As Detox January comes to a close I have put together a post about all the different ways you can detoxify the body. Detoxification is a great way of giving the digestive system a rest and ridding the body of accumulated toxins. I will be talking about fasting, juicing, colon detoxification, skin brushing and more.
When embarking on any detox it is important to prepare at least two weeks before, especially if you have a diet high in meat, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. So you may want to cut down on these slowly. For example if you drink a lot of coffee cut it back to 1 cup a day in the two weeks leading up to the detox. The reason for this is that during a detox it is normal to experience withdrawal symptoms. You can experience headaches, nausea, lethargy, dizziness, skin outbreaks, constipation or diarrhoea (mainly diarrhoea as your intake of fibre increases), coated tongue and bad breath as the toxins are released into the blood stream. This is perfectly normal. It means the detox is working. The more toxic you are the more you are likely to suffer from the above symptoms. These symptoms normally last for about 24 – 72 hours. After this time period you will start to feel better. If you are new to any cleanse only do it for 1 day. Make sure you are drinking 2 litres of water a day when detoxing.
Signs and Symptoms of Toxicity
Waking up constantly tired
Irritable bowl syndrome
Anything that appears on the skin like: acne, psoriasis and eczema is sign of liver toxicity
Foul smelling stools
There are different fasts that can be done. I would recommend a fast one day a week or a month. This is really a good way to give the digestive system a rest. Some people do a water fast but I would strongly recommend doing a fast based on fruit and vegetables. Different fasts include: liquid fasts which consist of fruit and vegetable drinks. Another fast is when you choose one fruit or vegetable per day and eat only that all day. Or a vegetable and fruit day. Many people when embarking on a fast go for liquid only.
Liquid fasts are quite hard to do and it is perfectly fine for people to have a piece of fruit. If you suffer from blood sugar imbalances then it is very important that you do not go hungry for long periods. This is very important!
If you are planning on embarking on a fast that will last longer than 2 days you should be supervised.
If you are on any type of medication you must speak to your doctor before embarking on a fast. When fasting no medication or supplements should be taken. However I do not encourage anyone to stop taking medication that has been prescribed by their doctor. An example is a diabetic that is insulin dependent. This applies to all fasts, even if it is just for one day. ALWAYS tell your doctor if you are about to fast.
Contraindications to fasting:
Pregnant, breast feeding
Diabetes (especially if insulin dependent)
Anyone taking prescription drugs
Anyone taking recreational drugs
People suffering from eating disorders
People with severe liver or kidney disease
As mentioned before, always contact your doctor before embarking on a fast or any detox diet, especially if you are on medication.
Make sure that you are in a relaxed environment when doing a fast. You want to be relaxed. No intense exercise.
The results of fasting is clearer skin, an abundance of energy, memory and concentration improve, becoming less acidic and more alkaline and a stronger immune system.
Juicing is good for quick absorption of nutrients. It takes 15 minutes for the nutrients from a juice to hit the blood stream. This is very good in people that have digestive issues and want to give their digestive system a rest. Juicing is also good as it includes raw foods packed full of enzymes that are often lost during cooking. Juicing places less of a strain on the liver. Ideally fruit and vegetable juices should not be mixed together. Apples and carrots are the exception. Vegetable juices are best for people suffering from blood sugar problems.
The best way for colon detoxification is colon hydrotherapy. it consists of water inserted via the rectum. This allows the whole colon to be washed. The benefits are: Softens, loosens and expels faecal matter, tones and exercises the colon.
The following conditions can be improved by colonic irrigation:
It is important that you go to a qualified practitioner for your colonic irrigation. The first time you have one will feel strange, you will feel your abdomen expand and you will have the feeling you want to go to the toilet. It takes time to get used to but is very good at eliminating toxins.
Skin brushing is great for the lymphatic system, it stimulates the circulation. Skin brushing removes dead skin cells thus opening the pores so the skin can eliminate toxins. It is done by using a bristle brush starting from the lower legs brushing in circular motions working the way up towards the heart. This should be done before a shower or bath. Skin brushing should be done on a daily basis.
Saunas and Steam Baths
These are great for getting you to sweat out the toxins from the skin. Saunas are considered to be better and they make you sweat naturally. It allows the pores to open and sweat out all the toxins. To get the best benefit it is ideal to have a cold shower afterwards washing away the toxins. A lymphatic drainage massage after a sauna is the ideal to get the lymphatic system moving and increase blood circulation. Make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards to flush out all the toxins. There is a sauna called infra red which is far superior to normal saunas and is really good for a number of health issues like arthritis.
Low blood pressure
Daily movement is an excellent way to eliminate toxins, improve the lymphatic system and circulation. If your lymphatic system is clogged up you are more likely to store toxins and have cellulite. Athletes do not have body fat or cellulite due to the enormous amount of exercise they do. Naturally we are not athletes and I do not expect any one to go and spend hours working out until they drop dead. Moderation is key. Find a physical activity that you enjoy. Enjoying what you do always makes it easier and fun. It can be running, swimming, yoga, dancing, tennis, football, pilates, gym etc.
I would like to mention that with everything moderation is key. Detoxification is good for eliminating toxins however, you have to build after a detox making the body stronger through a healthy lifestyle. Some people detox 24/7 and this is not healthy. Too much of anything whether it is healthy can be harmful. Another important point to note is that everyone is different, what suits one person may not suit another. Don’t feel that you have to go on a fast to be healthy. You do what suits you. Personally myself I do not do any intense detox. Every Friday I make sure I eat no animal protein, I have very light meals. A smoothie in the morning followed by a salad in the summer or some steamed vegetables with chickpeas or other beans for lunch during winter, and another salad or vegetable soup in the evening. I keep my portions small. This is my ways of cleansing. Every so often if I feel I have over indulged I eat like this for 3 days.
I hope the above helps. If you would like a bespoke nutritional plan please email me.