Wild Rose College of Natural Healing defines detoxing as “clearing out toxins and debris in your body that may be stopping you from having vitality.”
The most common type of toxin is the waste product of incomplete or weak digestion. Sticky, white and foul-smelling, it forms in the digestive tract when the food you eat is not digested properly. This is usually caused by eating foods unsuitable for your body, by eating too much or too little, by eating before the previous meal is digested, by going to sleep on a full stomach, or by eating foods that are left over, processed, old or fermented (not in a good way). If this build-up continues to be produced over a long period of time, it can leave the digestive tract, travel to a weak area elsewhere in the body and settle there. Usually it blocks the micro-circulatory channels and disrupts the flow of nutrients to the area as well as the body's natural waste removal systems.
The second type of toxin is a more reactive form of toxin and forms when waste settles in one part of the body for a long time. This more toxic, reactive type of toxin and must be dealt with during detoxification.
The third type of toxin, and unlike the other two, is what comes from outside the body. Included are environmental toxins such as chemicals, preservatives, poisons, air and water pollution, genetically engineered foods, synthetics and chemicals in clothing, synthetic drugs, chemicals in household cleansers, and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic and asbestos. These also include toxins from spoiled foods.
SO, WHY DETOX?
One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.
- Dr. Sara Gottfried
It's not a question of whether or not we are toxic, it's a question of how toxic are we.
- Dr. Brenda Watson
- Digestive distress such as IBS, acid reflux, constipation, indigestion, or food allergies and intolerances
- Belly bloat or excess weight
- Skin problems or rashes
- Poor sleep and fatigue
- Mood swings, anxiety, or depression
- Spaciness or brain fog
- Emotional eating
- Hormonal imbalances
- Illness and chronic diseases
These imbalances present themselves to you as symptoms, to warn you that things are not quite right. At first, your body may whisper to you with symptoms you may not even notice at first. Eventually, if these symptoms are ignored, your body will begin to present more intense symptoms, illness, or chronic disease. Some of the most notable warning signs may be things that you have slowly gotten used to experiencing, but these, my friend, are not normal or healthy.
Our bodies were meant to be healthy by default and innately designed to detox naturally every day. Just as we regularly clean the house or the car, clearing the body of built-up wastes improves the functioning of its natural detoxification pathways.
Detox brings your body back into a state of ultimate health on a cellular level. Your cells need the following to thrive, regenerate and renew.
- Healthy foods containing key nutrients and minerals
- Proper hydration
- Healthy functioning of the detoxification pathways, including the liver, lymph, blood, colon, kidneys, lungs and large intestine
The benefits of detoxifying are myriad. Doing a whole foods detox such as my seasonal Real Food DetoxTM will allow you to safely and to effectively:
- Lose unwanted weight and bloat
- Help to balance hormones by assisting the body to clear out old or harmful hormones
- Improve your digestion and boost your immune system
- Enjoy clear skin
- Reduce cellulite, where toxins are stored
- Reduce joint pain
- Sleep better
- Increase your energy and feel more alive
- Boost your sex drive
- Kick the sugar and caffeine cravings
- Reduce mood swings and depression
- Think more clearly
- Have better skin quality and brighter eyes
- Develop healthier, more lustrous hair and nails
- Help stave off disease by reducing inflammation in the body
Heath experts recommend detoxing at least four times per year, with each new season, to purify and rejuvenate your body.
Try these delicious, super simple detox recipes from one of my 14-Day Real Food DetoxTM programs to see for yourself:
Makes 1-2 servings
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk or water
1 pear, cored
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
Handful of cilantro
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
2-3 tablespoons hemp seeds
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
GRAIN-FREE MUESLI & BERRIES
Makes 2 servings
2 cups non-dairy milk
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup berries (OR 1 banana)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Warm your non-dairy milk on a stove top for 2 to 3 minutes. Then remove from the stove, and add it to a cereal bowl. Add pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and ground flax seed meal and let soak for 2-3 minutes. Top with berries, coconut flakes, and cinnamon.
You can also enjoy this muesli with cold non-dairy milk.
LEEK & SWEET POTATO SOUP
Makes 4 servings
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoons cooking fat like coconut oil or clarified butter (ghee)
2 or 3 large leeks, top part removed, and softer part sliced in rounds
4 cups spring water OR vegetable or animal soup stock (homemade)
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can full fat coconut milk (BPA free)
Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Add the stock and the sweet potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft.
Remove the soup from the heat and slowly mix in the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Puree the soup in a blender and serve (may also be served by simply mashing with potato masher).