Promoted as a way to cleanse toxins in the body and expedite weight loss, “detox” or detoxification diets are more popular than ever.
A visit to the local health food store or pharmacy will reveal rows of ‘Detox Kits’, promising over the counter good health in a box; and Beyoncé made the Master Cleanse regime popular to rapidly drop weight for her movie role in ‘Dreamgirls’ basically surviving on lemon juice water laced with maple syrup and cayenne pepper.
These self-administered detox kits and extreme regimes are cause for concern, and here’s why.
A detox can be a really great cleanse, once the body is rid of excess toxins, the metabolism functions optimally, promoting weight loss and general well-being.
The danger however, lies in unsafe ‘detox’ programs being undertaken without a proper assessment and guidance, if there are underlying health conditions these can be exacerbated by an extreme ‘detox’. If there is a simmering cardiovascular condition or backed up digestion an extreme detox could do more damage than good.
Why Do We Need to Detox?
The body is designed to get rid of toxins continuously on a daily basis, the problem however is in the extreme toxic exposure we are faced with causing a systemic toxic build up. Small amounts of toxins from multiple sources build up to lethal amounts, toxins from pesticides, food additives, chemicals in water, prescription drugs, cosmetics, environmental pollution to name a few!
These stored toxins build up in the body at cellular, contributing to chronic illness including some cancers, disrupting the endocrine system and slowing the metabolism.
Could Toxins be Making you Fat?
Rencently I attended a seminar by a prominent researcher Dr Mark Schauss, an expert on toxic exposure. He regaled the story of a friend and colleague who lived near the World Trade Centre when 911 happened; shortly after she began to gain weight without explanation. She contacted Dr Schauss for help, as a Nutritionist she knew she was on the right track but the weight kept piling on!
Dr Schauss tested her for heavy metal exposure and sure enough she was suffering from systemic toxic burden. Months of therapy followed and she was eventually able to regain her health and normal weight.
Although this may be an extreme example, the fact is many of us are under daily toxic build up, which could be the underlying reason the traditional calorie counting diet will not work, if there is an underlying health condition the body will hold on to the weight.
How Does a Detox Work?
Detoxification is a two-step process, and the process of bio-detoxification takes place primarily in the liver, the key and hardest working organ in the body’s defense system.
In Phase One the toxins pass through the liver, which activates the toxics which are then in a more toxic intermediate metabolite phase, circulating around the body preparing to leave. To be removed from the body successfully these toxins need to be converted by specific enzymes into water soluble harmless molecules which can then be easily eliminated.
Think of it as a bunch of unruly kids at a party, which are escorted out the building by bouncers, basically the ‘kids’ are the toxins and the ‘bouncers’ are the specific enzymes.
The ‘roads’ that these toxins take to leave the body are the elimination pathways, primarily digestion, the lungs, the cardiovascular system and the skin. So for a detox to work successfully, this relies on two factors, the first is the correct nutrients to run the sulfation pathways, meaning the ‘bouncers’ to escort the ‘kids’ out the building, and enough of those nutrients.
The second key factor is the elimination pathways being open, there need to be no ‘road blocks’ to prevent the toxins from leaving, if the digestive system is backed up or sluggish circulation the toxins will not be able to leave fast enough and become reabsorbed, resulting in an even more toxic state.
Cleanse or Crisis?
Perhaps you or someone you know has attempted a rapid detox, only to suffer extreme detox systems, headache, nausea, upset stomach, and quickly give up, reaching for the coffee and pain killer? This is a sure sign that the detox was too rapid, these trapped toxins could not leave fast enough and the ‘roads’ the elimination pathways where not open.
The key in safe detoxification is individual assessment in preparation for a guided, informed detox, truly a health cleanse. I really believe a detox is a great idea, if undertaken safely.
“50 Shades of Detox”
Now I have outlined how a detox works, you may be reading this thinking an extreme detox is not for you. There are many levels of detox, and it could be as simple as drinking more water, cutting back on the sugar and processed foods, getting more exercise; all of these will help your body to eliminate toxins on a daily basis.
However, to get rid of stored toxins causing the real damage, one needs to consider stepping outside of the normal routine and taking on a program which will allow those nasty toxins to get moving on out, and your body to rejuvenate at cellular level.
This is why individual assessment to find your safe detox level is key, and a detox program tailored to your bio individual needs.
Is a Detox right for you?
Schedule a complimentary 2o minute call with me to discuss your bio individual detox profile.
Enjoy this unique recipe I created with free range chicken from The Peachstand, anti inflammatory pineapple, ginger and curry spice.
Healing Never Tasted So Good!Print
Fragrant Chicken & Pineapple Broth Bowl
A most unusual dish, with all the joy of the sweet, sour tang of Asian cuisine.
- Prep Time: 10 hours
- Cook Time: 8 hours
- Total Time: 18 hours
- Yield: 12
Homemade Chicken Stock:
- 1 Gallon Filtered water
- 8 Organic Chicken leg quarters/or several Chicken Carcasses
- 2 Yellow Onions
- 4 ribs Celery, rough chopped
- 4 Carrots, peeled, rough chopped
- 1/2 bunch Parsley, tied with string
- 1 head Garlic, halved
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
Fragrant Chicken & Pineapple Broth Bowl:
- 1/4 cup Shallots, finely diced
- 1 cup Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Lemongrass, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon Ginger, finely grated
- 3 tablespoons Red Curry Paste (to taste)
- 2 teaspoons Fish Sauce
- 1/4 cup Tamari Soy Sauce
- 1 gallon Chicken Stock
- 2 Cups cooked Chicken
- 2 Cups Pineapple, finely cubed
- 2 Cups Pineapple, rough chopped (for the base)
- 3 stalks Spring Onion, cut finely on the bias
- 1/4 cup Cilantro, rough chopped
- 1/4 cup Basil, chiffonade
Prepare the Stock:
- Preheat the oven to 400F, place the chicken parts on a roasting pan, and roast until golden brown, turning once or twice, approximately 40 minutes.
- Place the chicken and all other ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Skim the foamy fat off the top off the pot with a ladle.
- Let the stock simmer gently for about 6 to 8 hours.
- Cool, strain and discard the solids.
- This recipe makes extra stock, cool and freeze in freezer safe containers.
Prepare the Soup:
- Place the rough chopped pineapple and about 2 cups chicken broth in the blender and blend on high.
- Strain through a fine sieve and set aside. (if you have a high speed blender no need to strain)
- Place a stockpot over medium heat, add a little coconut oil add the shallots and sauté until lightly browned.
- Add the mushrooms sauté until softened.
- Add chicken, pineapple broth lemongrass, ginger and curry paste, bring to a slow simmer, and cook 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken, and fish sauce and soy sauce to taste.
- Divide into large, deep soup bowls and garnish with lime juice and zest, green onion, cilantro and basil.
The key to this dish is homemade chicken broth, preferably from organic chicken. Don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you from making this wonderful dish, the taste is a flavor treat!