Tag Archives: detox

Ready to detox? Let’s prepare first.

So you feel a bit guilty about having over indulged on food and drinks in the last few weeks. You have decided to jump into a detox program to give your body a break. That can both be good and bad, depending on your current health and energy. Jumping into the deep end of a detox from a state of overindulging, can be very hard for your body. Therefore it is better to prepare the body first before starting a detox.

In essence, you want to stop putting junk into your body, and you want to help the body to get rid of the junk that is already there. The main key organ working in detoxing is the liver.

With stop putting junk into your body, I mean limit as much as possible or avoid completely processed foods, fried processed foods, hydrogenated oils, sugar, cigarettes, snus, aspirin and ibuprofen (unless prescribed by Dr.), all alcohol, and caffeine. Why is caffeine included? Because the liver has to break down caffeine before it can leave the body, and that adds another burden to the liver. We want to leave the liver as much energy as possible for detoxing. I would also exclude dairy, unless it is a fermented, probiotic product, like kefir and natural yogurt without added sugar.

You can help the body with giving it good nutrients, so that it has all the building blocks that it needs to break down all the junk and get rid of it. Did you know that you need 42 molecules of magnesium in order to help break down 1 molecule of sugar in the liver…wow!(1)

It is easy to give he body what it needs by eating an organic nutrient dense whole food diet. The liver needs plenty of protein to do its job, so do your best to eat good quality, organic protein that you can get your hands on, at this time. Make sure that you are properly hydrated as well. If not, your body will have a much harder time getting the toxins out of your body, and you will feel a lot worse during this time.

So what are some of the type of toxins that we are trying to get rid of? We get toxins accumulating in our bodies from air and water pollution, radiation, chemicals, stress, cellular/metabolic wastes, poorly digested foods, heavy metal exposure, bacterial/parasitic/fungal overgrowth. Drugs, food additives and allergens can also cause toxic elements in the body. Basically, any substance that creates irritating and/or harmful effects in the body is a toxin.

Going to the sauna, taking an epsom salt bath, and getting a deep tissue massage are also things that you can do to help your body detoxify. Adding movement into your day is also a great idea. Your lymphatic system works like a “pre-filter” for the liver, but it is a passive system. That means you have to move in order to move fluid through it. Optimal would be to jump on a rebounder every day. It does not have to be heavy exercise though, any kind of movement will help. This is also a reason why it is helpful to work at a standing desk opposed to a sitting one.

Remember, these are what some of the healing reactions may look like. I would say, the stronger you feel that these reactions are, the longer you need to stay on the preparation phase, before going into a full detox. Fatigue, headaches, bad smelling body odor, sleeping problems, bad breath, itchy skin and irritability.

Depending on your current and recent lifestyle, you might want to stay on the preparation detox schedule from anything for a week to  quite a few. Also, some people might opt for just doing the preparation phase for a while without detoxing, and that is fine too. You will do your body a lot of good by just sticking to the preparation phase. If you want to learn more there are plenty of books out there that can help you further. I like the 7-Day Detox Miracle by Bennet, Barrie and Faye.

Good preparation is key, so stay with it, and let the body adjust with time 😉

 


(1) Lecture on detox, Nutritional Therapy Association

7-Day Detox Miracle by Bennet, Barrie and Faye

Photo by  Alexandra GornBrooke Lark, Tim Mossholder, and Asdrubal Iuna on Unsplash

Feeling worse with a detox? It’s a healing reaction

December is typically a month of over indulgence in terms of food and drinks. A common reaction to this, or New Years Resolution, is to have a couple of weeks of “clean” eating. Some may even go a bit further and decide to do a detox program.

The body feels and perform its best when it’s in balance. After the holiday season you may feel a bit worn out from the over indulgences, which has gotten your body out of balance, and drained any extra energy. Going hardcore into a detox program from this state may work for some, but it can be a very rough ride. The change is usually to much too quickly, and I wouldn’t recommend it. It is better to prepare the body first, and start gently. Remember, with the body there are no quick fixes, rather long lasting effects of the lifestyle choices you make. The following are some indicators that your body could do with a detox.

Smelly body odor and/or breath, stinky feet, dark puffy circles under the eyes, foul smelling stool and/or urine, skin problems, acne flaring up, headaches, shoulder and neck stiffness, and pain around the lower ribs on the right side.

When you decide to give the body a break from poor habits, or do a detox, you are helping the  body to get rid of its “trash”, the toxins. It can be very smelly when deep cleaning your house, before gathering and getting rid of all the trash, and it’s the same in your body. It is good to know about some of the possible reactions that may show up. Sometimes it will get worse before it gets better.

These cleaning up reactions, aka healing reactions, will often intensify during detox and the healing process. It is because you are digging up  stored away toxins and bringing it up to the surface. You may experience flu-like symptoms, headaches, acne flaring up, diarrhea, and nausea. Knowing this in advance can make a huge difference in being able to deal with these reactions. The symptoms will go away once the body has gone through the cleaning and healing process. Depending on how well your body is doing overall, will indicate how well your body will deal with a detox.

On one side of the spectrum I know of people who have only had a slight headache for a day or two during their detox. And on the other side I know of people that got so nauseous that they had to throw up, and had to stay in bed for a couple of days.

Therefore, choose your time wisely for doing a detox program, so that you can easier navigate any healing reactions that may occur. Also, the better prepared the body is before starting a detox, the milder the reactions tend to be. I will discuss this more in next weeks post.

Don’t want to wait until next week to get started? OK, here are a few tips. Reduce as much as possible your intake of sugar, processed foods and caffeine. Completely avoid any kind of alcohol. Eat a whole food, organic, nutrient dense diet and make sure that you are well hydrated at all times.

I wish you all a clean start to this year! 😉