The concept of detoxifying and cleansing your body has been around for hundreds of years, and has been used medicinally to promote the healing of many types of ailments. Seasonally detoxifying gives your body a boost, allows for cell renewal, and will help you look and feel younger!
Why Detox? Modern urban life is toxic by definition, but if your body is carrying more toxins than it is built to handle, your health will be at risk. Many people live life at a fast, hectic, stressful pace, and rely on convenient and time-saving measures to feed and look after themselves. Your body has its own detoxifying systems (liver, kidneys, bowels), and does an amazing job of removing wastes from your body. However, if the volume of internal waste exceeds what it is able to safely process, these organs can be overwhelmed and not function properly.
When? At minimum I recommend doing a detox protocol seasonally, but many opt for making a detox part of their monthly or even weekly routine. Our goal is to help you change your lifestyle to support detoxifying continually, and to lessen the toxic load on your body. To plan your detox you need to find a time when your social and work calendar is not over-booked, and when you can give yourself the time for some additional rest. Its often a good idea to start on a weekend, so that the bulk of the detoxifying can start before the typical work week begins.
How will you feel? After the program you should notice increased energy, clarity of thought, and quite often a subsiding of certain health concerns. However, during the detox program some side effects are inevitable as your body is clearing itself of toxins. They are generally nothing of great concern and a sign that the detox is working. Some symptoms you might experience are: furry tongue, headache, irritability, excessive elimination, flu/cold-like symptoms, skin eruptions, fatigue. Consult a health professional if you experience anything that concerns you.
The plan: It’s simple – Stop overloading the body with harmful chemicals and give yourself proper nutrients to support healing and increase the elimination of chemicals. Avoid: smoking, alcohol, caffeine, candy, chocolate, ‘extreme’ exercise (an intensity your body is not accustomed to).
7 day detox diet – the beauty of this program is that:
(i) ANYONE can do it
(ii) no special products are required
(iii) you can customize it to your comfort level and physiological needs depending on how ‘toxic’ you are
(iv) it can help to determine whether you have any food intolerances or allergies
(v) it provides great perspective on how you eat and your attitude toward food.
DAY 1 – liquids only (water, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, unsweetened herbal teas, vegetable broth, smoothies (dairy free)
DAY 2 – liquids and fruit only
DAY 3 – add raw vegetables
DAY 4 – add cooked vegetables and brown rice
DAY 5 – add beans, lentils, nuts and seeds
DAY 6 – add grains and live yogurt*
DAY 7 – add fish
Customize it: depending on how ‘toxic’ you are, or your interest level, this program can be implemented for anywhere from 7-30 days! If you have never done a cleanse before, consider a simple 7 day program to see how your body responds. If you are more comfortable and confident with the restrictions, consider a lengthier program. Although everyone can benefit from a 21 day cleanse, only you can determine what will work for you based on your level of commitment. You might find that once you start with the first week, continuing on is easier than you think!
To create a lengthier cleanse, simply follow the food implementation protocol but extend the number of days. For example, for a 14 day program follow the DAY 1 protocol (liquids only) for 2 DAYS, for a 21 day program follow it for 3 DAYS, for 30 day program follow it for 4 days..
Other Activities to Consider?
Detoxification involves not only diet. Various body and skin treatments help the general detox process and will enhance your results. They can also be incorporated into your general lifestyle to continually boost your body.
1) Tongue brushing: every morning immediately upon rising, scrape your tongue with a spoon repeatedly until clean (no white residue) then rinse with water.
2) Hot water with lemon first thing in the morning prior to eating anything.
3) Skin brushing before your shower; hydrotherapy while in the shower (alternating hot and cold).
4) Castor oil packs at night before bed (see handout), ideally combined with quiet breathing and positive visualizations.