Next week I will spend 5 days in detox. Call me Lindsay Lohan.
I’m no stranger to fasting, but I have never ventured into a deliberate cleanse whereby I attempt to rid my body of toxins. I don’t do drugs, and I eat about 90% whole foods (I made that up–I don’t really know the percentage). But, allegedly, that isn’t enough to keep my body free of toxins.
“We’re exposed to harmful substances all the time; they’re in our diet (pesticides, microbes, and mercury, to name a few) and the very air we breathe (think disinfectants, deodorizers, and the gasses released by fresh paint).”
There’s much debate about whether detox diets or cleanses work or if they are even necessary. The experts can’t even agree on whether “detox” and “cleanse” mean the same thing (I’m using the words interchangeably. I’m a rebel that way). Here’s a very (very!) basic summary of the two opinions regarding detox/cleansing:
The body contains a natural detoxification system (liver, lungs, lymphatic system, kidneys, skin, blood and colon or bowels.) There is no need to do anything special, since these organs work together to detoxify the body all the time.
There are over 80,000 chemicals currently in use today. Our bodies and their detoxification system were not designed to handle this. We are in toxic overload.
“Toxic build-up is a dangerous process that often has debilitating results. If allowed to continue over a period of time, the results may even be life threatening. Stressed out cells can lead to inflammation, a defense mechanism employed by the body to facilitate healing. Diseases such Alzheimer’s and heart disease have been linked to excess inflammation, and recent clinical research has determined that even small amounts toxic exposure can lead to severe problems.”
~Brenda Watson, Leading authority on natural digestive health, detoxification and internal cleansing, author of 5 books.
How can you tell if the 80,000 chemicals have bombarded your body? Here are some symptoms to look for:
Feeling tired, sluggish, lethargic
Trouble concentrating and staying focused
Catch colds easy
Unpleasant body odor
Frequent gas, bloating or indigestion
Allergies and/or food sensitivities
Skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema
Constipation and other gastrointestinal irregularities
Recurrent respiratory problems
Your Detox/Cleanse options:
Go ahead and Google “Detox” or “Cleanse” and you will see over 40 million results. Everything from The Master Cleanse (aka, lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water) to costly herbal supplements to juicing to water-only fasting. And the cleanses range anywhere from 1 day to 21 days and beyond. Depending on your budget, your goals and the amount of life-disruption you can tolerate, there is a cleansing option that’s right for you. (I don’t recommend that Master Cleanse, though—I know a few people who have tried it, and they absolutely hated it! Not that I’m a cleanse expert or anything. Just a free bit of trivia from your good friend, Linsay Lohan.)
What I’m doing and why:
I have a few reasons I want to detox:
1. I’ve been feeling a little more irritable than normal lately. That could mean early signs of depression resurfacing. Before I start taking Sam-e again, I’d like to try a detox.
2. Speaking of depression, I am determined to lose the last 10 pounds of this stupid Lexapro weight. A strict detox-type diet is just the jump-start I need.
3. I spent 5 days last week eating Disney World food, hotel food and chain restaurant food. Blech.
4. I want to participate in our church-wide fast—my cleanse will coincide with that. So, for me, it will encompass a spiritual aspect, as well.
My Detox Plan:
After doing a bit of research, I decided to combine two different cleanses, designed by Dr. Oz. Beginning Monday, I will do his 48-Hour Weekend Cleanse, followed by his 3-Day Detox Cleanse for a total of 5 days.
(Note: I’m not doing the Weekend cleanse on the weekend. See? REBEL!)
The reasons I chose Dr. Oz’s cleanse:
1. The 48-hour weekend cleanse (the first phase of my 5-day plan) uses real food that naturally detox the body.
“When I say “cleanse,” I mean it in the sense of true cleaning—a strategy that helps your body rid itself of toxins. Fortunately, we have an excellent system in place to handle those toxins: Enzymes throughout the body are continuously breaking them down and helping to flush them out. My 48-hour detox works by optimizing that system. It involves eating whole foods that are packed with nutrients believed to boost the activity of the enzymes and nourish the body’s most important detoxifying organs—the liver, the lungs, the kidneys, and the colon—so they can do their jobs better and more efficiently.” ~ Dr Oz
2. The 3-Day Detox Cleanse (the second phase of my 5-day plan) is a liquid cleanse (smoothies/juice/teas). I liked the thought of that after completing the first phase.
3. There is no cost, other than the cost of the food and a few familiar supplements (most of which I already have on hand).
4. I can still do gentle/low impact workouts during this cleanse (I will be doing yoga, stretching and low-impact cardio).
5. My husband and my 13-year-old agreed to do it with me. (Yay!) (We’ll see how long that lasts.)
6. I only wanted to do 5 days, M-F.
Here is what it looks like:
Monday and Tuesday
Breakfast: Quinoa with Chopped Prunes
Lunch: Fruit Smoothie
Snacks (eaten as often as I want)
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
This post is not intended to be the final word on detox or cleansing. Rather, I’d like to just let you know why someone might want to do it (namely, me) and encourage someone to investigate it further to see if they might also want to do it, (namely, you). If you’d like to join me in this, I will begin on Monday. If you are participating, let me know! We can chat about it daily on Facebook.
Q4U: Have you ever done a cleanse? Do you want to join me in this one???? Pretty please????
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