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Adventures in detoxing – How I started and why I come back for more

Why do a spring detox? There are many reasons. Physiologically, detoxing the body helps support the liver, gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, lungs and lymph system and colon. All of these organs are responsible, in one way or another, to get rid of toxins in the body. When you do a detox, you assist these organs in their role, allowing them to function better thereafter. And this improvement is noticeable inside and out.

I did my first detox when I was 19-year-old.

Back then, detoxing was not very wide spread at all. I stumbled across the idea serendipitously.  I had just graduated from high school and was spending the summer as an intern in a German law firm in Berlin. The office was located on the prestigious Kurfuerstendamm. Several blocks down the street, was the most formidable book store I had ever seen. Eight floors of pure book heaven. I spend many hours after work exploring it. One day, while looking through the natural health section, I came across a book on the subject of detoxing. And it was an eye-opener.

I found an intriguing book which explained how to detox your body through the foods you eat.  

The book caught my attention.  For starters, it had beautiful images of delicious looking meals. Colourful veggies, dips and sauces. Amazing fruit bowls and earthy rice dishes. Meals were sprinkled with an array of nuts and seeds, as well as fresh herbs for added flavour. The book also explained the science behind detoxing. And how you can do it on your own.  And it did not look that hard to do it yourself. All you had to do is follow their specific meal plan and a handful of other suggestions.

Detoxing involves eating more of some foods, less of others, while cutting some out entirely.

There are many ways to detox your body. Some people eat certain herbs and botanicals. Others simply cut out certain foods to give the organs in their body a well-deserved break. Most combine the two approaches, by pairing a specific food plan with supportive supplements. Examples are milk thistle, dandelion root, stinging nettle and licorice, to name a few.

As an adjunct, there are a few fun and simple things you can do to help the process along.

For example, going to a sauna or steam bath a few times a week. Alternating hot/cold foot baths. Dry bushing your skin. Or simply exposing your body to fresh air – sans clothes – to promote circulation and well-being. Don’t laugh, it works!

All of the above help the body rid itself of the toxins which have build up over the course of time.

But I digressed. Let’s go back to my “first time”.  I bought the book and decided to give it a try. The food plan took a progressive approach. It consisted of a phase-in period of a few days, followed by the main detox diet. It finished with 4 days where you gradually reintroduced the previously eliminated foods.

Throughout the 4 week detox plan, I needed to cut out major food staples These were items I was used to eating at every meal.  This was the hardest part. I really missed dairy, grains, sugar and meat. After the first 4 days, everything I ate had to be raw.  Except for healthy servings of brown rice. I could eat as much as I wanted, as long as it was permitted. The book also recommended eating certain detoxing foods everyday. These were alfalfa, ginger, fresh beets and garlic. In case you did not suspect as much, 4 weeks felt like an eternity.

It took all of my will power to get through my first detox.

I had strong food cravings. I was hungry most of the time, even though I could eat as much as I wanted. I just found myself unable to eat enough of that stuff to feel satiated. How many raw veggies can anyone eat at one sitting?  Needless to say, I was grumpy. If that was not bad enough, I had bad breath and my skin broke out. I was counting down the days for it to be over. But I was too curious to give up.

And I was glad I stuck through it.

After the first week, something shifted. I started feeling and looking amazing. Also, I notice I needed much less sleep than usual. I had a lot more energy. My skin glowed. People asked me what I was doing lately to look so much better. My memory was improved as well.I knew the detox was working and that helped me stick with it until the end.

Now I know, that the difficult phase at the beginning of a detox is due to your body adjusting to the change. 

Since then, I have done one or two detoxes a year. Some of them were led by naturopaths. Others I did with a detox kit I bought at health food stores. Other times, I redid that first routine I had learned in Germany. Some were 12 days, others 4 weeks. All of them had similar results: More energy, heightened clarity of mind and increased radiance. I personally feel detoxing is very beneficial to maintaining vitality and your sense of wellness.

Curious to try it for yourself?

Go ahead. You have nothing to lose (except those extra pounds). And everything to gain. There is one benefit I have not mentioned yet … Detoxing helps you appreciate food more than you ever have before. When you resume eating the things you had abstained from, they really taste that much better. You stop taking them for granted.

What is my first non-detox go-to meal after doing a 4 week program? Vegetarians cover you eyes … its a big, fat juicy hamburger.  And boy does it taste good.

In good health,

Simone

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