There’s a reason we fall for the marketing of detoxification — we seem hardwired to believe we need it, perhaps related to our susceptibility to ideas of sympathetic magic. Purification rituals date back to the earliest reaches of recorded history. The idea that we’re somehow poisoning ourselves and we need to atone for our sins seems to be a part of human nature, which may explain why it’s still a part of most of the world’s religions. It’s not miasmas or sin that we’re as worried about today, however. As our knowledge of biology grew, these fears manifested as “autointoxication.” Clean out the bowels, went the theory, and you could cure any illness. Science discarded autointoxication by the 1900’s as we gained a better understanding of anatomy, physiology, and the true cause of disease. Yet the term persists today – but now it’s marketing slogan. Today’s version of autointoxication argues that our environment is increasingly toxic, and it’s making us ill. Depending on who you ask, some combination of food additives, salt, meat, fluoride, prescription drugs, smog, vaccine ingredients, GMOs, not “eating clean”, or perhaps not “eating paleo” are causing a buildup of “toxins” in the body. And don’t forget gluten. Gluten is evil and therefore it is a toxin. (Never mind the science.) So what is the actual “toxin” that is causing you vague but apparently real harm? Detox kits and treatments never name the toxins that they remove, because they’ve never been shown to remove toxins. Picking one common drug store detox kit, Renew Life says:
"When going out for fast food, I used to get the large-size value meal. Now, I satisfy a craving by ordering just one item: a small order of fries or a six-piece box of chicken nuggets. So far, I've shaved off 16 pounds in seven weeks, and I'm on track to being thinner than my high school self for my 10-year reunion later this year." —Miranda Jarrell, Birmingham, AL
Fathi, Y., Faghih, S., Zibaeenezhad, M. J., & Tabatabaei, S. H. (2016, February). Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: A randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Nutrition, 55(1), 295–304. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-015-0846-9
Cut out grains for three weeks. As much as we love carbs, "most grains have a fairly high glycemic index, meaning that after one to two hours, your blood sugar surges," says Dr. Gottfried. "Unfortunately, foods that spike your blood sugar are chemically addictive. They spur inﬂammation in your body and keep you in a downward spiral of craving that can ultimately lead to a growing waistline." To break the cycle, try scratching grains for less than a month, and pay attention to how your body reacts to the change.
It’s easy to get drawn into the marketing of detoxes or cleanses (the two are basically interchangeable these days, both terms are used by those who shill them); they’re everywhere, doesn’t that make them scientific? Some of them claim to help you lose weight, some say they treat diseases, and some just … make you less toxic? Align your chi with your wallpaper? Organize your closet and tell your BFF that yes, her passive-aggressive Facebook status messages about her ex have been lame since about two minutes past the age of 15?
The roles of the other organs are just as important. It’s the liver’s job to filter and excrete waste, hormones, drugs, and other foreign substances. The lungs help remove carbon dioxide (the waste gas resulting from breathing). The large intestine has several important jobs. It absorbs water and remaining nutrients from food. It also converts waste into stool to be expelled from the body through defecation. The kidneys filter the blood and help remove waste from the body through urination.
Additionally, even juices without added sugar tend to be high on the glycemic index, which means your blood glucose levels will spike and then fall dramatically after consuming them, particularly without other food in your stomach to blunt this effect. That can lead to hunger and fatigue. Also, says Gans, “If you’re on them too long, you’ll be missing out on important nutrients, which can put you at risk for malnutrition.
Some detoxes target the other end of your digestive tract with products and supplements that claim to cleanse the colon by promoting bowel movements. They often identify “waste buildup” as a problem, though there’s no evidence to suggest this is true. In fact, research has suggested the opposite, including one study published in The Journal of Family Practice that found colon cleansing could actually have detrimental health effects. (3)
How much fiber should I eat per day? Most Americans eat less fiber than the USDA daily recommendations suggest. This article looks at the guidelines for fiber intake in men, women, and children. We also talk about how fiber can help with weight loss, and discuss how much fiber is too much. Learn about good sources of dietary fiber and a handy meal plan. Read now
But what if you’re not ready to cut out your favorite cookies or forego a single chip? “Even if you change nothing else in your diet, you’re still getting the phytonutrients, chemicals, and as-yet unknown nutrients [in produce] that can help protect you from cancer, diabetes, and heart disease,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Water is the force of life. Understanding this may be the most important part of any detox routine. Our bodies are roughly two-thirds water so we must make sure we are replenishing our systems with fresh, filtered water on a regular basis. In addition to flushing our primary detox organs (liver and kidneys), water, combined with heat and or exercise, drives one of the most important and scientifically proven detox methods—sauna.
