Ok. So let’s face it…many of us would like to feel better. All you have to do is look around at articles, books, videos, etc. to see that finding more energy and feeling better sells. And, for good reason! Wouldn’t we all like to wake up feeing pumped about the new day? Thinking that we are finally going to reach our goals for ourselves in terms of weight control, healthy eating, and overall health and well-being?
Meanwhile, in today’s world there is an increasing awareness that our environment is full of potential hazards. There’s industrial and agricultural pollution, pesticides, food additives, and processed/altered foods to name a few. And people are more aware of potential transmission of germs and bacteria in public places.
On top of that, the stats on how many people are suffering with some sort of gastro-intestinal distress on a regular basis is astonishing. According to one study published in 2013, a whopping 72% of Americans said that they experience some sort of digestive disturbance at least several times a month.
Enter, the cleanse/detox.
There is no standard definition or process involved with a cleanse/detox, but most involve elimination of nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, food additives, and refined foods. Some consist of mostly liquids, or encourage added fiber, raw vegetables, herbal treatments, probiotics, antioxidants or even laxatives or enemas. The idea here is to purge all the nooks and crannies of your body of harmful toxins.
In actual fact, there is no evidence that these techniques actually do that. Your body has a natural system already in place to take care of toxins. Your liver and kidneys are the major players in that endeavor, helped along by your lymph system, lungs, and skin (sweat).
There are some other factors at work here. Some toxins are excreted because they are water-soluble. But a larger percentage of toxins that we encounter are actually fat-soluble. Meaning, they are stored in fat. How do you get rid of these? By losing weight.
One more thing. Your intestines. In a perfect world, they send toxins back to the liver to be converted into something else or tucked safely away. If your gut bacteria are not particularly healthy, or you are short on dietary fiber, toxins can hang out in your intestines and are potentially damaging to the tissues there. So, taking good care of your gut is another way to keep toxins at bay.
What are people looking for when they sign up for a cleanse?
So, let’s go back to the beginning. What are people looking for when they sign up for a cleanse? What would YOU be looking for? More energy? Increased feelings of well-being? Kick-start to weight loss or a habit change? Feeling like you are doing something positive for your health? In that case, you could ask yourself if you have set yourself up for a long-term change. What would you be doing after you get done cleansing?
OK, so here’s the kicker. I would put it to you that what really works for keeping your body healthy and keeping toxins at bay would be to take the essence of cleanse principles and apply them to how you treat yourself all the time. In other words, eliminate or cut down on the evil meanies mentioned above. Nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, food additives, and refined and processed foods. Eat lots of fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, healthy oils, and keep red meat to a minimum. If you feel the need, supplement with a probiotic to ensure that your gut bacteria are in good order.
Here’s another kicker (you could have predicted this one from me). Exercise more, move more, and yes, consider sweating more when you do it! You would be breathing harder (lungs at work releasing toxins), getting more blood circulation (always a good thing), moving your intestinal track more (helps elimination), feeling better, getting more energy, and doing something fantastic for your health and well-being. One last thing: A cool thing about doing a cleanse can be that it puts you in touch with what your body can do on it’s own, without additives, preservatives, stimulants, or refined carbohydrates. In a way, this is the kind of awareness that you also get from exercise. You find out what your body is capable of, given the chance. This is a fantastic side effect that boosts confidence, brain function, feelings of well being, and so much more. So, give it a go. Take a look at the big picture, get the facts, and figure out the best way to get what you really want for you and your health.
Have you considered a cleanse? Drop me an email with any comments.
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