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Why I Decided to Do a Detox (and is it worth it?)

Hi friend,

If you're here, I'm going to assume it's because you are curious about the concept of detoxification and wondering if it's right for you?

Maybe you want to know if it could help you with some of your symptoms?

Here's an invitation to get curious and learn about toxins and how they affect our body.

Here's my experience. 

 

After 8+ years on a healing journey, I decided to become an Integrated Health Practioner to first heal myself and my family.

I'm already through 60% of the program and just drinking the content up.

Two things have jumped at me in a big way so far:

  • How chronically stressed I've been and how my body never had a real chance to heal.
  • How toxins from our environments are making us worst on a daily basis (ugh!).

It became clear that my body was in need of a full reset.

Enters the Functional Medicine Detox by Dr. Stephen Cabral.   

The result after 21 days were life-changing = I feel renewed, lighter, clear and rejuvenated. 

 

But first, what are toxins?

I can't jump into detoxification without clarifying where toxins are coming from in the first place.

Toxins are mostly man-made chemicals that are disruptive to the body.

These chemicals - primarily introduced in the last 20 years - are new to humans and our system was never designed to know what to do with them. 

Unfortunately, toxins are now absolutely everywhere: in the air we breathe, the food we eat (even if organic), the furniture we sit on, the mattress we sleep on, the water we drink, the products we put on our skin...and the list goes on.

10 American studies showed in 2019 that an average of 230 toxins (out of only 400 studied) were found in newborn's blood at birth.1,2,3

Our new generation is born with a significant toxic load already. No wonder we see a rise in autism, deficiencies, behavioral issues, etc.

How sad is this?

It's officially now impossible to live toxin-free. 

 

Which toxins are the main culprit and how to avoid them?

There are many but here are some you can aim to slowly remove from your household. And yes, to make our fight more difficult, they're all invisible and sneaky...

  • Pesticides (mainly Glyphosate or Round-Up): choose organic and local when possible. If you can't buy organic, prioritize the Dirty Dozen list.
  • Parabens: this preservative has now been linked to birth defects and cancer. It's in everything so read labels and avoid anything containing the word paraben.
  • Formaldehyde: used in building products (such as MDF), insulation products, glues, pressed fabrics in furniture and many household products. This gas is a strong irritant and is cancer-causing. Ask questions when purchasing furniture and pick brands that prioritize low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). 
  • Color Pigment such as Violet 29: these colorants are used in plastic, shampoos, make-up and food. 
  • Tap water: believe it or not, tap water is likely to be one of the key thing that makes you sick. It's unfortunately contaminated with chlorine, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, industrial farms run-offs, VOCs from paint, heavy metals...just to name a few. Check my suggested filtering solutions here.
  • Phtalates (also seen as fragrance, DBD, DEHP, DEP): these are in almost all nail polish, deodorants, perfumes, hair sprays and soaps even if they're proven hormone disrupters and cancer-causing.

I could literally go on and on. Electronic emitting EMFs (electro-magnetic field), mold, dental amalgams are also disruptive invisible toxins. 

You can find more suggestions on healthy swaps for your home here.

How can I pick a safe non-toxic brand?

I absolutely love the work of EWG.ORG. You can search product brands from cleaners to laundry detergent to sunscreens and moisturizers and see how safe they are.

Take a few minutes and look it up: it's eye-opening!

From there, slowly start making changes. Your body will thank you!

Why a DETOX?

Although basic, I trust that the above introduction has painted a clear enough picture of how our body is constantly inundated with toxins.

To give it a fair chance in the fight, detoxing on a quarterly basis (or at least yearly) is critical nowadays.

And yes our liver is our primary detox organ BUT it was never designed to process the ongoing quantity of foreign toxins we're throwing at it. It's becoming sluggish. It's crying for help!

The detox comes to the rescue to support the liver.

Are all detoxes the same?

No. The one I'm referring to here is really a liver detoxification, designed to open the detoxification pathway.

For a successful detox, look for 3 things done in parallel:

  1. It must include supplements targeting phase 1 and 2 liver detoxification processes (ie. B vitamins, amino acids, flavonoids, antioxidants, etc);
  2. It must be done for a minimum of 7 days and include a low-inflammatory diet;
  3. It must include 24-48h of fasting (can be a mimicked fast) to amplify results.

The detox I decided to do is a Functional Medicine one, meaning it's comprehensive and supportive with the above. 

It gives strong results with minimal discomfort and it's been designed by Dr. Stephen Cabral who literally has been doing it with thousands of his patients.

How to do it?

If you're new to detoxification and you've never done one, it's recommended to start with a 21-day one. Simply put: your body and liver has more toxins in circulation and needs to do a deeper purge.

That's what I decided to do.

If you're doing regular detoxes here and there, you can go with 7 days and re-do it every season.

In a nutshell, during the detox you don't want to allow inflammatory foods and toxins in. That means: NO sugar, processed foods, coffee, grains, saturated fats and red meat.

The diet is simple to follow: vegetarian lunch and paleo-based dinner.

