This is not necessarily recovery related, and does not specifically talk about drug and alcohol detoxification. Rather, this is all about detoxing your body from various toxins and junk that you might accumulate after years of eating a less than perfect diet.
So really this article is about a long term, holistic strategy that people might want to try. It is not so much about drug and alcohol recovery as it is about holistic health and living well. But of course this still applies to any recovering addict or alcoholic who wants to live a healthier life.
Body cleansing detoxification
Part of the cleansing and detox process involves flushing out the toxins in our system. Now some people debate the existence of “toxins” and I really do not know what do believe on this. The bottom line is that I do not think it is terribly important either way if you believe that our bodies have toxic chemicals building up in them or not. The process of body detoxification is still beneficial for a number of different reasons, even if the so called toxins do not really exist.
So my advice is not to get all bent out of shape on whether or not we really need to flush our system. There are numerous other benefits to what I am suggesting here and I think anyone who gives this a strong effort will recognize these benefits.
Detoxification of the body through juice fasting
So my recommendation is to start out your detox adventure with a 3 day juice fast. This sounds extreme to most people at first but it is not so bad. Remember that we have been socially conditioned here in the U.S. to eat all day long. Eat, eat, eat, and then eat some more. That is the message we get from marketing and from the media. We also have our elders trying to stuff our faces when we get sick, and anyone who is dropping weight or looking skinny is seen as being sickly. Anyone who purposefully fasts is viewed as being mentally ill. This is sort of the overall mindset that we are dealing with trying to overcome when it comes to fasting.
So here is what I have come to use as my detox process and I am suggesting that anyone try to do the same. I go buy about 10 bottles of V8 Fusion juice from the grocery store and about 3 bags of lemons. There is actually a better way to do a juice fast but quite honestly it is just too expensive for me. If you can afford it, go buy a 500 dollar juicer and get about 200 dollars worth of organic fruits and veggies for your 3 day juice fast. My method costs about the same as if you were preparing full meals for yourself so it is basically a wash and you will not spend much extra money.
So here is how you juice fast: take a lemon, cut it open, squeeze the juice, and strain it through a paper towel. Mix this in to a glass of V8 Fusion and stir it up and drink it. That’s it. Keep doing this, over and over again, for 3 days straight. Don’t eat any food at all. Don’t let any pulp get into the juice. Drink as much as you like. Stop at about 3 days and start eating fruit very slowly. That is how I juice fast and it is a great way to do it for me. Hopefully it will work well for you too. If you doubt the process feel free to research more health articles for more in depth information about how this process works.
Effects of this body detoxification diet
So what will happen if you do this type of juice fast as I have suggested? Here are the main benefits and side effects from doing a total cleanse that I have noticed:
1) Weight loss. I usually drop about 2 to 3 pounds for each day that I fast. I also continue to exercise and run 6 miles every other day during a fast. This is fine and the only time you should not exercise is during a water fast, something that I do not recommend doing as I have no experience with water fasting. If you do focus on drinking more water than juice you will of course experience some pretty natural fast weight loss by doing so.
2) More energy. Supposedly your body uses about 60 percent of all your energy just to digest solid food. When you do a juice fast, all of that energy is freed up. As a result, you will feel lighter and more energetic. I also found that I only had to sleep for about 6 hours each night instead of my usual 7, and I felt the same the next day.
3) Emotional detox. You will likely go through an emotional detox process. Feelings will be more intense.
4) Spiritual aspect. You will likely reconnect with your higher power in some way, or feel drawn to either pray, meditate, or express yourself spiritually in some way. Fasting seems to bring this about naturally. I notice that I will feel closer to the source of things, like a layer of something has been pulled away from reality. Things are sharper.
5) Thoughts about food. Ah yes, you will think about food. Especially the first few times that you do a juice fast, you will really contemplate your relationship with food and with eating. This thought experiment will extend to when you start eating again after the fast. You will eat deliberately, consciously, as though you have never really tasted your food before. This has the power to slowly change your relationship with eating over time, especially if you continue to experiment with fasting.
So regardless of why you are doing a juice fast, there are a lot of benefits and insights from doing so that you stand to gain from the experience. Approach the fast with an open mind and be ready to learn something about yourself. If you have been spacing out in front of the television watching health news, mindlessly munching on snack foods, then doing a juice fast like this will be a real wake up for your mind, body, and spirit. Make sure you get outdoors during the fast and get some healthy exercise too.