We'll go to a pro, thank you very much. That's why we turned to the experts at Destination Spa Group, a collection of leading spas from around the country, to find out tips for an effective yet healthy detox in prep for the upcoming holiday season.
“You don’t want to go into a detox without direction. Destination Spas have doctors, nutritionists and trainers on staff to walk people through every facet of a safe, effective and successful detox,”said Destination Spa Group Executive Director Debra Koerner.
To share the dish on detox, Koerner pulled from her daily regimen as well as advice from Destination Spa professionals to bust detox myths and put you on a cleaner, healthier road:
Myth: Detoxing equals deprivation and starvation.
Detoxing is about making small lifestyle and diet enhancements. For a week or so, add fruit and greens smoothies two times daily. Simply 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.
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 with menopausal women. More from Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, “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.
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.”
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