detoxing is impossible

So in late September I checked out Juicing, Fasting, and Detoxing for Life: Unleash the Healing Power of Fresh Juices and Cleansing Diets from the library, and yesterday I finally “finished” it. That means I finished four chapters and then decided I was done. It’s not a terrible book, but it’s also not a great book. I can’t decide how I feel about it.

So first of all, anyone who tells you in a book that you should think hard before getting vaccines because of autism is someone whose advice you should NOT be taking, because people who cannot do research or understand medical research have no business giving you medical advice. But because I’m not stupid, and because I have read the work of people who I do give credence to who also talk about the benefit of raw foods and all that jazz, I figured I would keep reading. Given that I have so many wonky health issues that are hard to figure out, I’m always out for new knowledge, and I’m almost always willing to try new methods when they’re obviously not going to kill me. Drinking juice and eating raw foods will not kill you (except for the three times I’ve gotten food poisoning from leafy greens, but we won’t get into that here).

But here’s the thing. First, I do not own a juicer, I cannot afford a juicer, and I don’t have room in my apartment for one anyway. I’m also busy and a little weakling, so fasting is kind of out for the next while, at least until I’m in a new phase of lifestyle. But I was still interested enough in the bodily functions and in environmental toxins to keep reading about all the biology stuff. And I totally buy it. It’s not hard to understand that there is tons of crap in the air, in our food, in our homes, etc. I’ve experienced it. I felt a lot better when I cut certain foods out of my diet, and when I live in different houses or apartments, I feel different. And I’ve seen what results in taking more chemicals out of your life–my hair is healthier since I started using chemical-free (or mostly chemical-free) products in it; I’ve been far from perfect but definitely healthier since I put more produce from natural or organic sources into my diet; and anytime I feel crappy I can usually combat the most basic crappy symptoms by just going outside and taking a walk. Stale air is bad. My building has bad things in the walls. Bad food is bad. Etc.

But sorry, natural foodies, for all that you want to support it, detox is for the privileged. That doesn’t make it not awesome or not worthwhile, because I’m sure it probably is for a large group of people. But we live in a country where unhealthy food is subsidized and good food costs an arm and a leg, where nontoxic living spaces are not a given, and where time is at a premium. I’m doing pretty well with the first thing, even if I do enjoy my crappy food every once in awhile, and even if it means I have to go with having the maximum amount of school loans to support it. But what detox requires is just not attainable for me or for most of the people who need it most. Also, I think at this point I have too many health problems stacking on top of each other and compounding to try any new drastic things until I get an actual diagnosis. And it seems like I have a fat chance of that happening.

Anyway, this seems like something to revisit a few years from now if I’m in a better place, but I only recommend bothering to read it if you have the time and money to devote to it and if you can stand a preachy, obnoxious, New Age-y voice. Otherwise, don’t bother.

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