Top reasons a detox is vital to health

The word “detox” gets thrown around a lot in the health and wellness industry.

And, for good reason.

From a disease prevention perspective, detox is vital to protecting your health. If you can clear debris and prevent disease BEFORE it takes root, you can save yourself a ton of money on medical bills, and feel happier and healthier in your body, mind, and spirit.

If you are wondering what a detox is, here’s the literal definition:

“A process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances.”

I know you may be thinking…

“I’m into health and wellness, I eat organic veggies and grass-fed products, I don’t use chemicals on my skin, and I don’t drink or smoke, so I don’t need to detox.”

But, I’m going to recommend that no matter how well you eat or live, it’s wise to do an intentional detox at least one time per year.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how healthfully you eat, or whether you live in the country or a big city, or how “clean” you think your lifestyle is, your body is going to be exposed to toxins both externally from our environment (in the air, water, and soil), and internally through our own metabolic waste and the simple process of eating food.

We Live in a Toxic Environment. Is Your Body Prepared?

Since we cannot avoid toxins, we need to ensure that our detoxification pathways are uninhibited and flowing well so that we do NOT accumulate debris and waste inside our body.

When we accumulate toxins, we get sick with disease.

Below are some signs you need to detox:

  1. Digestive problems, bloating, constipation
  2. Fatty deposits under the skin (lipomas)
  3. Muscular tension (head, neck, shoulders, hips)
  4. Allergies and environmental sensitivities
  5. Chronic headaches
  6. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes
  7. Gallstones and kidney stones
  8. Easily angered and irritable
  9. Brain fog and confusion
  10. Lack of creativity

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s an indicator that you are a prime candidate to detox, cleanse, and reset your system.

How do we detox?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, to detox means to “abstain.”

If you smoke, you would STOP smoking. This would give your body a break from nicotine so it can clear the lungs, naturally detox that system, and start regenerating new cell growth.

If you drink alcohol, you would STOP drinking alcohol for a period of time. When you abstain from alcohol you give your liver a break from metabolizing alcohol – which we all know is toxic.

If you do drugs, you would STOP taking them (both street and prescription) and your body would naturally start the detoxification process on its own.

And finally, if you eat food, like so many of us do for survival, no matter how healthy that food is, you would STOP eating it for a period of time. This gives your digestive system a chance to clear the toxic waste and reset your microbiome.

I know the thought of abstaining from food can seem impossible to understand. Especially, when millions of people live in a state of food abundance and eat three meals per day, every day, plus snacks 365 days per year for many, many years.

Eating food is part of the world’s economy.

BUT, the vast majority of diseases that people are struggling with today are due to an EXCESS of food, not due to a deficiency of food.

Detoxing is NOT necessarily about putting things into your body, it’s more about taking things out. It’s the removal of substances that frees your body up to detox itself and heal.

Now that you understand the best way to detox your body is by abstaining from food, let’s talk about fasting.

When I was growing up, we would fast during Lent. For those of you that are not Catholic, Lent is the 40-day period before Easter. That religious fast traditionally consisted of seven weeks during the spring where followers would abstain from eating animals (meats, poultry, game) and any products from animals (milk, cheese, eggs, fish, and seafood). Wine and olive oil were also restricted during the fast.

By the 1970’s, the fasting rules had been relaxed and it was no meat on Fridays (abstaining from meat), and you needed to give something up. It had to be something you really loved – like chocolate, candy, or television.

You weren’t allowed to abstain from broccoli, or cauliflower, or homework, or anything that was easy to give up.

So, my early fasting experiences were torturous for me, and I failed every year.

But, as an adult, when it comes to my health and wellness, fasting is VERY important to me. I understand the benefits for my body, mind, and spirit.

Fasting Benefits:

  • Supports digestive health and resets your microbiome
  • Triggers autophagy (the body’s self-cleaning, self-healing process)
  • Clears the creative channel for deeper/clearer connection

Now that you know the benefits, let’s look at some of the BEST ways to fast to get your detox in motion.

INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting is all the rage for the past few years.

Intermittent fasting is everywhere, all over the social feeds, and on YouTube. Everyone is talking about the benefits of this type of fast.

BUT, it’s actually not something new. Intermittent fasting is how people lived when they didn’t have an abundance of food.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate intermittent fasting is to simply STOP eating at 6pm – 7pm at night, and then don’t eat again until 9am – 10am the following morning.

That’s a 15 hour fast.

When you eat food late at night, you don’t give your body a chance to clean itself. So instead of triggering autophagy while you sleep, if you eat at night, your digestive system and your liver are working to metabolize and digest nutrients.

Eating at night doesn’t give your body a chance to clean house.

By the way, this nighttime intermittent fast is where the word breakfast comes from. Breakfast literally means… BREAK-FAST.

I’ve personally been doing this fast for over 20 years and I highly recommend it.

