Detox For Health And Beauty

   Some of you have asked me to write about detox. I'm no expert on the subject, however I'll write about the couple of methods that I have experience with.
   Our food is often quite a burden for our bodies: highly processed ingredients, high amounts of sugar and salt, caffeine, alcohol, artificial additives -- our bodies were not made to cope with all of that. Many of us also have a hard time digesting lactose and gluten. Eating unhealthy stuff also reflects on our hair and skin -- for example every time I overdo on the sugar, I get breakouts on my forehead. Sugar has also been proven to age the skin. On the other hand, the most amazing skin I have seen was on raw vegans -- they had a very clean diet and their skin was almost translucent.

    A detox gives the body a break from crappy food, and a short holiday from the hard work of digesting stuff gives your system time to regenerate. The three kinds of detoxes I have tried are: fasting, giving up a certain food for a certain time, and the colon cleanse.


    I often fast for a day when my stomach feels queasy. In fact I am fasting today because my digestion has been giving me trouble yesterday. When the body has a break from food for a day, it can do "maintenance work" on your digestive system and move toxins and stuff that has been rotting away in the corners of your digestive tract. On a day of fasting I don't eat anything, and I only drink water or herbal teas. It's not so hard to do: once I have decided in advance that I'm not going to eat that day, it's easier to ignore the hunger pangs. Also, I think it's  a good opportunity to train my will-power.
    I've also done longer fasts a couple of times -- for a week, to be exact. After the first 2-3 days the hunger stops, and I felt very light and energetic.
    You can also do a version of fasting where you only drink fruit and vegetable juices; or only eat raw fruit and vegetables. Do read up about it, and obviously do consult a doctor if you have any health issues.

Cutting out unhealthy food:

       Giving up a food that you know is not good for you can work wonders for your health, your energy levels and for your skin. For example quitting or cutting down on soda and soft drinks, coffee, processed foods, sweets makes most people feel amazing.
    You probably know yourself well enough to estimate which method will work better: quitting cold turkey, or allowing yourself just the minimum, or simply taking a break these foods for a week or two. (I recommend cutting out a harmful food out of your diet for at least 10 days -- any less than that and you are barely out of the unpleasant detox phase)
     Last month I accidentally cut out coffee out of my diet. I had run out of it and couldn't buy more for a couple of days. I had headaches and a feeling of heaviness for several days, which scared me. I was reminded again that coffee was addictive and was also altering my mood: orchestrating highs and lows throughout the day, and keeping me awake longer at night. I haven't drunken any coffee since, and I feel good -- my energy levels are much more stable.
     Last Easter I had given up sweets (chocolate and cookies) for Lent (I'm not religious, but I thought that somehow it would be fitting). That time taught me a lot about how sugar influenced my behaviour; especially how it made me irritable! Unfortunately I went right back to my chocolate-munching self after that period. (I know I am sugar-addicted, which I partially blame on y mom rewarding me with sweets -- I know I still relate sweets with being rewarded.)
     I have also been gluten-free for nine months last year. It was pretty amazing -- never has my head felt so light and clear and my digestive tract so "happy". Gluten makes me feel as if someone has been hitting me on the head with a soft but very heavy pillow. I even convinced a friend of mine who had quite bad Neurodermitis on her hands to try going gluten-free. She loves it and her hands are almost completely healed now. (I went back to eating gluten while travelling with my family, but I plan to go back to that way of eating since I miss the clear-headed feeling).

Colon Cleansing:

   I did a colon-cleanse two years ago. Basically, mucus and toxins builds up on the walls of the intestine; older people often have a very thick intestine with barely any space inside. To get all this gunk off you drink a mixture of psyllium seed husks and bentonite clay (I used Heilerde which was what I found in stores here). In the end you pass out the mucus that had been collecting on the walls of your intestine, it looks like a hollow rubbery rope (google images for "colon cleansing" if you are not queasy).
   After doing the cleanse thoroughly once, I do a maintenance cleanse once a year. I found the bowel cleanse forum on the Cure Zone extremely helpful. I highly recommend the colon / bowel cleanse, however do check in with you doc first if you have any health issues.

    In the near future I will be doing a rather more rigorous fast along with my husband, who needs to do it to deal with his recently acquired fructose and glucose intolerance. I also plan a liver cleanse someday. I will definitely let you know about my experiences.

    Have you ever fasted or done a detox? How did it go for you? Is there any kind you'd recommend?

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