I am a big fan of detoxing.
A good detox gives your body exactly what it needs to heal from sugary, processed and carbohydrate-laden foods. The right detox helps you reach your health, energy and weight loss goals. After a long winter, or any rough stretch in your life, a detox can support you in getting back to your full potential (and best weight).
But every year, I see ten thousand ads, blogs, promotions and shows promoting detoxes that are not only useless — they’re actually damaging to your body!
These detoxes follow all sorts of extreme, nonsensical rules. Don’t eat anything. Just drink juice. Don’t eat fat. Only eat blueberries. Only take these huge purple pills.
These are crazy rules! A detox isn’t like trying on a wild dress and pretending to be Rihanna for a day. A detox shouldn’t be a trend. You should view a detox as a way to “reset” and support your body, specifically your metabolism, to help you heal from inflammation that compounds over time as a result of our modern lifestyles–from the food we eat to the products we use to the air we breathe. Supporting your body in this way gives you a leg up on making healthy, lasting habits. (So you can be Rihanna forever!)
You should break any rule that doesn’t serve your body, mind and waistline. You need the right kind of detox to bring your body back to tip-top shape by giving your metabolism what it needs to run efficiently.
Here are five ways to do exactly that right now — and for a lifetime.
1. Don’t stress out your gut.
⇒ DO: Give it what it needs to heal and work its best ALL the time.
When we’re talking about metabolism, we have to start with the gut. The gut is the hub for digestion, nutrient absorption, and elimination. Typical diets have you eating so much sugar, carbohydrates, and trans fats that the gut is under constant stress, which shows up as inflammation. If a detox puts more stress on the gut by contributing to the already existing inflammation, then you’re just doing more damage. This defeats the whole point of a detox!
Instead, I recommend a specific combination of healing supplements to address inflammation and heal the gut during a detox (which I talk about here). It’s also a good idea to ramp up your intake of fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha, all of which have gut-healing properties.
2. Don’t limit yourself to a single food.
⇒ DO: Eat all three macronutrients (PFC!) at every meal.
If a detox program tells you to eat only celery and broth for a week, RUN. Don’t limit or cut out any of the macronutrients (protein, fat or carbs). Instead, focus on including all three to nourish your body every time you eat. Do your best to choose “real food” P’s, F’s and C’s: including fruits and vegetables for carbohydrates, quality protein in each meal, like meat, seafood, and eggs. And, yes, eat fat! Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado and butter are what your body needs to heal and thrive.
Do your best to stay away from processed foods. Stick with whole foods that don’t have labels. If it has a label, a good rule of thumb is to make sure you can pronounce all of the ingredients.
3. Don’t guzzle fruit juices.
⇒ DO: add antioxidants to your day.
A detox program that swears by drinking only sugar-laden juices isn’t a detox program to trust. Don’t go there!
But do make an effort to eat more antioxidants. They act as a shield from free radicals that cause antioxidative stress (cellular damage which is strongly associated with many types of disease). We can get antioxidants from fruits and vegetables, but in a detox period, when you’re making an extra effort to clean up your gut and support your metabolism, I recommend supporting your body with Fruits & Greens, my favorite concentrated vegetable and fruit formula. Try two to three scoops per day during a detox, and one to two scoops per day at other times. You can mix it into straight up water, or blend it into a smoothie for a big boost of antioxidants.
4. Don’t starve yourself.
⇒ DO: eat every three to four hours.
Fasting is a hot trend right now, and it may have its place in certain situations depending on what your goal is. But, a detox period is NOT a fast. It’s meant to nurture and nourish, not strain.
After breakfast, set an alarm to ring in a few hours. When it goes off, eat a protein-fat-carb snack. This might be a hard-boiled egg, a tablespoon or two of almond or peanut butter, and a half cup of berries or a cup of raw carrots. When you’re done, set the alarm again. This process of eating protein, fat and carbs every few hours stabilizes your blood sugar levels and in turn, keeps your metabolism revved up.
If you’re in a pinch, you can whip up a detox shake by using two scoops of Detox Powder Redefined mixed in with your favorite healthy fat, such as half an avocado or a quarter cup of coconut milk, plus ice and water. I formulated Detox Powder Redefined to provide your body with the specific nutrients it needs to detox and in the perfect amounts. And make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. You need water to support your liver and kidneys, the organs that are responsible for detoxifying your body.
Remember, no detox or weight program should ever punish or deprive you. You want strategies that care for your body so it can function at its best — and that’s how you’ll reach your goals for weight loss and sky-high energy levels.
5. Don’t wait until noon to eat.
⇒ DO: have breakfast within an hour of waking.
Breakfast literally “breaks” your overnight “fast” and jumpstarts your metabolism! Your goal during a detox is to support your body — not stress it out — so you’ll want to do yourself a favor and eat within an hour of waking.
Even if you’ve never been a breakfast eater, are limited on time, or you’re not hungry in the morning, eat breakfast anyway—especially during your detox period. My favorite breakfast is eggs cooked in coconut oil with half of a sweet potato, sauteed. If you don’t have time, whip up a quick balanced smoothie and drink it on the road. You can also do dinner leftovers or a slice of egg bake. Spending five to ten minutes eating breakfast is a worthy investment.