Mar 15, 2012
Methods to detox your body naturally
Spring is in the air and this time of year everybody is thinking about spring cleaning. Whether cleaning out that old closet or planning a good old-fashioned detox, it’s time to de-clutter our lives.
To that point, the ever popular cleanse is all the rage right now. I see it advertised everywhere—magazines, in-store displays, on the radio; it’s inescapable! But with so many types to choose from, how do we know which approach is best?
From herbal teas and pills, protein powders and special diets, there are hundreds of detox plans promising to give you incredible results in just 21 days or less.
I have to admit, I have certainly tried my share, but after much reading, research and dollars spent, I have come to embrace one approach in particular with consistent results each time. As I have heard it said many times before, “It’s simple. But it ain’t easy!” My sentiments exactly!
I’ve never personally tried an over-the-counter kit before, but I have tried just about everything else. I believe my first cleanse ever was a series of herbal pills I took for 20 days after drinking an entire glass of pure olive oil on the first day.
After a few other attempts with different systems yielding varying results, I stumbled upon a book entitled, “Medical Fasting” by Dr. Joel Furman. My background is in dental hygiene, so scientific explanations and biological discussions tend to interest me.
According to his research, there is but one way to truly cleanse the body internally, and that is to give the digestive system a COMPLETE rest by drinking pure distilled water ONLY.
Why this made sense to me, I do not know. Maybe it’s my “all or nothing” extremist tendencies, but whatever the explanation, I bought it!
In order to allow the body to do its job of ridding itself of toxins, regenerating and repairing itself is to fast—completely abstain from food and drink altogether for extended periods of time, as in three to 40 days—or longer.
This approach has resulted in the complete reversal of many chronic illnesses, however, there is a catch. As safe and ancient a practice fasting is, given our prolonged ingestion of processed foods and prescription medications, it should not be attempted without the supervision of a medical doctor—preferably one who understands and embraces a holistic approach to healing.
I think that’s one of the ideas I found so compelling. Correcting the problem by dealing with its source rather than masking the symptoms with synthetic drugs seems to make more sense.
My longest fast—water only—was for 21 days and I found the process utterly excruciating, hence the “simple but not easy” statement. Not because I was hungry or weak, I just wanted to eat.
My body was perfectly content, but my mouth was having a first class, professional fit! It probably didn’t help that I still watched the Food Network and studied cookbooks, planning what I would eat afterwards! I’m a foodie, though. That’s what I do.
If you’re wondering about losing weight by fasting, it is true that the pounds will melt away, but they will all come back quickly with extras the minute you return to your old bad habits. If you’re truly ready for a lifestyle change and use the fast as a jump start to a healthy plant-based diet- there’s nothing better in my opinion.
For those who prefer to ease into a fast gradually, there are certainly a number of happy mediums to choose from. Going raw or juicing, for instance, are great starters.Whatever approach you decide works best for you, it’s always a good idea to take charge of your health and it’s never too late to start.
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” I couldn’t agree more. Detox kits and colonics are fine but a lifestyle of regular exercise, plenty of rest and informed, disciplined eating habits cannot be replaced by any other measure.
I wish you the best success with whatever approach you take this spring to get clean and get healthy. Don’t forget to check in with your doctor before attempting more aggressive measures or those involving prolonged periods of time.