Is Detox Right For You? My Chat Detox and Plant-Based Nutrition Expert -The Organic Blondie
Updated: Jan 26, 2018
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Here’s the skinny on detoxification – it is one of the most polarizing topics in the health world and often gets a direct flight to buls**t Island along with other “trends” that skeptics question such as gluten-free foods, dairy alternatives, and coconut oil. However, people who do not have a firm opinion about the validity of detoxification find themselves asking, “is it really a trend, or is it a precautionary measure?
Those who reject the notion that detoxification practices are necessary support their opinion by emphasizing that your body has a slew of inherent detoxification pathways and processes that are sufficient to aid your body in eliminating toxins. It is true that are bodies innately possess the ability to rid itself of toxins. In fact, each organ has its own unique detoxification process that aids our body in reducing the total toxic burden it is exposed to daily. Yet when we consider both the amount and variety of toxic compounds that we know to exist in our food, water, cosmetics, household cleaners, air, and land, the question that arises is
“were our bodies designed to process this overwhelm of toxic compounds?”
It is becoming common knowledge that you do not drink unfiltered water, eat unwashed produce, or use toxic household products because of the danger in exposing oneself to these compounds. Yet despite the common practice of these precautionary measures, there is still massive skepticism around the practice of additional detoxification practices. My favorite way to learn about a topic that is not well understood is to chat with an expert in the field. The topic of detoxification is not my area of expertise, so I decided to chat with my friend and Detoxification Specialist and Plant-Based Nutrition Expert, Brittany Wisniewski, aka @theorganicblondie on Instagram.
I do not claim to be an expert in detoxification, so why not pick the brain of someone who is so you can decide whether a regular detoxification practice is right (or necessary) for your healthy lifestyle. In the words of detox specialist Dr. Robert Morse,
“what you do not eliminate - you accumulate."
So let’s have a chat with our guest detoxinista, Brittany, and see what advice she has for the modern healthy nut about how you can eliminate what you accumulate!
Tristan: As my guest “detoxinista” and natural healing expert, can you tell my readers a bit about who you are, where you're from, and what you’re about?
Brittany: Hi everyone! My name is Brittany, also known as 'The Organic Blondie' and I am a detoxification and plant-based nutrition specialist from Baltimore, Maryland. I have been a practicing detox professional for the past 7 years. Although I've always had an interest in the study of health, my intrigue turned into passion after my mom died from Stage 4 breast cancer when I was a teenager. This experience awoke my intuition that cancer was a condition that for the most part, could be prevented. This clarity helped me to realize that my true purpose in life was to teach people about natural healing.
Tristan: Wow, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. It seems as through you have channeled the pain and frustration of losing your mother into a beautiful gift of helping others prevent a similar fate. I’m sure that the experience with your mother’s cancer laid the foundation for your future in detoxification and plant-based nutrition, but I’m curious if there were any other experiences that brought you into the specific realm of detoxification and natural healing?
Brittany: It’s funny how synchronicities happen in life. I was just getting started on my journey into nutrition when I got a job at a detox spa in Maryland. It was there that I gained a solid foundation in all things detox such as herbal cleanses, sauna treatments, colon hydrotherapy, lymphatic drainage, and foot detoxes. I also worked with a naturopath who I found incredibly fascinating. All of these experiences really solidified my passion and awoke my purpose, which allowed me to learn so much and gain lots of hands on experience.
Tristan: I think a large majority of health practitioners will say that hands-on experience is more valuable than institutional education in many regards. While I agree that it’s important to have a strong understanding of the science of natural healing, knowledge alone doesn’t guarantee you will be able to help people. Hands on experience and expertise are absolutely essential to being a knowledgeable expert in detoxification. Can you speak a bit about your training and background with the practice of detoxification?
