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I recently decided that I want to challenge a detox program after reading about the numerous health benefits on this site. I am just curious what a good one to start off with would be? I have never done anything like this so I am a little concerned with safety as well as potential side effects. Also, I am a Canadian reader; what are some good options within Canada?
Detox programs are not for the faint of heart, and it can be tough to separate the borderline irresponsible programs from the holistically challenging. They take a lot out of you physically and emotionally, so you have to be prepared. I did a 27-day detox, and the first two weeks were extremely rough and almost cost me friends and co-workers — I was such a mopey so and so. I followed Dr. Joshi’s holistic detox program. This was years ago and now there are parts I really question as I do not believe in eliminating natural food from your diet — moderation is key.
I see an amazing acupuncturist and we have discussed detox programs and cleanses and she is not for it. She spends a lot of time with clients correcting issues that arise from the programs. You can wipe out a lot of friendly bacteria and actually put your body under a lot of strain while detoxing, and it monkeys with your digestion long after the detox is over. The body itself is a pretty awesome detox weapon. Nothing really beats your kidneys and liver.
What I do now when I feel the urge to detox (and start having elaborate juice cleanse fantasies) is eat super clean. Nothing out of a box, nothing refined — only fresh produce, fruit, and super lean proteins. No refined sugar, red meat, alcohol, and as little caffeine as possible. If you drink coffee, you may need to subsitute green tea to reduce the caffeine withdrawal headaches. I like to think of it as a caveman detox. Yoga also has many detox properties with moves designed to literally squeeze toxins out of your organs.
If you are dead set on doing a detox program, I would recommend finding an ayurvedic center, holistic natural food store, or acupuncturist in your area who could guide you through the process and help you find the detox that would address your specific concerns. I do not suggest going rogue on this, and if you start a program and it is not working for you or is making you feel ill do not feel bad about stopping. There are no awards or parades for finishing a detox, so listen to your body — It is usually right about what it needs and what does not work for it.