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Top 3 'Detox' Essentials

In last week's blog post, I discussed my issues with detoxes. In case you missed it, they are: skipping/ignoring the basics, unsustainable/radical diets which may impose health risks, use of products (price and quality), and the lack of individualization. Read full article here.

As promised, I've provided a few tips that are safe and effective 'detox' essentials. They help achieve the goals of: regular elimination through bowel movements, urination, and sweating. Ultimately, applying these techniques daily will promote health, regardless of your age, medication list, diagnoses, or interest in detoxing!

1. Drink enough water. Yes, yes - you've heard this before, and yet, many people don't drink enough each day. In the context of detoxing, this is going to help eliminate water-soluble waste through urination. What waste actually gets excreted in urine you may ask? We excrete pesticide/herbicide/insecticide metabolites, hormone metabolites, phthalates, mycotoxins (toxins produced by some mold species), and urea - just to name a few.

I generally get people to monitor the colour of their urine to determine if they're drinking enough water. It's normal for urine to be dark yellow in the morning, but this should become, and remain, more of a pale yellow throughout the day. Clear urine indicates too much water consumption. Note: If you're on a B Complex Vitamin, this strategy won't work because your urine will be a (normal) neon yellow colour.

Specific tips if you're struggling to drink enough water:

  • For every cup of coffee or caffeinated tea, match with equal size of water.

  • Consume herbal teas (decaffeinated) if you don't like water - bonus, you get the health benefits unique to each tea.

  • Always start the day with a glass of water.

  • Buy a water bottle and bring it to work, in your car - wherever you go!

  • Download apps that help encourage water intake ex. iHydrate

2. Sweat Daily- ideally, in the form of physical activity due to the dozens of benefits associated with exercise, but saunas, hot yoga classes, and hot baths also do the job! Similarly to urine, studies have measured the constituents excreted in sweat, which include: urea, lactic acid, ammonia, minerals (potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, etc.), mycotoxins, polychlorinated biphenyls, etc.

Tips to increase daily exercise:

  • Find a workout buddy - accountability greatly improves compliance to exercise.

  • Use online exercise programs (my favourite: Fitness Blender.)

  • Play. Grab a frisbee, play catch, jump rope, kick around a soccer ball - whatever appeals to you.

  • Resist Netflix.

  • Address obstacles that are preventing you from exercising - fatigue, poor sleep, low motivation, pain.

  • Get an individualized assessment and work-out plan.

3. Increase fibre. It's been estimated that our ancestors consumed a whopping 100g of fibre each day. The current recommendations for men and women is 38g/day and 25g/day and yet, many sources believe most people don't meet this. Fibre is key for stool bulking and is one piece of the puzzle to ensure we are having regular, healthy bowel movements. You should be having an easy to pass, complete, fully-formed bowel movement each day.

Like urine and sweat, there are certain things we want to get rid of daily. These include: steroid sex hormones (like estrogen), undigested food components, bacteria biomass, and the body's metabolic waste products, like bilirubin.

Tips to bump up fibre intake:

  • Add one extra vegetable into your diet each day. Ex. add a cooked beet into your salad or throw in some cucumber chunks into your smoothie.

  • Have your family try a new vegetable each week.

  • Try and 'eat the rainbow' each day, which can really only be achieved by eating fruits and vegetables

  • Add 1 TBSP chia seeds into your diet (sprinkle on oatmeal, added to smoothies, etc.)

  • Replace dessert with a piece of fruit

**Water intake must be increased when increasing fibre consumption to avoid constipation, gas, and bloating**

Supporting elimination through urination, sweating, and defecating are truly the basics of any detox plan and they can't be overlooked. If you've mastered these three essentials, or you're interested in a more individualized plan, and/or would like to incorporate supplements or herbs into your plan, book a free 15min consult and we can chat further.


Egeghy PP, Cohen Hubal EA, Tulve NS, Melnyk LJ, Morgan MK, Fortmann RC, Sheldon LS. Review of pesticide urinary biomarker measurements from selected US EPA children’s observational exposure studies. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2011 May 24;8(5):1727-54.

Quackenboss JJ, Pellizzari ED, Shubat P, Whitmore RW, Adgate JL, Thomas KW, Freeman NC, Stroebel C, Lioy PJ, Clayton AC, et al. Design strategy for assessing multi-pathway exposure for children: the Minnesota Children's Pesticide Exposure Study (MNCPES). J Expo Anal Environ Epidemiol. 2000 Mar-Apr;10(2):145–158.

Genuis SJ, Birkholz D, Rodushkin I, Beesoon S. Blood, urine, and sweat (BUS) study: monitoring and elimination of bioaccumulated toxic elements. Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology. 2011 Aug 1;61(2):344-57.

Eaton SB. The ancestral human diet: what was it and should it be a paradigm for contemporary nutrition?. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2006 Feb;65(1):1-6.

Taylor W. The excretion of steroid hormone metabolites in bile and feces. InVitamins & Hormones 1971 Jan 1 (Vol. 29, pp. 201-285). Academic Press.


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