What does it mean to you?
Giving up the booze for a week? Cutting down on crisps and chocolate? Drinking more water? Holding yourself accountable to your diet more closely. Or going on a diet shake week? Intermittent fasting, or a juice detox?
In truth we detox each night when we go to bed. Detoxification happens when we rest our digestive system and give our bodies the space to start deep healing on a cellular level. Which is why eating before bed is such a bad idea. Ideally you should have 4 – 5 hours after eating before retiring for the night. This enables tot body to perform its myriad of functions during your sleep cycle such as repairing nerves, generating new cells, restoring and healing organs. Repairing bones, growing your hair and nails and generally giving you a complete internal reset overnight.
However, when the sleep cycle is poor and your body is busy digesting foods throughout the night this whole pattern can be interfered with. Meaning you wake up feeling tired and groggy and unrejuvenated. And we often break our fast – have breakfast – with something that will not help aid this continuous healing process the body is trying to do all day every day. Which is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And it doesn’t have to be as soon as you open your eyes. I personally don’t get hungry till I have been awake for a few hours. My natural metabolism is pretty slow. So it takes me a while to prepare for food. Whereas others may feel hungry immediately.
Always the first thing going into the system should be pure, clear, filtered water. This wakes the organs and hydrates our body and brain after a period of rest. Then when you are ready a healthy, nutritious breakfast should be consumed. This may look different for each of us in terms of what we fancy, what our bodies are craving and what we have time for. However, getting this right will set you up for the whole day. And allow your body the chance to utilise the energy within the food to propel you through your day and help you achieve whatever it is you need to do.
A true detox provides the body the chance to do this healing, repairing and regenerating over a longer period of time
Detoxification Through Fasting
Here is what happens in the body when we detox through fasting.
Fasting cleanses our body of toxins and forces our cells to perform different functions whereby they would normally be busy processing our daily diet.
When we digest food, it breaks down into glucose which is where we get our energy from. when we fast we do not have access to this energy and our body is forced to find another energy source. As a result of this, our bodies go through a process called gluconeogenesis, creating its own sugar source for energy. The liver helps this process along by converting fats into glucose. During the fasting process our body will conserve this energy, lowering our metabolic rate which can reduce blood pressure and we go into a state of ketosis (you may have heard of the ketogenic diet, which promotes the same thing, although in my opinion doing this for a long period of times puts too much pressure on the body).
In ketosis the body burns fat as fuel, which uses up stored fats on the body and can be a great kick start to weight loss.
Fasting allows our very cells to strengthen as they are activated. Digesting food is the most energy taxing thing we do each day. There are so many moving parts along the digestive system that all play a part in breaking down our daily diet to provide energy and remove waste. It is no wonder that this process can cause so much pain if IBS is present. IBS is anything that happens almost anywhere along the digestive process. Which is why so many people get such different pains and symptoms. No two people are the same with this umbrella illness. So it stands to reason that temporarily halting that digestive process can flood your body with energy and allow your toxic overload to enable every single organ, nerve, cell to become invigorated as the energy is flooded around the body.
Stay Safe During Detox!
Detoxing via fasting should only ever be undertaken with the help of an expert. There are many fasting and detox programs out there but if you don’t know what you are doing and don’t know what to expect and have no support around you it will be much harder and could even be dangerous.
So seek expert help and guidance if you intend to give your body a rest, recharge and feel the incredible benefits of detoxification through fasting.
I have been using fasting as a way of resetting my body, losing weight and allowing myself time to heal for almost two decades.
I feel the benefit to my body and brain in using this as a valuable tool to heal, allow my body a rest, soak up some amazing energy and promote a little weight loss when needed. I would highly recommend the following two women who have helped me greatly on my journey. Hillary at Dharma Healing International and Rebecca at Jiva Healing.
When I was recommended to go to Hillary’s place in Koh Samui, Thailand it was the beginning of my own journey to IBS freedom. It was also the seeds of me starting my own business so I have a lot to be thankful for.
Regular resetting allows the body to heal from IBS and can go some way in preventing disease from taking hold. I firmly believe this is what has kept me healthy and my mind strong enough to cope with various emotional traumas over the years.
Now for the good bit…!
Colonics / Enemas
During a fasting program and whilst detoxing the body clearing out all the unwanted debris works both ways.
Having colonics or self administering enemas during a fast can really help to cleanse the colon of all unwanted, mucosal and sticky waste material that may have been hanging about for a while… this leaves you feeling extra clean, energised and ready to start taking in good quality and healthy foods when you are ready to break your fast.
Colonics must be administered by a professional and self administered enemas have to be taught correctly, so don’t try this at home without professional guidance.
Don’t Do It Alone…
There are several different ways of detoxing whilst fasting and choosing a retreat which offers you a choice of juice fasting, water fasting, herbal cleansing fasting or even raw vegan food fasting.
Research fasting retreats and choose whichever one appeals to you. Fasting in a group will always be much more fun and the supportive environment is essential for first timers.
Each of us have a different experience each time we fast and it can be a complete lightbulb moment or just a really good rest for the body and mind.
One thing is for sure, once you have been on one of these treat, your body and your gut will thank you for it! Here are some benefits of fasting on the body:
- Boost cognitive performance
- Protect from obesity and associated chronic diseases
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve overall fitness
- Support weight loss
- Decrease the risk of metabolic diseases
Calm Your Liver
Did you know that throughout our lifetime, we take in an average of 5kg of toxic chemicals just from what we use on our skin and in our environment?
Gross, huh? Our liver has to process all of this. On top of often an unhealthy diet, alcohol, medications and supplements. The liver performs around 500 – 700 tasks daily and is often the most overworked organ in the body.
Detoxing through fasting can really take the pressure off and enable the liver a much needed respite. It will still be working, just not half as hard for us during this process.
We could each do better in terms of beauty products and house hold products. I am a big fan of Ecover products. Yes they are a little more pricey but they give me a little more peace of mind than some of the other household toxins do.
Here is a useful link to find out which of your beauty products could be less harmful and toxic for you. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
I hope this has given you food for thought and been useful and informative to you. For more info, get in touch.