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3 Reasons a Seasonal Detox is Right for You

May 18, 2015 by Ginger Hultin MS RDN

Do you have friends or colleagues who are ‘detoxing’? I’m talking juice cleanses, herbal preparations, colonics, fasting….that kind of thing. With how we’re living now – environmental contaminants, allergies, alcohol, fast food, too many “treats” it makes sense that a person would want to push refresh by doing a fast to clean things up a bit. But how can you tell when a fast is doing more harm than good? Rest assured; Registered Dietitians know what’s up and how to separate the myths from the science. That’s why I have my friend and colleague, Mary Purdy, here today talking: 3 Reasons a Seasonal Detox is Right for You.

While you’re at it, make sure to check out Mary’s amazingly entertaining Mary’s Nutrition Show including a session where she interviewed me about vegan baking AND another one about resetting your body with a 2-Day Cleanse. Mary’s new book, The Microbiome Diet Reset, is a must read for information about the gut and recipes to support digestion and gut health. 

3 Reasons a Seasonal Detox is Right for You

Please know that when I write “Detox” I am not referring to fasting, juicing or pounding a concoction of maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne that has you running to the bathroom. I am referring to eating in a way that supports your body’s ability to detoxify effectively and eliminate consistently so you can function optimally. Spring is an ideal time! A transition to a new season is a fantastic chance to give your body the opportunity to flush out the old and bring in the new. Just as nature takes time to shed and renew, so can we. By bolstering our bodies with healthy and vibrant foods (think “clean” eating) like fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, beans, grains, and cutting out things like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, meat, dairy and gluten, we can give our body a chance to recuperate and catch up. If you are someone who just thought, “Shucks, all the good stuff”, think again! There is a world of fantastic flavor in the foods of the season: roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon, fresh corn on the cob, cold cucumber dill soup, blueberry crumble with almond and coconut flour, black bean salads with fresh peppers, green onions, cilantro and garlic and much much more. That’s right…that IS the good stuff, my friends. You can detox for two days or two weeks, but taking time off of a typical, more processed diet to infuse it with a bounty of whole-foods-based nutrients is a boon to your body’s organs of detox particularly the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract.

 Here are 3 reasons why a detox might be right for you:

  1. You have been struggling with low energy or fatigue, drooping around the 3 or 4pm hour and hankering for a Starbucks cookie and Frappuccino for a pick-me-up. This likely indicates that your body is in need of a boost in nutritional status and a few days to give the short term boot to the foods that may be bringing you down.
  2. You have unexplained symptoms that won’t go away.  Your liver is one busy organ which filters out bacteria, supports digestive function, and metabolizes dietary fats, carbohydrates and proteins among many other functions.  When it’s working overtime, we may not feel our best.  Signs that your liver might be struggling:
  • Sluggish Digestion
  • Sugar cravings
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Skin issues
  • Hormonal or thyroid issues
  • Migraines or foggy brain
  • Immune system issues

You may find yourself saying: “I feel like an old person and I’m only in my 40’s!” “Why do I still have acne? “When will these headaches stop?” There’s a possibility that you may be dealing with a high toxic burden from long term exposure to the vast amount of toxins (chemicals, additives, pollution, pesticides, plastics, etc.) in our environment which have built up in such a way to cause unpleasant symptoms. A Detox can help your body say “farewell” to some of that so you can recover a bit and feel more like yourself.

  1. You turn to food in times of stress or high emotions, using it as a way to comfort or provide release and relief. A detox or time dedicated to clean eating is a fantastic way to change the way that you view food. When you feed yourself foods that make you feel fabulous, then you begin to see food as a way to nourish and sustain yourself instead of as an avenue towards consolation or punishment. Making and taking the time to enjoy food in a way that is mindful can be truly transformative. Plus, when you experiment with new foods and flavors, you make discoveries that help shift your palate and curb those typical cravings.

If detoxing is something that has intrigued you, be sure you approach it responsibly and intentionally. Working with a health professional can be helpful, but even creating your own simple short term diet of bright colored, fiber-rich, and nutrient dense foods can be the start of moving your health in the right direction.

 

 

3 Reasons a Seasonal Detox is Right for You MARY PURDY, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA, where she also completed her year-long dietetic internship. Mary regularly provides online detox programs and gives wellness presentations for  businesses all over Seattle. She is Past President of the Greater Seattle Dietetic Association and Past Chair for Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine. Prior to becoming a nutritionist, she was a full time actor and writer in New York City performing in dozens of plays, musicals, improvisation and sketch comedy groups and hosting variety shows and literary events.

2 Comments

  1. Taylor Eovacious on November 4, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I love that you described cleanses in a new way, not drinking weird drinks or depriving yourself for long periods of time. This feels so manageable and easy to implement into my life. I’m looking forward to reading Mary’s new book!

    • Ginger Hultin on November 4, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      Exactly – thank you so much. It’s really all about that balance and supporting the systems we already have in place

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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

An award-winning, nationally recognized nutrition expert and media spokesperson.

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