the truth about detoxing: four biggest myths debunked

photo by maja petric

photo by maja petric

thanks to much of what we hear in the media, cleansing and detoxing practices have earned a reputation for being unhealthy and even unsafe. when you hear the words cleanse or detox, do you immediately think of all-liquid diets, expensive supplements and short-term deprivation for short-term results?

the truth is, a cleanse or detox does not have to involve any of the above and if you cleanse or detox in a healthy, supportive manner, you can achieve lasting results in weight loss, energy gain and full-body health. the following are four myths you may have previously heard about cleansing and detoxing programs. understandably, these myths may cause you to be hesitant to try either practice but continue reading as i debunk the myths and determine why a cleanse or detox might be just what your body is craving.

myth #1: you won’t enjoy anything you’re eating while on a detox

while it might be suggested you eliminate certain foods that you enjoy and have come to rely on from your diet, a detox or cleanse is not all about eating lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil. there are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy whole food ingredients that not only taste amazing, but also nourish and detox your body.

clean-up worthy rhubarb compote: rhubarb, strawberry, lemon juice, lemon zest

clean-up worthy rhubarb compote: rhubarb, strawberry, lemon juice, lemon zest

the best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. in fact, participants of my programs always discover new foods and recipes they absolutely love that have become staples in their diets long after their programs end. this has happened to me more than once too and has become one of my favorite reasons to challenge myself to clean-up my act periodically.

myth #2: you’ll constantly be hungry while detoxing

while you might end up consuming fewer calories during a cleanse or detox, you shouldn’t feel deprived or hungry. going on an extremely low calorie diet can actually disrupt your hormones and metabolism, making your body less efficient in the long run. boo to that.

everyone has different caloric needs, so a program should never dictate how many calories you consume. by consuming whole foods that provide you with the right nutrients, you help ‘health-up’ your body while feeling satisfied. i’ve always been amazed that i never feel hungry during my personal clean-ups and that the recipes i’m preparing are so flavorful and satisfying.

myth #3: you need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from you body

from here and here and here and at least here you’ll notice i love my juice. like really love my juice and although liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity, these types of detoxes can tend to back fire. not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your health. an effective program will include a variety of whole foods to help nourish your body and produce the long-term results you are looking for. don’t get me wrong, i’m a fan of juicing my little heart out, but i add it to an already clean diet as opposed to using it as my diet.

myth #4: a cleanse or detox is just a way to spend money on expensive supplements

supplements involved in any cleanse or detox should be just that, a supplementary part of the program, not the primary source of your nutrition. while on a program, you should get most of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.

supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods. for example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins and absorb minerals. a cleanse or detox program that includes an elimination protocol is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, balance your hormones, and establish healthy habits that can last a lifetime. i have worked with clients who not only have lost weight and kept it off, but who have also seen their energy skyrocket, their skin clear up and their allergies disappear.


in the same way it can be good to have a non-alcoholic month like the new health trend out of the united kingdom referred to as ‘dry january’ or to make sure at least one day a week makes room for fun like ‘sunday funday’ as a part of your healthy active lifestyle it is beneficial to take a break from certain foods and other stimulants like caffeine from time to time. the break allows you to reassess your relationship with each. a detox of any sort allows you the freedom, clarity and space to reassess your habits and make decisions based on your observations.

ultimately a ‘lifestyle’ detox suggests you live stimulant free, exercise with regularity and enjoy a healthy balanced diet. a clean-up for your diet is similar to a tune-up for your car. it uses whole foods, vitamins and minerals to reset your system, helps you investigate and eliminate your cravings and it gives a boost to your immune system which is the biggest protector of ill-health and burn out.

instead of limiting food or requiring you exist on liquids only a clean-up encourages a healthy satisfying amount of whole foods and vital nutrients like fat, fiber and clean protein. you are able to keep up with your regular schedule without fatigue and dizziness. you have energy to move and be social AND you will sleep more soundly. during a clean-up you get back to the healthy tenets of healthful eating and living. the taste buds re-accustom themselves to the more subtle flavors nourishing foods hold and a clean-up will leave you thinking about eating nutritious, health-promoting foods on the regular.

before you try something new, such as a cleanse or detox program, it is normal to feel hesitant. i want to hear from you. comment below or email me at as i read every email that comes into my inbox and i promise to answer back personally.

not into group programs but interested in simply adding more green smoothies to your weekly routine? i understand and have a few handy green smoothie recipes that will help you do just that. check them out below:

strawberry coconut green smoothie

green dreamsicle smoothie


powered by parsley-a personal favorite 

my morning juice

blue green algae anytime cocktail

the 2015 spring clean-up: 10 days of clean eating and living program that amy at whole heart wellness and i have teamed up to bring to you is officially live! we’re excited about the offering as we aim to introduce you to your healthiest lifestyle yet and will outline the steps to lead you there…hop on over to see what all the buzz is about!


4 Responses to “the truth about detoxing: four biggest myths debunked”
  1. Stephanie says:

    I’m on day 5 on the Purium 10 day transformation program. I’m thankful that I can eat some fruits and vegetables to help me get through this. So far so good.

    • Jessica says:

      great to hear things are going well so far stephanie, and fruits and veggies can definitely help pull you through…happy transforming and cheers as you finish your last 5 days.


Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] years ago when i decided to go for it and february was my month. in the past i had paused for a cleanse or detox here and there but had not considered an entire month or […]

  2. […] though i believe in simple and gentle cleanses, cleansing can be tough to do on your own. the no frills program is designed to give you the […]

Leave A Comment