The Truth About Detox




When you enter the realm of health and wellness these words come up over and over and over again. It occurred to me the other day that holistic health practitioners often talk about detoxification as if it is an event.

“Spring is here! It is time to detoxify!”

Yes, a cleansing program can be a wonderful way to begin and encourage your healing process. It is an effective way to reset your system if you have wandered off path or are trying to find a new one. But context is everything! And often the context of detoxification gets distorted. Right now I want to reveal some truths that we have lost and offer solutions to encourage your self-care.

Let’s start with the fact that you are detoxing, cleansing and purifying every single minute of every single day. As you read this, every cell in your body is saying, “I want to keep this. Let’s get rid of that.” Detoxification is an ongoing process in your body, not something that happens every now and then. The energy running through your body loves you and is always working in your favor. We just have to give it what it needs through a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Last year, I attended the Functional Medicine conference here in Austin where thousands of holistic health practitioners gathered to learn the latest findings that science has to offer. I attended Dr. Robert Rountree’s lecture about detoxification. He is one of the founding fathers of functional medicine. After giving every single technical description of the detoxification process, do you know what he said?

“Now, there’s a really good reason to eat broccoli.”

It’s really as simple as that. Incorporating cruciferous vegetables into your diet encourages healthy detoxification 24/7. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, etc., all play a powerful role in how well your liver can do its job.

Speaking of your liver, here’s another truth about detoxification. We can talk all day long about the detoxification organs, which are primarily your liver, kidney, skin and lungs. Another way to say this is that we all breathe, pee, sweat and poop. That is how substances exit the body. The reality is that every single cell that makes up your body has the ability to perform these functions. Each one of your cells is taking in nutrition and excreting waste – all of them, all the time!

This is important to understand because you do not need to do some form of heroic cleansing, like laxatives or colonics or fasting, to support your health.

One of my teachers used to say: “It’s not what you do on Sunday that matters.”

So cleansing a few times a year will not have as positive of an impact on your vitality as your daily self-care regimen. Think gentle, restorative, and nourishing! This is what your body needs on a daily basis. What does this look like?

  • Stay hydrated. Why? Because breathing, pooping, peeing and sweating have one thing in common: they are all wet! Homemade sugar-free lemonade is a refreshing way to support detoxification and stay hydrated. Click here for some recipes! I also drink DandyBlend on a daily basis. It is a wonderful coffee-like beverage that contains dandelion and chicory root to promote healthy liver function.
  • Make milk thistle and dandelion root a part of your routine. I like to use a product called LivCo from a company called MediHerb, which is available through licensed health professionals, as well as clinicians at Peoples Rx. This formula combines milk thistle with schisandra and rosemary to support the everyday function of the liver. Brilliant.
  • Last but not least, remember that you are not dirty on the inside – You don’t need to be cleansed! You are perfect and good just the way you are. If we were to perform an autopsy on your colon, you would find that that part of your digestive tract looks like some version of the inside of the cheeks of your mouth – a smooth, pink, wet mucus membrane.

Take a deep breath. You are A-OK!

Think of it this way: Your body is always adapting. I didn’t have asthma for 30 years; I had a dairy allergy. An imbalance or uncomfortable symptom is a sign that your body is trying to teach you something. Your job is to explore and question what that is.

In the case of detoxification, the goal is to honor the fact that your body is ALWAYS taking care of you, so why not return the favor and take care of it!

All that said, here is the rub: Our modern food supply is complex! In the face of high fructose corn syrup, white sugar looks like a health food and can easily sneak into a whole-foods based diet, along with other inflammatory foods like wheat, dairy, corn and soy. As I said earlier, a good quality cleanse CAN help to reset your body and connection to food. Here are two options to consider:

The 21-Day Purification Program from Standard Process, available at Peoples Rx and through licensed health professionals, can be life-changing for many people. This program removes inflammatory burdens from the body AND focuses on nourishing your detoxification pathways without laxatives or extreme dietary interventions. Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so this is a great way to learn how to eat well.

Peoples Rx also offers a 3-Day Seasonal Cleanse put together by naturopathic doctor Julia Strickler. Sometimes all you need is a 3-day commitment to reclaim your vitality.

Detox in Peace!


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