I've been noticing in the media lately that 'Detoxing' has become very cool again, all the celebrity diets are telling me so - was it ever out of fashion? I looked up the meaning of detox to find out what all the hoo ha is about.
1. the metabolic process by which toxins or poisons are changed into less toxic or more readily excreted substances.
2. the process of withdrawing a person from dependence on a habituating drug.
3. treatment for poisoning by neutralizing the toxic properties (normally a function of the liver)
4. poison, poisonous substance, toxicant - any substance that causes injury or illness or death of a living organism
Yikes! What have we done to ourselves that requires such an extreme response?
Flicking through a recent Harpers Bazaar, I noticed an article "Big event looming? Read on for emergency tips and treatments for looking fresher, younger and more glowing in 48 hours. No needles required".
Interesting, I thought, I wonder what their tips are?
1. Focus on eating plants. "Meat and dairy have been shown to be inflammatory to the body, causing your skin to look dull and dry".
2. Avoid sugar. "It promotes a chemical reaction, called glycation, which damages skin cells, decreasing firmness and elasticity and and making wrinkles look more prominent".
3. Skip caffeine and alcohol. "Alcohol turns to sugar in the body and caffeine causes inflammation".
4. Drink lots of water. "Hydrated skin looks more plump and supple".
5. Say no to salt. "Salt causes water retention and skin puffiness, which makes you look years older than you really are".
Wise words. And fascinating that I already knew these facts. In years past, I didn't want to hear the truth of them, but they have been on the pages of our beauty mags for the last sixty years! My mum used to tell me this too.
So if we already know, why do we still poison ourselves with the very things that make us feel terrible and then we need to spend hundreds of dollars and pounds on the 'miracle detox'?
Last weekend, while I was at my local health food store stocking up on coconut oil and rosehip tea, a chap was handing over £500 on a vitamin detox program for a month - and he said it was less than his booze intake over that time so it wasn't an issue. To be honest, he really didn't look at all well - puffy, bloated body and face, pale skin, dark circles under his eyes with an anxious disposition and biting his finger nails the whole time.
"I'm going off coffee too, for a total cleanse - a month break from everything and I will be back in shape. I'm going to the gym as well. I really want to get into shape"
We can't take the sleeplessness, exhaustion, lethargy, skin irritations, stomach and digestion issues any longer and we immediately put ourselves onto a 'detox' to give the body a rest from the abuse and start to heal. We feel better after a few weeks, start to feel the pulse of clarity running through our veins ...
• Smells become stronger and food tastes better
• Sleep becomes more restful and recuperating
• Emotions becomes less erratic
• Acceptance of others is easier
• Our digestion is more efficient
• Our eyes and skin are clearer and more alive
Our bodies start to heal and we start to feel amazing ... the challenge is that it takes much longer than the month, or six weeks if we are dedicated, to heal the effect of our abusive behaviour we inflict on our body. It can take years. In my case it took about 5 years for my digestion to come back to harmony.
Our social and addiction cravings are strong and the lure of the pub and the expectations of our friends/family/co-workers/partners hook us back into the web we have woven.
Only you know why - that lure is different for everyone - and only you can stop the roller coaster of poisoning myself then detoxing - I know for me that it is better to heal than to harm my body.
Here's a lovely and tasty salad that is delicious and healing on the digestive system.
Finely sliced fresh spinach and fennel
Finely sliced celery tips and leaves
Chopped macadamia nuts
Ground black pepper
Macadamia nut oil or olive oil
Served with a tin of chilli infused tuna and avocado chunked into a white bowl and eaten at my desk.