Detoxification is a personal and physical experience, an exercise of discipline and a commitment to health and wellness.
And, while this process may involve many things, from inspiring someone to overcome his or her addiction to alcohol and drugs to cleansing the body of the toxins of so many additives and preservatives, and chemicals and dyes, the two—the scourge of drugs and the artificial ingredients that are in a variety of snacks, drinks and prepared foods—are inseparable. Meaning: You cannot detoxify yourself to strength and vitality, while continuing to pollute your palette with large amounts of sugar, salt, fat and high-fructose corn syrup.
You cannot, for example, resolve to seek counseling for addiction . . . and substitute one drug (alcohol, cocaine, heroin or other sundry substances) with another (sweets and various confections, or soft drinks and junk food). A wellness program that is wholesome by design and filled with whole foods by choice must reflect this fact.
We cannot afford the false belief, and the dangerous assumption, that freedom from addiction to (mostly) illicit drugs is a euphemism for detoxification in general, while, through a combination of excess quantities of sodium and a multitude of hard-to-pronounce chemical enhancers, we prevent the body from healing in its entirety.
I have a vested stake in this discussion because, as the founder and executive director of La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center, I believe—indeed, I know—that detoxification is as much a physical undertaking as it is an emotional experience. To poison that journey, to introduce another set of toxins that weakens the mind and further exhausts the soul, would be a moral wrong and a possibly mortal error.
I write about these words as issues of conscience because I refuse to be an enabler; I will not empower a guest, within an intimate sanctuary of peace, recovery and meditation, as I discard the urgency of nutritional excellence and dismiss the influence of the mind-body connection.
My approach transcends matters of addiction because it concerns a way of life for all people. That is, my emphasis on wellness—the literal truth that says, "You are what you eat"—is about a lifestyle for any man or woman with an interest in feeling and looking better; it is a customized diet, which is different from dieting, that represents balance, portion control, organic fruits and vegetables, lean protein and avoidance of refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and foods containing particulate from pesticides, sprays and growth regulators.
Aside from the body's inability to efficiently metabolize these things, and independent of the conversion of calories from these foods into belly fat, thereby making a person more vulnerable to high blood pressure, stroke and early onset of type-2 diabetes, these toxins are, well, toxic.
We must, therefore, broaden our definition of those items we deem toxic. We must think about the long-term side effects of poor nutrition and insufficient physical activity. We must acknowledge that, whether our drug of choice is legal or illegal, it is still a drug: It can be as addictive as any pill, powder or liquid.
It can be as destructive, over time, as any substance we may attempt to inhale, inject or ingest.
It is as harmful to our collective safety– in some ways, it is more dangerous to our health and wellness – because it, and by "it" I mean the packaged foods that line the shelves of most supermarkets, is so readily available.
We must rid ourselves of this threat by way of a safe and detailed regimen of detoxification.
Now is the time for us to act. WF
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NOTE: The statements presented in this blog should not be considered medical advice or a way to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. Dietary supplements do not treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of a medical professional before adding a dietary supplement to (or removing one from) your daily regimen. WholeFoods Magazine does not endorse any specific brand or product.