Is detox good for you? The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 24

Is detox good for you?

There seems to be some debate on this subject. I thought it was pretty obvious that detoxing is good for you, but maybe not, so…

Is detox good for you?

Well after pointing out that I’m neither your doctor or nutritionist, and that all my experimental data are strictly N=1 (I’m the subject, I experiment on myself and observe the results) I’m bound to ask…

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Compared to what?

Is detoxing good for you or not?Compared to continually feeling less than awesome but never really knowing why, is detox good for you?

Compared to drinking gallons of coffee and/or smoking cigarettes, not because you enjoy them but because you can’t function without them, is detox good for you?

And is detox good for you if the alternative is remaining addicted to a diet of grains and sugars that keeps you overweight, tired and physically stressed?

Is it just me or is that a bit of a no-brainer?

The detox myth

Is there a detox myth, or is detox, in fact, good for you?

Both, I’d say.

Detox diets

As with most things in health and wellness, I see that it’s possible to pay people quite large sums of money to tell you what you should eat in order to detox effectively.

And you don’t need to.

Not that there’s anything wrong with paying money to receive advice or be part of a program if you find that supportive. If it gets you to take action, to follow through on your initial commitment to detox, and achieve your goal then by all means pay money!

But there’s no magic in the money. And I’d be deeply suspicious of anyone who tells you that the magic is in their secret blend of detox herbs too.

Again, not that there’s anything wrong with herbal detoxes. Many plant extracts have beneficial and detoxing effects on our system, but you don’t need them.

Why is detoxing good for you?You do need plants!

But it’s not the magical ones, it’s the good old, honest, down to earth or up from the earth, vegetables that you eat that will do you most good.

Natural detoxing

So does anyone asking if detoxing is good for you really believe that it wouldn’t be good to cut out the donuts, pizza, cola, burgers, fries, milkshakes and chocolate, and live mostly on green veggies and salads with a little fruit, meat, seeds and good fats for a few weeks?

Really?

Does someone getting through 20+ cigarettes and a bottle of wine every day really think that detoxing is bad for you?

Probably not, but they might think it unnecessary, and there they might have a point. That depends on your beliefs, of which, more in a minute.

Suffice to say that you need not spend a fortune on learning how to detox or on special food, herbs or equipment to help you detox. You can do, but you don’t need to. Think of it as getting back to nature, perhaps. A scary thought for some people, I know, but for me a lot more reassuring than buying into the latest fad diet.

How beliefs affect your system

Not that I’m going to cover all of that here; it’s a huge subject, but it has a couple of major implications for anyone wondering if detoxing is good for you, or insisting that it’s a myth. It works both ways.

I don’t need to detox

If you believe that, and I mean really, truly, deeply believe that. If you’re absolutely in alignment with the idea that what you’re eating and drinking has no ill effects on you and you’re as healthy as can be then, regardless of what you actually are eating, you’re probably right.

If you genuinely believe that you don’t need to detox, you don’t. The trouble is that, for most people, that just won’t be true.

Is detoxing better than fad diets?The messages about how bad everything from fat to eggs, dairy to salt and drinking coffee and alcohol is for us are so strong, often in surround sound and technicolor, that it’s pretty much impossible to be immune.

And that’s before you start thinking about the stuff that really is bad for you!

The poisonous nature of wheat and potatoes rarely gets mentioned in the mainstream ‘foods to avoid’ literature, but if you’re on, or considering, something like a paleo diet then you’ll have those messages too.

Unless you live in a cave, or up a wi-fi free mountain, it’s pretty hard to believe that junk food is good for you, or anything other than broccoli and spinach really, the messages are that confusing!

Help, I need to detox!

Is detox good for you?And you’ll probably have the belief that you really do need to detox.

If you’ve looked at information on health, diet, fitness and nutrition for any time then you’ll have seen something about detoxing. You may not have gone looking for it deliberately, or remember reading it, but your subconscious knows.

You have a belief that you need to detox and so, no matter how healthy your diet, you’re probably right: you do, and that detox is going to be good for you.

Careful with the symptoms

Or, more specifically, what you believe about them.

Is detox good for you? Is it bad? Is detoxing dangerous?

If you read about the dangers of detoxing and the horrible withdrawal symptoms you’re likely to experience, don’t be too surprised if it’s not a wholly pleasant experience! Alternatively, you can choose not to experience withdrawal symptoms.

No withdrawal symptoms?

Heroin detoxIf you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s interesting to consider the study into heroin addiction among U.S. serviceman in Vietnam.

It seems that a high percentage (45%) of soldiers used heroin while in Vietnam, with many considering themselves addicted, and yet most were able to stop using the drug as soon as they returned home. Very few experienced any withdrawal symptoms or received help in rehabilitating.

And yet heroin is considered one of the most addictive of all drugs, and the horrific withdrawal symptoms are the stuff of legend and epic films.

Be careful what you wish for!

So withdrawal symptoms seem to be optional but, as I wrote way back on Day 5, you get what you focus on. I’d been complaining that the lack of detox symptoms made it difficult to know what to write about. By the very next day there was no shortage of writing material!

So don’t go expecting your detox to be a painful experience unless you want it to be.

But is detox good for you or not?

Well, having said all that, I seem to have posed a number of questions but not answered the original one: Is detox good for you?

Bottom line: Yes, I believe it is good to detox, and tomorrow I shall explain exactly why I think so.

What’s my detox diet today?

Detoxing is good for you, or certainly tastes that way when it involves green smoothies!Breakfast
Smoothie – banana, coconut milk, spinach, dates, raisins, pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Lunch
Bacon, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach

Dinner
Pork loin steaks with a tomato and onion sauce
Asparagus and carrots

Supper
An apple, probably

Drinks
Water
Black coffee

And that’s it!
IanB asks: Is detox good for you?

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