Healthy Detox

Be good to your body by picking the right approach

Healthy green juice

With celebrity endorsements from figures, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé, detoxing is a trend among those making resolutions this year. Unfortunately, separating fact from fiction concerning detox programs is difficult. When choosing a detox regimen, it’s best to consult a doctor and consider the ways that detoxing can actually be healthful – not just a fast track to weight loss.

Change Habits
Because of the weight loss associated with fad detox programs, Denverites may opt to detox in the hopes of shedding holiday pounds without exercise. But there is little success found in detox as a form of crash dieting. Christian Davis, owner of Pressed Juice Daily, says, “We don’t typically promote cleanses for weight loss. People do tend to lose weight on a cleanse, but any long-term weight loss is typically because they have developed a healthier relationship with food.” Detox programs can provide a wonderful way to get healthy and lose weight, but only when they stimulate long-term habit changes.

Certified Nutrition Therapist at Janey Appleseed Nutrition, Sarah Jane Sandy, believes that successful detoxing has to be about the whole person, not just the body. “When we look at detoxing and the ultimate goal of achieving health, the emotional body is just as important as the physical body,” she says. “Starvation diets can send a message to the body that you are in a chronic state of stress. It has a whole downstream of negative side effects. I’m keen on teaching my clients about relaxing around food, teaching people to relax a little bit more and develop a nourishing attitude around food instead of a really strict attitude about deprivation.”

Dr. Deanna Minich founded a health approach based on treating the whole person. Through her company, Food & Spirit, she has led thousands of detox programs around the world. For Minich, detoxing for health is about much more than fasting or drinking a particular concoction each day. Her detox programs allow clients to see the connection between their emotions and eating habits. She says, “About 75 percent of overeating is because of emotions.”

Following that line of thinking, a person won’t eliminate overeating long-term simply by drinking lemon juice and cayenne pepper; they have to see the bigger picture about their physical and emotional health. Dr. Minich’s detox programs include emotion journals about eating, so clients can see how their feelings and eating habits come together. “It typically takes about 21 days to change a habit,” she says. “The first seven to 10 days are always tough, but people start to see patterns. When they start seeing it all on one page, they start putting it all together.”

Be Thoughtful About Food
Both Dr. Minich and Sandy agree that detoxing involves becoming more mindful about what is toxic in one’s diet. Dr. Minich says, “My definition of healthy detox is to really look at what is toxic in our food supply, what we’re drinking, how we’re living, our environment and reducing that toxicity in any way we can.” She offers some easy first steps for anyone who is curious about detoxing. “There are many different ways to detox. One simple way is to reduce the amount of toxic food we take in. A lot of people rely very heavily on caffeinated beverages so they don’t feel their bodily tiredness. They mask it. So, maybe it’s a caffeine detox or an alcohol detox. Some people want to take it further; they may want to get rid of all the allergens in our food supply.”

Sandy believes that fad detox diets confuse people about how the body actually works. “The human body is a beautiful thing,” she says. “Our liver is fully capable of consistently detoxing what is coming in. We do need to ask ourselves how we can keep our livers from backing up and how we can live a less toxic lifestyle.” For Sandy, the answer is to choose vitamins that support liver function and to avoid conventionally raised meat and dairy, along with sodas. She advises clients to eat mainly organic foods and to care for the skin, another organ that is essential in the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Nutrition Is Essential
Davis cautions that there is a difference between flushing as a form of detox, which can be harsh on the body, and nourishing as a form of detox. His detox programs include healthful vegetable and juice blends, which provide the body with nutrients, something that long-term starvation methods don’t do.

His advice to those using juices in their detox regimens is to go for mostly green juices, supplemented by root juices, with more sugary citrus and fruit juices making up the smallest part of the mix. Dr. Minich keeps her advice simple: “Any kind of extreme approach is probably one that’s not healthy.”

Resources

Pressed Juice Daily, Christian Davis
303.296.1234 | pressedjuicedaily.com

Janey Appleseed Nutrition, Sarah Jane Sandy
303.656.3847 | janeyappleseednutrition.com

Food & Spirit, Dr. Deanna Minich
foodandspirit.com

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