Should I Do a Detox?
Article by Billy Brown, Holistic Nutritionist – Yogi – Gardener
Detoxes and cleanses aren’t just for fit, vegan girls who live in Lululemon apparel and drink green smoothies all day. They’re also not just for girls. Not only am I not a girl, but I also regularly eat meat, drink beer, avoid “working out” at the gym and do not own any Lululemon gear—but I regularly detox! Actually now that I think of it, I guess it’s a good thing that I do…
Or is it?…
Many conventional health practitioners claim that since the body naturally detoxifies everyday, it’s not necessary to waste time or money cleansing that which is already clean. After all, our bodies evolved to handle a certain amount of toxicity naturally found in the environment.
Today there are pollution/smog advisories, GMOs, EMFs, pesticides, tons of other man-made industrial chemicals (hundreds of which have been found in umbilical cord tissue of newborns), the physical effects of daily stressors, and of course radiation from our smart devices. We live in a much different world—our bodies are under an all-out attack from all of this environmental toxicity.
But it is true; the kidneys do filter the junk from our blood to form urine, while the liver handles pretty much everything else. These organs do a lot of work and never really get a break. The kidneys get to relax a bit at night but since the liver’s other big job is processing all of our food, it only has a limited window of time to detoxify. The liver stores toxins it doesn’t get to in fat cells, intending to detoxify them later.
So what IS a detox? It’s basically taking a break from your regular “perfectly imperfect” habits and making them “not-perfect-but-almost” for a short period of time, anywhere from 3 to 21 days. Some choose to do shorter, more intense cleanses such as juice cleanses or the “master cleanse,” where one consumes only maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Others are even more hardcore— water fasting permits one to drink water and nothing else.
Unless you’re into S&M these are not enjoyable and are definitely not recommended as first cleanses, or for someone who habitually consumes processed foods. Those with diabetes, heart conditions and other serious health issues shouldn’t even consider these. Due to their challenging nature and required devotion they lend themselves to deeper meaning and actually act as a form of spiritual detoxification.
A far more realistic and holistic choice for all: go on a vegan diet, avoid the “bad things,” drink tons of water and use nutritional supplements to stimulate your organs of elimination. Longer, gentler cleanses are ideal as they produce fewer and less intense “detox reactions” while gradually adjusting your behaviours truly helping to build lasting, healthy habits.
Even though some people choose to vilify detoxes, when they are done with sound guidance and care they are a fantastic way to rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit. They stimulate a healthy metabolism, helping the body to eliminate and therefore are a fantastic way to kickstart a weight-loss program.
When’s the best time to do a cleanse? Right now! Because they represent great change, Spring and Fall are two of the most ideal times of the year to practice this habit. So go ahead, shake the dust off your organs and prepare to feel reborn!
Billy is the newest member of our team at Renewed Health and Wellness. He offers holistic nutrition consultations, meal plans and nutritional supplement advice year round and in the growing season he offers his vegetable garden wisdom; Billy will even install your very own veggie patch! Having recently completed his yoga teacher training he teaches classes at Green River Yoga Company in Washago as well as private in-home and in-studio sessions. Billy facilitates workshops on themes relating to his interests—they are fascinating and he hopes to see you there!
Don’t miss Billy’s next two workshops, “Let’s Talk Detox” on April 7 at 3:00 pm at the Orillia Public Library (date/time to be confirmed) and “Holistic Gardening 101” on April 14 at 3:00 pm at OPL (date/time TBC).