When the New Year approaches, many people are thinking about what they want to change or what habits they’d like to break, and they set out with great intentions to start the year off on a healthier foot. Most fall into two camps: those who think they need to go to extreme measures like water fasts and juice cleanses to detoxify the body, and those who argue that our bodies detoxify naturally on their own. As with most things, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
It’s a fact that the human body has a sophisticated system for filtering out toxins. The liver famously plays a large role in processing and eliminating toxins and waste, but the kidneys, digestive system, lymphatic system, lungs and even the skin are all part of an elegant system that work together to keep unwanted substances from harming your health. In an ideal world, these processes would be able to handle day-to-day maintenance to keep us healthy and we wouldn’t even need to think about it.
However, our modern sedentary lifestyles are full of stress, screens and nutrient-deficient meals, so it’s easy to get to a point where our bodies aren’t operating optimally. Even with a healthy diet and well-managed stress, there are environmental factors to consider, like air pollution and microplastics. But, the body has an amazing capacity for resilience, and with some periodic care, we can keep things working as they should.
Sarah Hebbel-Stone, CNE, is a Brooklyn-based culinary nutrition expert, certified yoga instructor and artist. She has worked closely with organic meal delivery service Provenance Meals since 2015, where she found an ideological home for her beliefs in the power of food as medicine and the mind-body connection. Hebbel-Stone is passionate about helping people make slow, simple, sustainable changes to live a healthier lifestyle.