Spring Cleaning: The down low on detox

It’s officially the first week of Spring. What better way to start than with Spring cleaning our bodies! I can attribute most of my healthy habits to my Soulsista. You know the whole having an older sibling to look up to, well I have been blessed with someone who is quite the healthy living role model.

When I moved out west 8 years ago (yes, following in the Soulsista’s footsteps), she and her husband were doing a detox. I had no idea what it was, but being the older wiser one, she explained a bit about it to me and the idea quickly caught on.

Soulsista and I mountain biking

She then proceeded to buy me a book for Christmas just a few years after.  Since then I have done detoxes off and on, more on than off. I usually do them now when I have had a round of illnesses just like what I have been through. It is a good way for  me to reset my body and immune system, and cleanse myself of residue from antibiotics.

Why Detox?

Detoxification happens naturally within our bodies every day. Our system is in a constant state of detoxification and rejuvenation, utilizing the filtering capabilities of the liver and kidneys to remove unwanted compounds that exist naturally from simply being alive, as well as external toxins such as alcohol and pollution. In order to maintain vibrant health and wellness, we must be able to balance our body’s ability to detoxify with our capability of rejuvenation (Source).

  1. Our food quality is at an all-time low. GMOs have permeated the marketplace, our topsoil is largely at the ocean’s floor, and even organic foods are not as nutritionally dense as they were 50-60 years ago. Our industrial commercialization of the food supply is for the purpose of convenience and commercial profit – NOT health. Consequently, we are consuming far less nutrition from the same apple eaten today as our parents or grandparents did. Our ability to rejuvenate is thus compromised, and our food contaminants are incredibly high.
  2. We are stressed and overstimulated creatures!Finances are on nearly everyone’s mind, we work more hours than ever before and are paid less for those hours. CNN can give you the update on the state of our Union – I don’t need to share this with you. These stressors filter out into our workplace, our relationships, and burden our families. With less downtime to restore ourselves and a greater pressures in our culture, we are all in a chronic low level state of stress. Chronic stress inhibits all of the body’s functions, including metabolism, liver, kidney, lymph detoxification, and cellular rejuvenation.
  3. We encounter extensive pollutants which tax our bodies. Regardless of location, we are all inadvertently exposed and ingesting several man-made compounds that did not exist even 10 years ago. This comes from air, commercial and private buildings, food supply, cosmetics, and many other sources. All of this stress inhibits the body from ridding of toxins AND decreases the absorbability of nutrients we receive from the foods we eat, further taxing the burden on the body via low level malnourishment. (Source)

How to Start?

This is not meant to be a juicing or fasting fest. Instead you should be ridding your organs of radicals and toxins and putting in clean foods. By clean, I mean non GMO, non-processed, whole products. Think the more natural, the simpler, the better. What you eat should not come from a box, and should not contain more than 3 ingredients. As an athlete, it is tough to do a complete cleanse without taking time out of the training schedule, for the mere fact that getting enough calories can be difficult. My advice? Don’t restrict, moderate. Over the years of doing this, I have slowly been able to clean up my diet and change my eating lifestyle.

Basic tenets (That I follow):

1. Buy a detox plan. They run about $15-$30 in any health food store and come with the mixture of herbs necessary to rid your body of toxins. Yup, you will poop a lot. Your body carries an extra of 5-10 lbs of feces and ridding your body of that bacteria is good).

2. Drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning. This stimulates your body and gets things working.

3. Nix the caffeine and alcohol. (I drink two sips of coffee in the morning to stave off the headaches later or sometimes tea in the afternoon if need be).

4.Cut out butter, sauces, dressings, sugar, breads, white wheat (I would still suggest whole wheat pasta if you need carbs as an athlete), and dairy (it adds to the multiple pounds of mucus that we already have in our bodies).

5. Drink 2 quarts of water, minimum a day. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Keep your meals simple but filling.

Are you ready to detox? Ask yourself the following questions (Source):

  • Do you feel sluggish and tired despite adequate sleep?
  • Do you have skin inflammations, achy joints, or seasonal allergies?I would acne to this as well.
  • Are you susceptible to all those illnesses that comes around this time of year? This was me recently!
  • Do you have trouble taking off weight you’ve gained?
  • Do you have digestive issues (such as constipation, loose stools, stomach heaviness, bloating, or cramping, indigestion, etc) that you’ve deemed as ‘normal’ because they occur so often for you?
  • Do you feel groggy or get brain fog after lunch?

Have you detoxed before? Any other tips or factoids that you want to share?

Thinking about detoxing? What other questions do you have?



7 responses to “Spring Cleaning: The down low on detox

  1. Do you have a Detox plan that you normally purchase/would recommend? I have seen a few herbal options where you just take the pills/supplements and drink water. Is that was you normally use? I’ve been wanting to do a detox for a while but can’t do the juice/smoothie thing… Thanks!

  2. Once I stopped thinking of crap food as ‘treats’ it got a whole lot easier to eat clean. These are some great tips for detoxing.

  3. I have been thinking of doing an anti-bloat cleanse that your description pretty much covers (though lactose-free milk is allowed). I’ve never done a cleanse with pills as you describe in the comment above. Given that I’m benched right now, this is a good time to experiment with that. How long do you typically take the pills? Do you take vitamins too?

    • Cleanses that you buy last 7-14 days, depending on how much you think you need or how long you think you will last. I think your recovery time right now is perfect because you are burning less calories and you won’t have as many cravings. It’s a good time to hit the “reset” button.

Thoughts? Ideas? Questions? I love hearing from you all!

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