It’s that time of year. That imaginary flip of the switch is supposed to magically delineate the upcoming days from the past. Never mind, the last nine hundred days or so have simply blurred, one into another. Let’s add to the feeling we haven’t accomplished much. Better yet, let’s reinforce the idea that we aren’t absolute warriors for surviving the shitstorm that has been politics, social unrest, The Covera, and global climate disasters. We can solve it all if we just use a miracle detoxification.
I’ve already told you about the BMI myth. I’ve discussed the inequality in women’s sizing. And practicing self-love.
And let’s add even more hokum to our already overburdened psyches with a detox.
What’s that, you say? Undoubtedly, the most productive way to reset this socially constructed beginning is to spend time, money, and what’s left of our sanity to clear out our systems with a detox!
I’m becoming a radical. If it’s endorsed by Dr. Oz, Goop, includes the words cleanse, fasting, or tea of any kind, I’m out.
I have an entire chapter in the yoga book called “Did That Bitch Just Fart?” I outline the scientific research that calls bullshit on claims yoga will detox anything except a shitty fucking attitude. It shouldn’t be a wonder that I’m calling out the detox zeal that surrounds the passing of the 365th day.
Do a quick interweb search for New Year Detox, and there are 72,300,000 responses!
Kickstart detoxes. 7-Day detoxes. Juice detoxes. Recipes. Teas. Drinks. Oils. And yes, yoga detoxes. They are all bunk. Out of 72 million results, one lonely article holds the tsunami of hogwash back. Way to go, Detroit!
You know who needs an actual detoxification program? People with drug or alcohol additions. People with lead or mercury poisoning. Even people who’ve been dangerously exposed to radiation get treatment, but there isn’t a detoxification process.
Detoxification is the physiological or medical removal of poisons or toxins from the bloodstream. A toxin is an antigenic poison or venom that is NOT directly involved with the organism’s normal growth, process, or metabolism.
So a bee sting is a typically minor toxin unless you have a severe allergic reaction to its venom. Botulinum toxin is a deadly neurotoxin called the miracle poison. Different types of botulinum toxin are used to treat a hold host of conditions, including wrinkles. Believe me, I love me some Botox. This one vertical wrinkle right between my eyes is pronounced when I’m at my fighting weight. But, in the wrong hands, it can kill you. The Botulinum toxin not my wrinkle.
Our bodies are self-cleaning. Given we are generally healthy, not snorting bath salts, or licking lead paint. We have three major organs that do all of the detoxification we actually need. Our liver, kidneys, and colon do all of the heavy lifting necessary.
The liver takes whatever we eat, lather, or sniff and processes it out of our bloodstreams. The liver is a brainiac. It knows when to deliver nutrients, store nutrients, and what to flush to our urinary tracts or colon. It does about 500 things to keep our systems ticking without any help from us.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Don’t do meth or coke or heroin. Avoid herbal supplements. Yes, you heard me. Eat a well-balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Bam.
Sure, we know what our kidneys do to balance our body’s fluids and remove waste from our systems. They also regulate our salt levels and potassium levels. The kidneys produce a hormone that controls red blood cell production and helps regulate our blood pressure.
As long as we’re hydrating, I have it on good authority putting ice cubes in your white wine doesn’t count as hydration, your kidneys can kick ass without any other help from us. Avoid excessive alcoholic consumption. Don’t do meth or coke or heroin. Avoid herbal supplements. Yes, I said it again. Eat a well-balanced diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Limit your salt intake. Drink plenty of water.
After your stomach, liver, and small intestine have gleaned all of the possible nutrition out of our food, our colons do some heavy lifting and dump anything we don’t need. See what I did there? Healthy bacteria break down any remaining material and give it a heave ho.
Different verse same as the first two! Exercise. Eat a balanced diet. Avoid smoking. If you consume alcohol, drink moderately.
Detoxing is bullshit.
There is zero ZERO medical evidence that a detox plan, program, or whatever is effective. Feel like you overindulged during the holidays? Cut back on the sweets. Avoid fried foods. Double up on the fruits and veg. Cut back on your alcohol.
I’m limiting wine to the weekends and I haven’t stabbed anyone yet.
The larger problem with detox miracles is that they can actually cause harm. You can strip your healthy gut bacteria. Toss your chemical balance off a cliff. Dangerously dehydrate you. Lead to imbalance in your natural metabolic rate. Deprive you of essential nutrients. At the very least, they waste your time and your money.
To each their own, I’m not going to the gym, but I am finding more ways to move my body. Wanna juice? Do it, but load your greens at a 70% ratio to fruit, and don’t skip healthy meals. Feeling tired? GET MORE SLEEP. In my experience, exercising more, limiting junk food, and staying hydrated improves the quality of my sleep. Yes, not going to lie, 5mg of Indica an hour before bedtime does me right.
And always make small changes that you can live with for the long run. The fundamental truth is we all know what a healthy lifestyle looks like. It’s really about finding a way to implement it in our lives, so we don’t go insane. Okay, MORE insane.
I drink wine on the weekends because I LOVE wine. I don’t drink bad wine no matter what it costs. Same with scotch and Mezcal. I’m eating whatever I like on the weekends because goddamn it, I LOVE bread or pasta or pizza or whatever. I am committing to getting my ass on the treadmill or exercise bike or snowshoes
or hiking boots EVERY day because I feel better. I think more clearly. And I SLEEP better.
NOT BECAUSE I WILL LOSE WEIGHT.
Love thyself. Be healthy. Find little ways to access joy. And hopefully, do some yoga . . . with me!