Brittany: Aside from working hands on in the detox spa for 7 years, which really gave me a solid foundation, I am constantly learning. In fact, I just got back from a trip to Florida for the Second Level Detoxification Training with Dr. Robert Morse, who is the ultimate master in detoxification. He really changed the game for me. I also just attended “The Truth About Cancer Live”, which was a 3-day conference of world healers and naturopaths who gave lectures on healing and preventing cancer. That was such a life-changing event! On top of these formal training seminars, I am always learning and reading. Some of my favorite books for anyone interested in learning more about detox are:
· “The Beauty Detox Guide” by Kimberly Snyder,
· “The Detox Miracle Source Book” by Dr. Robert Morse, and
· “Medical Medium” by Anthony William. I also love the Medical Medium Podcast.
Tristan: Thank you for those recommendations! I’m sure people who are interested in detoxification will find those very intriguing. For those who are not familiar with the process of detox, or who may have a murky understanding of what it is, can you describe the process of detoxification?
Brittany: Detoxification is the process of removing chemicals and toxins from the body. There are different methods of doing this, but the most important method is based on improving the diet. After the diet is cleaned up, you can incorporate herbs, saunas, body movement such as yoga, colon hydrotherapy, and the list goes on. There are really so many fun ways to detox. I just started using detox footpads from The Global Healing Center that are made with bamboo vinegar, herbs, and gemstones. You place them on the bottom of your feet at night and toxins are expelled as you sleep, they're pretty fun!
Tristan: I love how many different ways there are to detox! It seems that there is an option for everyone based on what method you are most comfortable with. This is a great segway into determining if detoxification is right for everyone. Are there certain people who can benefit more than others?
Brittany: Absolutely! I would go so far to say that it's vital for everyone to detox. We are so bombarded with toxins through the toxic burden of our society and although our bodies naturally detox everyday, we simply can't keep up with the toxic load anymore. For ease of understanding, I like to refer to it as a bucket overflowing. We can only eliminate so many toxins at a time before the bucket overflows. Once this happens, our body tries to combat the excess toxins in the only way it knows how: by storing toxins in the body.
Tristan: That’s a really great analogy! I think where most people get skeptical about detoxification is based on the assumption that our body is able to naturally detox. However, I agree that the toxic burden from our air pollution, pesticides in our food, excess stress, and impure drinking water all compound and put excess strain on our body’s natural ability to detox. If people are skeptical, what are some signs or symptoms of excess toxins that people can pay attention to so they can begin to realize how important detoxification practices are?
Brittany: Signs of excess toxic load could result in any of the following symptoms:
· brain fog
· fatigue and insomnia
· irregular bowel cycles
· joint pain
For people new to detox I recommend starting slow and working your way up to deeper levels of detoxification. The best starting point is to cut out processed food if you haven't already and replace these foods with healthier alternatives. Increasing the amount of raw food in your diet and adding daily smoothie is a great way to start this. I also recommend getting started on a daily probiotic supplement to replenish good gut bacteria, which is the foundation of good health. It is also important to keep your lymphatic system healthy, which is responsible for flushing toxins out of your body.
To start getting the lymphatic system moving more optimally, I recommend daily movement and sweating. It can even be as simple as a daily 30-min yoga practice along with a warm Epsom salt bath at night. Epsom salt and baking soda baths 2-3 times a week can help to balance magnesium levels, detox the body, soothe muscles and reduce inflammation. Those are all the things I personally chose to start with when I began my detox journey, and slowly began to dig in deeper over time.
Tristan: Those are all fantastic recommendations! Diet, movement, and gut health continue to be identified as the key players involved in keeping your body healthy and preventing chronic disease. I especially love the recommendation about having a smoothie and taking Epsom salt baths! When I notice my digestive system is not functioning the way I would like, I choose to limit solid food for a few days and eat a lot of soups and smoothies. That always helps bring my system back into balance. Plus, who doesn’t love a good long soak in a relaxing Epsom salt bath? Are there any other detox methods that you find especially effective and are there any that you are really not a fan of?
Brittany: There are so many amazing things you can do to assist the body in detox and healing. The ultimate form of detoxification is having a clean and pure diet. In my opinion, a diet high in raw foods is one of the best ways to detox, especially when incorporating an herbal regiment. The Dr. Robert Morse brand of herbs is my favorite for this. For someone who has never detoxed and has been eating the Standard American Diet which is full of processed foods, I wouldn't recommend jumping into a deep level detox like the Master Cleanse or Water Fasting. Start slow and build up to deeper level practices.
