Detox Without the Torture

by Chrissy on September 5, 2014

pear-cilantro-detox-smoothieJuice fasts. Cleanses. Detoxes. Every year, there’s a new buzzword with a new bandwagon to jump on, with the same old story. You’re still looking to lose those last few pounds, and since your cousin’s brother’s neighbor’s dog walker’s aunt did a detox once and lost 5 pounds in a day and kept it off, it must be the magical cure, right? Quick, grab your credit card and plunk down $300 for a few days’ worth of juice!

Not so fast. Somewhere along the line, it seems that we confused “detoxing” with “starving ourselves silly.” If your version of a detox/fast/cleanse leaves you miserable, cranky, feeling sick, and wondering how you’re going to survive another day (or two) of the same – then something is wrong here. A detox should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle change, and lifestyle changes need to be sustainable. If your detox ends with you sprinting to the nearest burger joint, your efforts have likely been in vain.

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t advocate detoxing the body. Fortunately, we are blessed with an organ that helps us out in this respect – the liver. Foods containing antioxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients, and minerals such as selenium and sulfur can work wonders on a sluggish liver. Interested in a healthy, natural “cleanse” that won’t be as hard on your wallet as a commercialized detox or juice cleanse? Try adding some of the foods below to your diet, and of course, remember to drink enough water! 

Garlic, onions, shallots, leeks, citrus fruits, berries, beets, leafy greens (spinach, kale), green tea, avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, carrots, oils (olive, hemp, flaxseed), quinoa, millet, buckwheat, spices (turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, cilantro, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel), walnuts, tomatoes, artichokes, eggs, and apples.

The reality is, a healthy body starts with a healthy liver, and you don’t need a focused “cleanse” for a healthy liver. A balanced diet with adequate fiber and water intake is the best place to start – with fat, sugar, salt, and alcohol consumed in moderation. Don’t let the Groupons and late-night infomercials fool you. A real-life detox is possible without making yourself miserable!

-Kathryn Bubeck

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