The idea of detoxing is that we are cleaning out our bodies and eliminating unwanted stuff. That stuff can be drugs, alcohol, toxins, or anything else that is not supposed to be naturally occurring in our bodies.
The start of recovery from addiction involves total abstinence. This is the baseline for recovery and so we have to detox our bodies completely before we can really get started on any sort of new life and new way of living. Many alcoholics and drug addicts will go to treatment centers or drug rehabs in order to help them get fully detoxed from the drugs and alcohol. There is good reason for this as detoxing can be both difficult and dangerous in some cases.
The initial detox from drugs and alcohol will take less than a week in almost all cases. This is known as acute detox. We have flushed our systems and the fog starts to clear from our minds as we start a new life in recovery.
As we stay clean and sober, our bodies continue to detox from drugs and start doing a much deeper detox cleanse. Some people say that this deeper cleansing process can take years in some cases. It is all part of the healing process.
Detox diets for long term recovery
If you are already living in long term recovery and already have a few months or years of sobriety, you might want to try to detox your body on a deeper level and really make an effort to cleanse your system out. You can do this through what you eat every day.
If you happen to exist on raw fruits and vegetables exclusively, then you are probably already doing quite well with this and you probably don’t need to make any sort of special effort as you are already eating an excellent detox diet. But if you are like the rest of us and you eat a few Krispy Kremes here and there, along with some other junk, then you might want to try some techniques to cleanse the system.
One thing that I recommend is that you try a juice fast. Fasting is a great, natural way to cleanse out the system and it has a lot of other benefits as well. For example, most people will drop a lot of weight really quickly when they fast, and this is a critical component of the detox process. Not only does it cleanse the system and drop a lot of body weight, but fasting also heals the body, right down at the cellular level.
On my own personal journey, I have done a number of juice fasts now, usually every couple of months. I have only done short, 3 to 4 day fasts but I am skinny and have a very high metabolism, so these seem quite intense for me. Most people who fast generally build up to longer fasts such as 10 days and eventually 30 days.
Those who really get into the idea of fasting as a cleansing and detoxing process will also start incorporating some regular fasting (meaning just water, no juice). Regular water fasting is a bit too intense for me right now and it is also a poor fit for me due to my regular running schedule. You cannot do vigorous or even much light exercise on a water fast, but you can do these things on a juice fast. Eventually I might experiment with throwing in a day of water fasting in the middle of a juice fast, just to see if I can get a deeper cleansing process out of it. But for the most part, I don’t think I will mess around with water fasting unless I am trying to eliminate a specific disease or something.
Supposedly, the gurus online claim that many diseases can be overcome through fasting, especially very long fasts that alternate between water and juice. This gives the body long enough to really scour every impurity out of the body and repair every single cell to full capacity. I do not know as to the truth of that statement, nor have I done any “really long fasting” just yet. In fact I have not yet tried water so I have a long road of learning ahead of me.
What I do know is that fasting is really exciting and even 3 day juice fasts make me feel fantastic and energized. I hope to experiment soon with incorporating some water fasting so as to really increase the cleansing benefits and the deeper scouring without having to increase the length so much. I also like to mix in some herbal and green teas for more of an herbal detox sometimes. And of course, if you are trying to learn how to lose weight, fasting can be a great natural guide to show your body how to do this.
Also, recovering alcoholics in particular may be interested in how to do a liver detox, based on years of abuse to this organ at the hands of alcoholic drinking. I have no experience with such detox diets so I will refer you to Web MD for such knowledge.