A “detox diet” is a bit of a misnomer.
The body is geared for detoxification. Organs—the lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, spleen, lymph nodes—rid the body of unwanted waste, viruses, and carcinogens.
When we eat to detoxify the body, it's not the diet doing the detoxification, but the body detoxifying itself.
Eating the Standard America Diet (SAD), eating out, eating processed foods, we consume more carcinogens and create more waste than the body can deal with on its own. We get backed up, and after years of buildup, we get sick. This is a very simple way of looking at the process of disease. Disease occurs when the body breaks down, and the body breaks down because it's too dirty and clogged to run—much like a car or a toilet.
Enter the “detox diet.” It's almost ridiculous to call it that, but by eating whole foods, by no longer consuming the chemicals in processed foods—food from boxes and from cans—we take the pressure off our organs, allowing them to gain back the ground they've lost, to catch up on the continuous task of cleaning us out.
This “diet” is really the way we humans have always eaten, at least before we began to heavily process our food, especially before added chemicals. Calling it a detox diet sounds as if when we're done we'll go back to the way we've always eaten—burgers and french fries, pizza, milk, and candy.
As if the real, whole foods that grow in nature are only a medicine.
I don't want a medicine—I don't want to be sick! I don't want to look at real food as a stopgap, something to eat for a time when I feel off or ill, only to fall back into the SAD.
If eating healthy, naturally, is going to give my body the ability to heal itself because it's not being overrun by the chemicals I consume when I eat unhealthy, then as far as I am concerned, eating healthy is my only option—my only option because I no longer wish to think of what I buy at McDonald's as food.
But I don't have to single out McDonald's. Even most “healthy” foods aren't so. The health claims on cereal boxes, and many other grocery store products, are grossly misleading, or are flat-out lies. It's often a case of “the blueberries aren't real.” Piggy-backed health claims: it's easy to slap on a sticker that says a food cuts the risk of disease, and put a minimal amount of that food into the product, selling a sexy version of the same old shit.
As cliché as it sounds, what we must do is think outside the box—or more accurately, eat outside the box.
At least most of the time. As much as we can.