Why Detox? The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 25

Confused about detox

Along with questions like Is Water Wet?, Is Detox Good For You? and Should I Have Some More Cake?, I’d also never asked Why Detox? I thought it was pretty obvious but, again, perhaps not, and so…

Why Detox?

Well, lots of reasons, potentially. I’ll show you mine if… Okay!

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Why I wanted to detox

  • Struggling to get out of bed in the morning
  • Frequent coughs / sniffles / man-flu
  • Frequent low-level headaches
  • A variety of aches and pains
  • Falling asleep at 3pm
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Low energy
  • Constantly hungry
  • Shortness of breath
  • Concerned about my alcohol intake
  • Concerned about my nicotine intake
  • Concerned about my caffeine intake

Why detox? Isn’t it obvious? I sound like a complete wreck! I feel compelled to point out that this wasn’t all together, all the time – I was actually pretty fit and healthy really. Or was I? It was some of those symptoms that lead me to a more-or-less Paleo diet (again) about a year ago, and I felt a lot better for it. My energy levels were far more… level, and I felt generally better. But even so…

Not good enough!

There’s a tendency to assume that, as we get older, we naturally degrade and are bound to suffer aches, pains and things not working like they used to. Not so! Or certainly not to the degree that most of us do.

So why detox?

Why detox you ask?The reason to detox is that the accumulation of toxins is, I believe, a major contributing factor to this gradual decline in wellbeing that we seem to consider natural. If we detox ourselves, have a good clean out, then it’s like resetting the system. It’s not that a detox is going to instantly reverse all the damage our interesting eating choices has caused, but it’s a good start! And a detox, especially a 30 day one, is a very good way to change eating habits for the long term. Far easier, in my opinion, to have a complete and radical reset than to gradually reduce or replace. It might seem a bit brutal, but I’d rather go for breaking all the habits in one go. In the long run that seems friendlier and more productive than dragging it out. If I’m going to have some downtime while I get over my sugar addiction, I may as well go for wheat and dairy too. And alcohol, and nicotine and so on…

A total detox is best

Why detox mattersI’m a great believer in informed choice, and there’s not enough of it about. If you’re trying to identify the cause of some aches and pains or illness there are two ways to go about it. Well obviously there are many more ways, but I’m talking detox experimentation here. One way would be to cut out different food groups, one at a time, until you find that the problem disappears. That can work, and it can also take a long time – what if you go through dairy, wheat, sugar and pulses only to discover, half a year or more later, that it’s MSG or soy that’s troubling you?

Why detox is better

Just get rid of everything, all at once! That’s another way and, I think, a better way. For one thing, if it’s going to cure the problem then it’s probably going to do it within 30 days and, quite possibly in the first week or so. That’s a good start, no? And then you can, if you wish, carefully reintroduce foods until the problem reappears. If you’re paying good attention you’ll know exactly which food causes you trouble and can choose whether to eat it again.

Informed choice

Why detoxing is importantThat’s what I mean by informed choice. When you’re eating cleanly you can really tell what impact certain foods have on you. You can really feel the rush, and crash, from eating sugary foods. You may well choose to eat less sugars when you find you can have constantly higher energy levels without them. You’ll notice that some foods will make you feel full, and others will satisfy your appetite – and there’s difference. You may not have been aware of that difference before. When you’re properly informed you may find that you choose to eat less carbs and more fat, for it’s those that make that difference.


There is, of course, the fact that, like juicing, fasting or any other extreme sport, there’s a degree of challenge involved in a total detox. I really didn’t know if I’d stick out the whole 30 days of this one, and that’s fun. If you like that sort of thing!

And science

Of course, I love the science. I love to experiment, love finding out why and, having worked out the how and why, how I can improve it. Especially when the ‘it’ is me! That’s why I detox.

What have I eaten today?

Breakfast Smoothie – banana, coconut milk, spinach, dates, raisins, pine nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds Lunch Scrambled eggs, chorizo and tomatoes An apple Dinner Slow roast pork (like 18 hours slow – yummy!) Roast sweet potato Celeriac mash Carrots + mangetout Supper An apple, probably Drinks Water Black coffee And that’s it! IanB is wondering why detox?

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