SWEET VEGETABLE BROTH

Sweet Veggie broth fasting – I remember doing this fast when I was macrobiotic about 25 years ago.

It was simply sweet vegetables, like onions, carrots, squash, and cabbage, chopped and simmered for 30 minutes.

You would sip on this broth all day. We did this fast if we had a headache, body aches, period cramps, or insatiable sweet cravings.

It was like the miracle drink that no-one was talking about in the mainstream medicine world.

One of the ways it works is that it feeds the good bacteria living in your gut. They are craving carbohydrates and sweets. You would simply give those hungry little critters some better quality sweets.

You could certainly give your gut bugs a daily serving of chocolate, but that probably won’t serve your body in the long run.

JUICING

Juice fasting – Joe Cross popularized this type of fasting in his movie: Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. He did a 60-day juice fast and transformed his health from morbidly obese, and struggling with disease and inflammation to losing weight, ditching his medications, and promoting juice-fasting around the world.

I think juice fasting is highly beneficial.

BUT… it’s not for everyone.

If you are feeling internally cold and struggling with low blood pressure, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, or anemia, this cleanse could make you feel even colder and weaker.

It works initially as the body isn’t wasting energy processing food substances, but if done too long by someone with a deficient system, it can damage your digestive fire, and contribute to more deficiencies and a slower metabolism in the long run.

I recommend juice fasting for folks that are feeling hot and inflamed.

MASTER CLEANSE

Master Cleanse – This cleanse was all the rage in the 1970’s and it’s still popular today.

As a matter of fact, I do a Master Cleanse for 3-7 days every spring.

It consists of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. It’s a brilliant fast!

The lemon is astringent and toning and promotes cellular detoxification. The maple syrup gives you energy and feeds the microbiome. And, the cayenne pepper keeps the blood and circulatory system warm and moving well so that you don’t feel cold from drinking lemonade all day long.

The longest I’ve done Master Cleanse for is about 10 days. I had a friend that did Master Cleanse for 40 days! She’s in her 60’s now and swears that her long Master Cleanse is what kept her hair from going gray.

WATER FAST

Water Fasting: This is the least popular yet most effective of all the fasts.

Contrary to the smiling woman in the picture above, nobody really wants to do a water fast unless… they are shipwrecked on a raft in the middle of the ocean and they don’t have access to anything for hundreds of miles, and they are gathering water using a condensation method.

Water fasting is a tough one.

I did a water fast 10 years ago, when I was doing a parasite cleanse. It was very effective. And, I was literally glowing afterward, my energy was crazy good, and clarity was amazing.

Two of the members inside my community recently did a water fast and said they felt AWESOME! They have glowing skin, more energy, and are feeling lighter in body and mind.

Water fasting is by far the quickest and most effective way to detox your system.

FINISH YOUR DETOX THE RIGHT WAY

Once you complete your detox/fast – it’s imperative that you ease back into food. I know you may want to have a double bacon cheeseburger with fries, but that won’t be the best way to finish your fast.

When you finish fasting and return to eating food, it’s wise to limit animal fat and protein for the first couple of meals to ensure your system is purged from any lingering waste and debris.

Plus, you would incorporate probiotic and prebiotic rich foods to re-set and feed your microbiome.

Some of the best foods to put back into your system first are fiber rich plant-based foods, and there’s a reason for that.

The insoluble fiber in plant-based foods acts like a scrub-brush for your intestines. As the bulk moves through the intestines it picks up any of the leftover debris and toxic waste that is laying around waiting to exit your system.

Soluble fiber, like that in grains like rice, or oats, or barley, or even wheat, softens the bulk and makes it easier to pass out of your colon so you are not straining in any way.

For example, after I completed my 72 hours of Master Cleanse, I finished my detox with a vegetable congee topped with kimchi that is rich in probiotics. It was very easy to digest and supported my system with a final push of toxins out the back door – so to speak.

Detoxing can be painless and easy when you know how to do it right.

MONTHLY CHALLENGE

For the monthly challenge inside my community, we did fasting as a group because no-one likes to fast alone. You’re always the odd ball out when you’re fasting. It seems weird to other people in society when you abstain from food.

When I was in the midst of doing my Master Cleanse, my 26 year old nephew said, “Aunt Fanny why are you fasting? It seems like you are always fasting.”

Now, the truth is, I am NOT always fasting. But, I do intentionally fast 2x per year. And, if I get sick, I will also abstain from food. So that’s an additional 1 or 2x per year. Out of 365 days of the year, I may fast for about 10-14 days maximum.

In a society that is built around food consumption, to abstain from food seems like a strange thing.

But, it’s not strange to the people in my Health is Wealth Community. They understand the benefits of fasting to improve their health.

Members have said that they have never felt better.

Every month inside our community we post another challenge to promote health and wellness.

Do you want to join my thriving health-minded community and detox healthfully and happily, with support?

Check out the details of my community here, and I’ll see you on the inside.