Detoxing | Diets, Juices, Meals + Methods
Detoxing is a word known to many, the term we turn to after a week or weekend of heavy eating, feeling fatigued, or just in need of a healthier and cleaner method of eating in our life. The first idea that comes to many when the word detox is used, is your body stripping of anything nasty or dirty. While this is absolutely true, the term also gets lost in the wellness world, and otherwise. Often used in conversation with fad and drastic diets, the term’s real meaning can get lost or skewed.
Celebrity and well respected holistic nutritionist Jennifer Hanway breaks down all the details and basics of detoxing.
photos by Shade Made Creative
What Exactly is Detoxing?
What does it do for your body?
Your body, as we know, is very smart and knows what to do. It detoxes naturally. Jennifer explains that it is “a natural process that our body does all the time without thinking about it, just like breathing!”
We definitely feed and work our bodies to the max and sometimes it needs a little nudge though! Just like some habits that we’ve discussed in posts on your morning routine, or dry brushing, eating a certain way can help our system as well. “Toxins in food, the environment, our beauty products, can put a real strain on our detoxification systems, and such we can implement strategies that help up regulate this natural process” highlights Jennifer.
Difference Between Detox + Cleansing?
Does a Juice cleanse count as a detox?
Jennifer explains. “These words are used pretty interchangeably in the wellness world, but there is more involved in up-regulating Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification than just a juice cleanse! Our bodies need an abundance of amino acids (the component parts of protein), antioxidants and phytonutrients to efficiently detoxify, so I'm afraid to say juice cleanses don't work!
We can see why Jennifer’s explanation makes sense, a lot of times, juiced fruits can simply spike up blood sugar levels [When consuming juices [not smoothies] stick to veggies only] without the fiber the body needs to digest, and many other sources of food provide us with the vitamins and minerals that we need!
So can a detox be done with liquids? OR food only?
Jennifer clarifies “Again, we want to reframe this as 'upregulating our bodies natural detoxification'. Whilst I am not against a one-day juice diet as a reset and to give your digestive system a break it is not going to give your bodies the nutrients it needs to detoxify.
We love this insight and clarification into helping our body's deotixfication process. Many a times we put the words detox and juice cleanse side-by-side. The juice diet is more likely to give your digestive system a break and a actual detoxing is a natural process that requires the right nutrients!
Juicing on Fruit Heavy Liquids
“Veggie juices can be a great addition to the diet, but keeping it whole in a smoothie can provide the much-needed fiber that can help eliminate toxins from the body,” highlights Jennifer.
“I recommend… one piece of fruit a day for all my clients [as fructose can cause blood sugar spikes and fat storage], and prefer this to be eaten rather than juiced for the fiber and satiation benefits.”
What Foods Make the List of Those to be Consumed During a Detox?
Jennifer highlights the following:
no processed/junk food
“When upregulating detoxification the first thing is to remove foods that could be contributing to our toxic burden, such as most processed or 'junk' foods - anything that doesn't resemble 'real food' (think candy, chips, cake, etc).”
Extremely stringing on one of your top detox center’s of your body, your liver. Jennifer highlights getting rid of “alcohol can give your hard-working liver… a well-deserved break!”
All this talk about gut health, it is because a leaky gut is literally just that. A weak gut that is not strong enough to filter toxins during digestion and lets toxins leak into your system. Jennifer highlights that “gut health is key for detoxification, as our GI tract is the first line of defense against toxins. If you have a leaky gut and imbalanced microbiome [which most people do to some extent] then more toxins from food and the environment will be getting into your system.
This is why I start with Gut Healing [an elimination diet paired with tissue healing foods and microbiome balancing supplements] with all my clients first, then we may move to upregulating detoxification.”
quality proteins + Fiber rich veggies
“Think about building your plate from great quality proteins [if eating animal proteins ensure these are organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed or wild-caught], a ton of fiber-richh vegetables [especially leafy greens] and some great fats from avocado, nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
The Minimum + Maximum Time for a Detox?
