The Cycle of Detox and Retox – and how you can break it!
During December, we enjoy ourselves and then in January we punish ourselves! We vow to start this super trendy new diet. Yes, you know the one where you only eat celery sticks for 7 days and lose 15 kg?
We banish carbs and have a dry January with no alcohol. Then we hit the gym with a vengeance in attempt to burn our newly gained body butter. Next of course, we juice, oh do we juice! We juice for a full 7 days to the point where we forget what it is like to chew. And then we CRASH, we slip, we have just 1 sip of wine, ok well why not 1 glass? Well, who even says that wine is bad for you? So we have a bottle and then a pizza.
And then we RETOX, starting the cycle all over again.
As a trained and practicing Nutritional Advisor, and studying to be a Naturopath, it literally pains me to watch us abuse and punish our bodies like this. Detox has long since been the sexy buzz word in the health and wellness industry. Every other new diet plan includes a “detox” of some sort. And while “detoxing” is necessary and incredibly beneficial for our bodies, it is the way in which we do it that does more harm than good. I personally love a good detox but done correctly and acting as more of a reset for your body.
What Does It Mean to Detox?
The goal of detoxification is to eliminate toxins and waste which accumulate in major organs and tissues of your body.
A detox diet is aimed at helping the body to free up and get rid of the toxins. Our bodies are biologically designed to detox themselves via a very complex process. On a basic level, the liver works to neutralize the toxins and then send them on to be released from our body. Kidneys, skin and bowel then work to remove the toxins from our body. Many people jump headfirst into a detox program without realising that if one of these downstream systems is not up to par, you are literally recirculating the toxins back into your body. With a well-designed detox, you could be on your way to helping your body repair and recover with an added boost of micronutrients!
Benefits of Detoxing
- Cleanse the liver and vital organs
- Reduce bloating
- Support and improve digestive functions
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve skin quality
- Boost energy
- Improved sleep
- Weight loss
- Improved micronutrient absorption
- Reduce your toxic load
What is the Right Way to Detox?
- As a detox newbie, focus on eating organic, unprocessed foods. Eat a diet full of lovely vegetables, oily fish loaded with omega 3’s, pasture raised eggs and healthy fats
- Incorporate a simple morning detox drink. Take 1 glass of warm water, squeeze in half of an organic lemon and add 1 TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar, drink up!
- Eliminate red meat, dairy and gluten during detox period
- Eliminate stimulants (caffeine), alcohol, sugar and inflammatory foods. No, I’m sorry the grapes in wine do not count as whole food!
- Try to eat foods rich in fibre. Fibre helps to move stool through your system and eliminate toxins
- Add in juice or smoothie fasts only when you have implemented a structured program or you will wind up recirculating the toxins back in your body!
- Colon hydrotherapy can be a great way to start a detox if you are constipated and have accumulated waste in the intestinal walls of your large intestine. Sabine at Centro Harmonia in Palma is absolutely fantastic!
- Incorporate a quality probiotic
- Dry brush to stimulate the lymphatic system
- Do your RESEARCH
- Work with a qualified practitioner
Most importantly, use your detox period to reset your healthy lifestyle. Diets don’t last but a lifestyle will. Once your eliminatory period of your detox is over, continue to eat whole, unprocessed foods, and limit processed foods, sugar and alcohol. It’s that simple! Try not to use “detoxing” to recover from an indulgent holiday. Make it a part of your healthy lifestyle. For example, a planned detox with the change of every season will be more beneficial than just doing one detox after the holidays.
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Written by Melanie Mack
About the author
Melanie Mack is a health and fitness enthusiast who has been passionate about holistic wellness for over 12 years. After dealing with the uninspiring approach of Western medicine, Melanie decided to change careers and work towards truly healing people through functional and integrative medicine. With a core belief that you can heal the body through food and lifestyle changes, Melanie’s approach is “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates. Melanie is currently studying to become a Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath at the Natural Healthcare College & College of Naturopathic Medicine, both out of London. She looks forward to opening her own practice in Mallorca in January of 2018. Melanie currently lives in Mallorca with her husband and 2 dogs.