Trust Me, Your Body Is NOT Toxic

Today in class we talked about how our bodies digest food. We discussed how our bodies are uniquely designed to handle whole food products, such as fruits, vegetables, meats, sweets, you name it. Our system has evolved to handle whole foods, not isolated nutrients, like protein powders and amino acid supplements. My goal is to teach these students how to make healthy choices (as well as the occasional high-fat sweet), how to make their decisions based on science, not on advertising. I hope to create “nutrition ambassadors,” to send them out into the world and spread the good words: eat food, not pills (no small mission for me).

After having spent a few weeks building up to this topic, and managing to complete most of it with the class still awake, right before class ended a student asked, “what about those master cleanses? The honey and vinegar combinations that help get rid of all the toxins in your body?”

I wanted to shoot him -- I am hoping he was one of the folks who wasn’t paying attention.

But maybe he was awake and paying attention. Perhaps he was listening, and just wasn’t able to comprehend the complexity of how our bodies operate. When one can’t manage to understand complexity, one goes to the easy fix, right? After all, these quick fixes are simple to understand -- all you need to do is look at their ads: “drink this for 24 hours and you’ll feel like a new person.” Or “take this pill every 3 hours along with our specially patented drink and you will remove all the toxins you’re body has accumulated over the last ten years.”

We all want a quick fix, whether it is for our finances, our bodies, or our diets. But quick doesn’t mean correct. If you think about it, all the diets you read about are popular because they promise quick fixes, quick weight losses. No one will promise you a permanent weight loss (which surprises me, considering what else you are promised), because diets don’t work. Let me rephrase that, all diets work, while you are on them. The problem is eventually you go OFF your diet, and the weight returns.

It is important to realize making healthy, permanent changes for our diets and our bodies requires time. Small, incremental changes we can live with are what will stay with us. Half a bagel instead of a whole bagel, a small latte instead of a large mocha, walking up two flights of steps and then getting on the elevator. Slow, steady, non-dramatic changes are the ones we can build on.

As for cleansing our bodies? The best way you can keep your body healthy is to eat well, be active and enjoy life. You know the basics about the fruits and vegetables, lean meats and poultry. What you may not know is that quality of life is also up there on the top of the list. Having your occasional dessert, glass of wine or beer -- these are also important. None of these choices are toxic. However, not knowing where to go to ask your questions, not trusting yourself to make the right decisions -- well, that could kill you.



Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

NOTE: Information in this site should not replace any medical advice you have
received from your primary care doctor or other medical professionals.