Cleansing is a hot topic … it’s a buzz word… and its incredibly misunderstood. Is “cleansing” just eating healthy? No, it’s not. Cleansing is so much more than eating what your body is designed to eat and completing a cleanse is not for everyone. Cleansing IS for the person who has made the decision to let go of toxins, accumulated heavy metals (we all have them) pesticides, and sometimes cleanse out ways of thinking, people, bad habits and emotions. Yes... that’s right…emotions. So if you’re getting the idea that cleansing might be a little more than drinking a bunch of juices for a day, you’re on the right track. There are both the chemical and emotional aspects of cleansing.
By default of living in the world we live in, we are going to accumulate toxins. I don’t want to be all gloom and doom about it but it’s the reality of the situation. Driving down the expressway we breathe in all sorts of carbons. Walking on carpeting, we can contract formaldehyde and benzenes. Drinking unfiltered water, we absorb chlorine and fluoride to name a few. These are a few minor examples of a much larger gloom and doom picture.
Lucky for us, our bodies are incredible. They are ridiculously smart and have developed a system to keep us safe so all of these unwanted pesticides, heavy metals, emotions and toxins aren’t circulating in our blood reeking havoc on our bodies… its called body fat. Fat is an amazing storage system. It envelopes what we don’t need in our blood and tucks it away for safe keeping. Somewhere in the middle of thanking our bodies, we also notice that we don’t really like flabby arms, or saddle bags and when did that cellulite appear??… and this is where things get confusing.
We decide we don’t like the fat on our bodies so we start dieting. Maybe some of the weight comes off but then we get cravings and it piles back on, or, what I see a lot of in my practice, people start losing weight and they don’t feel good. And now they are frustrated and they can’t wait until they can eat sugar again and it’s a repetitive cycle. This also shows how extremely important the emotional aspect of cleansing is but first, lets focus on what is going on chemically.
In many studies, as people lose weight their pesticide levels (or whichever toxin they are measuring) in the blood actually increase. As body fat shrinks, it’s releasing these toxins into the blood stream and then the toxins become ”trapped” in the system. Due to the deficiencies in our diet, the body does not have the support it needs to effectively expel toxins without extra help. Think about toxins also as emotional stressors. Why aren’t they leaving you might ask? That’s a great question. They aren’t leaving because there are vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other compounds that need to be introduced along with “dieting” to bind to these toxins and effectively take them out of the body. This is the extra boost the body needs to effectively expel these substances. Introducing these prescribed vitamins, minerals and supplements along with specific diet changes to move the toxins safely out of the body while simultaneously losing fat, is called a cleanse.
Now you may be wondering what compounds I’m talking about and it could be a large variety depending on what is in your tissues. If we are cleansing out metals, then we might look at using chlorophyll. If we are cleansing out pesticides, we may look at activated charcoal and eating more blackberries to help our mitochondria out. If you’re not testing… you’re guessing. There is a multitude of ways to test what the body needs and we will look at those methods in another blog.
Next time you are thinking about doing a “cleanse”, get after it! Just be mindful of what it entails and why you might want to complete one. Spend some time on your “why”…cleanses seem to be more effective that way. Why do you want to cleanse in the first place? Which areas of health are you looking to improve? Energy? Sleep? You’re overall mood? Do you typically feel calm or do you tend to be more anxious? Unfortunately, chemical toxicity can cause disruption in energy, sleep and mood. Or maybe you’re just ready to drop some weight? If yes, why is that important to you? What will you feel like or do more of and how will life be different after some weight loss? Spend 5 minutes writing or maybe talking with a friend about your why -- its surprising how it effects the results!
We will be going into more detail, don’t you worry. Think of this post as just dipping your toe in! There is a whole ocean out there of information.
Cheers to living clean,