The Truth About Detoxes

Have you ever thought about blinking? The cool thing is, we don't have to. It just happens. Breathing, blinking, digesting - our bodies have natural signals to make all these processes occur. Likewise, our organs cleanse us in the background. So why do a detox if our body already cleanses itself?

Let's do a mindfulness exercise. Consciously think about blinking. Keep your eyes open like you're having a staring contest with this screen. Don't blink. Do your eyes feel tingly, watery? Does it feel pleasant, not allowing your body to do what it's meant to do? Keep holding them open. Now let yourself blink.

Detoxes work the same way. Our body filters out toxins, but if we flood our bodies with sugary, processed, fried or gmo foods and deprive our bodies of essential nutrients, it puts a stress on our systems. Like not allowing yourself to blink, you're keeping your body from functioning optimally.

Many detoxes preach liquid diets, flooding your body with nutrients and giving your digestive system a break. In the short term, this may make you feel a surge of energy, but when you enter into a restrictive mindset, it doesn't set you up for longterm success. While it's great that you spent five days consuming ridiculous quantities of liquid kale, if you go right back to eating crap afterwards, how is this helpful?

That type of detox is not sustainable as a longterm way of living and so, it doesn't work. We drink our juice, or bone broth, or lemon cayenne water and hope that it will magically change us. But, often it doesn't.

What if, instead, we consciously chose to reset our bodies, our mindsets around food to one comprised mainly of eating real, whole fruits and vegetables? Instead of giving our digestive systems a break with liquid diets, or overly restrictive plans that are only meant to last for 30 days, why not decide to eat well, well, everyday.

We live in a world where the food industry can't be trusted. In the 90s, we had the fat free craze. The food industry demonized fat, and created a slew of low fat foods, and loaded these foods with a new, lesser evil, sugar. The American Heart Association was all on board. The research was funded by none other than The International Sugar Institute. Does it all sound a little too conspiracy theory? Well, guess what, they're at it again! The AHA now purports that coconut oil is the new no-go, and at a cursory glance, it seems plausible. But the funding for this study also reveals a different depth, because The Canola Oil Council played a large role in making it happen.

Pick a few packaged foods in your pantry and look at the labels. Maybe a granola bar, or your favorite spread, a pasta sauce, a yogurt. How many of those have added sugar? Now think about how many packaged foods you consume in a day, unknowingly laced with sugar.

Rather than do a one week juice cleanse, I invite you to join me in reclaiming our health and vitality. In honor of the impending holiday of gluttony, Thanksgiving, I will be completing a Sugar Reset.

This doesn't mean I am giving anything up. Instead, I'm replacing all those packaged foods with real foods. Because my system doesn't need a break from digesting, it needs a break from being abused with fillers, preservatives, pesticides and added sugars.

People either praise detoxes or deem detox a dirty word. But, the truth about detoxes is they are what we make of them. I choose, rather than deprivation, to decide my health is a priority. To decide not to include ingredients and additives which put extra stress on my system. That same system which is trying really hard to provide me with a long, healthy life. I am not getting less of anything, but rather more of what my body really needs. Real nutrients that are real good.

If you're interested in joining me in a November Sugar Reset, message @libyoga on instagram. Over the course of the sugar reset I will be sharing sugar-free real food recipes and my own experiences. Let's all support one another in making healthy choices!

Rachel MusserComment