So first I took a pause and talked about Amma and love- which are related to detoxing too! Anger, hatred, being overstressed contribute to an acidic body and toxicity just as processed, overly acidic foods do. We can’t separate the mind and the body, however we can concentrate on the foods that increase metabolism:
So the producers of Good Morning America specifically asked me to talk about two popular cleanses, as examples of the “cleanse” and “detox” craze that seems to be sweeping across America. If you are awake tomorrow around 9 am, please be sure to catch my segment on GMA! Also, today this ARTICLE came out in the Daily News, which I contributed to…on the very same topic! Hmmm, it seems that something is definitely afoot! Well, it’s very interesting because even several years ago, you would not hear these now commonplace terms:
“I’m trying a detox.”
“I’m doing this cleanse.”
“I’m on a detox diet.”
And what is even more interesting is that with the parallel rise of the these terms, there is a marked reduction in the afore uber popular term, “I’m on a diet.”(Which sadly, was really often some form of starvation or a crash diet). Hmmmm…. When we say the word “diet” do we increasingly feel we are trapped into implying that we are heavy, there is a problem with our bodies, or we have some kind of eating disorder?
So…..what of the word that is thrown around “cleanse.” Ahh, it’s the very connotation to the word sounds so light, clean, healthy, and well green. But the problem, more often than not, is that all these various detox and cleanse regimens, for a prescribed amount of time, are really and truly just another sort of DIET.
For one thing, the words “detox” and “cleanse” should not be preceded by articles: we don’t do “a cleanse;” we cleanse. We don’t perform “a detox”; we detoxify. When people talk about “a detox” or “a cleanse,” they’re most likely referring to a program that transpires over the course of days or a few weeks. In my post 4th of July blog (2 blogs down), I touch on this idea a bit- that despite the Hollywood allure of an instant fix, incorporating long-term, gradual improvements is the real way to make any sort of real, long-term progress.
It’s this idea of an instant quick fix that really bothers me. Real cleansing—that is, really ridding the body of many years’ worth of accumulated toxins—is a process that should be undertaken carefully, consciously, and gradually. It’s ongoing, as we are also constantly accumulating new toxins even from the metabolic waste of very healthy, raw food. So real cleansing involves gradual dietary change and long-term dedication. It means the slow and steady incorporation of alkaline foods into the body and the encouraging of healthy digestion and elimination to release old waste. Anything less—especially sudden extremes—is most likely a diet in disguise.
Plans and “detoxes” also tend to suggest that if you eat a certain way for a few days or weeks, you’ll suddenly be instantly clean. If only it were so easy! Detoxification isn’t a quickie process; it’s a journey that can, and should, take a long time. Any effort to speed the process overnight is bound to fail.
So let’s look at these two cleanses I will touch upon on Good Morning America:
The Master Cleanse: In summary, confined to drinking a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup for a number of days.
The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: For 21 days, cutting out the “Big 5,” caffeine, gluten, sugar, animal products and sugar.
So here’s the problem with these two cleanses (and the myriad of other ones floating around out there right now): in a nutshell, too much too quick. To go from the way the average person is eating now to a liquid fast, or cutting out all 5 of those major categories in one fell swoop can be disasterous! I have personally witnessed people getting very, very ill from doing too much immediately. The shock to the body could initially shake up toxins (though to get to the really old, deeper stuff we need to get the body into a more alkaline diet run the risk of drudging up too many toxins too quickly, of shocking your system with the sudden absence of food, or your known food and of reabsorbing toxins that have been awakened in the process.
But the real deal, major problem, is that these trendy fasts and cleanses do nothing to teach the real life skills of detoxification: learning how to eat healing foods each and every day—and stick with it! Unfortunately, many people who go from unhealthy diets to short-term fasts end up going right back to old habits when they finish. How many people do you know, honestly, that did the Master Cleanse, then shifted into a new, much healthier way of eating as a result afterwards? I’m guessing NADA. That’s why it is much more important to learn something we can do every single day, and move us into shifting into progressing towards better dietary lifestyle choices—for the LONG term.
The goal shouldn’t be a “total transformation in 21 days”, but rather a lifetime of improvement. The steps shouldn’t be radical regimes or painful restriction, but rather manageable steps towards overall improvement. (Sigh) Yet as Americans we always seem to be looking for a quick fix. Instead, GET THEE TO THY BLENDER.
True detoxification—the kind that nourishes and heals—is a process that demands patience, a well-informed perspective, and—most of all—an immense respect for one’s body. This kind of detoxification can’t be had in quickie cleanses or spicy lemonade. It’s not that simple, and it’s not that shallow. But it does exist, and can make huge benefits to your health, your energy…oh and yes, also your physique. :)
In love and health,