Debunking Detox: 4 Things You Need to Know

Kelly Calkins, BCHN®

For over a decade, Kelly battled six autoimmune diseases with unwavering determination. Her journey led to personal transformation, calming her body's autoimmune response, healing her gut, and banishing fatigue, sleepless nights, and brain fog. Today, Kelly is dedicated to helping others facing chronic symptoms, autoimmune diseases, and nutritional oncology concerns. She works with 1-on-1 clients, leads group coaching, and collaborates with organizations like the Arizona Foundation for Women. As a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist® and co-founder of Abundant Hope Nutrition, Kelly's expertise shines. Her core belief: we're meant to thrive, not just survive.
Published: October 11, 2023

As a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist, I get a TON of questions on detox. How to detox, the best way to detox, do I need to detox? Unfortunately, there is a lot of conflicting information and straight-up wrong information on detox. Do we really need to chug down as much green juice as we can stomach to detox? I don’t know about you, but that sounds awful to me. Nobody past day 1 of a juice cleanse is as happy and excited as this picture portrays. It’s just not real. What is real, is that you can actually mess your body up and cause more damage by doing this. Juicing is often not a good fit for most people for a variety of reasons. Fear not though, our bodies are amazingly and intelligently designed with built-in NATURAL detox pathways!

Before I share the body’s built-in natural detox pathways, I want to talk about the downside of green juices because I see this derail SO MANY people. Green foods typically used in juicing – celery, spinach, and kale just to name a few, are high in something called oxalates. Oxalates are naturally occurring compounds in plants. Here’s the problem – a lot of people have an oxalate sensitivity and they don’t know it! When someone has high oxalate foods with an oxalate sensitivity they experience muscle pain and joint pain, and it leads to kidney stones. Thankfully, we don’t actually need to juice to detox because our body has natural detox pathways doing the work for us.

Let’s take a look at our amazing body’s built-in natural detox pathways; there are 4 of them.

  • Breathing – Deep, abdominal breathing to be precise.
  • Sweating – 20 minutes of continuous sweating through movement or IR sauna.
  • Peeing – Urinating flushes out toxins in your body. Drink 1/2 your weight in ounces of clean water daily.
  • Pooping – Bowel movements remove toxins and waste from the body. Eat enough calories, nutrients, and fiber for your body. Each meal should have at least 8-12g of fiber.

So, if we have these 4 built-in pathways, why do so many people desperately need to detox? Simply put, we do it to ourselves through our diet and lifestyle choices.

  1. When we breathe shallow from our chest we shut down that detox pathway and drive up inflammation.
  2. When we are so tired and stressed out that we slide into a sedentary lifestyle we shut down that detox pathway and increase our risk of chronic disease by 30%.
  3. When we don’t drink water, or drink diuretics like coffee, soda, or energy drinks, we dehydrate our body and shut down that detox pathway in addition to making our kidney/urinary/bladder system take a hit.
  4. When we starve ourselves and eat less than 1200 calories that our deficient in nutrients and fiber we shut down this pathway while damaging our metabolism and increasing our risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic diseases.

By making small, sustainable shifts to our diet and lifestyle we can stop being bioaccumulating organisms and put our natural detox pathways to work… without ever picking up a glass of green juice! To maximize your natural detox pathways even more there are a few things that need to be on your radar. First, you need to identify and remove Delayed Food Sensitivities from your diet. If you are regularly eating inflammatory foods that your body does not tolerate your natural detox pathways will never be able to keep up. Second, you need to tend to the garden that is your gut microbiome, and get probiotics into your diet. This can be done through a therapeutic-grade probiotic (nothing you buy off the shelf of a store), eating varied whole food, organic diet filled with a rainbow of veggies and fruit, and through eating raw fermented foods like kraut and kimchi (no, yogurt is not a good option). Please note that fermented foods are not a good fit for everyone. You need to learn to eat for your individual body,

My challenge to you is to intentionally support your 4 built-in natural detox pathways.

I’d love to hear from you! 

Which of your detox pathways are currently supported?  Which ones aren’t? 

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In Health,
Kelly Calkins, BCHN®
holistic approach to recovering your health.

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