Why detox?

“Why would YOU need to detox/cleanse?”, is the typical question I’ve been asked,  of course with the knowledge of my raw vegan diet and “naturalist” lifestyle. What many of us take for granted is the plethora of toxins we’re exposed to daily, which are almost next to impossible to avoid. Ranging from our diet of refined foods, our consumption of poor quality water, the use of synthetic personal care products, the stressful lifestyle that most of us lead (Yes, stress releases harmful toxins into our bloodstream) to the very environment that we exist in. It is recommended that we routinely detox at least twice a year. The benefits are many: weight loss, raised energy levels & reversal of chronic ailments just to name a few. A detox is also recommended for those who wish to make a transition from an animal- based diet to a plant- based diet.
I believe the time had come again for me to do a routine detox.  So after an enlightening, empowering and inspiring detox consultation with Tehuti Ma’at this past Thursday, I started my 14-day detox program yesterday. 5 juices a day all infused with herbs, all the fruits I want to eat plus coconut water as my water source; I’m thinking this shouldn’t be too bad as at the time of composing this blog post, day 2 is just about complete and I’m yet to experience the pangs of hunger.
My day actually started out doing some ( 10 high & low intensity) 300m intervals. One thing’s for sure, my energy level and endurance has not diminished – even managed to get in a yoga session. But hey, it’s early days yet; not that I expect anything to change.

On the contrary, consistent to what I read this morning in my current read, “The Tao of Sex, Health & Longevity” by Daniel Reid, this detox really should energize me and cause all my organs to function more efficiently. In paraphrasing a quote from the book, consuming these enzyme rich juices and fruits will not deprive my brain, muscles, joints and nerves and cause them to function normally. “The enzymes will roam through through the bloodstream & protect the entire system from all sorts of disease and toxic damage. This is one of the great benefits of fasting: the body’s entire enzyme capacity devotes itself to cleaning house, digesting and 

eliminating dead and damaged tissues and putting refined proteins and helping in the construction of new cells”.
The detox program I’m using is a “Circulation and Inflammation” model and is geared towards improving my digestive health and overall vitality. I’ve been encouraged to cultivate good lifestyle habits

 such as daily exercise (which I currently do through running, weight training and karate) and going to bed by 10 p.m. Say what!!?? 10 p.m. bedtime!!?? In this day and age!!!??? Why is good quality sleep important? See the following excerpt of an article I came across at www.sleepfoundation.org:

” The pattern of waking during the day when it is light and sleeping at night when it is dark is a natural part of human life. Only recently have scientists begun to understand the alternating cycle of sleep and waking, and how it is related to daylight and darkness.A key factor in how human sleep is regulated is exposure to light or to darkness. Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area in the brain called the hypothala-mus. There, a special center called the supra-chiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake.

The SCN works like a clock that sets off a regulated pattern of activities that affect the entire body. Once exposed to the first light each day, the clock in the SCN begins performing functions like raising body temperature and releasing stimulating hormones like cortisol. The SCN also delays the release of other hormones like melatonin, which is associated with sleep onset, until many hours later when darkness arrives.

Because melatonin is a hormone that is part of the human sleep-wake cycle, many people think that by taking more of it as a pill, it will help them to fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer.

Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body’s pineal (pih-knee-uhl) gland. This is a pea-sized gland located just above the middle of the brain. During the day the pineal is inactive. When the sun goes down and darkness occurs, the pineal is “turned on” by the SCN and begins to actively produce melatonin, which is released into the blood. Usually, this occurs around 9 pm. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and you begin to feel less alert. Sleep becomes more inviting. Melatonin levels in the blood stay elevated for about 12 hours – all through the night – before the light of a new day when they fall back to low daytime levels by about 9 am. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable.

Besides adjusting the timing of the clock, bright light has another effect. It directly inhibits the release of melatonin. That is why melatonin is sometimes called the “Dracula of hormones” – it only comes out in the dark. Even if the pineal gland is switched “on” by the clock, it will not produce melatonin unless the person is in a dimly lit environment. In addition to sunlight, artificial indoor lighting can be bright enough to prevent the release of melatonin.

The amount of melatonin released at night varies among individuals, but it is somewhat related to age. Children on average secrete more melatonin than adults, which decreases further with age. However, research has shown that older people with sleep problems do not always have lower melatonin levels than people who experience normal sleep.”

The sun facilitates good digestion, while the moon facilitates the healing, detoxifying and rejuvenation of our bodies. Yes, the celestial bodies have an effect on our bodies. to ensure that I actually get the good quality sleep I need to make this detox more effective, I’ve been encouraged to sleep in “cave man” like manner. Basically what this means is sleeping in pitch darkness – all lights out and fresh air in (windows open).
Incidentally, I participate in another 5k run the day after I complete this detox – looking forward to see what kind of performance I’ll put it. Look out for that blog post 😉
Yikes it’s 40 mins to bedtime! Gotta “shut down” now by turning off all electronic devices and lights (which all act as stimulants) in preparation of getting in some good quality sleep tonight.
Talk soon..Blessed LOVE!
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6 thoughts on “Why detox?

  1. Pingback: Simple tips for more energy | Active Life

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