Who really enjoys doing a 3/5/7 day green smoothie detox..? The headaches, the disgusting green juices, the hunger pains, the life disruption, the light headedness, the lack of focus, the nausea, the bowel movements… Or you could do it without the deprivation and have a colonic irrigation procedure.. Some people swear by it, some people endure it for their health’s sake, some people have never done one and wont! Seems to be almost fashionable these days. It was part of my protocol when I first started bodybuilding so I have done a few however with my gut issues and the last one I did saw me vomiting on a peak hour bus… I have not revisited doing another one and wont anytime soon. However, I am passionate about detoxing not just for weight loss but for premium health and ensure I incorporate into my daily routine. What? Detoxing without days of green hell?!
Before I share with you my tips I wanted to briefly go into why detoxing is so important. So let’s go back in time, way back in time to cave man days. If we look at our ancestors bodies, relatively little has changed on a biological level to the bodies we own today. Now have a think about the foods they ate and the environment in which they lived. Vastly different to today! There is no doubt that we enjoy incredible benefits of modern day living however there is a price that we pay and most of us are not even aware of it.
The toxic load that our Stone Age bodies endure every day is enormous. This incredible machine we own works tirelessly to digest and process what in Stone Age terms are space age foreign substances; some it does, clever machine that it is, but some are stored until it can figure out how to process and eliminate. And guess where these toxins are often stored…? In your fat cells! And your body will create more fat cells to store more toxins.. And with continual bombardment of more toxins on a daily basis the number coming in is faster than your body can figure out how to eliminate. And in some cases it never figures it out. So the number of storage units aka fat cells grows along with the number on your scales!
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison” – Ann Wigmore
So where do all these toxins come from? Here are 10 avenues that chemical substances enter our bodies:
- Whole Food – if you are not buying organic produce then every crop is not only sprayed with dangerous levels of pesticides and herbicides but may also be genetically modified to produce a luscious, aesthetically appealing crop. I am old enough to remember when strawberries and tomatoes were not nearly as big as they are today…. We are recreating nature to suit our modern day demands. Farmers are no different to the rest of us trying to make a living and like any business, reacting to supply and demand. If the farmer down the road is producing a crop 10 times bigger and tastier then competition will drive them to seek more and more chemicals & modifications to support a profitable crop. Same goes with non-organic livestock and while pesticides are not directly sprayed on the animal they will be injected with growth hormones and antibiotics as well as consuming produce that have been laced with pesticides. Again with the same profitable goal in mind.
- Non sustainable farming practises – sees all the repercussions of the above absorbed by the soil and environment. The impact this has globally is huge (and a major contributor to global warming) but as far as your body is concerned it means that fields are not only continually overused which depletes the mineral resources within the soil but the chemicals continually being sprayed are being absorbed directly into the earth. This results in not only crops absorbing more chemicals but reduced nutrients within the soil and why nearly all of us are deficient in such minerals as magnesium.
- Processed/manufactured food – this is any food in a box/packet/bag/container/can and is generally made in a factory rather than grown on a farm. Manmade food is literally laden with chemicals, preservatives and additives. Have a read of the ingredient list; do you recognise anything listed…? It reads more like a chemistry experiment!
- Beauty & Personal Care Products – main stream brands are 100% chemicals. This includes deodorants, make up, perfume, soap, aftershave, shaving cream, moisturiser, toothpaste, shampoo; basically anything in your bathroom. Whatever we put on our body is absorbed by our skin and these chemicals enter our blood stream. Again, have a look at the ingredient list; would you eat anything listed….?
- Household Cleaning Products – goes without saying that these are chemicals. But have a think about the fumes, the surfaces we spray to clean and then eat from or wash from, the air freshener we spray into the air; we may have gotten rid of the germs and nasty smells but what chemicals have we replaced them with…? This also directly impacts the environment as all these chemicals are washed down the drain and may be recycled back into the water system.
- Water – Do you really know where your water comes from and what chemical process it goes through before it comes out of your tap…? Tap water may contain residual chemicals from the so called purification process plus hormones and pesticides from unsustainable farming practices as mentioned. And what about the quality of the pipes that deliver the water to our homes..? How often do you think they are dug up, cleaned and/or replaced…? Fluoride is now identified as toxic and it is added to our water! Bottled water is also not safe as the chemicals in the plastic can leach into the water particularly when left out in the sun.
- Air Pollution – cars, buses, trucks, planes, power plants, industrial facilities; at least with this one we can now see the pollution in the air.
- Electro-magnetic radiation – Computers, mobile phones, Fitbits, microwave ovens all omit radioactive waves. Think about all the information that is literally flying through the air. Our poor Stone Age bodies don’t have a clue what these are! And yet we are exposed to these radio waves almost 24/7!
