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Oct. 10th, 2007

Thinking about body "De-Toxing"

My town house mate and I were talking about her allergies and she went on to say that she might stop eating for a few days to help her "de-tox". Now anyone who knows me knows that fasting for any reason really isn't my thing. I'm one grumpy bitch when I'm not eating, and so of course I'm against this new age idea of "de-toxing" that seems to be getting more and more popular.

One thing my room mate pointed out that might have helped get to the trend going is that a lot of people use "de-toxing" as a method of losing weight as well as cleansing the body. Some people see losing the weight as what they are "cleansing" there body of.

To me de-toxing is exactly about what it sounds like, trying to cut negative influnces and remove negative remains both physically and spiritually from your life. A lot of people maintain that it is merely a physical aspect- a way to clear out all the chemicals we eat and to flush out extra fatty foods we've indulged in as well as excess horomones and other baddies we find in regular food regime.

I have a couple of problems with this. The first is that the kind of methods I've heard of to "de-tox" (and I've got a huge range) are in no way scientifically proven to help remove chemicals and in fact I don't believe there are any scientific studies done on whether or not any of these systems have any positive effect on bodily health.

The second problem I have is that I know for a fact some chemicals (DDT and PCT's) aren't water soluable. They won't come out of fatty tissue and trying to remove them in any way once they are into your system is a ridiculous idea. I mean you can avoid them to a certain degree, but most people are born with a certain level of them in them from their mom anyhow. I have to assume that DDT is not the only chemical where this is true.

A third problem is that I don't think that "de-toxing" once in a while is something that would on a purely physical level be effective. I mean being healthy is a constant struggle. You have to constantly eat the right foods and exersice. You can't go on a day or a week or even a month retreat and expect to balance everything out. Yes sometimes having the right work out once in a while is helpful, but I don't view de-toxing in that light.

For me anyway keeping myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy is a whole hell of a lot of work. It involves constant aspects of "de-toxing" on a regular basis (meditation, yoga, retreating from others, spending time in quite thought, taking days or weekends just to work on me, conisistantly drinking lots of water and sticking to healthier food choices because beginning a negative food cycle is what really gets me into trouble). I can't imagine that going away for a weekend or a week and fasting while meditating would de-tox someone from months or years of McDonalds or months/ years of emotional wear and tear.

Something like that takes constant efforts and if you are living a life eating the regular chemically processed food (nothing wrong with that) and the horomone injected meat (again I'm eating it as we speak) and drinking or doing any kind of substance, a weekend or a week of fasting isn't going to "purge" your system.

Another problem I have is how does not eating remove what you've already put in? Being mindful of what you eat might. A lighter vege based diet for a week I could see as helping to "cleanse" possibly Not purely physically, but mentally. And not completely cleansing but as a process of someone trying to get there.

I don't know. I guess my largest problem are the those de-tox programs that have you fasting and taking laxatives at the same time. I mean that isn't healthy. I can see how people get conned into thinking that laxitives might push the bad things out. I mean at least they we're talking about moving things out, but still depending on the suppliment you may just be throwing more bad things into you.

Also I'd like to take a moment to say that natural=/=better for you. There are products that I wouldn't go organic on because I don't think its better.

I think the closest I could get to de-toxing would involve taking a weekend to just mediate and do yoga while I ate just green veggies and drank water. Or I guess I would be up for having eight glasses of water in the moring and waiting a few hours to let that "sift through and push out impurities". Of course this morning regime suggests that you start with four cups of water in the morning and work up to eight or nine. It requests that you go to the bathroom as often as you need. It still lets you eat and encourages you to eat a full dinner and lunch. And it warns you that the water will flush out essential vitamins and minerals too. I feel like these directions help to make the actual de-tox system more responsible and better to try. I guess if you get something from it, that's great....but there isn't inherently anything there and I'm not sure why all of the sudden we're stressing chemicals when our bodies have always been about chemical reactions. That's all.

And yes, I am strongly anti-fasting.