A few days ago someone tried to convince me that their company’s shakes, cleanses, and supplements were better than eating clean. They gave me all kinds of scientific data and rhetoric, discussing how many amino acids and nutrients were found in their chemically processed shakes and supplements. In the course of the conversation, they stated that all fruits, veggies, and meats, other than organic, are chemically treated with pesticides, herbicides, injected with hormones, and fed GMO corn and grain, and that no amount of washing will get rid of those toxins and chemicals. They even stated that fat holds on to toxins, and by eating non-organic foods it would only stagnate the weight loss process. In closing they advised that their shakes, cleanses, and supplements were more nutritionally dense and cheaper than buying “organic” products, stating that people just don’t want to deal with preparing meals and having to search out and pay for clean foods.
As for advising that only if we eat organic foods can we truly lose weight and be healthy, I strongly disagree. I believe we need to wash our fruits and vegetables well prior to consumption, and that we should take a little extra time, and in some cases spend a little extra money, to select products that are not over processed and as close to their natural state as possible. I believe in eating real food in the right portions and living a happy, healthy and active life. When was it determined that something created in a laboratory, unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and with no long-term effects studied, was better for human consumption than the bounty of the earth? I have nothing against organic, and if you can find it and buy it, then by all means do, but real food of any variety is better than a supplement.
Now, let me tell you that toxins are everywhere, not just in the foods we consume, and yes, fat has been shown to hold on to toxins in the body; however, not only CAN YOU remove toxins from your body without buying “cleanses and detoxifiers,” but I am here to let you know that your body does it naturally, and it is FREE! Drinking water helps to remove toxins via the kidneys which are responsible for cleaning your blood. Eating a diet rich in fiber will help push toxins out, literally, in the form of bowel movements. Fiber cleans out the colon by making our stool heavier and easier to expel. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and the best for expelling toxins. Exercise and/or physical activity, which causes sweating, will do the trick. Finally, deep breaths help to bring oxygen to your brain and fresh oxygen to your lungs. It has been shown that breathing long and full from your abdomen will help encourage oxygenation. Pilates, Yoga or belly breathing are all great forms of deep breathing.
Being a personal trainer, wife, and mother, I am and have been an advocate for clean eating and exercise without the use of supplementation. Needless to say, I was blown away by these bold statements! I am devoted to helping people gain control of their lives, learn how to eat right, and live healthy. Unfortunately, claims like those from supplement company only serve to take people's hard-earned money by offering quick fixes to many who have suffered with health and weight issues their whole lives. If you are one of those people, please don’t fall for the hype of a quick fix product. If you take the time to learn how to eat properly (real food), exercise, and enjoy physical activity, you can reclaim your life in a healthy and enjoyable way!
Merlinda Swearingen is a Navy wife and mother of two growing boys (12 and 10). She teaches group fitness classes at ODU's student recreation center and is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, pilates instructor, personal fitness chef, and business owner with over 15 years experience in the fitness industry. She enjoys spending time with her family, church family, cooking, camping, and finding new information and ideas that are trending in the area of fitness and health. Living a healthy and fit lifestyle is a passion she enjoys sharing with anyone and everyone she meets.