11 Foods To Avoid When You Are Detoxing
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11 Foods To Avoid When You Are DetoxingCleanse with Caution—Keep Those Toxins at Bay
In my new book, Gorgeous for Good, I share some of the best information I have found to help keep you happy, healthy, and beautiful all of your days. Beauty comes from radiant good health and a joyful spirit as well as the wise choices you make for self-care, diet, and exercise. Here are some things I have learned about the process of “detox”:
Learning To Detoxify Your Diet
Many popular diets of late have included a “detox” juice cleanse in consumers’ quests to get healthy and/or thin. I’d like to discuss this concept, because this kind of work can be helpful if you feel that your diet is in need of an extreme, boot-camp kind of push in the right direction. But keep in mind that juices do not contain fiber, which is one of the most important elements of a detox regimen. The best way to detox is simply to stop eating toxin-laden food for good, and load your diet with plenty of organic fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes. There is no point doing a juice cleanse and then eating and drinking unhealthy beverages and food as soon as you’re done. If you learn to detoxify your diet and keep it that way, you probably won’t need to cleanse so often.
As far as the weight-loss benefits of cleansing, if you drink only juices for a week, you’ll obviously lose a certain amount of weight; however, you will put it all back on again in just a couple of weeks. If you are juice cleansing simply to lose a few extra pounds, try indulging instead in all the beautiful, whole foods that I recommend in this program, and you will reach and maintain your perfect weight.
One cleanse that made a lot of sense to me was a holistic one that I did a few years ago with Ayurvedic physician Dr. John Douillard, who is the author of six books on creating a healthy diet and lifestyle and the director of the LifeSpa Institute in Colorado. At the time I went there, I was experiencing some digestive issues and wanted to do a carefully guided cleanse. It was a great experience physically, mentally, and spiritually.
I asked Dr. Douillard what to look for in a good cleanse. He said that the most important thing is not the content of the cleanse itself—what you eat or drink during the cleanse—but rather any work done beforehand to address why you got toxic in the first place. The world has become increasingly toxic, and he explained that the body has a detoxification system that happens to use the same pathways as the digestive system. “If your digestion breaks down, so will your ability to detox,” says Dr. Douillard. “Weak digestion forces the body to store toxins in the fat, instead of properly processing and removing them from the body. If you force the body into a sudden cleanse, the liver—which is the detoxifier—may react and say, Why are you pulling those toxins out of my fat? I put them there for a reason! I am way too busy to process those toxins right now! And then it might never quite complete the process of moving the toxins out. As a result, many cleanses merely move toxins from one fat cell to another, and they may end up in your brain, which is forty percent fat.” Dr. Douillard went on to remind me that our ability to process hard-to-digest foods such as wheat, dairy, and fatty foods is reflective of whether or not we can detox well, and that if we experience our digestive strength weakening over the years, we are probably accumulating fat-soluble environmental toxins in our fat cells, including the cells in our brains.
Sadly, most over-the-counter cleanses are not well thought out and make promises they cannot keep, so be sure to look for a well-designed cleanse that can be supervised by a trained health professional.
How to Detoxify Your Shopping List!
When you’re cruising around the store, list in hand, try to avoid:
• Foods that contain artificial dyes, flavors, or preservatives
• Any food that contains artificial sweeteners
• Any food that contains high-fructose corn syrup
• Highly processed foods such as faux meat and cheese
• All meat and dairy (for a short time if need be).
• All fish, especially swordfish, tuna, and grouper because of high mercury content
• Any foods containing added sugar
• Hydrogenated and fractionated oils (mainly palm and palm kernel oil found in a variety of sweets and baked goods)
• Foods that contain wheat or gluten (especially if you think you might be gluten intolerant)
• Foods that contain dairy products
• Nonorganic produce in specific items
“What am I going to eat, then?” is the complaint I hear from many a friend I teach this to. My reply is that they are going to eat bucketloads of the most feel-good foods on earth. It takes a little while for some families to adjust their palates, especially if they are accustomed to eating a lot of sugar, salt, and fat (particularly fat from animal products). But we humans are extremely adaptable, and after a few short weeks, anyone who follows these guidelines will crave beautiful, fresh foods more than the toxin-laden food they may be used to. Trust me on this. To learn more, see my book, Gorgeous For Good.