Detoxing or fasting, can be quite
controversial. Two years ago I did a five day juice fast - mostly green juices.
I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy to not “chew” food and drink it instead, but
it was a great way of jump starting my system and helping my body rid itself of
cravings such as sugar and caffeine. Fast forward two years and my
husband and I decided to try the Master Cleanse (also called the Lemonade
Diet). This cleanse consists of easing into the fast by consuming liquids
such as broth and orange juice and then the actual cleanse is a concoction of
distilled water, fresh lemon, cayenne pepper and dark amber pure maple syrup
which supplies needed calories, glucose and minerals. You can also use
the Smooth Move tea which helps your body eliminate throughout this cleanse.
I personally do not suggest the salt water flush, as I believe that sends
the body out of the proper electrolyte balance you need to sustain good health.
Some people prefer water fasting only. This is a bit radical for
me. (I know, some of you might be thinking "any of this is radical -
what are you talking about?") Actually though, for me as with many people,
it is like a general housecleaning of the body once or twice a year.
According to Linda Page, ND, PhD, a naturopathic doctor, lecturer, and
author of the book Detoxification, "it's a way to recharge,
rejuvenate, and renew. Anybody can benefit from a cleansing. The body is coming
out of what might be called hibernation. It's a way you can jump-start your
body for a more active life, healthier life."
The next question is, does a detox diet
really detox the system? According to WebMD's interview with James
Dillard, MD, assistant clinical professor at Columbia University College
of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and the author of Alternative
Medicine for Dummies, "Theoretically, yes," he says.
"When fat is mobilized, anything that is fat-soluble should be mobilized,
too -- should , that is," Dillard tells WebMD.
Beyond the obvious reasons of detoxing
the body or for weight loss, another widely held reason many people fast is for
the spiritual or mystical experiences. Dr. Dillard concurs
that "almost every religion has some type of fasting ritual -- Lent,
Ramadan, Yom Kippur ... the Hindus and Buddhists fast, too," "There's
definitely a spiritual factor," Dillard tells WebMD.
In some cultures, such as with Chinese
medicine, fasting is part of preventive health care. For many ancient
cultures, fasting helped people "lighten up" after a long winter,
shed the extra winter fat layer that provided warmth. Our bodies naturally
detoxify every day, Dr. Page tells WebMD. "Detoxification is a normal body
process of eliminating or neutralizing toxins through the colon, liver,
kidneys, lungs, lymph glands, and skin," she writes in her book.
"Just as our hearts beat nonstop and our lungs breathe continuously, so
our metabolic processes continuously dispose of accumulated toxic matter."
Regardless of all the reasons to cleanse
(or not to), I found that the process allowed me to understand how much we think
about food. Constant thoughts of what, when and where we are going to
eat, with whom, clutter our minds throughout the day. Try not eating for
a few days. I found I was certainly getting more done and sometimes
didn’t know what to do with myself during our normal “dinner hour,” as the
whole social aspect of sitting down to eat together was non-existent. Of
course, toasting to a nice glass of “lemonade” was our coming together dinner
hour. Personally, I missed the social aspect of sharing food as a family,
not to mention tantalizing my taste buds with different flavors. However,
I felt awesome to think that I was giving my body and digestive system a break
and giving myself a “tune-up” to start fresh.
If the thought of a cleanse or fast is
not for you, then just try the good old-fashioned way of eating the right
foods, getting exercise, clean living, and keeping a positive mental
attitude. Remember, our bodies are incredible healing machines and we
need to take care of what we have as we only have one shot at this – so lets
make it a good run!
fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit.
- Ezra Taft Benson
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