Here's the detailed plan:

It's ideal to start on a Monday. If you're doing a 7-day you'll be done on Sunday. If you're doing 21 days, you'll simply repeat the 7-day cycle 3 times.

The first 2 days (Monday, Tuesday) are a mimicked fast where you only take a shake that contains all your vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and plant-based protein.

This shake ensures you don't start breaking muscle down and gives you all your essentials to function. I took the vanilla flavor but it also comes in chocolate.

Once you hit Wednesday, it's smooth sailing afterwards. You mainly have to stay away from sugar, chocolate and coffee cravings. Staying well hydrated will help.

For lunch, I really enjoyed making myself some nice hearty soups or salads with a plant-based protein (roasted chickpeas are my favorite).

We know that overconsumption of animal protein can create unnecessary inflammation in the body and I really noticed a huge difference at lunch. No bloating and lots of energy.

Check out my healing soup recipe. I simply did it without garlic during the detox.

Dinner was similar to how I eat 90% of the time with a paleo style meal: wild-caught fish or pasture-raised chicken with lots of veggies (my fave: roasted broccoli and cauliflower!).

If you're wanting to loose weight during the detox, it's best to stay away from carbs such as yams, sweet potatoes, squash and all fruits. I had sweet potatoes a couple times.

 

Clinical Results

What's a detox without results?

Believe me, it's worth the effort. You won't think so the first 2 days but as soon as you reach day 4, it's like a revelation.

For me, my sleep was the first place where I saw a huge improvement. I had never been able to reach 30% or more of deep sleep before. Well, from day 4 of the detox and until day 21, I was able to stay up there. 

I have an Oura ring (which I LOVE). It was so helpful to be able to have tangible results every morning. Here's a glimpse of my day 4 sleep data: 

 Here are some of the other benefits I experienced:

  • Lowered heart rate at night (measured with oura ring: sign of less stress on the body)
  • Lowered body temperature at night (measured with oura ring: meaning more rejuvenation)
  • Increased sleep quality (more deep and REM state)
  • No brain fog
  • No aches and pains
  • No bloating or digestive issues
  • Lifted mood
  • Lots of energy
  • Weight loss: I lost about 10 pounds in total. I feel like I wasted my "toxic water" in the first 7 days (that layer of swelling we have everywhere). Than I lost more around my stomach and thighs.
  • Overall heightened body awareness (which is great to help identify what might be causing some of your symptoms)

Overall, I'm very pleased with these results.

Wow.

I feel like I gave my body a full reset which is the best gift ever!

The funny thing is, when you're done with the detox, it's easy to go back to old habits but your body will immediately remind you. And that's one of the benefit of the detox too: awareness.

 

Is it difficult (the truth)?

I'm not going to lie, the fasting days are challenging. I'm used to fasting so it wasn't a new feeling for me but it still got me, mostly around 3pm. 

To best support your detoxification it's ideal to don't overbook your Monday and Tuesday and allow for activities such as Infrared Sauna, warm bath with epsom salt, nature walk, meditation, ginger tea, etc.

I found that when I did those, I was able to push through. 

Week 1 was better for me after 6pm on the Tuesday as I knew the worst was behind me!

Week 2 was the easiest for me, I literally breezed through it with no issues. The fasting days just flew-by.

Week 3 was more challenging so I only did a 36h fast. Still felt wonderful.

 

Hacks to Success

If you're serious about doing a detox, do yourself a favor and consider these:

- Stop caffeine 3-4 days before you start the detox. As the withdrawal may cause headaches, it's best to get that out of the way.

- Reduce sugar consumption and processed food in the couple days before your start. This will help to reduce any cravings in the first 2 days.

- If you're cooking for your family, pre-plan the first 2 dinners and pick a meal that is not your favorite. You'll be fasting so it's best to reduce temptations!

- Plan time for a daily walk in the morning and don't push too hard with workouts. Walking is great to move lymph, blunt your morning cortisol spike and keep your muscles toned.

- Don't do it alone! Do it with friends and support each other. As you can tell here, my husband was very pleased to be doing it with me LOL. 

 

 

Join My Next Detox Round!

I'm committed to doing this detox every season change. It was such a pivotal moment for me that I want to offer this gift to my body quarterly.

If you're contemplating it, do it with me next time!

I've accumulated lots of tips and tricks and I'd love to be there to support you.

Check out The DETOX Community here.

Our next one starts on June 13, 2022!

It's the transformation you've been craving. 

 

I hope to see you there!

xo

 

Additional Resources

- Check my reel on How to detox without doing a detox

- EWG consumer guides

- Dr. Cabral Podcast: Your Top 10 Detox Questions Answered

- My chemical-free house blog

- WHO Natural Toxins in food

 

References

1. First U.S. Study to Measure Exposure to 59 Toxic Chemicals in Pregnant Women and Their Newborns

2. Study Shows Toxic Chemicals in Newborns

3. Tests Find More Than 200 Chemicals in Newborn Umbilical Cord Blood

 

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