many detox organs: liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, colon.

What I Recommend

I suggest setting aside 21 days to focus on a completely raw, vegan diet. This means unheated plant foods only. When food has not been heated, it contains the maximum amount of nutrients (the exception: I think tomatoes and spinach are healthier when cooked). Eliminate sugar and caffeine. Try to eliminate other forms of chemicals too (conventional makeup, heavy car pollution, etc.) Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, nut butters, whole grains (quinoa, millet) and herbs/spices. Make your own nut milks by soaking 1 cup of your favourite nut (cashews, almonds, etc.) overnight, then discard that water, add in 4 cups of fresh water, blend, and strain. Make sprouts by soaking seeds and grains in water, then rinsing twice daily. Make salad dressings with raw apple cider vinegar and cold pressed olive oil. Add some homemade mustard too (ground mustard seed + raw honey + apple cider vinegar + water). This kind of diet takes dedication and a ton of planning. Look up raw, vegan meal plans and experiment with new recipes.

Drink lots of water. This will flush your kidneys.

Get lots of sleep. Throw some long walk and yoga in there too. If your calorie intake allows, try some hard exercise - sweating is a form of detox.

Take long Epsom salt baths. This practice, if done often, can help pull heavy metals from your body. I have seen it help people (blood work proved it).

Most importantly, use herbs to activate your detox organs. They can be made into a tea:

  • Alfalfa
  • Black walnut if you are detoxing from parasites
  • Burdock
  • Chamomile
  • Dandelion
  • Marshmallow root
  • Milk thistle
  • Mullein
  • Red clover
  • Slippery elm (to aid elimination, go easy)
If you want an easy mix buy Flora's Floressence liquid. You can mix it with hot water to make a detox tea. It is incredible - tastes good, is soothing and provides all the right ingredients for detoxification and elimination. It was an originally a native American healing mix (Ojibwe blend) that was passed along to the nursing staff at a hospital that eventually used it with cancer patients.

The only store bought boxed detox I'd really recommend is Renew Life's First Cleanse. If you suspect parasites, try their ParaGone.

What cleanse do you like?

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