Jennifer explains that maintaining a healthy “diet that works to upregulate [increase your cellular health and its response] detoxification, [such as the one detailed above], can be followed safely all the time! However, as it is a little restrictive, it can be challenging to implement all the time, so I would recommend 6 weeks to get real results.
What About Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent Fasting can help your digestive system by improving gastric clearance (how long food is in the GI tract), but it does not help up regulate detoxification. Intermittent Fasting is not an appropriate tool for everyone and can be detrimental to health, so please work with a nutritionist or dietician when considering IF.
Things to be Mindful of When Participating in a Detox?
pregnant, nursing, medications, old/young age, etc?
“However, if you are including supplements that upregulate detoxification then these should not be taken by someone who is pregnant or nursing, and if you are taking medication please check your supplement choices with your doctor before proceeding."
During a Detox Be Aware of…?
there’s a general reputation for low energy during a cleanse?
Jennifer highlights that you should actually feel boosted and elevated energy levels, so “It may be challenging to cut our processed foods, sugar, etc, up regulating detoxification should actually boost energy!”
“Typical juice ‘cleanses’, etc, only unregulate one phase of detoxification, which can actually make you more toxic rather than less. This is why people can feel sick, low energy, experience breakouts, etc.”
What Symptoms Exist That Might Encourage Someone to do a Detox?
With this new and clarified way of thinking of a ‘detox’, we think that it is about maintaining a healthy diet, continuously helping our natural detox system work, as Jennifer says “I think upregulating our natural detoxification is something that we should all be thinking of all the time anyway, and its actually pretty simple to do.” However, when you might be experiencing specific systems like fatigue, brain fog, and feeling heavy after a long weekend or trip might be a great time to look at what you are eating, perhaps keeping a food journal to know what you really are consuming and what you can cut out/include as advised above. Alternatively, long standing symptoms could be a gut health issue, and talking to a holistic or functional nutritionist would be highly advisable.
Jennifer highlights “It can be great to get a little more focused after a vacation, post summer, etc.”
professional insights into a deeper detoxification process:
“Some of my clients like to focus on detoxification at the change of each season. I actually test the toxic load of all my clients through a hair analysis, and if this comes up high [mostly from the prevalence of heavy metals in the body] then I will run more of a strict detoxification protocol with them, including specific supplements, nutrient IV's, infrared saunas, etc. However this should only be undertaken with professional guidance.” says Jennifer.
How do You Know If a Detox has Worked?
“You will feel more energized, with clearer skin, less brain fog, etc. You may feel less bloated and have better digestion too.” says Jennifer.
The insight that Jennifer provides is clarifying, detailed, and true to our bodies’ natural functions. Eat well with foods that promote the natural detox system [just as you would dry brush, drink lemon water, or put on a clay mask], and maintain it regularly to help your body continuously maintain a clean interior, with saying NO to certain foods and drinks, and seeking professional help for additional deeper detoxing if needed! Sounds about right to us!
If you need help with doing a healthy and sustainable detox and/or checking in with your gut health, Jennifer is offering early bird discounts to her Annual Gut Health program in honor of this post! Details below!
GUT HEALTH PROGRAM DISCOUNT!
Jennifer is offering Early Bird Discounts to purchase her Annual 28-day Gut Health Healing Program launching Sept 16th! Jennifer has kindly extended this to Aristos readers!
The 28-Day Gut Health Healing Program is a perfect way to approach "detoxing" in a healthy and sustainable way with the detailed guidance of a certified and experienced holistic nutritionist!
Just that for a great cleanse, health advice, and long term health benefits!
more about Jennifer:
Jennifer’s trustworthy demeanor and undeniable results have made her one of the best-kept secrets in wellness for clients that include the British Royal Family, Hollywood A-list, and Olympic Athletes.
Jennifer is also a sought after Wellness Speaker and has partnered with some of the top wellness brands in the industry including Sakara Life, sweetgreen and Bulletproof, and is the Holistic Nutritionist for Russak Dermatology in New York.
10% off with code ‘ARISTOS10’