Let me start off by saying there’s a lot of ways people detox. Everyone seems to have the perfect recipe, the perfect way. Oh, it helps you clean your stomach, it helps you lose weight fast. Detox this, detox that.
The problem is that some of these detox methods are just plain dangerous. Believe it or not, there’s coffee enemas out there… Come on, that’s just nuts.
There’s laxatives and that’s usually rhubarb or cascara based, but they can cause dehydration. Some are even addictive, causing many users to become dependent on the product.
That’s a lot of dangerous stuff out there. So there’s two questions to answer:
- Are detoxes genuinely helpful?
- How can you avoid dangerous detoxes?
So let’s cut straight to it. First off, detoxes are not the key to fast weight loss. Detoxes should not be relied on for that sort of thing, the only thing that works is healthy eating and exercise (and gastric bypass for some extreme cases).
Detoxes also don’t clean your system of toxins, but we’re detoxifying all the time anyway, even when we breathe!
And furthermore, everything we eat, even plants, have chemicals. The difference is that there are chemicals naturally found in food, and those that are put there by farmers and such. For instance, cinnamon gets its aroma and flavor from compound cinnameldehyde. It’s a natural chemical!
The artificial chemicals produced in labs have pros and cons. As vegans, we prefer the organic, natural stuff found in nature. So why do other people bother with the synthetic stuff?
Dina Spector, a writer for Business Insider explained it in the article “The Truth About How Many Chemicals Are In Everything We Eat“:
“The compound vanillin, for example, is responsible for the flavour and smell of vanilla. In nature, vanillin comes from an orchid native to Mexico. But the process of extracting this pure, natural chemical is extremely lengthy and expensive. So scientists found a way to make a synthetic version of vanillin in a lab.”
Suddenly, it explains why eating organic is more expensive, huh?
Here’s the thing though: detoxes are still helpful, just not in the way that they’re often described. Detoxes are sold with the false promise of making you lose weight, but in reality, they’re just a nice break after a particularly terrible day.
Detoxes are great when…
- You’ve had a little too much to drink and you need to spend the day being and feeling a little healthier.
- You ate too much the day before and your body just needs you to cut back and get healthy again.
- You’re having a spa day and you want to pamper yourself with a hydrating, fresh drink.
- It’s that time of the month and you’re beyond bloated! Seriously, eating normally can be a hassle sometimes, so detoxing that first day can at least help offset the additional belly bloat problem.
So just how can you avoid dangerous detoxes? Watch out for these signs. If you feel any of the following, STOP IMMEDIATELY.
- Flu symptoms
- Brain fog
Also, frankly, avoid buying detoxes that promise heaven on earth. It’s a lie, it’s a marketing ploy to sell more product. They know how to appeal to people’s desires of getting thin without putting in the work.
As a huge fan of homemade recipes and beauty products, I don’t ever purchase detox solutions from the store. I just make my own!
Here’s my homemade detox recipe:
- 1 cup of water
- 2 slices of lemon
That’s it, people. Two things. No cayenne pepper, no honey (not vegan anyway). No maple syrup, no pills, no teas, nothing.
- Pour 1 cup of water into a mug and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Slice up a lemon, set two slices aside, and place the rest in a ziplock bag for later.
- Once the water’s done, drop the two lemon slices in the mug and steep for 5-10 minutes (it also helps it cool down just enough to drink it).
Make sure to begin this detox as soon as you wake up, before you even brush you teeth. Hot lemon water helps your digestive system and re-hydrates your body.
I’ve found this article by Wellness Mama that clearly states the benefits of lemon water, as well as lists what it won’t do, such as preventing cancer and balancing pH levels.
Frankly, you’ll find a lot of articles bashing lemon water, and a lot of people saying it’s nature’s cure for just about everything under the sun. I’m not going to overload anyone with a bunch of he said, she said.
What I can say is that this article lists it all as matter-of-factly as humanly possible. Also, from my own personal experience, I felt better drinking this detox, but whenever I drink it, it’s after I visit my parents (mom likes to feed people). Also, if I’ve been drinking, it helps the following day.
More than anything, I drink it when I need a quick reboot. Going vegan isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but it is difficult to reprogram yourself into thinking an entirely different way than you have for the past 26 years. There are highs and lows. Some days when I really do feel the newness of it all, it’s nice to curl up with a mug of hot lemon water and feel like I have a grasp of something.