Safe and simple detox
The holidays are over and you’re trying to get back to a normal life but you still feel sluggish, bloated and not sleeping well.
You probably need to eliminate harmful toxins and to reset your body with a detox cleanse. Now I’ve tried and read about many detox programs and my favorite and simplest is from Dr. Oz. All you need is 3 days, a blender and $16 a day!
But before you scroll down to the end of the page (don’t do it!), let’s talk about why you should detox.
Healthy eating is our right, for many of us it seems like taking the plunge into eating a whole foods-based diet is the equivalent to travelling to space. But it doesn’t have to be such a scary or foreign experience.
The goal is to guide you through a safe, simple, realistic and pleasurable (yes!) transition into healthy eating. Because whole foods-based diets remove all the sugary, fatty, chemical-laden, artificial stuff from the diet, they sometimes get called a detox or a cleanse.
Why is detoxification important?
When our bodies become “toxic,” it means that our natural means of eliminating metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet – funny, right!) have exceeded the threshold for what is capable of handling on its own. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!
How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse?
Some examples of what might infer a toxic system are:
- Persistent headaches, muscle aches and muscle fatigue
- Eating a lot of swordfish, tuna, shark etc.
- Several mercury fillings and dental amalgams
- Food allergies
- Stubborn weight loss
- Hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement treatments such as birth control or creams like progesterone.
- Consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea or eczema.
- A lifetime of consuming an unhealthy Diet.
How long should you stay on a cleanse?
Usually a safe cleanse lasts for 3 days to 6 weeks, depending on your needs. You should work with a trained practitioner to help you determine what length of time is right for you. And let your body be the judge on how long you need.
How do you prepare for a cleanse?
- Organize your pantry, toss out the junk, gather recipes, make shopping lists for healthy foods and develop a cooking schedule.
- Gather any supplements you need that have been advised for you to take by your medical provider.
- Detoxification requires you to slow down, including your exercise routine. Make sure you fit time for relaxation.
Side effects can appear when cleansing. Two side effects to look for are:
- Constipation: Move those bowels! Drink plenty of water. Try warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.
- Food allergies or sensitivities: They can be obvious or not. As your body lets go of toxic waste, it will be easier to recognize a hidden reaction to gluten, dairy, soy or any of the other food allergies.
Common Symptoms of “Withdrawal”:
The following symptoms are very common and don’t worry, they are an indication that your body is eliminating toxins and are a good sign!
- Bad breath
- Achy, flu-like feeling
- Itchy skin
- Offensive body odor
- Sleep difficulties (too much or too little)
How to Avoid Withdrawal Symptoms
Those who consume the most caffeine, alcohol, and sugar, and those who have the most food allergies, will have the most difficulty initially. Symptoms usually disappear after 3-4 days. Slowly reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, sugar, white flour, and over-the-counter medications (except as directed by your physician) a week or two before you start your program.
- Make sure you drink water daily.
- Fatigue is normal during a cleanse, so allow more time for rest and sleep.
- Take 1000 mg of vitamin C and 1,000 IU D with breakfast and dinner.
- Take 300 mg of magnesium citrate at dinner.
- Don’t wait till you are starving to eat! Balance your blood sugar by eating protein-based meals and snacks every 3-4 hours.
- Heat is a great resource, it helps draw out the toxins from within. Try a sauna or a warm bath with Epsom salts for 20 minutes a few times per week.
While safe, these types of cleanses can still be stressful on the body and mind so remember to relax. Meditation, deep breathing or any calming activity is good.
Eliminate all refined sugars, flours, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, gluten and any other addictive substance. By allowing certain triggers to stay in the diet, the body stays on the vicious cycle of cravings and addictive behavior. Reset your body to eliminate all triggers.
Keep a journal and track your symptoms. You should feel better in 3-7 days. If you do not feel well at this point, please be cautious and check in with a doctor.
Tune in to your body and listen to the cues it provides you. A cleanse is a great journey to learn more about how you operate!
Dr. Oz’s 3-Day Detox Cleanse
Print this sheet and place on your fridge.
Vito Di Cosola
Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Youth Conditioning Specialist, Nutrition Coach