I’m sure detoxing is the last thing on your mind as we are right in the center of this frequent period of gluttony better known as the holidays. BUT come January 1, many people will be reflecting on their choices during this season and start thinking about how they can reboot their system and get back on track for the new year. Thus, today I bring to you some reviews on detox books that I recently tore through. I’ll also give you an update on my personal detox journey, but first–the reviews! Linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy! (This post contains affiliate links. Your purchases will support this blog at no additional cost to you).
This has been my go-to handbook for my recent detoxes. I’ve kept it on the kitchen counter or the dining room table and constantly refer back to the detox plans, timelines, and recipes. Even though I ended up not following the plans exactly, it helped me to have a good starting place and know what to expect. Plus the recipes are great and she does a great job of explaining the why, how, and when behind each of the detoxes for the major elimination organs.
I would not recommend this book. It seems like the author is on more of a crusade to convert everyone to her raw, vegan diet than anything else. Plus not a single one of the recipes looked appealing to me (or contained normal-enough ingredients for me to be able to try it if I wanted). The only thing I liked about this book as opposed to others was there was a whole chapter dedicated to “detox helpers”- things like dry brushing, detox baths, etc.- all of which are sort of complimentary treatments to the main detoxes of the elimination systems. While some of these treatments got a quick mention in the other books, Shazzie took the time to explain the benefits of each one.
Pros to this book: It discussed detoxes that most other books didn’t (sugar, drugs, alcohol, nicotine). Since those sections didn’t apply to me I skimmed over them.
I am honestly surprised that this book has such a high rating on Goodreads. I should preface my review by saying that I am a Christian with an active faith and an openness to try many things (that fit within my belief system) on my healing journey. But anything that promises to cure ALL people of EVERY problem makes me very skeptical. Here are some of my thoughts on this book:
I had to read through 200 pages of testimonials and advertising for the “Healing Codes” before they were ever described.
Once they were described, I still had questions about the methods.
If you’re going to say that this system was revealed to you by God in order to heal the world…you probably shouldn’t trademark it and use it to make money. That is just silly.
And yet despite all of that, it kind of makes sense:
Stress is a key to all sickness and disease- TRUTH
Our memories are stored in pictures- TRUTH
Our bodies have energy fields and this is an important component of healthcare that is just now being explored in conventional medicine- TRUTH
Being able to cure all heart issues (and health issues) by pointing your fingers at your face, thinking loving thoughts and praying that the harmful images would be removed—SKEPTICAL.
And yet it’s really not that much different than things I already practice—yoga, meditation, and prayer. So at the end of the day, I might just try it. Because if there was one thing this book helped me to realize it’s that there are definitely issues from my past that I have not dealt with. So there’s that. Plus, —it can’t hurt.
This is a book that I would want to purchase and keep around on my shelf for frequent reference. The author goes through each of the natural detox systems, describing which foods are best for each season, and including yummy recipes. It was obvious that the book is a little old (copyright 2002) because several of the things she recommends (soy, canola oil, etc.) have been proven to be not that great for us. But other than that, I really enjoyed reading this book and finished it in one day.
This was a really interesting book. It almost reminded me of Freakanomics or Myth Busters, as the authors performed experiments on themselves to test different detoxing (or retoxing) strategies. They spent a lot of time talking about how the toxins get into our bodies (which makes sense, since an important part of detoxing is NOT putting the toxins in your body in the first place), but I wish they had spent more time on the detox strategies. They seemed pretty skeptical of many of the strategies, constantly referencing the lack of scientific evidence and hating on the anecdotal evidence. The reason there is no scientific evidence is because the drug companies won’t pay to back the research studies for NATURAL therapies because they won’t make any money off of them. That was my beef, but it was kind of fun to have someone from the “outside world” look at these detox regimes, especially since all the other books I read were from “insiders” claiming they had the best plan. It’s definitely not a how-to guide, but it was interesting!
Ok, this book wasn’t about detoxing really. But it was good! Dr. Miller visited several different farms and related the traditional farming practices to healthcare (i.e. we need good organisms in our soil and our guts). She gave real life examples of patients who would benefit from the techniques being discussed, which was really helpful. This was a good read that I would definitely recommend!
Ok this one is not about detoxing either, but I would recommend it alongside The Seasonal Detox Diet and Farmacology, so I thought it worthy of inclusion! I probably would have never read this book if it hadn’t been recommended to me (I judge books by their covers, and this one just doesn’t do it for me). But I am so glad I read it! Jessica looks at the different “moons” as described by ancient/traditional cultures, many of which were named for the current crops or season of eating. She weaves the anthropological information into this memoir beautifully, and if I remember correctly, I think she includes recipes too (sometimes the books start to blend together and if I’ve already returned them to the library I have to go off my not-always-reliable memory). I’ll be writing pieces for a cooking series put on by our local food network that are based around this idea. I am very excited and will share details soon!
I would describe this book as a much more legit version of The Healing Codes. It covers a lot of the same information–how memories are stored in our mind, how stress can affect memories and therefore pain…but it does it in a much more scholarly style. Even though I wouldn’t describe myself as the typical chronic pain patient, I have learned that the way I cope with stress is probably not good for my health and contributes to my illness. Definitely worth a read if you think it may apply to your situation. (The exercises are a lot less kooky than the ones in The Healing Code).
I haven’t actually read this book yet (because I forgot I had it on hold at the library), but it is next up, and I am thinking it will be a quick read. Wanted to include it here as a resource just in case!
And now….the recap on my personal detox journey!
Every thing that I read, along with my friend who is a personal detox specialist, told me that detoxes are safe and effective. But sometimes I forget that I am not exactly in tip-top health, and maybe things that are safe for normal people aren’t the best for me. That being said, I embarked on an 8 day colon cleanse the week before Thanksgiving. It was great and I felt better than I had in my whole life. I would wake up super early (like 4:30am early–a time of day I NEVER see) and feel extremely energized for the whole day. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that my body didn’t have to work as hard to digest my food, so it didn’t need as much rest.
I obviously took a week off to enjoy Thanksgiving. Noms. Then I hopped back on the detox train with a liver cleanse. I had intended to do a 10 day cleanse, but I got a few days in and realized I wouldn’t make it. So I cut it back to 5 days and followed it with the optional gallbladder cleanse. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was a little scared based on what I had read online. Let’s just say that I was only able to keep the cleansing “solution” (olive oil and grapefruit juice) down for a few hours which kind of ruined the whole thing. The next morning was horrible. I was happy to break that fast and have been rather loosey goosey with my diet since then. (which is of course still really strict compared to the Standard American Diet)
Halfway through the second cleanse I found out that I have hyperthyroidism, which means I will for sure consult with a medical professional before I embark on my next detox. But I am definitely a supporter and will continue the supplemental detox therapies that I picked up along the way (dry brushing, castor oil packs, detox tea, juicing, etc.). I’m also trying to restructure my meals throughout the day by eating a bigger lunch (and more vegetables!) and cutting off food after 6 pm, because it helps me to feel better.
Ok, that’s enough about me. What about you? Have you ever done a detox? Do you have any health-related goals for the New Year?