Did you do it? Did you? Are you about to hit 2009 having eaten and drunk more than you intended to over the festive season? If you did, and statistics suggest that an awful lot of us did, then are you planning a detox?
The problem with the whole detox movement is that most people treat it like an insurance policy, knowing that its there and pushing themselves to the limit in the knowledge that a detox is on the way.
Of course, you can romanticise the whole thing by telling yourself that its like a spring clean, or you are giving your digestive system a rest. Or that we were never designed to deal with the level of toxins that we take in every day. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Almost good enough to punish yourself by eating nothing but clear broth and raw cauliflower for a few days?
However good it may sound, all these quick fix health solutions sounds good on paper, until they encounter the one fixed problem. Us. You and me. Human nature. Its inevitable in our fast living world that we want to do things as fast as possible, preferably with a good return on our investment of time. When I first qualified as a nutrition therapist, I remember being asked to put together a week long detox plan for a book. Being keen ( I was young, I needed the money ) I agreed, building in a couple of days either side to ease the reader into a gentle food programme that would help them lose some weight and reduce the sort of bloating that many people can experience after the excesses of Christmas and the New Year.
In the old days, Christmas meant overeating for a few days, and then taking it easy afterwards so that by the time Valentines Day rolled around, you weren’t feeling like a bloated pot-bellied pig. Nowadays, it has to be quicker, faster, now. And knowing that a detox was in the offing, I do think that people eat even more beforehand.
And of course, after the detox comes a good old-fashioned retox. The feeling that we have spring cleaned makes us feel immune and super-human, so off we go again, gingerly at first, slowly gorging ourselves before we become corpulent and bloated. Obviously, that’s not how we all do it, but the trend is to use a detox to compensate for excesses, which is not what is behind the original theory.
So rather then detox, why not learn how to eat so that diet/gorge detox/retox cycle is broken?