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3 Tricks To Detox Without Depriving Yourself

Are you lost in the aisles of Whole Foods looking at all the detox products on the market?

Have you had a bad experience with a cleanse before? (Be honest here… you’re not alone)

Did you ever fast on green juice in an attempt to lose weight or clear your skin?

There are a lot of promises made on fancy packaged detox and cleanse products out there. While some are the real deal, others can be loaded with harsh laxatives that do nothing more than irritate your intestines and leave you house-bound within 10 steps of your bathroom.

Not a pretty sight.

Thankfully, there are some not-so-harsh ways to detoxify your body without ruining your week.

Here Are 3 Ways To Detox Without Depriving Yourself:

1. Cut down on sugar

The #1 source of calories in the average American’s diet comes from sugar, mostly in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Eating loads of sugar puts additional stress on your liver, the primary organ your body relies on to detoxify.

High intake of sugar, especially fructose, is toxic to your liver and has similar effects to binge drinking.

I’m not joking around.

This 2010 study from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association has frightening results:

“First, hepatic fructose metabolism is similar to ethanol, as they both serve as substrates for de novo lipogenesis, and in the process both promote hepatic insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, and hepatic steatosis.

Second, fructosylation of proteins with resultant superoxide formation can result in hepatic inflammation similar to acetaldehyde, an intermediary metabolite of ethanol.

Lastly, by stimulating the “hedonic pathway” of the brain both directly and indirectly, fructose creates habituation, and possibly dependence; also paralleling ethanol.” – J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep;110(9):1307-21.

2. Drink green juice, but keep eating food

Your body relies on amino acids (from protein) to create the enzymes your liver uses to process toxins. Living on juice alone for many days is not a good idea. Sure your body is trying to process toxins, but they won’t be efficiently excreted if you aren’t eating any food.

In addition to your liver getting stressed without food, not having any solids moving through your GI tract for a while means you’re not pooping. And guess what? Your body eliminates toxins through your poop!

I will say there are some people who benefit from short juice fasts (if they are low in sugar), but you want to seek advice from an experienced integrative health practitioner before you go that route to determine what is safe for your body.

3. Cook for yourself

Have you ever read the ingredient list on a microwave dinner? You probably need a magnifying glass to get through it and a PhD in organic chemistry.

If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

Food additives and preservatives put additional strain on your liver and intestines that no 7-day cleanse can make up for. So don’t expect to eat junk food and think you’re making up for it by taking an herbal cleansing formula.

Instead of going on an unsustainable cleanse, commit to cooking your meals from scratch. Too much work? Maybe try cooking a few dishes on Sunday and freezing them for later in the week. You’ll know exactly what’s in your food and your body will thank you.

Which one of these tips will you try first? Tell me in the comments below.

I’ll be covering more of my favorite tips for detoxing and cleansing at my next workshop hosted at the gorgeous new Pilates studio, HALE Pilates Method in Redondo Beach on April 13th. Join us and learn for yourself how you can detox without depriving yourself!

Did you miss the workshop?

Don’t worry! I share tons of helpful insights into what’s healthy and not to my VIP email list.

Sign up below to join the tribe and keep an eye on your inbox. Emails go out each Tuesday!

UPDATE Dec 23, 2013: I’m offering my popular Detox Without Depriving Yourself workshop again January 9th, 2014! Don’t start a crazy cleanse before you hear this.

This time around, I’ve added some extra bonuses to the workshop to make it even more valuable to you.

  • More support from me: While the feedback was stellar from last year’s Detox Without Depriving Yourself workshop, some attendees had questions after the workshop and wanted more follow up. So, this time I’m offering 2 workshops for the price of 1. Attend the first workshop on Jan 9th and see me a week later on Jan 16th after you’ve gotten started so you can check in with the goals you set at the first workshop and keep moving forward.
  • More meal ideas: You already know that I encourage you to keep eating instead of doing a juice-only cleanse or a fast. But what should you eat? You want to eat foods that supports your body’s natural ability to detox, not those that slow it down! I’m including more meal and snack ideas, especially quick fix meals that take 20 minutes or less.
  • More discussion of supplements: I believe good food is priority #1, meaning no amount of supplements can make up for a bad diet. However, there are nutrients and herbs that support normal detoxification. The trick is knowing which supplements safely accomplish this and which supplements are best to avoid (including what to look for on a label). I’m bringing in the exact products I recommend and will discuss the active ingredients to seek out when you’re at the health food store. I don’t sell supplements, so it’s not a sales pitch, simply what works and what doesn’t, so you can be a more informed supplement shopper. Don’t waste your money on “detox products” until you know what works, what doesn’t, and what’s downright dangerous.

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Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She is the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.

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