Finding something you enjoy is an important component to any fitness routine, too, because—duh—it means you'll be more likely to stick with it. So if running isn't your thing, don't sweat it—try a Zumba class, or meet girlfriends for Spin after work. (You could even try working out according to your Zodiac sign.) "You might get results from something you hate, but those results won't last," says Jess Sims, C.P.T., a Fhit Pro trainer at Fhitting Room in New York City. And don't be afraid to branch out and see if there's something else to love. "Varying your workouts will help keep you entertained and help you progress because your body doesn't get used to the same movements," adds Sims. Plain and simple: There's no one-size-fits-all workout, so don't box yourself in.
An animal's metabolism can produce harmful substances which it can then make less toxic through reduction, oxidation (collectively known as redox reactions), conjugation and excretion of molecules from cells or tissues. This is called xenobiotic metabolism. Enzymes that are important in detoxification metabolism include cytochrome P450 oxidases, UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, and glutathione S-transferases. These processes are particularly well-studied as part of drug metabolism, as they influence the pharmacokinetics of a drug in the body.
Since oats are slow digesting carbs, they’re a great pre-workout smoothie enhancer for lasting energy on the road or at the gym. This mix also features kefir, a probiotic-packed drink that may help support immunity and better digestion. [The influence of probiotic fermented milk product on colon microbiota, hematological parameters and cell immunity in rats]. Kuznetsova GG, Trushina ÉN, Muatafina OK. Voprosy pitaniia, 2012, Oct.;81(3):0042-8833. Note: This smoothie has a thick, doughy consistency unlike fruit- and ice-based ones.
Think about it. Maybe you’re in a 3 p.m. slump and want a snack to get you through to dinner. Which will fill your belly better, a palmful of potato chips with 155 calories, or three cups of whole strawberries with 138 calories? A can of sweetened cola at 136 calories, or a heaping cup of grapes with about the same number? In each case, the produce lets you eat a lot more, fills you up fast, and keeps you full longer.
Additionally, when applied topically to the skin in small amounts, grapefruit essential oil is an excellent diuretic and lymphatic stimulant — one reason why it’s included in many cellulite creams and blends for dry brushing. All of these benefits can be obtained from using several drops of pure grapefruit essential oil either diffused in your office/home, added to shower or bath, or massaged with a carrier oil onto your chest and wrists. Try this when a craving strikes, and you might just find you’re able to pass on the snacks.
Well, I discovered something that quickly changed our lives— green smoothies. This blended drink of fresh fruits and dark leafy greens gave us energy, a fast healthy meal and transformed our bodies from the inside out. No joke. And our free Simple 7 is how we made this healthy habit really stick for the past 2 1/2 years… and going strong. Now we have over 500,000 people from all around the world hooked on the green smoothie lifestyle too. I hope you’ll join us!
Consider weight loss a side effect or extra bonus of being healthy. Focus on getting your body in balance, eliminate any factors that may be contributing to your weight issue, and be gentle with your body. First examine your diet and toxic exposure and make changes where appropriate. Also, look at your exercise and sleep patterns. Having a positive and accepting attitude is critical when it comes to weight loss. The mind is intimately connected with the body, which is also another reason that chronic stress can be a contributing factor for hindering fat loss. Then consider adding a few of the fat loss supporting supplements mentioned above. Explore your individual situation and determine what will work best for you for healthy, permanent weight loss.
Immediate weight loss is not uncommon after a detox, especially one that involves a laxative. Unfortunately this is usually due to losses in water and possibly muscle tissue, depending on the how disruptive the detox was to normal body function. Regardless of the weight loss, the body will move back to its pre-detox weight over time if diet and activity levels remain the same.
Vitamin B Complex: Collectively the B-vitamin complex supports the brain, intestines, and liver, as well as providing nutritional support for healthy metabolism, helping increase energy, and aiding digestion. Unfortunately, factors such as stress, a poor diet (high in sugar and refined foods) and poor lifestyle choices, can deplete the body’s stores of the B vitamins. 3 Find a B complex formula and follow the directions on the bottle.
I may try the cherry smoothie today! Being obsessed with your youthful glow green smoothie I HAVE noticed a difference. (I add a tsp of honey for add’l sweetness – doesn’t need it, but my sweet tooth likes it) First of all, I crave it morning and night, and I feel great knowing I can drink a salad twice a day. Great job on your website, Melissa! Your pictures, recipes, and blogs are fantastic!
In the book Triumph Over Disease, Jack Goldstein, DPM, outlines his true story in overcoming ulcerative colitis by sticking to strict water fasting and a vegetarian diet. Goldstein is one of very few people who has tested his own tongue scrapings, urine, feces, even perspiration during a water fast, Strychacz says. "He found that the contents [during a fast] are different than normal -- that toxins like DDT do get removed."