While healthy eating is our birthright, for many of us it seems like taking the plunge into eating a whole foods-based diet is the equivalent to traveling to some distant land. But it doesn’t have to be such a scary or foreign experience.
In my work as a Functional Medicine Doctor, my priority is to guide each patient through a safe, simple, realistic and pleasurable (yes!) transition into healthy eating. Because whole foods-based diets remove all the sugary, fatty, chemical-laden, artificial stuff from the diet, they sometimes get called a detox or a cleanse.
Why is detoxification important?
When our bodies become “toxic,” it means that our natural means of ushering out metabolic waste from normal human metabolism, environmental pollution, and what has become known as the Standard American Diet (or SAD diet – funny, right!) have exceeded the threshold for what the body’s innate detoxification system can tolerate on its own. With this toxic load, every system in the human body can become affected. From our head to our toes and everything in between, toxicity makes us sick!
How do you know if you are toxic and need to properly cleanse?
Usually a constellation of complaints helps you determine whether or not you are toxic and to what extent you need to cleanse. Some examples of what might infer a toxic system are:
- Persistent headaches, muscle aches and muscle fatigue
- Eating a lot of swordfish, tuna, shark etc.
- Several mercury fillings and dental amalgams
- Food allergies
- Stubborn weight loss
- Hormonal imbalances and consistent use of hormone replacement treatments such as birth control or creams like progesterone.
- Consistent use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Skin abnormalities such as acne, rosacea or eczema
- A lifetime of consuming the SAD Diet