What are the differences between fasts, cleanses, and detoxes? There seem to be so many programs out there! How do I know what I need?
Whether its a juice fast, water fast, lemon juice with maple syrup and cayenne pepper fast; I don’t recommend these or any fast you come across. Why? Your body detoxifies in two phases. The first phase frees up the toxins and the second phase (which is dependent on amino acids from protein) removes them from the body. When you take protein out of your diet you slow down phase two detoxification, which means you now have a lot of toxins freed up in your body that can’t get out. This causes more harm than good and you may start to feel really sick. Not to mention, drinking nothing but juice or lemonade for days disrupts your blood sugar regulation, sending you to extreme highs and lows and resulting in a sugar dependence coming off the fast. This is especially bad for those of you who struggle with sugar addiction.
We actually don’t have pounds of fecal matter built up in our colons like some folks would have us believe. Many of these colon cleanses work by irritating your gut lining. They draw water into your digestive track to cause the “flushing”. This can be damaging to your intestines as well as create a dependence on these pills to have a bowel movement. Colon cleanses are often just case of diarrhea not detoxing.
I am a big fan of professionally guided detox programs that use real foods (including the very important protein which is crucial for healthy liver detox!) and targeted detox supplements:
Toxins are Everywhere
- The air we breathe, 80 billion pounds of toxins are released world wide every year into the atmosphere, just 1 microgram of some of these toxins can cause severe bodily harm or death.
- The food we eat, We Are Self Polluting! Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Processed, Packaged Foods, Hydrogenated Oils, Caffeine, Aspartame and artificial sweeteners, Alcohol, Pesticides, Herbicides, Fungisides, Medications all are toxins in our body
- Home Products, Chemicals in our environment, Plastics
- Stress: our thoughts That leads me to what I think is the biggest contributor: stress! Stress can wreak havoc on your body, depleting vital nutrients that regulate your weight, your mood, and your health.
All these toxins that enter your body sum up to what is called your own personal “toxic load”.
When detoxifying, it is important to identify all the areas in your life that contribute to your own personal toxic load and then look to reduce those toxic inputs as much as possible. All while supporting your body’s own natural ability to detoxify.
We are constantly detoxifying; every second of every day
• We detoxify with every cell in the body
• Most notably:
• The liver is the primary cleansing organ. The liver Filters Blood, Produces Bile, & Neutralizes toxins to be excreted
Your livers detox system is a 2-phase process
2-Phase Liver Detoxifying System
Phase 1: transforms toxins into intermediate compounds. These compounds are often more toxic than the original one, so they are not ready to enter the blood yet.
Phase 2:convert the intermediate compounds into harmless molecules next so they are safe for excretion.
Often times the liver can become overworked, what we call “toxic overload” which could result in: (check in with yourself to see if you relate to any of these symptoms) fatigue, poor skin, constipation and other digestive issues, inconsistent mood, brain fog, insomnia, joint pain, and weight loss resistance.
What can you do?
Following carefully designed program like Food Therapy’s will ensure you are detoxing, gently safely and effectively.
More on this in an article I wrote for the Bay Area Women’s Journal on detoxing: http://www.bayareawj.com/spring-detoxification-cleansing-in-your-everyday-life/