You don't need a "cleanse"

It's New Years, and you might be thinking about doing something nice for your body, the vehicle of your soul's expression that is so much more reliable than it ought to be, given how you treat it. Maybe you want to give it more exercise, or feed it better, or get more sleep, or more acupuncture! Those are all great ideas. But the wellness bloggers would have you believe that what you really need is a cleanse, or a detox. Something like Whole 30, or a juice cleanse, or a high-priced "detox" smoothie mix.

Your body, beautifully designed by nature to work in this world, comes with detoxification systems already built in. Your liver, kidneys, and skin are all capable of detoxifying on a regular basis. This process is continuous, whether you are "detoxing" or not, whether you are taking milk thistle or not, whether you are eating "clean" or not. It's just that sometimes we are taking in crap faster than our bodies can get it out, so we begin to feel unwell. To "detox," all you need to do is stop ingesting crap faster than you can get rid of it. That's how all those fancy cleanses work; they get you to stop eating and drinking crap for a little while, and lo and behold, you feel better.

You can "detox" any time you like. You're smart, you know what things you eat and drink are crap. Just lay off those things and eat real food and drink water for a few weeks and presto, you're cleansed. If you need more structure than that or want something more dramatic, I think Whole 30 is pretty good. Its staged approach, real food basis, abundance of recipes, and lack of anything to purchase make it the most appealing. There's no benefit to buying drink mixes or tablets or supplements that are marketed for "detox." If you have properly functioning organs, those will add nothing to your "stop eating crap" plan. 

An exception to "you don't need a cleanse" is people suffering from disease. There are medically sound approaches to serious detoxing that can be helpful, and should only be pursued under medical supervision by a licensed provider. But for the rest of us just feeling fat and sluggish from the season's overindulgences, it's a lot simpler. Just lay off the crap. Happy detoxing!