It’s been really frosty on my walks to work lately, I’ve had to switch back to my boots (nikes are WAY too flat for slippery streets). Decided to take a few photos the other morning.
Monthly Archives: January 2011
It appears to be that time of year again where the blogosphere erupts with the claims of wonderful detox diets that’ll set you on the righteous path to healthy living. With many highly prolific bloggers touting their latest escapades with the most demanding, dangerous & expensive fad diets I decided to write about them too and tell you why I won’t be going anywhere near one of these detox regimes.
Before I start I’d like to highlight that throughout this article I will be talking about the dangerous detox diets that promote fasting, juice diets, restricted food groups and water fasting. It’s worth noting that there are several detox diets that simply suggest cutting down on caffeine, overly processed foods, red meats, and dairy products. Also this is all personal opinion, like that of the other bloggers advocating their current fad detox, so I won’t be held responsible if you live a long and happy life without the help of an annual starvation attempt.
What is a detox? A detox is an attempt at ‘detoxifying’ your body, removing ‘harmful’ toxins and/or giving your digestive system a break (because, you know, it apparently needs some down time…). Medically, detoxifications are used alongside counselling for patients addicted to drugs and alcohol.
In recently years the idea of a January detox has become more and more popular, ranging from raw food diets, juice diets, right to the extreme of water only detoxes. Many of these span several days, with the benefits claiming to include a heightened mental state, weightloss, clear skin, an adjusted sleeping regime (for insomniacs), first class travel to a higher plane blah, blah, blah.
Some Science Bits
There is no scientific evidence to support many of the detox products that are touted on the high street1, let alone all the powders, supplements and vitamins on the internet. If I were you, I wouldn’t bother buying that $50 ‘colon cleanser’, I’m pretty sure your colon is just fine.
Colons don’t need flushing unless you are prepping for a medical procedure like a colonoscopy. Colonic enemas tamper with the body’s natural fluid and electrolyte balance and can lead to infection, irregularity, and dehydration.
Demystifying Detox Diets
I know it might be quite hard to believe but your body is pretty neat at removing crap from your body without the hinderance of you starving it with detox diets2. Your liver and kidneys are well adapted to removing all manner of toxins from your body, but to do this you need to stay hydrated, pumped full of energy & healthy – not something achieved by starving yourself and restricting major food groups.
You don’t need to ‘detox’ because there is no evidence that it does you any good. The human body gets rid of excess metabolites, excess food or alcohol in a number of ways using normal processes. Some of this occurs by excretion through the kidney, metabolism in the liver, and occasionally through sweat. Generally, this happens constantly.
NHS – Detox Tincture Q&A
Holier Than Thou
Let’s say you make it to day 2 of your detox, breakdown in floods of tears and proclaim “I can’t do this! I’m rubbish, shit at everything and can’t even manage to just drink juice for 7 fucking days! I HATE JUICE”… yeah, I’ve been there.
A couple of years ago I attempted a 7 day juice diet. After going out and buying a crate of various fruit & vegetables that the book suggested, and spending a ridiculous amount on vitamins and supplements, I was all set to take part on this wonderful detox adventure. I’d lose weight! I’d be healthy! God like!
It really didn’t last long, I was so bitterly disappointed in myself. And no where near Omnipotent.
There seems to be this notion that people who can complete these super strict detoxes must be some kind of higher-being. OH such dedication you have! Such will power! … Such stupidity. Why should we feel impressed with someone who has taken the cheats route to what they think is healthy? Surely we should have more props for someone who enjoys their food, with a responsible diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle throughout the entire year? yes? Yes.
I also think it’s worth noting the psychological harm that many of these diets can do to people, especially those who have had eating problems in the past. I don’t want to go too much into this subject, other than to say that promoting ideas of food restriction can resurrect dangerous ideas in people who have tried very hard to be follow a normal diet.
Life Without Detox
I won’t be detoxing this year, next year, or any time soon. Instead, I’ve made some considerations to my daily routine and diet that I hope will increase my health. This year I’ll be:
- Stuffing my face with fruit, cutting down (but not cutting out) on fat & sugar, making wiser choices on what I’m eating, and continuing to enjoy my favourite foods.
- Increasing my exercise and picking up my running again, think I could do this on a 7 day juice diet? No.
- Cutting down on alcohol, I don’t drink excessive amounts and I definitely don’t binge like I did in my youth, but over Christmas I found myself having a drink most days.. bad!
A little bit of what you fancy does you good
The best detox for your body is a varied and healthy diet coupled with exercise. Treat your body well and you won’t need to detox at all, let alone spend upwards of £200 on a detox regime.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject, do you detox? have you detoxed?
1 http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/jan/05/detox-science, http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/
Some photos I snapped at lunch yesterday. 550D with the nifty-fifty. Very much still getting used to it, trying to find the optimum settings that I’m comfortable with. Cameras are temperamental, and this one is so different to the 400D that I’m used to!
If you didn’t know by now, I spend a good chunk of my time with astrophysicists, this weekend was no exception. On the back of the BBC start gazing live shows, MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester) held a great event that saw talks from some of my friends, hundreds of kids trying to draw their own constellations & ‘Ask an Astronomer’ sessions.
Here’s a few photos from the day, the air & space hall was where the events were held and it’s super gloomy, that matched with me trying to get used to my new camera led to a few mishaps and lots of blurry/grainy photos… Oh well!
Adam spent today clearing out the bookcase in the lounge, we kept shoving random shit on the shelves and it was in disarray. I came down to piles of our books, makes me happy to see them all out… but also wonder how much space we’d save if we just had kindles!
In May we’re heading to a friends wedding in Key West, I’ve been once before but I’m super looking forward to kicking back with some cocktails. We’re staying at a boutique style motel called Orchid Key Inn which is right smack bang in the middle of everything.
We’re driving down from Orlando, maybe in a convertable. Neither of us have driven on American roads before, so it’s quite an adventure!
You don’t get sunsets like this in Yorkshire, that’s for sure. I’m not usually one for sitting back and taking in the view, waiting for sunsets, or even relaxing… but I might force myself if I can get a short of such a nice sky :)
Neither am I really one for sunbathing, or sea swimming, but a walk/run around the Fort Zachary Taylor State Park will definitely be in order.
Can’t wait to see the locals again, and by locals I also mean the resident chickens that roam the streets of Key West.
I think Pirates used to feature heavily in Key West, might have to do a little bit of reading into the history!
Very much looking forward to visiting the Keys again, has anyone been to Key West recently? Where are your must-see places?
This was a lovely gift from Adam’s parents this Christmas, Adam’s Dad is a jeweller and they’d sneakily stolen one of my wooden fox necklaces to create a cute silver version. Neat, hey? The chain was bought by my Mum for my birthday (which is tomorrow). :)
Also I have a new camera, a 550d Canon (T2i rebel). Expect a new year full of photos!
Stop this from happening this year… uh