New Year: Time to Cleanse? Part 3: Alternative Options

We've made it through almost 3 whole weeks in a new year! Time flies, doesn't it?

Even though we're getting further away from the "New Year, New You" stage, I'm still hearing people talk about starting the year "right" with a "cleanse" or "detox."

The past two weeks, we've discussed why that's not necessary and may even be harmful.

But, if I've learned anything from being a dietitian and from being a patient myself, it's that people don't always listen to healthcare professionals.

So, if I can't totally dissuade you from a cleanse or detox, here are 3 better ways...

1. Add "cleanse" drinks into your diet. Adding these juices into your regular diet can still benefit you because you'll get nutrients you may not be otherwise. Green juices can be a tasty way to get vitamin K, for example, if you hate eating leaves. Cleanses and detoxes may also include apple cider vinegar shots and/or lemon water. Both of these are also great things to have as part of a normal diet. In fact, most research on the benefits of apple cider vinegar and lemon water is conducted on people eating real meals.

2. If you want to keep it liquid, consider smoothies, instead of juices. What I mean is, pick products that retain more nutrients. Many juice cleanses on the market are pure juice, with the pulp removed. For example, I can buy a carrot orange juice with no pulp and no fiber. But, fiber is good for us and helps keep a healthy digestive tract. Instead of buying carrot orange juice, I make my own carrot orange smoothie by grating carrots and putting them in a blender with orange wedges. This way, I get the fiber from the food and I have a fresh drink. Depending on what you put in a smoothie, you can also get more protein, omega-3s, or other nutrients. 

3. Make your own, less drastic "detox." What I mean is, don't suddenly go from your normal diet, whatever that is, to some strict "detox" diet. Instead, identify what "toxin" is in your diet that you want to remove. Are you drinking too much alcohol? Are you concerned about eating too much added sugar? Pesticides? Mercury? Arsenic? Then, focus on removing that one item of concern.

If you want to "detox" your diet, what do you really want? How else can you do that? Share your answers in the comments below.. 


The information provided in this blog is not intended to replace individualized medical advice provided by your own doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional.
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