What does it mean to detoxify?
Detoxification is the body’s natural process of eliminating toxins. The body begins detoxifying itself when we change our diet to a healthier one, thereby eliminating unhealthy foods that contain processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, harmful chemicals, animal and dairy products, and when we exercise or discontinue a current habit. The body naturally wants to thrive at optimum health, so when all or part of the above list is eliminated from our lifestyle and replaced with whole vegan or raw vegan foods, the body is able to begin its “toxic clean-up.”
Why is it important to detoxify the body?
It is vital to detoxify the body. Most of the food that the average person eats these days is contaminated with GMOs (genetically modified organisms); excessive chemicals, high sugar, fat, and sodium, and is processed to the point where it is devoid of nutrients. We are also bombarded with harmful chemicals in the air we breathe and use harmful soaps, cleaners and household products, etc. A cleanse, fast, or detox four times per year gives the body a chance to rid itself of harmful substances that contribute to degenerative disease. Eating or drinking (via juicing or via smoothies) a whole foods vegan diet, with the emphasis on high raw foods, will give the body the conditions it needs for optimal detoxing and restoring.
What are some detoxification symptoms?
Since the body is releasing stored toxins into the blood stream and then expelling them through the elimination areas, some symptoms you might experience are the following:
- Stomach ache
- Skin eruptions or skin rash
- Clogged sinuses
- Sore throat
- Sore muscles
- Bad breath
- Irritability or moodiness
Some people will only experience some of the above symptoms and others will experience all of them. The duration and extent of your symptoms depends on the level of your detox, fast or cleanse, your lifestyle prior to embarking on a cleanse, your emotional and mental health, and the extent of toxicity currently in your body. Keep in mind that these symptoms may come and go at various times throughout your cleanse. You might feel fantastic one day and run down and sleepy and have a headache on another. It is important to remember that you will most likely feel worse during part of your cleanse; this is normal and temporary. The body is releasing years’ or maybe decades’ worth of stored toxins into the bloodstream; it then works extra hard to remove these toxins, and in the process, requires more energy. The body eliminates these toxins through the skin, liver, kidneys, bowels, lungs and mouth, so you WILL feel worse at times. Rest assured, however, that this is good because it means the body is doing its work to cleanse and heal! Stay calm and know that your body is doing what is designed to do. This is the most difficult part of any fast or detox. Stay the course, and you will be fine!
What can I do to feel better?
The important thing to remember is to allow your body to rest as much as possible. With rest, your body will be able to do what it does to detoxify. If you have to work during your detox, rest and limit social engagements after work. Be sure and drink lots of clean water as well! The more you relax mentally and emotionally, the easier it will be for your body to clean itself and the better you will feel.
Quick Tips for your Fast, Cleanse or Detox:
- Drink 48 oz. of water throughout the day or more.
- If you feel hungry, drink at least an 8 oz. full glass of water before eating. Many times we think we are hungry when the body is truly thirsty.
- Think happy, inspiring and encouraging thoughts. When your mind is at ease and content, your body and emotions follow suit. Make it easier for your body to do what it needs to do!
- If you feel tired and if you can, lie down and rest. It is okay to take a nap. The more rest you give your body when you feel tired, the better results you will have.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
- Reduce stress as much as possible during this time.
- Meditating or allowing “quiet time” at least once a day for even just 10 minutes is highly recommended.
- Exercising by walking, light running or yoga for 30 minutes for 3-5 days per week will help eliminate those toxins and allow you to feel better.
- If you are working with a health coach or mentor, ask for help when you feel you need encouragement. They are there to help you through the rough times and want you to succeed as much as you do!
- If you are working with a health coach, ask them for healthy recipes to help you with your cleanse.
- Believe in yourself and in your body’s ability to detox, heal and transition to the new you!
Vilma Reynoso, www.VEGoutwithVilms.com, VEG out: go Vegan, save Earth. be Good to animals.
Copyright, 2014, Vilma Reynoso