Most experts believe the seasons of change, Spring and Fall, are the best times to refresh your diet with a cleansing detox. But most people are still mystified by the idea of a detox, so we went to Debra Koerner, director of the Destination Spa Group for a detox myth-busting session. Koerner says that with a few simple steps she can put you on a cleaner, healthier road.

Healthy Detox Tips

Most experts believe the seasons of change, Spring and Fall, are the best times to refresh your diet with a cleansing detox. But most people are still mystified by the idea of a detox, so we went to Debra Koerner, director of the Destination Spa Group for a detox myth-busting session.  Koerner says that with a few simple steps she can put you on a cleaner, healthier road.

Myth: Detoxing equals deprivation and starvation.

FALSE! 

Detoxing is about making small lifestyle and diet enhancements. For a week or so, add fruit and greens smoothies two times daily. Koerner recommends that you toss in your blender ¾ fruit and ¼ greens, add water and blend. You can also increase the amount of raw food you consume by making green salads the biggest part of your meal

Myth: Detoxing has no real value.

FALSE! 

The benefits of detoxification are extensive. They include weight loss, improved sleep, increased energy, improvement in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and decreased hormonal symptoms seen in menopausal women.

Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, says “Detoxing is important to eliminate harmful contaminants that we are exposed to in our environment – whether it be through the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink or the products we use on our skin or hair.” 

Myth: It takes months to see results from a cleanse.

FALSE!

In the short term, a healthy detox diet or juice fasting program will flush toxins that have accumulated in the body. Over the long term, you can make changes in your lifestyle by choosing to change two to four habits per year, such as eliminating coffee, eating more vegetables and fresh fruit, etc.

Yvonne Nienstadt of Rancho La Puerta adds, “Personally, I like fasting one day a week. I use herb teas and vegetable potassium broth. Short fasts of one-three days will not harm essential tissues (lean muscle) and they use up the food still in the gut from the day before.”

Of course, you should check with your doctor before you begin a weekly fast and never attempt it if you are pregnant or nursing.

Debra Koerner’s tips for a healthy cleanse:

  • Try to eliminate foods that have the highest inflammatory or allergenic potential. This includes dairy; gluten-containing foods such as wheat, rye, barley, soy, and refined foods; red meat; shellfish; caffeine; and alcohol
  • Eat plenty of fiber including brown rice and organically-grown fruits and vegetables. Include fresh juices (both fruit and vegetable) and water to help with the flushing process
  • Detox twice per year. Spa Eastman’s Jocelyna Dubuc recommends cleansing when the seasons change in the spring and fall
  • Add spa treatments such as dry brushing to rid the body of old dead cells so new ones can form and breathe. Hydrotherapy is very beneficial for detoxifying, as are body wraps. Sweat in a sauna so your body can eliminate wastes through perspiration. Mountain Trek’s Kirkland Shave suggests using sweat-inducing facilities one-two times weekly to assist the body in eliminating fat and water soluble toxins at home
  • Exercise is very important, including walking and yoga
  • Conduct an inventory of your supplement intake and add detox-supporting vitamins, minerals and herbs