Let me begin by admitting I am not a picture of healthy perfection all the time. Even though I may post a heck of a lot of uber healthy images, I too have my moments. Sometimes I get caught up in dining out too much, (I live in NYC, the restaurant scene is incredible) there may be times while, in a recipe testing frenzy, I test (and taste) too many goodies, and you can bet your bottom dollar I also have a glass of wine from time to time, and sometimes even too many glasses of wine. Yes, I am imperfect.
So do all of these “moments” add up to the necessity for a detox? Not necessarily, and yet here I am on day 10 of a 3 week detox.
I am not detoxing because I am obsessed with the idea of it (many “wellness experts” are), it's not because I am trying to lose weight (although a few pounds would be perfectly ok) I am detoxing because I know my body extremely well and my body said, “Girl, you need a detox.” (Yes, that's how my body talks to me)
We live in a toxic world, a world where each year nearly TWO BILLION pounds of chemicals are released into the environment. These chemicals are used in our skincare, cosmetic products and even end up in our food and water, resulting in hundreds of chemicals being present in our bodies.
With our bodies so overburdened by environmental toxicity, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to accomplish daily detoxification. Our bodies are perfectly designed to eliminate toxicity IF the detoxification pathways are cleared, when they are clogged toxicity builds up in our system and can result in sluggish energy, poor digestion, bad skin, lowered immune system, weight gain, and can disrupt our immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.
The signs I look for in my own body are energy dips, headaches or body aches, painful periods, and/or poor sleep. If any of these symptoms become persistent (i.e. not just a day or two of feeling crappy) I know it is time to get a bit more serious about clearing my detoxification channels.
What Kind of Detox Do I Do?
Over the years I have investigated, researched, and tried many different type of cleanses and detoxifications. I am a data collector, and take pride in understanding the trends, products and services of the wellness industry.
The detox world can be a bit confusing with juice cleanses, liver detoxes, colon cleanses, “the master cleanse”, and many more.
After years of investigation, (and numerous failed detoxes) I personally found the best results from a cellular detoxification. A detox that focuses on supporting the liver to eliminate stored toxins and then goes even deeper to access toxicity on a cellular level, the final stage of the detox is focused on flooding the system with nourishment and nutrients. I use a line of products that I absolutely love and believe in. As a matter of fact, I have personally traveled to the organic farm in Wisconsin where the food for these supplements is grown. I have stood in the fields and picked black radish, goofy proof below.
The detox I do, typically twice per year, is a 21 day purification using whole food supplementation, shakes, and food. Yes, food. I of course take the food part of the detox very seriously. I have been a kitchen wizard these past 10 days whipping up amazing fare like; curry lentil stuffed acorn squash, beet bourguignon, spaghetti squash with red lentil meatballs in a puttanesca sauce, thai veggie coconut curry, veggie paprikash stew, and kale lots and lots and lots of kale. (I will share some of the recipes soon, stay tuned!)
I am not a fan of fasting detoxifications and I am definitely not a fan of synthetic chemical laden detoxifications. If the intent of the program is to clear detoxification channels then it is important to know what you are putting into your body. There are hundreds of products on the market that promise you amazing detox results, but a huge amount of these products also contain harmful ingredients that may leave you worse off than you began!
Here are some things to look for if you are considering doing a detoxification:
- Work with someone that knows their stuff. For optimum results and to be sure you are doing the right kind of detox for YOU I always suggest working one on one with a nutrition professional.
- Ask about the products (if the detox comes with supplements/shakes/etc) are they made from whole food ingredients? organic? or are they synthetic supplements?
- Who can sell the products? This is the biggest red flag for me. If there is no training or practitioner certification needed to sell the detox products, I think, that says a whole heck of a lot! Go to the website, if there is an area that says “become a blah blah detox representative” run. Yes, I know this sounds harsh but if the goal of the business is to get thousands of unlicensed people selling the detox product what does that really say about the quality of the products? (I will slowly step down from my soapbox now)
Should you do a detox?
I don't have a blanket answer for this but I do encourage you to investigate if it's the right option for you. If you are “toxic” symptomatic, struggling to lose weight, or if you wake up every day feeling sluggish, then perhaps a detox would be very beneficial.
If you set out this January with the best laid intentions to really get your health together and are staring at the calendar thinking, “damn, blew it again” then maybe a structured program would be a great fit for you.
Overall, I encourage you to really get to know your body and your unique needs, to connect to a deeper sensibility of health intuition, and if 21 days of whole food love can bring you closer to that sensibility, then by all means a detox may be a great option for you!
Off I go, half way there and by the way, I am feeling so dang good!!!
Kale wishes and green smoothie dreams,
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