Toxic isn’t just a Brittney Spears song, it’s also what your body is if you haven’t Detoxed lately! I bet our lady Brit could use a good detox after all the cigs, booze, and partying!
Tonight, as part of the Junior League of Philadelphia, I attended a training about Detoxifying your Body. Dr. Heidi Wittels who specializes in functional medicine lead the training. I wasn’t sure what to expect and while this training was directed towards medical professionals, some of the information was very useful and interesting. We learned the detoxification can help skin problems, body aches, digest issues, and even exhaustion. It has been practiced for years and is all about resting, cleaning, and nourishing your body. In fact, they DO NOT RECOMMEND intense exercise while on a detox plan because the plan itself puts a stress on your body. That in itself is an idea quite foreign to me. But, by removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health.
“The body has its own natural healing system,” says Peter Bennett, N.D., medical director of Helios Clinic in Victoria, B.C., and co-author with Stephen Barrie, N.D. and Sara Faye, of 7-Day Detox Miracle (Prima Health). “Detoxification enhances this system,” he explains.
A detox cleans out the body by enabling the liver, kidney, intestines, and skin to function better. Your body has numerous toxins in it at any time. These toxins are elements that are harmful to the body and can come from stress, metabolism, infection, or metals such as lead and mercury! We learned that the best way to detox is by using a special diet, supplements, saunas, gentle exercise, and MASSAGE!
Diet: During this special diet which can last as short as one week and as long as 1 month, you shoudl avoid the following foods: citrus, dairy and eggs, grains, pork, beef, veal, sausage, shellfish, soy products, peanuts and peanut butter, butter/margarine, alchohol, coffee, caffeinated beverage, refined sugars, mushrooms, corn, and all nightshaeds (tomatoes, potatoes except sweet, eggplant, peppers, and paprika). They recommend 6 small meals throughout the day and to think “outside the box” when it comes to meals. Who says you cant have fish and quinoa for breakfast? Hmm..
Supplements: The suggested supplement list is quiet long and can become quite expensive but these are in order of importance: Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Selenium, Glutathione, Taurine, and SAMe. These help protect from free radicals and aid in digestion.
Saunas: In safe amounts (5-15 min/day) these can help lower stress levels, mobilize toxins, and aid in the process. They stressed the importance of drinking water afterwards.
Exercise: During the detox exercise should be light weights and walking as you are already causing stress to your system. Therefore, do not do this while training for a half marathon
Massage: This aids in lymphatic draining and is highly recommended 1x per week during your detox.
I spoke with her afterwards and she suggested that the “average” person can greatly benefit from following these steps for even just 1 work week, Monday through Friday. In addition, she stressed the importance of stress during the process. Focus first on diet, then on supplements, then on sleep. If you can afford to have a massage at the beginning and end of the week that’s even better!
Maybe this would be a great thing to do the week after the half marathon..hmm!