Do you need to detox?
The short answer is yes.
Everyone could use a focused detox at least once a year. Ideally, you want to do it every quarter. This is for optimum health.
The truth is your body is detoxing every second of every single day.
You are constantly exposing your body to toxins by simply breathing, processing emotions, producing/using hormones, putting soap/lotions/deodorants on your skin and eating and drinking food that could have pesticides, hormones or bacteria on it…to name just a few.
Your body works hard to cleanse your body/blood via the liver so that these toxins don’t stay in your body for too long and cause trouble. The problem is that there is a lot to process. And depending on how much your daily ‘toxin’ intake is, your body may not be able to keep up with it all. So what happens?
Well, a favorite example in the nutrition community of what happens is the I Love Lucy Chocolate Scene when Lucy and Ethel go work at the chocolate factory. They have to wrap chocolate in individual wrappers. The conveyor belts starts slow and everything is great. But then it speeds up. And soon they can’t keep up! Lucy and Ethel are so overwhelmed that they start stuffing the chocolates in their mouth, down their shirts, and in their hats. They don’t want any chocolates to pass through without a wrapper because they’ve been warned they will be fired! (Here’s the scene for you — I Love Lucy Chocolate Scene. Watch it for the visual and a good laugh today!)
Now pretend your liver is Lucy and Ethel and the chocolate are the toxins. Instead of wrapping the chocolates, your liver is breaking down toxins so they can be eliminated in your stool. When your liver can’t keep up, it stuffs the toxins in your cells as fat.
Your liver doesn’t want anything to get through either! It won’t get fired but it knows that the toxins can cause problems for the rest of your body — like fatigue, foggy brain, headaches or even worse, an immune response.
Also, excess and used hormones are also on that conveyor belt so you could also be feeling your toxic load through your cycle with heavy periods, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats and the like.
So by doing a focused detox you are doing three things.
1) You are minimizing the toxins that your body has to deal with by cutting out certain foods. In the chocolate factory, you’d be reducing the number of chocolates Lucy and Ethel have to wrap.
2) You are eliminating things that prohibit your liver from doing its work properly. Certain foods like sugar, alcohol and caffeine slow down or clog up the process. This would be like Lucy and Ethel having one arm tied behind their back (or for you mamas, like having to hold a baby on their lap while working.)
3) You are supplying your body with liver supportive foods and routines that increase your liver’s efficiency. That would be the equivalent to giving Lucy and Ethel an extra set of arms to wrap chocolates. Can you imagine? With an extra set a of arms, Lucy and Ethel could start wrapping the chocolates they stuffed away. And your liver could start dealing with the toxins trapped in your fat cells.
PS Don’t forget if you are in Marin, stop by Taste Kitchen & Table for dinner on Wednesdays. I will be making some delicious Paleo Plus dishes for you. You can check out the menu here!