When we hear the word "detox," we often think about some sort of juice cleanse or liquid diet that one would do to help rid the body of toxins.
I would like to change that perception of the word detox.
There are two definitions for detox:
1. to remove a harmful substance
2. a regimen intended to remove toxins from the body
We all could use some detoxing in our lives, especially with all of the stress that we are surrounded by on a daily basis. Our bodies are inflamed, never given the chance to relax and achieve homeostasis. The liver, which is our detoxification organ, regularly detoxes the body. However, it can be burdened and unable to perform its job optimally as well.
But if we need to detox and the best way to detox isn't some sort of juice cleanse, then how do we detox and what does it look like?
A detox in a holistic sense means one that covers the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual side of our being.
The physical aspects of any detox come down to the foods we eat, the amount of sleep we get, and the products that we put on our body.
To support our body through a detox, we need to eat plenty of real, whole food and eliminate the common inflammatory foods: grains, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners, soy, corn, and alcohol for two weeks or longer. This takes some of the burden off of our liver and allows our body to detox from the toxins in our foods. It's also important to eat plenty of vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, along with superfoods like eggs, liver, raw sauerkraut, and wild caught seafood.
When we are attempting to detox, we also need to ensure we are getting adequate amounts of sleep. Sleep is a time of recovery and repair for our body, with the 1am-4am time frame the time when our liver renews and restores itself, which is obviously very important during a detox.
Lastly, the products we put on our bodies need a change as well during the detox. Our skin is our largest organ, so if we are putting toxins on our skin, it's the same as putting those same toxins in our mouths. I recommend Beautycounter and Primally Pure as my two favorite, trustworthy brands.
Take the time during a detox to focus on eliminating the toxic thoughts that go through your mind on a regular basis. These thoughts effect your health in more ways than you realize. You literally become what you think, and if your thought patterns are negative, that becomes your persona. Instead, focusing on gratitude, self-love, and self-care helps support your body during a detox and help you create a better mental space for you to grow.
Just like mental health, our emotional health often needs work during a detox as well. How often do we shut in our emotions? It is important to find ways to express our emotions so that they don't build up inside of us and become a toxic substance. Journaling, practicing gratitude, and simply talking with a friend that you can trust are huge ways that we can detox the emotional side of our health.
Along with both the mental and emotional side of health, it is also important to consider the necessity of a social media detox. We are constantly surrounded by other people's highlights, which can make our lives seem dull and depressing by comparison. It is this comparison that can become toxic in our lives, manipulating our thoughts and happiness. Take some time away from social media or better yet, unfollow the people that don't make you feel your best.
Spirituality is about more than religion. That is a very important aspect of it, but spirituality is also about your connection to yourself, your innermost being. Do you listen to that voice? Do you listen to your subconscious? Do you practice self-care? Do you take time to sit with your own thoughts in silence? It's important to consider these factors when completing a detox, as the spiritual side of our lives is often shoved to the side and cast as unimportant.
Yes, a detox can be all about food, but a true, holistic, total body detox focuses on the other aspects of our health too. Our mental, emotional, and spiritual health, coupled with the power of real food and sleep, can prove to be transformational to our health. That's a detox you can do more than three days because it is sustainable and attainable. That's the kind of detox we truly need. That's the kind of detox I can stand behind.