Spring has sprung — at least in some areas — and it’s time to clean. Gardens are filled with trash and leaves. Your garage may have accumulated stuff because it was too cold to dig into the rafters. It’s a tradition that can be found world-wide for a variety of cultural reasons. I believe we want to clean because it’s a biological urging. In the winter we have shorter and often cloudy/dreary days. The lack of sunlight affects us right where we live.
The pineal gland produces more of the hormone called melatonin when we have less light. Which in turn makes us sleepy. On the flip side of the hormone coin is when the light of spring and summer reduces the pineal gland’s production of melatonin and hence — more energy/less sleep. The increased light also shows us what a mess we have left the place.
Speaking of spring and getting things in shape, we are motivated to do another kind of clean up. Like weight loss. Dreams of swim suits and semi-naked bodies are disrupted by the vision of the chunky body you’ve developed over the winter months. This brings us to the idea that we need to clean the body before we can drop the weight we want. Everybody is doing it. Reports fly across the Internet of celebrities, friends and family who have done or are doing a cleanse.
Here’s my take on this practice:
- The idea of cleansing or detox has a false premise. That being: The body needs help to eliminate all the junk we take in from processed food and the environment, and that help comes in reducing the amount of food you eat and taking certain herbs and drinks. Once all those toxins are gone then the metabolism can work and you skyrocket to your goal weight.
- The body constantly works to get rid of toxins anyway — kidneys and liver are assigned that specific task. The key is to never put toxins back in — stop eating the processed food and the body will eventually rid itself of this junk. It would be far better for you to clean up the colon by:
- eating raw vegetables and fruits,
- drinking lots of water,
- getting daily exercise, and
- getting good sleep.
3. Deprivation to the system is not necessarily a re-boot. The body should not be void of fuel and still be expected to work. This detox approach is dieting to the extreme which leads to muscle loss, and is seen as another fad diet in the eyes of registered dietitians and nutritionists.
“Frank Sacks, MD, a leading epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, says, “There is no basis in human biology that indicates we need fasting or any other detox formula to detoxify the body because we have our own internal organs and immune system that take care of excreting toxins.”
Decreased caloric intake leads to a muddled mind, confusion and short tempers. The best plan is to just eat real food. No packaged foods, no chemically laden foods. Hey! I’ve heard that before — heck, I’ve said that before. Make your diet every day look clean and lean. Eat the food, don’t do a pill and enjoy the flavor of: Raw Fruits and Vegetables, Green Tea, Mung beans, and seeds and nuts (Among other good foods).