Detox in 10 steps

Detox in 10 steps

Every day we are all exposed to thousands of factors that disrupt our health.

Every day we are all exposed to thousands of factors that disrupt our health.

by Dr. Alan Christianson — 

Health-savvy people know that spring cleaning is about more than the garage. Every day we are all exposed to thousands of factors that disrupt our health.

Since 1900, chemists have created more than 3 million new chemicals that our bodies may not be adapted to. Some are extremely dangerous because we cannot get rid of them very well. This means that even if we are exposed to only small amounts of these chemicals, they can build up over time, just like a thick layer of dust in a vacant home. Some of the worst chemicals include metals like mercury, pesticides like 2,4-D, and plastic byproducts like BPA.

Chemicals like these are believed to be factors behind many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Along with such devastating long-term effects, these chemicals can also be factors in our day-to-day concerns, such as obesity, fatigue, depression, arthritis, muscular pain and short-term memory loss.

The spring is always a great time to turn over a new leaf and amp up your health to a whole new level. Here are my favorite 10 tricks for detoxing this season.


Pretox is the theme for the first steps. To get toxins out of your body, you first want to reduce the number of toxins coming in.

1. Learn when organic matters — Some foods, like celery, blueberries, butter and coffee are critical to get in their organic versions. Other foods, like sweet potatoes, oranges or white meat poultry are less critical.

2. Do not pollute yourself when cleaning your home — Avoid strong-smelling cleaners. Nearly everything can be cleansed with simple products like castile soap, vinegar and citrus extracts.

3. Take a breath of fresh air — The largest source of toxins for all of us is the air we breathe in our homes. Use HEPA air filters or ionizers and have your ducts cleaned each year.


Retox is one of the biggest problems of chemical exposure. Our detox systems are just not set up to deal with the type of toxins we are exposed to. As we try to get the toxins out, we can make them more dangerous and send them into our vital tissues like our brain and thyroid. This has been called the problem of retox. How can you prevent it?

4. Water — How much do you need? Most of us should get at least an ounce of water per pound of weight daily. This means 3 to 4 quarts, at least. What type is best? Reverse osmosis from a home filter.

5. Rice bran fiber — All the toxins trying to get out are coming back in through your colon. Rice bran fiber can help. Add one tablespoon per day to a breakfast shake.

6. Chlorophyll — The greener your poop is, the cleaner your body will be. Chlorophyll is the green pigment in plant foods. No, green Skittles do not count. To get green, eat at least 3 cups per day of kale, spinach or collards.

Active detox

The next three steps are for a targeted detox process done over a period of two weeks. This can reduce your chemical burden and help you thrive in no time.

7. Detox shake — For breakfast, make up a mix of the detox shake listed in the box above. For advanced detox and weight loss, have this for lunch also.

8. Rest your insides — During the cleanse, have one to two lean and green meals with your shake. These would be lean protein plus steamed vegetables or salad vegetables. Avoid all other food during your cleanse.

9. Detoxing light pollution — You detox better when your circadian rhythms are in sync. During the cleanse, make your mornings bright. This means that within one hour of waking up, expose yourself to sunlight for 30 minutes. Even if it is cold and cloudy, the sunlight is thousands of times more powerful than the brightest indoor light.

Staying clean

10. Social detox — The best way to stay healthy is to hang out with healthy people. Make new health-conscious friends and educate your old friends about your new healthy lifestyle.


Detox Shake


  • 1 serving unsweetened vegetable-based protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran fiber
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut beverage


Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend and drink.


Alan Christianson, N.M.D., has been practicing at Integrative Health in Scottsdale, Ariz., for more than 15 years. He is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease. 480-657-0003 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 2, April/May 2014.

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