Detox is one of the most effective ways of boosting our energy, our health and giving our overworked immune system a rest.
It is also rather complicated and can take a lot of time to accomplish and everybody wants shortcuts and quick fixes.
So the market provides them with "Detox Overnight" foot patches, "Detox Weekends" and Detox Packs where "Everything" you need for a detox is included in one handy dandy box.
Sorry if my sarcasm showed there! As a Naturopath I am passionate about Detox and well trained to help accomplish it and detest the trivialisation and commercialisation of one of the post powerful ways for us to take charge of our health and healing.
Detox is simple to understand – it is the removal of pollution from your body. Whether it is pollution or toxins from polluted air, water, food or pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is not the main issue.
When Detox removes these pollutants you find you have more energy and can relax deeper and sleep deeper too because the body spends a lot of energy carrying and coping with the toxic burden of the pollution.
Literally! No metaphor and no slang!
Detox isn't for people who wear sandals, chant mantras and eat wheatgrass. The worse you eat and the more time you spend in the inner city and not in Shangri-La the better fit you are for a Detox.
And as for the inner city mention…there is so much pollution in air and water nowadays and for the last several decades that all of us are breathing pollution, drinking pollution and eating it too.
Who Needs a Detox?
Reading the last paragraph – and please do so if you skipped it, (I'll wait !) the only logical answer is that we all do.
So I am not going to launch into details of how to do a Detox – it's too long and I have 2 books that go through the methods and details; what I want to do here and now is to help make all this real and practical.
And that's why I mention doing an 80% Detox.
I have no interest in giving the best detox information in the world if at sounds so difficult that you just can't bring yourself to do it.
I'd love it if all the detox steps were fun and easy, but they are not. I hope I can make them "kinda obvious" though and help you bring them or some of them into your routine.
And then if you really want to book a detox spa holiday in Shangri-La you'll enjoy it even more!
So we get to a practical detox, an 80% Detox where I took 80% from the "80:20 Principle", more properly called the Pareto Principle.
An Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto noticed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Not too surprising I guess! He also notice that in his vegetable garden 80% of the peas came from 20% of the peapods.
And the more you take this little "rule" and use it the more you see its use.
So Microsoft found that when fixing 20% of the software bugs solves 80% of the crashes and system failures, in health and safety fixing 20% of the hazards causes 80% of the accidents and so forth.
This is not always a literal 80:20 – these numbers are often used because they are simple and easy to understand. It could easily be 80:10 or 70:20 so it is about efficiency and clarity than literal numbers.
An 80% Detox is going to focus on the essentials so let's do that now and let's do that now in an 8 step list…
8 Steps to 80% Detox
1. Choose and fix your Detox dates. Whether for a weekend a week or a month decide in advance when to do it and mark it on a calendar and even better see if you can get some friends to join in
2. Stop making things worse! For the Detox period stop or massively reduce smoking, drinking alcohol, sugar intake and eating meat. If you don't do this your Detox will have limited very effects
3. Upgrade your diet easily by increasing the number of superfoods you eat in this time. Superfoods like Greens, Olives, garlic…in fact just focussing on fresh fruit, vegetables and organic grains. Be Careful to avoid anything you know you are allergic to.
4. Do not drink too much water. In spite of frequent exhortations to do so drinking 8 glasses of water has no basis in reality. Toxins are not "Flushed away", they have to be detoxed and probably by the liver. You can flush a toilet bowl, but you can't flush your liver by drinking too much water. Enjoy some cups of gentle herb tea such as Chamomile or Peppermint.
5. Liver Flush – perfect time then to mention the rather famous "Liver Flush" This is taken before breakfast when doing a serious herbal detox – it is a mix of a 1 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and lemon or lime juice. How much juice 3 x the amount of oil that you chose. Blend and enjoy! And if you really can't cope with the garlic, do please try to find a garlic pill you can take instead. Then for breakfast enjoy apples, pears, melons, apricots as much as you like.
6. Meals – no need to starve here this is detox, that is healing and not punishment! Serve yourself a great salad with avocado pears, tomatoes and as much fresh salad foods as you with. For dressing just mix Olive oil or other fresh organic oil with lemon and a little basil and salt if you wish. Later on you can repeat the salad if you wish or have brown rice and as many veggies as you like such as any of the greens and root vegetables.
7. Relaxation is a vital part of detox. Stress turns our ability to heal off or at least onto a background minimum setting and we want it set to "high". So listening to relaxing music, walks and anything that helps you to relax. Part of that should be a mineral bath – either an Epsom salts bath or Dead sea salts bath
8. Supplements – many of the traditional nature cure practitioners would tell you to stop taking supplements during detox. To put it mildly this is not a good idea. We need vitamin C, at least a gram a day to help us mend and magnesium helps detox processes themselves and also assists relaxation so do carry on with your normal vitamins and minerals
So there you have it, these 8 steps will help you to get a big detox health bonus without doing very much at all.
The idea is to make it as easy as possible so that you can do this whenever you like throughout the year. Generally its best to avoid the cold periods because then the body wants to sleep and store and not to do the entirely opposite process of detox.
How about 100%?
And when you want to deepen your detox and get even more healing by expelling more toxins from your body then you wonder, what's next? What does a 100% detox look like, what extra detox activity do I add to the 8 steps above?
The one word answer is "Herbs" and a slightly longer one is, "Detox herbs"
These don't have to be taken in any particular way. You can buy herbs dry and make detox teas with them or get tablets or capsules. They do need to be put together with some care and skill so you get a worthwhile detox and a safe one too.
Remember that if healing plants are not grown and picked with great care they may end up being polluted or mistaken for a different herb altogether so it is important to stick to well established suppliers.
And since we are all different, Detox herbs should be chosen for your own health challenges and according to your sex and for sure, no detoxing while you are pregnant.
So The best way forward for a deep detox is to see a qualified naturopath or herbalist who can help you sort out what herbs you need and what quantities you need and so on.
One of the best sources of info for herbal detox is Jon Baron and I will list some other good suppliers too which may help you get going.
There's lots more information on Detox in my 2 books about Detox on Kindle if you want to go further and do please feel free to ask questions in the comments below.