Health & Wellness

Everything You Need to Know About Starting a Detox Diet

Nutritionist Rebecca Snow tells us what to do when trying to restart your health.
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A simple way to check and reset your health is to introduce a detox diet. Local nutritionist Rebecca Snow tells us what to do when trying out short-term elimination diets and how to incorporate lasting detoxifying habits.

Why detox?
Detox is relevant for everyone at some point in their life. We are exposed to a lot of toxins such as carbon monoxide from walking down the street, pesticides on our produce, and bleach from disinfectant wipes. If someone has a high toxic burden, that’ll deplete nutrients from their body and challenge essential body functions.

Is there a healthy way to detox?
Some of the key elements to a detox diet are eliminating alcohol, coffee, red meat, or sugar; eating a lot of fiber; and eating six to nine cups of organic fruits and vegetables a day. The rule of thumb is to do it in thirds. For instance, let’s say you have ten days: Take three days to give up foods, four to eat the diet, and three to reintroduce foods. That prevents withdrawal headaches or fatigue. Try to go slow and listen to your body.

How long and how often can we do a short-term diet?
The length can be determined by how much time you have in your life, how much energy you have to devote to it, and what kind of diet you’re doing. If you’re doing the Elimination Diet, that’s usually two to four weeks. It’s more of a traumatic dietary change, so you shouldn’t do that more than once every four to six months.

Is there a best way to reintroduce foods that we cut out?
By rechallenging [reintroducing] the food intentionally, we can better see how our body reacts. Allergists prefer this method over allergy testing when identifying food allergies. Let’s say you are rechallenging dairy on day one, you have a glass of milk for breakfast and see how your body reacts throughout the day. Then on day two, have four ounces of tofu for breakfast to see how your body responds to soy. You want to avoid mixing multiple foods that you’re testing to have a pure sample of that test.

Are there any other tips for people who want to cleanse and reset?
Create a detox plan that is not stressful—make it customizable for yourself. As we come out of a stressful time, that stress is something to detox from, too. Get enough sleep, meditate, and de-stress our nervous system as well. Detoxing is also not recommended for children, pregnant women, or those with diabetes.

WHAT YOU NEED:

 

ORGANIC: Shopping for organic foods is an easy way to prevent pesticide toxins from being ingested.

FIBER: Eating enough fiber helps your body detoxify more regularly.

PLAN: If you do a short-term detox diet, make sure you give yourself the time and mental space.