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Diet + Nutrition,  Lifestyle

What’s the Deal with Detoxing?

What is Detoxification?

Detoxification is a process where your body eliminates a build-up of wastes (or hot dogs and beer). It may seem like a very intimidating word, bringing up associations like starvation, low energy, and feelings of the dreaded ‘hanger’, but have no fear, there are gentle detox solutions. Simply by drinking an extra glass of water, you are helping flush toxins out of your body, while also keeping yourself hydrated. In general, there are two simple ways of detoxing.

• Passive detoxification occurs without your conscious awareness. Your body has come equipped with seven systems of elimination.

1) Liver
2) Lungs
3) Lymphatic system
4) Blood
5) Colon
6) Kidneys
7) Skin

Problems arise when one or more of these organs/systems are not working properly. If our body cannot eliminate wastes/toxins, they will recirculate.

• Active detoxification occurs when you participate in a short of long-term change in diet and lifestyle to address your body’s needs and focus on improving the function and quality of the systems of elimination.

Why Should I Detox?

As mentioned above, when wastes/toxins are not eliminated properly, they are recirculated in your body, and that’s where problems may arise. Let’s use an example; if you were to leave your garbage bags in your house instead of removing them, there would be a build up of unpleasantness, to say the least. The trash would start to smell, maybe leak out the bottom, soon enough you’ve attracted bugs, bacteria, mold, and mildew in. When enough bags start to accumulate, you are not able to navigate around your house as easily as before, and soon enough, you might not be able to breathe properly, and your hygiene and personal health and well being starts to diminish. Soon enough you may start avoidance behavior where you don’t want to invite people over, or put a blanket over garbage bags and learn to move around them.

Similarly, this can happen to our bodies. By not eliminating wastes properly, we allow the build-up to occur and attract bacteria and viruses and fungus, maybe we begin to accumulate symptoms of our environment and develop arthritis, allergies, IBS, and use blanket strategies such as anti-depressants, anti-anxieties, pain medications to mask the issues. We may develop justifications for doing this, as there’s just too much work to be done. There will always be garbage, no doubt, but let’s open the lines of elimination to where we can live comfortably in our skin and in our homes, where there’s no burden of working around our symptoms, and we can live and move freely. Strive to take the trash out before it overflows, and you have a bigger mess to clean up.

Do you relate to any of these symptoms?
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Can’t-Lose/Gain Weight
  • Depression
  • Loss/Increase in Appetite
  • Constipated/Diarrhea
  • Skin Issues (Dry/Oily/Eczema/Psoriasis/Acne)
  • Lethargic
  • Recurrent Colds/Flu
  • Arthritis
  • Teeth/Gum Problems
  • Hair Thinning/Loss
  • Bad Breath
  • Increased Body Odor
  • Bloating/Gas/Cramping
  • Aching Joints
  • Sinus Issues (Watery or dry, itchy eyes, swelling)
  • Allergies

If you answered yes to 3 or more of these symptoms, it might be time to participate in active detox.

When Should I Detox?

Just like getting an oil change for your car or spring cleaning your house, it is important to have regular ‘tune-ups’ on your self, in body, mind, and spirit.
I recommend actively detoxing twice a year, usually in the fall and then spring. These are times of the year where your digestive system switches from consuming more vitamins and enzymes in the summer like fresh fruit to fuel your activities to the mineral based, grounding foods like root vegetables in soups and stews to conserve energy and heat during the winter. Evolutionary speaking, our bodies are designed to eat seasonally with this cycle in mind, because that was the food available at the time. It is only with our modern technology and transport that we can have kiwis and honeydew melons in December. If you’ve had more bloating/gas/cramping or digestive upset around this time, as most people do, it’s because we’re in a transition of eating habits. To help the process and ease the discomfort choosing to actively detox during these months where it’s not too hot and not too cold will be much gentler on your system.

How do I Detox?

One of the simplest ways of encouraging the detoxification process is by having a glass of lukewarm, fresh squeezed lemon (or lime) water in the morning. It starts the digestive process off and immediately hydrates and wakes you up in the morning. Lemons and limes are extremely alkalizing to the body and full of antioxidants designed to neutralize toxins, they’re kind of like the superhero of fruit. On the outside, it seems like an average fruit, but on the inside, is an incredible crime-fighting force. Continuing with fresh squeezed lemon or lime water throughout the day greatly enhances your anti-tox powers!

For a more active program, you can go through the shelves at any health food store and find tons of books, boxes, and pills designed to detox your system. Programs may last a couple of days to months and can range from beginner to The Master Cleanse, but how do you know what is right for you? When choosing to actively participate in a detox program, it is important to have a plan and guidance. Although there are many fantastic detox kits on the market, what is right for one person, may not be for the next. Consulting a nutritional healthcare professional is extremely important to get the best results. The Natural Art of Skincare is launching their 10 Day Fresh Start Detox Program in October. It has been designed to use nutritional and supplemental therapies and personalized counseling to help detox your body, mind, and spirit. Most people find that after detoxing not only do their bodies feel better, their attitudes are different, moods have improved, and they have more clarity of mind.

Support is Key

Like any change in diet and lifestyle, to be successful, it is extremely important to have a good network around you for support. It appears as soon as you start a detox program, that is when temptations are at their height. That’s where the “I can’t have this, do that, go there” thoughts develop and the restrictions settle in. This is where a lot of people fail to follow through with their goals, and you open your vitamin drawer four months later to find the box half taken. To help stay on track with your goals and succeed, make sure that the detox plan is for you, about you and right at the time. Detoxing your body is meant to bring yourself into focus and become aware of what’s going on inside of you. It’s meant to ground you and bring to light the things that are negatively impacting you and start the process of release. This time is all about what is best for you, for reflection, for empowerment and ultimately for growth. When you think of it as a restrictive process, you’re creating a need to hold on tighter to the very things that may be holding you back from living your best self.

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