Tips on what to look for in a holistic detox.
A holistic approach to detoxing will not be fasting, intense juicing or any of the “lemonade” type detoxes you find out there. We take into account there are many facets to detoxification in the body and without proper support or mis-guided information, it could be harmful to the body if not done properly. Be mindful that the “weight” you loose on these detoxes can be mostly water and muscle.
Detoxing releases a lot of toxins (hence the name) and if our organs of elimination (liver, colon, lungs, skin) are not working properly, we may end up recycling these toxins in our body vs. actually ridding ourselves of them. This means if we’re not pooping, sweating, breathing properly or our livers are sluggish, we are recycling these released toxins. Yuck.
Depending on where you are nutritionally, any type of elimination of a food is considered a detox. For example, if you eat a lot of sugary treats, like chocolate bars and pop, just eliminating those alone is a detox. Getting off sugar is hard, but once you do, you can then move towards other cleanses. Even simply increasing water can be a form of detox. Peeing a lot is a GOOD thing!
A whole food cleanse should take into consideration eliminating toxin-producing elements such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. But also should look at environmental toxins such as in personal care products and household cleaners. It should include an element of physical activity, rest, stress management and emotional well-being.
Foods that should be considered eliminating on a holistic cleanse or detox are usually dairy, gluten, some grains, sugar and caffeine. Dairy and gluten are usually avoided because they can be inflammatory and people often feel a lot better once they cut back. Meats don’t always need to be eliminated but be cognizant of what kind of meat you’re eating – try to aim for organic, hormone-free and free-range animal products.
Another facet to consider is going all or at least half organic to reduce your exposure to pesticides. If you can’t afford 6 organic apples, buy 3 and eat them every other day. Checking out the dirty dozen list can also help.
Detox Powerhouse Foods
While elimination of toxic foods is often what comes to mind when doing a detox, consider adding these foods to help the process along and support your body. Each of these foods support the process in one way or another and also provide overall health and wellness and can be eaten year round. They can also be consumed leading up to a detox to prepare your body for the cleansing about to take place.
Cruciferous and Sulfur Vegetables – such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts and kale; onions and garlic. They protect the liver and help with the detox process. Egg yolks and legumes also contain sulfur.
Lemon water – contains vitamin C which helps to support our immune system but also helps to aid digestion and is alkalinizing (helps to balance our PH, a too acidic body can fall prey to disease).
Bitter greens such as dandelion and arugula – help with the digestive process (remember that digestion is a HUGE part of detoxing).
Beets – contain betaine which helps to secrete bile, an integral part of our digestive system. They are also high in fiber.
Fiber – Also helps with bile secretion, and aids our digestive system to keep things moving. Great sources of fiber are all vegetables, fruit such as berries, apples, pears, legumes and beans, chia seeds.
Whole Food Cleanses I Recommend
There are only two on the market right now that I recommend:
Choose your cleanses wisely, don’t go for the claims that you’ll lose weight fast. Any weight lost on those kinds of diets is usually re-gained very quickly, and even more than what was lost. Find a cleanse that helps you learn how to eat and is run by someone who loves food.
Let me know in the comments below your experience with detoxes and cleanses!
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