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Detoxification:

Is It For Me?

Debbie Schroeder RN, BSN
10/16/2008
Professional Health Coach
www.HealthCoachTeam.com

Every day we are bombarded by toxic chemicals.  The air we breathe has toxic fumes, the tap water we drink has chlorine, fluoride, traces of prescription drugs and other chemicals, the food we eat has pesticides, artificial colors and flavors, chemical additives, preservatives.  These are just a few examples of the toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis.  Many of us also willingly consume caffeine, alcohol, artificial sweeteners or smoke cigarettes to place even more chemicals into our already overloaded system.

Our bodies are miraculous and can fight off many of the toxic chemicals we breathe, ingest or absorb through our skin, but it can only take so much.  We must be proactive and take charge of our health in order to live a life of vibrant vitality and wellness.

One way to take charge of your health and support your body is to go on a detoxification program once or twice a year.  You have probably heard of detox programs, there are many different types being offered which promise many significant benefits.  Detoxification is a powerful tool, but to be effective it must be used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle.  Going through a detox program once or twice a year while continuing to smoke, eat unhealthy foods, not exercise and so forth will not lead to vibrant health.  It will only be a waste of time and energy.

In order to receive the most value from a detox program, you must incorporate healthy eating habits, regular physical exercise, deep breathing and stress reduction techniques into your lifestyle.  Detox is not a quick fix.  It is merely a tool to promote wellness, slow the aging process and increase your energy levels.

There are many different types of detoxification programs, some recommend water or juice fasting for several days, there are herbal detoxification programs, there are cleansing diets and raw food diets.  For people who have serious medical issues, I would strongly recommend you seek the assistance of a medical professional who has knowledge of the detoxification programs to help you through the process.  If you already have a significant medical problem, chances are high that you have a significant amount of toxins in your system that your body is not able to properly eliminate because of your weakened condition.

If you are significantly overweight, I would not recommend you start a detoxification program until you have lost most of your weight.  A detoxification program is a strict regimen that must be followed for several days in order to be effective.  People who alter their diets too fast tend to set themselves up for failure.

If you have only 5 to 10 pounds to lose than a detoxification program may be just what you need to release those last 5 to 10 pounds.  I recommend that my clients go on a detoxification program of eating only raw fresh fruits and vegetables for 10 days to allow their digestive system a chance to rest and to consume a large quantity of nutrients and phytonutrients that the raw fresh fruits and vegetables provide.  During this 10 day period you will not be consuming anything other than fresh pure water and fresh raw fruits and vegetables.  I recommend you avoid all grains, fats of any type including nuts, oils, avocado, coconut and protein of any kind including dairy products, meats, fish, tofu etc.  This is just a temporary program.  Once the detoxification program is finished than you can slowly start to incorporate whole grains, healthy fats and lean organic protein into your diet, however during the 10 day period it is only raw fresh fruits and vegetables.  This is very important in order for the detoxification program to be effective.

You don't need to purchase any expensive products.  This will be a radical change for most people and takes some creativity, support and dedication to the process to follow through with this detoxification program.  However, the benefits you will receive as a result of following a detox program like this is tremendous you may experience weight loss, clearer skin, increased energy levels after the first couple days, overcome cravings and food addictions, sinuses will clear, improved blood sugar metabolism, improved sleep, improved mood and greater sense of well-being.

Typically the first 2-3 days are the most difficult.  You may experience low energy and mild depression, cravings for unhealthy food, headaches or mental fogginess (especially if you had been consuming caffeine before the detox), sweating and bad breath as you release built up toxins and even self doubt or fear.  I urge you to be persistent and find someone to support you during the detoxification program.  Once you make it past those first 2 to 3 days it will get much easier and you will start to notice of all the great benefits that I listed in the previous paragraph.

One way to really enjoy the 10 day detoxification program is to experiment with different ways to prepare raw fresh fruits and vegetables.  Experiment with fresh squeezed juices, search on the internet for raw food recipes that do not have any fat in them and go to your local library to pick up a book or two on raw food preparation.  Just remember to select recipes that have only raw fresh fruits and vegetables.  You can also experiment with just eating fresh fruit and vegetables plain.  After a couple days on the detoxification program, notice how much your sense of taste improves.  You will really enjoy the flavor of the fresh fruits and vegetables and they will taste better than you ever thought possible.  This detoxification program is not about deprivation.  You can eat as much fruits and vegetables as you desire during these 10 days.  Of course if you have any medical conditions or concerns discuss them with your physician prior to starting this detoxification program to ensure it is safe for you to start.

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