During the elimination phase of the reset program, your body is going through the process of detoxing and releasing toxins out of your body. But what exactly happens at this phase? Why do we detox? Where do the toxins go?
These are all good questions you may be asking yourself right now as you begin your journey to a new start, and a lifestyle change that can improve your overall health open your eyes to how healthy your body can really be.
What is a toxin? I hear they’re everywhere!
Let’s start with what a toxin really is. A toxin is any substance that causes harm to the body, mind, and/or spirit. If our organs are armed to deal with these invaders, specific organs and or systems can become backlogged with the process of removing these toxins. Think of it like this: When a river is able to run naturally, it causes no issues. However, once a dam is built the water begins to slow down. The slowing down process is much like the backup of stored toxins unable to freely be dealt with by the body and eliminated in a timely manner.
This causes inflammation in the body that can result in a wide variety of health problems and pre-disposition to disease. Toxins or free radicals often get lodged in places such as the brain, organs, and adipose tissue (our stored fat). When we do a detox program, we must ensure that our organs and colon are in optimal conditions to deal with the rapid release of free radicals into our system and begin the removal process.
Why do we need to detox? Don’t we detox naturally?
To some extent, the body is always detoxing (i.e. through regular bowel movements). It is constantly striving to keep us in a state of homoeostasis — a balance from the outside world with our inside world. The role of our organs is to nurture us with nature, using our food to not only nourish us, but protect and heal us when required to do so.
But taking a reset program like Village Juicery’s is different. Detoxing, when done with that exact purpose in mind, is done with a clear mindset and one of determination that this will be a moment for ourselves. Taking the time to reset connects our mind and body, and through this, we aim to create a higher understanding of our own bodies and what we can achieve with them.
Where do toxins go once they get released?
Depending on your overall health and where the toxins are accumulated in your body, the release of these toxins from their lodgings can cause detox side effects. For proper release of toxins, we must ensure that the liver is in good health to deal with the stabilization of these free radicals, turning them into stable metabolites. From here they would pass through the pancreas on their way to the kidneys, while having some help from the gallbladder along the way. There are two pathways that they can then be excreted through the body, one being the kidneys and through urination; the other through the intestines and colon, which is then removed through feces. If our colons and intestines are all backed up from a poor diet of processed foods and one that does not promote optimal health, there is a good chance that some of these stable metabolites could get stuck, and once stuck, can fester into more free radicals that get absorbed back into the blood stream and are then free to travel to their new resting spot in the body.
On the flip side, someone can be eating a clean, nutrient dense diet but may have a blockage in the intestines or colon, not allowing for the absorption of these vitamins and minerals and therefore not allow them to do their job protecting and nourishing us. This is why it is so important to have a cleansing and healing process when the seasons change (spring and fall). It is no coincidence that people get the flu and colds during these seasons, as it is the accumulation of stored toxins in their bodies and the overwhelming inability to cope with them.
There will be signs of detoxing once you undertake this cleansing period of your body. For some, it may include sluggishness, tiredness, experiences of headaches, soreness, swelling, constipation or dizziness. These are all very common for the first three days (and for some people, this can last longer). They are positive signs, however, that your body is now recognizing these invaders and is undergoing a serious of immune responses in order to combat and remove them.
A few quick tips for easing through this transition period: Probiotics and EFAs (essential fatty acids) are good bacteria that will aide the gut and the intestines in the removal process. EFAs help the brain combat the free radicals as well as line all of our organs and colon with a protective layer of lubrication to ease the process along.
I’ve done my cleanse! I can go back to my old ways right?
The short answer is no!
The post cleanse should also be a time of nourishment and a time to truly feel the benefits of allowing the body to heal, rest, and reset. A gradual re-introduction of healthy vegetables and fruits is ideal, and eventually lead to whole grains, and down the line, the ability to consume meat and dairy with as minimal consequence as possible. Healthy fats and oils will be reintroduced and the continuation of protecting our good gut flora with probiotics, herbs, spices, and roots, nuts and seeds along with our EFAs, vitamins and minerals will keep the body in optimal health moving forward.
Listen to your body, engage with it, accept it and love it. The body-mind-spirit connection is very important for ourselves as well as the way we view each other and what kind of impact we can have on one another with positive intentions.
About the author
Matt Daley is a holistic nutritionist with Village Juicery and is completing his studies at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.