No one says it better than David Wolfe;
“It’s time to clean up. It’s time to turn away from the idea of better living through chemistry and move toward the idea of better living through nature.”
He then goes on to say, “Since 1940 we have created more than 75,000 synthetic chemicals and released them into the environment and the food chain.” No wonder detox or “cleanse diets” have become so popular.
As a naturopath, I try to teach my clients to live a “detoxifying lifestyle”, which really just requires that we eat high-quality green plant food (organic green vegetables and fruits ) or which helps to clean out our bodies and rebuild at the same time. If everyone ate like this most of the time (avoiding processed foods), drank a good amount of high quality water, and practiced meditation at least once a week, a detox or cleanse would not be necessary. Yet most of the population does not.
There is no question that our health care system is challenged daily, with new methods of protecting and healing the body. Trying to decide what to do to feel better is more confusing than ever. This is why a detox diet has become so popular. Detoxing is good way to kick start the metabolism and begin on a new path to wellness. The only problem is that too many people go full force on either a strict juice fast or a water fast without proper guidance. As a result they often fail due to a negative cleansing reaction. Let’s talk about that!
We’re constantly being sold on the latest and greatest detox/cleanse diets. The reasons for detoxing include kick-starting your metabolism (especially if you are looking to shed some body fat), giving your digestive system a rest from all the work it does, and to test your will power. The best time to do a detox is when we are experiencing a seasonal change, going with the flow of Mother Nature.
The best length of time to detox or fast is between 3 and 7 days, but you should always do so under the guidance of a certified practitioner. If someone gravitates too quickly to a juice fast, for example, and they do not even eat salads, they will experience very negative cleansing reactions. One must tread gently. When I have a client who would like to experience a detox or cleanse, I insist that they take it slow.
The first step in a detox is to eliminate dairy, meat, and complex carbohydrates. Once they can do this for a few days, we introduce raw fruits and vegetables and then the juicing. If someone wanted to detox for a full week, seven days, then I would say that over the first three, they should eliminate all cooked foods. The next 2 days they should have one organic salad and balance of the day juicing. The last 2 days should be just juice. It is also very important to not go too “green” right away. A softer approach for the digestive system is to combine orange/yellow vegetables with the green initially. Of course, drinking lots of filtered water throughout the day is encouraged while detoxing.
My favorite juice recipe to get started is:
- 1 Kale or Swiss Chard
- 3 Carrots
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 piece of Ginger
- 1 Apple or Pear
- 1/2 a Lemon
After one week of eliminating all processed and cooked foods, you should feel fantastic, full of energy, and your skin should be glowing!
By Frances Michaelson
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