What the Heck is a Detox? – Part I

As a Nutritionist and especially in my colon therapy days I was constantly asked about how to do a proper detox.  I like to keep things simple and as uncomplicated as possible.  One of my strongest principles that you will probably hear me repeat over and over again is the idea that we are all different and as a result require individual solutions.

That being said I do believe there is a most basic definition of a detox that could be applied to the average person.  A gentle and basic detox can include removing any substances that can be heavy, straining and toxic to the body in order to improve our overall health and well-being.  A detox lightens our toxic load and allows time for our organs and system to breathe and take a break.

Our bodies are constantly bombarded with toxicity from our external environments.  Everything from the food we feed it to the air we breathe to the chemicals in our everyday products.  Like a car, the human body needs a tune up and oil change every now and then to keep the motor running.  Taking the time a few times a year to do a gentle detox and lighten your load is a great way to jump-start your system and keep your engine running smoothly.  Optimal detox or cleansing times include the spring and fall with the change of the season as nature too is going through her own cleansing ritual.

All the junk food we feed our bodies over our lifetime becomes extremely taxing and exhausting for the body to keep up with.  Over time, filling our bodies with fried foods, pop, cookies and other processed foods can greatly slow down the body’s ability to digest and absorb essential nutrients.  Not to mention this makes regular elimination via the skin and bowels very difficult.  All of this can make us feel tired, sluggish, cranky and just well, yuck!

1. A most simple beginner’s detox plan would include cutting out some of the most common food allergens and heavy junk for 21 days.  This list could include: dairy, wheat, soy, gluten, meat, refined sugars, caffeine and alcohol.  Remember this is a basic beginner’s detox guide and can be adjusted to match individual needs.

*For example if you are someone who absolutely thrives off of meat and get a lot of your iron and energy from this animal source, then perhaps you might want to reduce or limit meat rather than completely cut it out.  The idea here is not to make you completely uncomfortable and miserable or punish your self.  We are simply trying to lighten up what we put in the body so it has some time to give it a little R & R.

2. We can also choose to start a day with a big glass of warm/hot lemon water, using one whole freshly squeezed lemon.  If this is too much for you or you feel nauseous try using half a lemon and use the other half before bed.  You could also alternatively use a lime or natural herbal tea (caffeine-free).  Beginning your day with this healthier option to coffee is a great way to wake up and invigorate the body’s system and start the digestive juices flowing preparing for the day’s food intake.

3. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try adding a green drink to your morning routine.  One of my favourite green drinks includes cucumber, spinach, green apple and lemon pureed in a blender with water as needed.  Again, this is an awesome way to wake up the body (without the use of coffee) and feed your cells some seriously delicious vitamins and minerals so it can allow the body to utilize food properly.  When your cells are cleansed and nourished regularly the body doesn’t have to work so hard and strain your digestive tract in the process.

4. Add more veggies to your diet.  Find a way to incorporate more veggies into your day and find yourself sky rocketing with more energy.  Choose a method that works best for you.  You might want to puree, steam, cook, mash, or go raw.  Whatever makes your body feel good in order to add more of these vital foods to your life – do it!

 5. Try adding more nuts, seeds and legumes.  Almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans- these are just a few of the many foods you will want to consider adding to your daily diet during and post-detox.  These foods are super high in fibre, helping to promote elimination and rich in vitamins and minerals.

 6. Opt for organic whenever possible to lighten your pesticide & chemical load.  Foods like apples, leafy greens, celery and berries are known for being some of the most highly sprayed fruits and veggies.  These chemicals are toxic and deadly and some studies have shown a link to contributing to cancer.

Start small by using your food as your medicine.  Try thinking of the detox not as what you have to live without but instead what you can add to your daily diet in order to feel more alive and well.  Use these simple detox tips to help put less junk into your body and move more out!

Do you have a detox success story?  We want to hear about it!  E-mail us at info@jacquierobertson.ca or share with us on FaceBookhttp://www.facebook.com/jacquie.robertson.988

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4 responses to “What the Heck is a Detox? – Part I

  1. I might try this – not for 21 days, but maybe a week. I can’t do the nuts because I have an allergy, but I’d be interested to see how I feel cutting out soy and dairy – and even corn.

    • I think you will find, especially for us women, soy can have a significant effect on your hormones and even how you feel digestive-wise. Lots more on the effects of soy on hormones to come and you can also read more about this in my e-book, Crazy, Sexy Hormones. Good Luck to you and thanks for sharing! Let me know how it goes for you and what kind of set backs & successes come up for you during your detox. Much love, peace and wellness to you 🙂

  2. Hi there, so great to see what you’ve been up to after all this time!

    Question about this. I’ve never done a detox but am working on getting some action and more awareness about my food intake in my daily routine, and am hoping to do a light detox for about 2 weeks. I think I’ll have a really hard time eliminating gluten, wheat, and meat completely. I don’t eat an enormous amount of meat but will definitely be craving that steak per week, the odd chicken breast… as for the wheat and gluten, do you have a suggestion for an easy way to reduce them or at least make sure to make smart choices? Whole grain, of course, but what about beyond that?

    • Hi there Elysia! Great to hear from you on here! So yes, eliminating wheat and gluten can be overwhelming for many people in the beginning. However, there are actually loads of healthy gluten & wheat free alternatives available at health foods stores, and even better local grocery stores including Loblaws, No Frills, Food Basics, Sobey’s and even FreshCo. Gluten-free products are popping up everywhere!

      Starting with reading food labels are key. Check out your food labels to see the ingredient listings. Awesome gluten-free alternatives include foods like: quinoa, brown rice, corn, amaranth, buckwheat, coconut, nuts, seeds and even beans. The best thing to do when you’re first starting out on this journey is to make a grocery shopping list that includes a section for your new found gluten-free foods that will help you ease into your new nutrition/lifestyle transition when you hit up the grocery store. Wheat Belly is a great book that will give you some further educational reading around gluten and healthy alternatives. In the meantime, I will dedicate a blog post in the next week or two to help provide you with some more useful tips and information on going gluten-free 🙂 Hope this helps!

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