“Who are we without our addictions; without our media-induced hungers? So often the voices we hear echoing in our mind are not our own but that of our influencers. Isolation, while arguably going against human nature, is essential for mental and emotional health. Solitude is a detoxification of all that distorts our personality and misguides our path in life. It allows us to filter out the foreign opinions and hear our own voice – reach our authentic character – and practice fidelity to self.” -L.M. Browning
As a former Holistic Nutritional Practitioner, my definition of detoxification has always included the process of clearing toxins from the body such as excess mucus, yeast, and congestion, and from the mind, as in all manner of fear and negative chatter.
You Are What You Eat? Not So.
You’ve heard the saying, you are what you eat. The truth is, you are what you can digest.
Since childhood I have not been able to properly assimilate two things very well. Gluten and beans. I simply avoid beans like the plague with the exception of the tiny mung bean which I have no problem with in small amounts, and gluten-free is how I roll. And so for anyone wondering, no…I am not a vegan or vegetarian because my body physically protests the beans.
But this is just me. I’m not sure why this is. I’ve always had the notion that it had something to do with my father’s alcohol saturated spawn at the time of my conception.
My point is, there can be so many factors that contribute to how and what we can digest.
A Sluggish System and Monkey Mind
Poor digestion, a sluggish colon, reduced liver function, monkey mind, and poor elimination through the kidneys, lungs and skin contribute to the increase of toxins in the body.
These reduced functions are caused not only by poor eating habits, but sometimes by biological factors. However, internal stress caused by our incessant media addictions, negative thinking and endless busyness also contribute to overloading our systems with all the things the body finds undesirable when imbalanced.
Addictions, Imbalance, and Overload
Caffeine, sugar, white flour, processed foods, alcohol, drugs, stress, and nicotine are major culprits in making us feel unwell when we’ve tipped the scales of balance and overloaded our system.
The human body is capable of handling these substances when we are well-balanced and feeling happy and content in our hearts. (some exceptions apply such as alcoholism, where no amount of alcohol is acceptable).
How Much Negative Fodder Is Feeding Through Your Mind?
Successful detoxification is also a process of clearing the mind of our ranting negative chatter and judgments.
One of the greatest internal toxin producers is negative emotions such as guilt, regret, despair, anger, resentment, fear, shame, and self loathing.
I invite you to time yourself for just an hour a day and pay close attention to the negative fodder feeding through your mind. It will astonish you. **Please read my note at the end of this blog about the COVID-19 panic and how to detox from it too.**
Finding Pleasure While Detoxing
Some gentle and pleasurable daily practices, in an effort to fill the mind with calm and spaciousness as we detox, can include a few simple yoga stretches, deep breathing, walking in nature, laughing, solitude, turning off all mobile devices or listening to beautiful music.
Notice how simplistic and easy these practices are. They cost nothing yet can have a profound effect on our well-being when we gift them to ourselves on a regular basis.
No Pain, No Gain. Such a Drag
To detoxify the body, we must temporarily stop feeding it gluten, dairy, sugar, (including fruit) caffeine, and alcohol for a week. (Your general state of health and body weight are factors here. It’s wise to check with your doctor first.)
Instead, eat plenty of fresh (organic if possible) cooked vegetables, lean meats, some nuts, and drink lots of water and herbal teas to flush the toxins out.
I know…I know…you’re flipping out at the thought of giving up bread, pasta, coffee, your evening glass of Pinot Noir. I do understand. But it’s only for a week. (even a few days can be helpful)
You won’t believe how fantastic you will feel. Something like…..alive!
But first you’re gonna feel like crap. Maybe a headache, achy bones, sleepiness. This will soon pass. A couple of days maybe, then the turnaround.
A Cataclysmic Renewed Sense of Vitality
I’ve cleansed in this way several times over many years on my walk in this world, and I’ve done it for ten or more days at a time because of the life enhancing benefits on so many levels.
Giving the body a break from these substances brings about a cataclysmic renewed sense of vitality, clarity, energy, a better functioning digestive system, and a deep sense of inner well being that in second to none.
Spring and Fall Are Optimal Seasons To Detox
The best time to consider this kind of detox is when you’re feeling burned out, sluggish or depressed and should be undertaken in either early spring or fall to reap the enhanced energy of the earth’s natural cyclical patterns and rhythms during these two seasons which are optimal for detoxification.
Letting go of harmful toxins and putting our bodies in the best state for detoxing, like enjoying quiet walks, time for solitude, eating simple soups, stews, bitter greens, steamed veggies, lean protein, and simply reflecting on how we’re feeling, are extremely self loving gifts to give ourselves.
Practicing Excellent Self Care
Because giving up foods we normally enjoy can be emotionally stressful, it’s always a good idea to practice excellent self-care during this time.
Taking a long bath, curling up with a good book, staying off social media, getting up early to have some quiet time, putting fresh flowers next to your bed, indulging in some favorite essential oils, watching an uplifting or inspiring movie or two — these are just a few ways to enhance a detoxification.
How Alive Do You Feel?
And finally, my marker of true well-being is how alive we feel day-to-day. Are you feeling joyful, relaxed, inspired, loving, and enthusiastic about life most of the time? If not, a simple detox can work wonders.
HAPPINESS: The feeling of being alive. -Marty Rubin
**With the recent worldwide fear and pandemonium being stirred up around the Corona virus, there couldn’t be a better time than this Spring to consider detoxing from the foods that weaken our immune system, the words and images that weaken our immune system (ie: social media craziness about COVID-19), and all manner of people, places and situations that we know bring us down and make us feel heavy and joyless. My two cents worth? Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!! We are here. We are alive. We have the capacity to dance with any energy we choose. Choose joy…choose gratitude…choose celebration.
Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!! We are here. We are alive. We have the capacity to dance with any energy we choose. Choose joy…choose gratitude…choose celebration.
P.S. If you have friends, clients or colleagues who may need a kick-start into feeling alive again, send them this blog. Feeling alive and full of joy is nature’s number one immune system booster.
I love to connect. Feel free to contact me.