Tristan: Those are all great recommendations, especially the tip to start slow. I think a lot of people find themselves in trouble when they decide they want to get healthy and instead of making small changes, they decide to completely overhaul their lifestyle with a juice cleanse or water fast. From what I understand, this can cause a ton of detox side effects as a result of the body dumping too many toxins at once. This experience is where I believe the practice of detoxification gets a bad wrap, because the side effects can be very undesirable in some cases. Are there other common misconceptions or limiting beliefs around the practice of detoxification that you want to speak to?
Brittany: That is an easy one to answer, because I myself experienced a ton of bothersome side effects when I first started my journey of detoxing. The truth is that detoxing doesn’t result in instant clear skin. It also doesn’t mean that you’re going to be eating pretty smoothie bowls everyday and drinking fruit water. Detoxification is a very involved process where toxins are eliminated from the body, which can sometimes cause temporary discomfort. This temporary discomfort has been called the 'healing crisis'.
For example, our skin is the largest elimination organ of our body system. So when you detox, you may experience more breakouts, or things such as headaches, body pains, or colds. You have to remember that you are working to eliminate toxins that your body has deemed dangerous and stored in your cells. You are also working to eliminate toxins that were circulating in your lymphatic system, so it is very common to experience a temporary slew of symptoms as your body attempts to rid the system of these compounds.
When I first started detoxing I kept getting colds, which was so frustrating because I was eating so healthy. So I started reading other’s experiences about detox and I would see health bloggers talk about how they rarely get sick. It wasn't until my naturopath explained to me the 'healing crisis’ where we experience temporary discomfort as we detox that I finally understood that this discomfort was actually a good thing! Fast forward through years of practicing natural healing and detoxification and now I rarely get the common cold. This also brings up another good point, which is to not compare your results to others. Every body is different so every detox experience will be slightly different as well.
Tristan: You’re right, every body is very different and with everything else in life, it’s vital that we do not compare our experience to that of anyone else. I also like how to touched on the fact that detoxification is not some trendy hobby that has no consequences. The process of detoxification is so involved, because you are literally encouraging your body to remove stored toxins that it otherwise would choose not to process. Yet we know that stubborn weight gain, chronic headaches, and inflammation are side effects of stored toxins in the body, so this really highlights the importance of incorporating detox practices into your lifestyle. Given the importance of regular detoxification practices for the modern person, what are 2-5 rituals that my readers could easily implement into their lifestyle?
Brittany: I mentioned before how Epsom salt baths are one of my personal favorite methods of detoxification. I also love adding a few drops of essential oils to my bath such as ginger, orange, or grapefruit, which are all fantastic agents of detoxification. Another easy detox practice to begin is a nighttime Reflexology foot massage. Many people don’t know this, but the bottom of your feet have what are called “reflexology points” which stimulate all your organs and bring energy to all the areas of your body. Doing a minute massage on each foot at night, especially with some organic lotion and essential oils like lavender is a great way to end the day on a detoxing note and help you sleep better! Herbal tea is another thing just about anyone can use. Yogi brand tea makes great organic detox blends that just about every grocery store carries. If you want to go to the next level, Dr. Robert Morse makes a “Heal All” Tea.
Tristan: Thank you so much Brittany, those are all very simply but meaningful practices that anyone can do from the comfort of their own home without spending a ton of money! I truly appreciate you giving us your time and sharing your expertise and before you go, is there anything else you would like to add to our conversation about detoxification?
Brittany: If you'd like to learn more about detox you can follow me on lnstagram @TheOrganicBlondie which is where I am the most interactive with people. I also do personal detox coaching, and you can find more information about my services by heading to my website which is – www.TheOrganicBlondie.com!
I hope that you have enjoyed this interview with Brittany, The Organic Blondie, Detox Specialist and Plant-Based Nutrition Expert!
Hopefully this information helped emphasize the importance of practicing regular detox in your daily life, as well as some easy and affordable options to get started with this natural healing process!
Love and hugs,
Tristan - MSN, INHC