The Controversy surrounding “Detoxing”

November 5, 2010

Detox…

What a funny and controversial word.

According to dictionary.com: “Detoxification” is the metabolic process by which toxins are changed into less toxic or more readily excretable substances.

Dictionary.com definition

There are hundreds of thousands of detox, detoxification products and programs (tea, capsules, powders, etc.) on the market today.  Many of these magically suggesting extravagant results; mainly weight loss.

google search picWhat are my thoughts on Detox products, and Detoxing?

I have a few…

Marketing Entices…

  • Companies capitalize on the fact that we, as a society, are continuously on a quest to find a new Super Food, or a quick fix, INSTEAD of looking at the bigger picture:  our poor eating habits, over-consumption, under-consumption, and our stressful relationships, work, and lives.

In other words, the surge, and tremendous pull to splurge on “detox” products, is the direct result of a lot of “Fabulous” Marketing and our desire for quick fixes.

Monday, blueberries are the magnificent Super Hero’s, fighting wrinkles, and staving off our risk of heart failure… Wednesday it is coffee, or dark chocolate… or wine… Suddenly, blueberry pancakes become healthy, and we pat ourselves on the back for taking probiotics with blueberry extract, or drinking red wine, over white.

As each one of these “foods,” etc., hit the limelight, they become “little” moneymakers.  From a company’s standpoint, why not take advantage of that?

I have a strong Marketing background.  There is nothing “wrong” with “smart” marketing; but as consumers, we have to be smarter. It is important to understand that there is no such thing as a magical elixir, be it a powder, tonic, or tea.  There is no magical solution to “toxicity.”  If there were such a magical product, heck, I would be all over that.

Truth: We are in control of how we chose to educate ourselves and nourish our bodies.  I am not saying that the “damages” that toxins cause are irreversible… No.  Realistically, though, how is one product, or a few “rounds” of any product going to solve the years we have spent accumulating these toxins in the first place?

Sounds enticing, but hardly plausible.

Safe?

  • Some products that claim to “cleanse” or “detoxify”, can be extremely harsh on the body. Imagine what is happening on the inside of your body to produce these “stellar” results.  Transitioning into a lifestyle with more alkaline foods, and focusing on pure, wholesome foods, and vegetable juices will naturally “detoxify” and “cleanse” the body.

The Yo-Yo Cleanser

  • I always hear of people “cleansing,” or trying a new detoxifying supplement to then go back to their poor eating habits right after the pills run out. I have never fully comprehended the point of doing a “cleanse” just to run out and pick up a greasy turkey club afterwards.  Talk about confusing the body… Drastic changes in ones lifestyle is, my opinion, (Unless of course, you are talking about eliminating fast food from your diet, etc.) can be very harmful (just like yo-yo-dieting– it is like “yo-yo-cleansing”).

Lifestyle Changes

  • Any new dietary program (a safe program, like one created by a nutritional counselor, and approved by your HCP) can be a nice way to jump-start a new lifestyle, or turn over a new leaf.  Some of us need something “more” to make a change.  I understand that. Whether it is working with a nutritionist, creating a healthful meal plan for yourself, or even doing something completely unrelated, like getting a haircut, facial, or massage. There is much more to “healthy-living” than any “cleanse” will remedy, however.  “Healthy-living” is a slew of things; nutrition, friends, family, love… and we need to work on all of these areas instead of looking for a “quick-cleanse” to remedy all of the internal and external factors we are managing.

Juice Fasting

  • Juice fasts. Hmmm. Another controversial topic.  Right off the bat I will say I have never been more than intrigued by fasting in general.  It may have its place with some, but I have watched people feel temporarily better, only to find that their digestion is less tolerable of certain foods, otherwise deemed healthy.  A happy and healthy digestive system is absolutely crucial to a healthy life.  If the occasional juice fast helps one have more control over the way their body digests, then I am not going to condemn the idea.  For instance, if you have a –relatively speaking– “clean” lifestyle, and you eat something for dinner that causes distress, I do not think it wise to jump up and eat breakfast the next morning… maybe you will want to juice until the “feeling” passes. I have both juice fasted until lunch, or dinner, on numerous occasions (typically only when living an inactive lifestyle—i.e. sitting in front of the computer all day), but more prolonged juice fasting, and on a regular basis, can both offset digestion, and affect “metabolism.”  Gena wrote a nice article regarding the “lure of juice fasting.”

Healthy for Life

  • Instead of choosing a time to make drastic changes, make a point to make smaller, but smarter changes to your daily life and diet.  Choose more alkaline, and wholesome foods, over fried foods, processed foods, and animal products. This will gradually and naturally “detoxify” the body, and increase the likelihood that you see positive, and more importantly, LONG-LASTING results in every area of your life.  You will also be more likely to feel less “deprived” and stick with your healthier eating habits and lifestyle– and that alone is priceless.

Breakfast time!

~ ~ ~ ~

~What are your thoughts on “detoxing”?  What is your opinion of all of the “cleansing” and detoxifying products and diets on the market? What is your reaction to this article.  I would love to hear my reader’s thoughts on this controversial topic. ~

7 thoughts on “The Controversy surrounding “Detoxing”

    • Hey Aubrey!
      I have not really been looking for a raw cookbook, so I really do not have many suggestions… most of my ideas come from old cook books that ideas for flavors from, and then sub pasta for zucchini, or coconut for milk, etc. I get most of my ideas from bloggers, like Gena, and flavors from the Twins… if not from Whole Foods, salad bar concoctions, and menus… also… all of you! So if you have anything you would like me to try to recreate…
      Natalia’s books have some great recipes. I think Alissa Cohen’s book offers a lot of great ideas, and recipes… they just would not be suitable for me on a nightly basis, but they would have been pretty fantastic when I was still transitioning. 🙂 Let me know if you come across any good cookbooks or recipes!
      xo

  1. Pingback: The “Detox” Juice « Diary of a Nutritionist

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