- Medications – match the pill to the ill. We reach for drugs at the slightest sign of ailment which generally just masks the symptom. Why do we take in more toxins rather than searching for a natural, Stone Age body friendly alternatives first…? Sure the drug may fix our problems but there are always repercussions for drug use.
- Smoking/Alcohol – don’t think I need to go further into these two…
Do you recall seeing any of these points in the history books with our cave man ancestors…? And while our bodies are super-efficient machines and we all process these toxins differently there is a growing concern that this overload is the cause of many modern day illnesses some of them fatal.
I know for the majority of my life I just assumed that if all these products were on the shelves to buy they must be safe. Surely there is a government watch dog ensuring we are protected from any nasties that would endanger our health? But the truth is the regulations that do exist are very, very loose. Our society is ruled by business, big business and with the main goal of business to make a profit… and with no one policing the toxic levels of chemicals in these products our health is the price we pay. And we are all getting sicker and fatter…
Once upon a time we were not warned of the dangers of smoking and sunbaking. It wasn’t until science proved that deaths were being caused by these two lifestyle habits that the messages we were being given by main stream media changed. I think we are all aware of the law suits against tobacco companies. Have a think about the ramifications if it is scientifically stated that many of our modern day illness are caused by the above points…? Many scientists already believe this but how do we navigate the structure of society to accommodate? These are all huge political questions that I am not going to go into here! The tide is slowly turning on the food industry and the businesses responsible for all these chemicals. If you haven’t watched Food Matters or Hungry for Change yet I strongly recommend you do!
Back to the purpose of this post which is how do we support our bodies to efficiently eliminate all these toxins to promote weight loss! Without the green smoothies for days or a very uncomfortable procedure. Although you will no doubt feel amazing after enduring one of these, and you will lose weight, if you return to your bad habits then you will wind up right back where you started and having to do another cleanse/procedure in a few months time. Incorporating the below into your everyday routine will support your Stone Age body to process these space age substances.
My top 14 tips to Detox for Weight Loss:
- Warm lemon juice – first thing in the morning. Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials in part because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Therefore toxins are released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates the liver and aids in detoxification. Add a dash of bi-carb soda to further enhance these benefits.
- Water – filtered water! And lots of it. Our bodies need a minimum of 2 litres a day just to function effectively. Drinking adequate amounts of water will not only improve your overall health but is key to supporting the liver and kidneys to flush out toxins.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (with the mother!) – half an hour before a meal. Cleanses the body and kills nasty bacteria, aids in digestion and cleaning of the intestines.
- Breathe Deeply – to allow oxygen to circulate thoroughly throughout your entire system assisting your blood to flush out toxins. Air pollution can often reside within the lungs and taking deep breathes assists in elimination.
- Sauna – toxins are also released through the skin via perspiration. A weekly sauna promotes deep cleansing and additional perspiration to eliminate toxins.
- Massage – pushes on pressure points where toxins can often build up as lactic acid and cause pain and tightness. A regular massage improves circulation that aids the blood to remove toxins. Drink additional water after a massage to support this process.
- Exercise – Physical movement stimulates internal movement of the body assisting in flushing out toxins alongside an increase in perspiration and water intake.
- Dry skin brush – just before showering exfoliate to remove dead skin and promote the release of toxins through the skin.
- Green tea – loaded with anti-oxidants that actually go after the toxins in your body to support elimination.
- Go organic – imagine the toxins you would eliminate from your daily intake from the ten points above if you simply swapped to all natural, organic produce and products..
- Sup it Up – there are numerous supplements that will support your body to eliminate toxins. I take glutathione, green tea extract, turmeric and probiotics.
- Sleep – sleep is a time when the body rests, rejuvenates and recharges giving your body a break. With no food coming in it allows your body to catch up on elimination and processing of toxins. Aim for 7-8 hours every night.
- Eliminate Sugar – sugar increases your toxic load as it has an oxidant affect which has the opposite effect of an antioxidant. It is as addictive as cocaine and many would argue is just as toxic.
- Fasting – a controversial one but worth mentioning. Fasting can have many health benefits whether for a day or the evening meal. Gives the body a rest however many would argue that nutrients are needed to aid in detoxification. Do your own research and work out what is best for you.
I am sure I would still benefit from a juice cleanse or colonic irrigation procedure but I will pass… My body is the healthiest it has ever been, my last blood test results had my doctor in awe at some of my markers and how efficiently my body runs in particular my liver. And as I believe that stress plays a huge part in our health; I don’t think I am alone in feeling stressed and anxious at the prospect of a green juice detox for days!
What do you do to detox? Maybe you enjoy the greenness for a few days? If you have any other methods do share below!