A couple in their mid-fifties came to see me earlier this month. They were both…
June 11, 2015 | John Paul Catanzaro
“I feel gross!” How many times have you said that after a night of overindulgence? Being bad every once and a while won’t kill you, but on a consistent basis, you’re asking for trouble. And it’s not just food and alcohol you need to be concerned with. Your body is assaulted with toxic substances daily. For many people, a periodic cleanse is in order.
The best way to detox, as far as I’m concerned, is to stay clear of toxins to begin with. You need to be diligent in many areas of your life, including what you put on your skin or in your mouth, the air you breathe, and so on:
Those are just some of the things that come to mind. The point is, if no toxins are coming in, there’s no need to take them out!
Most people don’t go to those lengths though, so it’s in their best interest to reduce the toxins coming in as much as possible, and then work on getting them out through some form of detoxification. Of course, diet plays a crucial role, but there are other factors involved as well.
When people think of a detox diet, they automatically assume that it’s a juice cleanse. That’s not always the case. In fact, I’m not a fan of juice fasts to detox. They’re woefully low in protein and they cause major swings in blood sugar levels. Ryan Andrews from Precision Nutrition wrote a great article on this subject not too long ago. I highly recommend that you read it.
For a simple cleanse that provides all the nutrients you need and will keep your blood sugar levels stable, here’s a protocol that I learned from Dr. Robert Rakowski many years ago. In a nutshell, you consume two scoops of a medical food as many times as you want in a day along with one green vegetable and some dietary supplements. Add some physical detoxification to the mix when possible. Do this cleanse for one week and you’ll get excellent results.
Let’s take a look at each factor in more detail.
A medical food is basically a powdered food that provides numerous macro- and micro-nutrients. Depending on the specific needs of the individual, there are medical foods that are used to control inflammation, clear excess estrogen, balance pH, control blood sugar levels, clear heavy metals, and so on.
For a general detox, we’ve used stacks in the past from Metagenics (UltraClear, Endefen, MetaFiber) and Biotics (NutriClear, NitroGreens, Colon Plus, Bio-Detox Packs). We now use a special formula that I designed that contains a clean, highly absorbable, and hypoallergenic blend of protein, fiber, prebiotics, and essential fatty acids.
Take two scoops of the powdered food in filtered water as often as you like throughout the day (the average for most people is four times a day). The amount of water is determined by how thick or thin you wish the shake to be.
Choose one organic green vegetable each day, prepare it steamed with sea salt, and have as much of that green vegetable as you like throughout the day. You can have it at the same time as the shake or at a separate time of the day.
Key dietary supplements to use during the one-week cleanse include omega-3 fatty acids, enzymes, probiotics, and a multivitamin. For most people, that’s sufficient; however, some individuals will require specific detoxification supplements depending on their needs.
In addition to urine, feces, and breath, one of the best ways to eliminate toxins is through sweat. Exercise, salt baths, and saunas are recommended throughout the one-week cleanse. Lymphatic drainage is also important for elimination, yet another reason to exercise and to use methods such as rebounding, skin brushing, and massage. Coffee enemas and castor oil packs can be useful to detox the liver and gallbladder. Make sure to consult with a healthcare professional for help with these methods.
After the one-week detox is complete, we then reintroduce solid meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and maintain the shakes twice a day as a small midmorning and midafternoon feeding. This is the type of plan that I present in my Body Composition Strategies webinar and in my book Lean and Mean.
Most people lose a few pounds during the one-week cleanse. That’s part of the detoxification process. Just a reminder that fat stores toxins, so as you release fat, you release toxins. The feedback that I get from many people is that they feel lighter, less bloated, and more energetic by the end of the week. In general, they feel a lot better.