Holidays can certainly be a challenging time of year, even for health-conscious individuals.
We think to ourselves “It’s just once a year” and sneakily stack on that extra slice of pie or dollop of grandma’s cheesy mashed potatoes, praying to ourselves that no one noticed or that it won’t put on too much weight or break out our complexions. And then we end up waking the next day feeling lousy and bloated with a blemish or three and think “I better go on a cleanse!”.
Such are the beginnings of holiday realizations and New Year’s resolutions!
So we start cutting out a bunch of bad foods and try to cram in as much healthy food as possible and somehow end up feeling worse than we did before. Well, my friends, this is called a detox reaction.
Detox is what happens when you eliminate or lessen your intake of things like sugar, wheat, and processed foods (and anything else deemed “unhealthy”). In response, your body eliminates toxins in varying degrees through the skin, liver, kidneys, and bowels.
Elimination of these toxins can often cause symptoms like:
• Mucus and congestion in the sinuses (this normally feels like a cold)
• Fatigue and drowsiness
• Low energy
• Bloating and other digestive ailments like constipation and diarrhea
• Irritability and mood swings
• Acne and other skin breakouts
• Hormonal imbalances
You can certainly feel a bit under the weather when you’re detoxing, but just know that it means your body is getting rid of all that metabolic buildup and garbage that’s been sitting around in your gut. You might even start breaking out as a result.
However, this is actually a good thing and is a normal part of detoxing.
It means that the cleanse is doing its job properly and effectively by helping your body get rid of toxic buildup. If you feel a bit too ill during a detox, simply ease up and add a small amount of the foods you’re cutting out to lessen your symptoms. For example, instead of using Nutella, use the healthier version that only contains hazelnuts, cacao powder, and other natural ingredients. There’s no need to dive right in cold turkey. There is always a healthier alternative to almost every food and drink out there, you just need to find them.
Detox will usually last a couple of weeks depending on your personal situation so all you can do is monitor your progress and pay attention to whether or not your symptoms are getting better or worse. If they get worse over a few months, your symptoms may not be detox, but something more serious and should be examined by your medical practitioner.
What is Detox and Why We Need to Detox
You may be wondering why we need to detox in the first place. What is it we need to expel exactly?
You might be surprised to find that certain foods, mainly processed foods, can easily build up in the colon. This gooey waste gets stuck and is known as mucoid plaque (I think the name is descriptive enough). It is said that most people carry around a few pounds of this stuff…yuck!
We are also exposed to everyday chemicals and toxins in the products we use, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe. Our bodies are constantly having to sift out toxins, and it can become quite overwhelming for it, especially around the holidays.
So who couldn’t use a little detoxing eh?
The Benefits of Detoxing
There are many good reasons to detox! Maybe you’re trying to lose a few pounds or perhaps you’re battling candida. For a lot of us though is for clear skin!
But that’s not all, you can also experience:
• More energy
• Mental clarity
• Emotional stability
• Improved digestion
• Clear sinuses
• Improved mood
• Radiant skin, hair, and nails
You’ll find that after a good detox, you will feel like springing out of bed in the morning! Your energy will be higher, your mood brighter, and your mind clearer. Plus your body will be nourished and healed of simple ills (maybe even big ills) and your skin will glow!
The Acne Side of Detox
Acne will generally look the same for most people when they go on a cleanse, but for some, acne will look like it crops up in clusters of whiteheads or you might notice that you’re breaking out in weird places that you don’t normally.
Sometimes the acne can be cystic depending on how toxic your body is. This kind of detox acne can take several short cleanses (usually 5-7 days each) or a rigorous cleanse to clear it up completely (these are usually several weeks or months long).
You may notice that your acne heals but also forms faster during detox. This is because deep impurities are coming to the surface faster than usual as your skin “purges” itself of toxins. All you can really do is keep eating those healthy foods and be gentle to your skin! In a couple of weeks, all of the impurities will be pushed out, leaving your skin clear, healthy, and balanced.
Detoxing after the holidays (or even after indulging in general) is a good time to start some internal spring cleaning!
One cleanse you may want to read about that has been pretty successful for a lot of people is the apple acne cleanse. You can read more about it here.
Have you ever done a detox before? How was your experience?
For more detox articles look below:
Energizing and Detoxifying Charcoal Lemonade
How to Take an Epsom Salt Detox Bath
How to Detox your Liver for the New Year with Herbs!
How to Use Detoxifying Herbs for Spring Cleansing
Clay Baths are Powerful Medicine
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