Detox, Cleansing or Fasting?

I am asked daily,” Should I detox? Should I try a cleanse? What about fasting?”
Let me start by saying” I am not a naturopath or a medical doctor.”
I do however know that if you ask either you will receive a plethora of answers.  Asking family and friends on top of reading all the materials available will leave your head spinning.
I do believe if that one eats clean 365 there isn’t anything to eliminate. I am strictly referring to foods at this point.  But even that is questionable. Grass fed organic meat eaters, vegans, vegetarians and pescatarian  all believe they are on the right path. Their way is best.
detox foodsHealth advocates claim that if your body is in an alkaline state than optimum health is achieved. Detoxing would then be a waste of time. Alkaline ma7y be achieved even if you waiver from a “healthy” pure diet.
For those not familiar with the term alkaline let me explain. The modern diet is high in acidifying foods such as meats, grains, fats, sugars, caffeine and some oils. The list is endless and ever changing. Canola oil for example has now been kicked to the “don’t” list. The American population does not eat enough alkaline foods. Raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds all off set the foods considered inflammatory.  Unfortunately most people don’t keep the ratio in check. A simple urine test with papers bought  at any drug store will let you know if your PH level is ideal (7.0 -7.3)
No matter how diligent we are, harmful chemicals are everywhere . We apply them daily to our skin. We breathe them in. We drink them in our “safe” tap water. No matter how careful we are we cant control it all.
if we define a detox as simply eliminating all the “w’s” (white flour, sugar and rice) as well as all types of sugar, caffeine, man made additives ranging from MSG to food dyes THEN mankind needs a lifetime COMMITMENT to detox. These foods are not healthy and should not be eaten as treats or as cheat meals. It’s crazy. So if you are loving the inside then toxic foods are on the “never” list. I do believe there is one answer for everyone. love yourself on the inside, too. Eat foods in their natural state . if a food has an expiration date put it back. However, I do not preach at clients. Ultimately, you are the only one in charge of your health.
If you live on take out, boxed foods and alcohol then simply eliminating it overnight will leave you shaky and with a migraine. No joke! Oreo cookies are more addictive than cocaine. That’s a fact! If you doubt the severity of America’s obsession with junk food I encourage no I plead with you to watch the documentary FED UP. It’s current and still in the theaters as of June 1, 2014.
Let’s begin with a question. Ask yourself honestly if you are doing a temporary detox or you are changing your ways for life. A detox is not a magic weight loss pill.
Back to whether a detox is right for you.fruits-and-veggies
Starting a detox may kick start you to a healthier you.
You may lose weight right away. It will be mostly water but this may motivate you to keep it up.
You may improve your digestion.
Depression may be lifted.
You may sleep better. Sugar and caffeine cause energy surges and crashes.
Make a move towards eating a raw food diet. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Hemp is an awesome protein. (see MY HEMP blog) You may consume brown rice, almond, hemp and/or flax milk. Adding a protein powder that is NOT milk or soy based is ideal.
If you think you are allergic to certain foods a detox could work to your advantage. Eliminating allergens such as soy, wheat, eggs and dairy for as long as possible. Slowly reintroduce them one at a time. This will allow you to discover any problematic foods.
Detox’s can be done over a weekend or prolonged until you stop losing weight. By adopting healthier food habits losing weight is easier. Eating high fibre foods in their raw state fills you up quickly. Please keep in mind all your hard work will be undone if you resume an unhealthy lifestyle. It will creep back on one fry at a time!
The lemon aid diet is a famous detox but more of a cleanse. Its simple recipe of water, lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Beyoncé used this to achieve her svelte body in DREAMGIRLS. It’s one notch above a fast. fasting is defined as the consumption of only water. Years ago I actually tried this plan! The first drink made me want to gag. By 9pm that night and 6 drinks later I was throwing up then in bed with a migraine. by 11pm I had a coffee and a banana.
Cleanses are generally without any type of solid food. some cleanses advocate the consumption of a single food. The book “The Detox Mono Diet” by Christopher Vasey offers a grape plan as a cure to serious illnesses. The mono diet is started after a fast has taken place. The body is now prepped. Since all toxins have been eliminated the body is considered ready. If grapes don’t interest   you the book provides a detailed list of foods to choose from. I see it as a quick fix for an event or at a last attempt at prolonging one’s life in the last stages of illness.
Before you jump into a fast, detox or cleanse:
Read and research all choices.
Keep a food journal.
Assess your lifestyle.
Low iron, low/high blood pressure, medications, etc will all change whether or not this is a smart choice for you.
Be honest with yourself about why you are doing it. YOU CAN’T UNDO YEARS OF BAD HABITS IN A WEEKEND!
Everyone is unique, Trial and error may help you discover  what works for you. Fast food fanatics can turn into vegans! Never say Never!
When you clearly know why you want to try something totally different the what will come to you.
I suffer from edema or water retention. I chose not to take prescription medications so I drink dandelion tea. I have digestion issues so I eat a diet high in fennel. I take the pills and drink the tea as well. When my tummy bloat gets out of hand I do a 2 week cycle of vegan probiotics. I have low iron and have adjusted my diet accordingly. Once in awhile I do a day of all watermelon! I have tried colonics, enemas, dry brushing, steam rooms, milk thistle cycles and lymph drainage massage.
Everyone is different. Take the time to learn what works for you!!
The bottom line is eating foods made by nature without help from man is best. Educate yourself and make decisions that are right for you and the ones you love.

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