Hitting Detox Walls and Overcoming Them
How was your weekend? I had a great weekend myself! It was sunny and beautiful all weekend, and I was up in Connecticut. I got to pick strawberries at this wonderful organic farm, went on two long hikes, and even made it to Compo Beach in Westport for a refreshing swim. I’m so happy that the sun came back out over here on the East Coast! I’m really happy I was fortunate enough to escape this weekend. Are you doing something special for 4th of July weekend- which is already next (!) weekend!
So when I was laying on the beach and watching the ocean this weekend, this particular topic came to mind. Some of you have written to me about it, and I have experienced it myself. When I began a mostly raw diet, the first month, maybe two months I felt awesome! I got very lean, my energy was high, and I was so excited about my newfound diet. Then…I started getting more sluggish. My skin broke out a bit, and I started craving old foods again!! Sounds familiar?? Well this is what is REALLY going on:
When you shift into eating more vegetarian, vegan, or an even more dramatic change…raw (!) your body automatically goes into ongoing detox mode. This is because previously we were constantly eating foods that were full of toxic matter (pesticides, dairy, gluten, flour, processed sugar, toxic food combinations, acidic animal products, often full of steroids and hormones, etc.), that it really was too much for our bodies to handle on its own. So what happens? It ends up being stored. Yes, accumulating in our bowels and in our cell tissue!! It doesn’t matter if you go to the bathroom 3 times a day! Trust me, waste and toxins, which are baking in the body at our temperature of 98 degrees, become lodged in our bodies, and over time lead to diseases and other signs of NOT optimal health- low energy, difficulty in losing weight, etc. Our bodies become more and more acidic over time with these levels of toxins.
So when you stop eating so much toxic food, or toxic food combinations, your body can take a rest from having piles and piles of “new” toxins to deal with, and starts detoxing the surface stuff. Plus you’re eating tons of alkaline foods. That’s in the first month or two! That’s when you feel like a million bucks, and your feel that you’ve finally figured out the best food plan for you amongst the mind-boggling phethora of food diets and confusing information!
But alas…after that you start feeling not well. You go to your standard doctor who will tell you that you are low in protein, a vital nutrient or mineral like iron and calcium, that its not really healthy to be vegetarian, and you better start eating animal products again! So then you scratch your head and think, “I guess vegetarianism and eating this way isn’t sustainable??” But this is not really the truth.
What is happening, is that as we shift into these new ways of eating, our bodies start to detox on a deeper, organ, tissue and cellular level. As we dislodge new toxins because our new, much cleaner eating habits, we “wake” up those toxins and they start to recirculate in the blood and body. Before, they were just lodged in there- weighing us down in many ways, but not making us sick…yet. The amount of impaction and waste that is in the colon (5-6 feet long) is indeed unfathomable to most people- it can be pounds and pounds, and can even permeate through the colon walls and into the tissue over time.
So when we hit this WALL after we know we’ve been eating great, clean, detoxing food we must realize that with our enzyme-rich diets we are starting to dislodge toxins from the colon wall. As they hit the bloodstream, we feel those symptoms again- headaches, skin break outs, weakness, irritation, moodiness, etc. etc.- and the toxins must be eliminated from the body so they don’t become reabsorbed back into the boodstream.
Once we get through these walls of intense detoxification, we can continue on our highway to superior health! So how to get the toxins out? Well the most effective and best (in my opinion) way is to get some gravity colonics. Over 45 minutes, 25 gallons of water power washes out your colon, as opposed to 1 to 2 quarts, which is an enema. There can be moments of pressure, as old stuff is released, but you feel amazing when it is done! Also, be sure you are getting fiber in the diet- that is why the Green Smoothie is SO important, as it has a huge amount of fiber that acts like an internal broom and helps sweep toxins out. If you feel major detox symptoms you can add ground flax seeds. Also, chia seeds (see my blog on that), can also help as they expand and can help sweep debris out. Be sure you are having your lemon water in the morning so you are sure to have as complete an elimination as possible (see my blog “How is Your Colon This Morning?). Drink plenty of water to help yourself flush out!
I am trying a slightly different method of a gravity colonic here in NYC tomorrow, and I am thrilled!! (It might sound weird to be excited about a colonic, but after you’ve had a few and see how effective they are, you’ll feel differently!) I’ve shifted my diet since it started getting warmer (even more smoothies, less solid food, different vegetables and fruits), a few weeks ago, and noticed a few little symptoms myself- some back acne, a few little headaches, etc. So I know I am detoxing! Remember everyone hits walls and has difficult detox periods- so we just have to acknowledge them, and then get past them.
I know one thing that always gets me up when I am feeling sluggish or bogged down, and that is a water cleanse which incorporates nutritional value into liquid forms.
Have a great start to the week!