Can you believe we will be celebrating the arrival of 2016 already??? For many, a new year means new resolutions, which may include some lifestyle changes, such as working towards a healthier self. We want to help you have a healthy, positive start to the New Year! How? With our Detox Smoothie Secrets Revealed program on Wednesday, January 6.
Elyse Wagner, MS, CN, LMHCA, author of Smoothie Secrets Revealed: A Guide to Enhance Your Health, will be discussing how to detox in a holistic way and will also provide an action plan for detoxing on a daily basis. If you’re wondering what detoxing is and what is involved in the process, keep reading! We had a Q&A with Elyse to give us a better idea of what detoxing is and why we should be doing it daily.
1. Deerfield Public Library (DPL): What does it mean to detox?
Elyse Wagner (EW): Great question! Detoxing means reducing the amount of buildup of various poisonous substances in the body. Detox has had many different names and meanings throughout the years and, quite frankly, can have a different definition for each person. To me, detoxing is a mindset. It goes beyond just food; it includes thoughts and belief systems. If you can detox your negative thoughts, you will be empowered to accomplish other things in life. Humans have about 70,000 thoughts a day and 70-80% of those thoughts are negative. Our thoughts are the one thing that we have the most control over! Thoughts create our feelings and our actions can flip the switch to the major detoxifier…the brain! Detoxing, by my definition, can be body, mind and spirit. If food is the only thing that changes, the change is not sustainable.
2. DPL: Is there specific personal health information needed in order to detox? Should you consult a health professional before starting a program?
EW: Absolutely consult a health professional if you are starting a detox program or you’re interested in detoxing. There are many different approaches and you want to find a way that will support and supplement your mind, body, spirit, lifestyle, needs and wants. You will need to be your biggest advocate as you’re researching a support system and program. There are a lot of ‘detox’ programs that include a lot of chemicals and additives that sound good but they may harm you rather than actually serving you. Please make sure you find someone in the Functional Medicine related world; a Certified Nutritionist; or a practitioner from an accredited establishment (University or Program). I can’t stress this enough! Find someone who can help you get to the root cause of what’s going on and will take a pro-active approach and can look beneath and over just signs and symptoms of the reason why you feel you need to detox. You can visit www.functionalmedicine.org to find a certified practitioner near you.
3. DPL: Why should a person detox? What are some specific benefits?
EW: That is a great question! I would encourage the person who wants to detox to ask themselves WHY they think they need to detox. Did someone tell them they should or do they really want to see some changes and, if so, what changes are they looking for? People detox for multiple reasons, from a nutrition basis, psych, social and/or spiritual. From a nutrition/psych perspective, detoxing can be a way to begin to clear the body/system of unwanted materials that are not serving the body. You can begin a detox by eliminating one thing in your life, such as alcohol or sugar, or you can eliminate multiple things at once. This all comes back to the individual’s willingness and ability to clean up their lifestyle as well as how ready they are to make these transitions in their life. Some of the benefits you can see from detoxing include some of the following (Please Note: this is not an extensive list and will depend on the specific issues the client is presenting with):
– Clarity of thinking
– Smoother bowl movements
– Less gas/bloating
– Clearer complexin and skin tone
– Blood sugar regulation
– Energy elevation
– Mood increase
– Better sleep
– More concentration, and many more!
4. DPL: How long does it take for someone to begin seeing and/or feeling the benefits of detoxing?
EW: To be honest, this is a hard question to answer. The easy answer is ‘it depends.’ I say this because everyone lives their own individual lifestyle with their own unique tendencies, eating habits, thoughts and lifestyle. It is hard to say how much of a toxic load they are living with. As a general answer, some people can notice benefits as soon as a day or some may not experience benefits for a couple of days, weeks or even months. There are a couple ingredients in detoxing that make it worth it; one ingredient is consistency and the second ingredient is patience. Our bodies need time to process changes and detoxing can add more stress to the body which can slow down the process. Taking a relaxed, stress-reduced approach is encouraged.
5. DPL: When is the best time for detoxing?
EW: The short answer: whenever the best time is for you! There are many theories and personal experiences on detoxing. I personally suggest looking at detoxing as a daily practice. If we think about the word detoxing and break it down, detoxification means reducing the amount of buildup of various poisonous substances in the body. If we’re consistently inundated with toxins on a daily basis, it only makes sense to detox on a daily basis. To expand on this, if you think about the different ways toxins enter our body–through food, water, air, pharmaceuticals and negative thought processes– it makes sense to take responsibility for our bodies and minds and to detox daily. Whether it is flipping negative thoughts to positive thoughts or switching out a conventional vegetable for an organic one or reducing the amount of processed foods or medicine in our life by making conscious sustainable lifestyle changes/choices; these conscious efforts help to create a ‘snowball’ effect toward tremendous change in general.