written by Gina Fox, Naturopath
Get ready for an internal Spring clean!
After a cold winter with lazy time on the couch the kilos can creep on. Even if your weight’s the same this is a good time for a mini-detox to re-boot your body and feel energised and ready for more activity as the weather starts to warm up.
The concept of detoxing seems to get a lot of negative press. Mainly this is due to a lack of understanding of what most detox programs hope to achieve. Most of the negatives focus on the fact that our bodies can detox themselves through normal elimination pathways so further efforts in detoxing are not required. There also seems to be a need to criticise the notion of “toxins” in our bodies. So, we’d like to clear a few things up and show you why a detox can be a fantastic thing – if done correctly. There are all manner of detox approaches out there from the sensible to the ridiculous. We’re talking about eating clean, simple and wholesome foods that our bodies will thrive on. Here are our tips on getting it right and keeping it sensible, real and achievable.
A detox basically involves some kind of elimination – usually things commonly known to make us feel less than amazing in one way or another (fatique, bloating, mood and blood sugar swings, dehydration, etc.). Common exclusions are refined sugar, soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, wheat, dairy, red meat, processed foods, fried foods and baked goods. Eliminating these things means that while you are detoxing, your diet remains light, fresh, wholesome and very healthy and your body has less heavy processing to do on a day to day basis.
Am I likely to feel worse before I feel better?
Let’s face it, the adjustment period may be challenging to get through (cravings, headaches, nausea, fatigue, constipation or diarrhoea etc. usually kicks in on day 1-3 and usually lasts no longer than 3 days) but it will be worth it. And once you break the habits and addiction cycle of some of these foods and substances, you will most likely find the cravings all but disappear as your body adjusts and begins to enjoy all the benefits of your hard work and perseverance. Cleaning up your diet and lifestyle with a detox is only challenging in the short term. Your body will thank you for it and reward you with a healthier, more vibrant and energetic you.
And to top it all off…..
The truth is, a few days, weeks or even a month of a detox program, restricting your diet and some lifestyle choices can make huge inroads to a healthier you. The real goal is taking the pressure off: just giving your body time and resources to rest, recover, heal and make time for all the other things it is capable of doing – like making babies or running or healing your skin problems. When your body is overloaded, these things get shunted down the hierarchy while it deals with more pressing issues. Restricting certain foods whilst choosing to eat only fresh, whole, organic foods during your detox enables and boosts your natural detoxification and elimination pathways and lets your body heal long standing problems that it hasn’t had time to get to because it is so busy processing the things that don’t work for it. After a short period of adjusting most people notice improvements in metabolism, immune system, energy levels, sleep, general bodily comfort, weight loss, appearance – particularly brighter skin and eyes, fresher breath and most importantly, smoother, easier, formed and satisfying bowel movements!
Finally, we believe one of the best things that can happen as a consequence of a detox, is that you notice or learn something that really works for you: a new recipe or food that you love, or you might notice how much you like plain water with lime instead of coke, or you might discover how tired alcohol is really making you and without it, you don’t need so much coffee either! And then maybe one or two of these things become incorporated into your daily life – not just the detox period. If you do a detox 2 or 3 times a year, that adds up to a continuous improvement process that really adds up over time and leads to an exponentially healthier you.
For help with a specific detox program book in with one of our FGHG naturopaths.
Gina Fox, Naturopath, FGHG
Gina is a naturopath with over 15 years’ experience. She trained under Francesca Naish (author of Better Babies) and has a Masters in Reproductive Medicine. As well as being an experienced clinician she is a speaker, naturopathic lecturer and student clinic supervisor.
Gina is highly skilled in providing naturopathic care for women’s health issues, pre-conception health, infertility, IVF support, pregnancy care and through menopause.