Doctors on a Detox

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Most of my clients assume that I am an angel 100% of the time when it comes to my own health. WRONG!

Oh, so wrong my friends. I am human just like anyone else! My husband and I decided we would go through the 7-Day Core Restore Detox program from Orthomolecular. We picked a date, put it on the calendar, and committed to 7 days of clean eating, not skipping meals, and eliminating my beloved coffee.

Our personal reasons for doing this are probably a common scenario to many of you. We were a month out from the holidays and a vacation and knew we were not feeling our best after indulging. I was feeling that craving for sugar at night and coffee to get me through my day – I don’t like that feeling of “need”. My husband’s reason was similar, but he was also on a short hiatus from intensive bike training and thought it would be a good way to get his nutrition program kick started. After completing the program, we both got way more out of it than we anticipated. Things that I experienced on a daily basis (like lightheadedness and heart palpitations) were completely resolved. We both had more energy, better sleep, less craving, and food tasted so good! I am talking about real food here. Our senses were heightened and the taste of artificial flavorings became noticeable and pretty gross to be honest.

The Science:

 So what is this “reset” and how is it different than other detoxes like the master cleanse or taking a supplement like Milk Thistle? First, I think it is important to understand why cleansing is important and why the way you go about it is also important. The most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that we carry around more than 219 toxic compounds in our bodies.1 Our bodies are pretty good at transforming these compounds into something less toxic and then getting rid of them, but when we have a poor diet, are exposed to more than normal amount of toxicity depending on where we live, what we put on our body, etc, our system gets overloaded and can’t keep up with the demand. This can lead to a variety of health concerns. So how was this system different from the ones I mentioned above? The liver is the primary organ that perform “biotransformation” of toxic compounds into less toxic compounds. (If you don’t really care about the science, feel free to skip down to read more about our experience). The liver performs this task in two phases (phase I and phase II).2 Most other programs and supplements only target phase I detoxification. Makes sense until you understand the physiology. Phase I happens before phase II, hence the names. So if you support phase I before you can take out the garbage blocking phase II, you may get a bottleneck effect of buildup not being able to progress through the complete process. After phase I transformation, these toxic compounds have actually been transformed into a more toxic compound. Yikes, you don’t want that backing up in your body. These intermediate metabolites can cause what is called “free radical damage” and lead to the yucky detoxification reactions many people experience when undergoing a “detox” like headaches, mental fog, and nausea.3 Therefore, when choosing a reset program, you want one that balances the two phases, like the Core Restore. These processes require many different macronutrients (things like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Other nutrients, like those found in the cruciferous vegetable group, also help stimulate liver biotransformation. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a great diagram from the patient education resource in the Core Restore Detox:

The science aspect is important to understand, especially as a doctor recommending this to patients. This is because there are certain medical conditions that would preclude someone from undergoing this program. Some contraindications include: women who are pregnant or nursing, type I or II diabetes, liver or gallbladder pathology, and kidney disease. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting this program to ensure safety!

The Detox:

So what is this 7-Day Core Restore?

Here is the breakdown:

Day 1 + 2: drink 2 shakes (protein + fiber + other liver and digestive supporting ingredients) and twice daily, take 2 supplements that are also full of B-vitamins for liver support (Alpha Base).

Days 3-7: There is a meal plan laid out that you can stick to our not. The biggest thing is to avoid the following: caffeine (yes that includes coffee!), sugar, gluten, wheat, eggs, citrus, dairy, and any other processed or artificial foods. Eat fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and lean meats or fish. Plus, you continue the shake, the Alpha Base and then add another plant based supplement for continued liver support to be taken twice daily, 2 at a time (Phytocore).

 Our Experience:

For anyone who has ever done something like this, you know the first day is the worst... 

We really went out in style, and on Sunday night while watching the Packers game, we had ribs and wings, baked beans, and cookies. You would have thought we were on death row eating our last meal. I do not recommend this! The first day of the detox was my least favorite for sure. By the end of the day, I had a low level headache and just felt blah. I had major FOMO when I checked my Instagram that night because you know, food pics.

Day two was significantly better. I woke up feeling surprisingly well considering the headache I went to bed with. I treated myself to a manicure and went to the most dangerous place when you are on a detox – home. My mom is a healthy eater, but when I got home, she had dinner on the table and there was a box of Fabiano’s chocolates sitting on the table mocking me. However, I was proud of making if through 1.5 of the 2 days of just drinking shakes and I wasn’t about to spoil it! Plus, my husband told me that if I broke, I needed to tell him because he wasn’t going to do it alone!

Day three brought the kid on Christmas out of me. I can’t say I was overly hungry by any means. I actually felt pretty amazing. More alert, no lightheadedness or heart palpitations, and I even forgot about coffee! I still had a shake for breakfast, but I made a mixed berry smoothie with the powder, some frozen fruit, and coconut milk. I made a chicken dish for lunch and a salad with lentils for dinner. For an evening snack, I made the chia seed pudding with fresh mango on top, which is by far, my favorite new thing to make!

Day four through seven, my husband and I both stuck to the program recipes, continued to drink our shake, and took the Alpha Base and Phytocore capsules. To replace my coffee addiction, I started drinking more herbal teas and tea lattes with coconut or almonst milk – SO GOOD!

Our Results:

The evening of day seven, my husband and I reflected on our experiences with this 7-Day reset. We weren’t doing it to lose weight, so we didn’t keep track of that. We were doing it to just feel better! We definitely saw pros and cons during the 7 days.

Here are the critiques:

  1. Before buying all of the recommended groceries, look at the menu plan and decide which things you will realistically want to make and eat. We bought everything on the grocery list and it was way too much for the two of us (even though it is proportioned for 2!)

  2. Make enough dinner to have left overs the next day for lunch. The week menu has a different meal for both lunch and dinner. With our work schedules, it was unrealistic to make a different meal every day for lunch. We love making dinner together at night, but making something for lunch from scratch wasn’t in the cards.

  3. Some of the recipes were a bit wonky as far as proportions and hard to follow. I talked to my rep about this, and she was going to make sure the booklets were reviewed for accuracy.

  4. The flavor of the shake by itself was definitely not my favorite. I was told that new flavors were being worked on!

What about the pros? 

As you can see, even this program isn’t perfect, but that is why it is nice to have experience with it to be able to guide someone else through it. One thing is for sure, the pros outweighed the cons! On day seven, I gave a presentation to a group of physical therapists. Normally, I would have been hyped up on coffee, jittery, and nervous. However, I felt calm, mentally sharp, and energetic! Most notable for me was not feeling lightheaded or the heart palpitations I mentions earlier. You know how they say, “never be your own doctor”? Well, I brushed these things off as normal. This reset made me realize that my issue is that I do not eat regularly enough – especially when it comes to breakfast (I can just hear my mom saying “I told you so”)! I also drink waaay too much coffee, which is actually really bad for your adrenals and can lead to anxiety and fatigue, both of which I have a history of experiencing. I hope to stick to drinking less coffee and instead, drinking more water and tea. Lastly, I had not been able to break my sugar addiction since Christmas, and this 7-day reset took care of that! Now, I may indulge a bit, but I am satisfied with a small amount. As for my husband, he kept remarking about “how good food tasted” and how his normal cravings for ice cream were non-existent. Even on Super Bowl Sunday (which was about 2 weeks after we completed the program), he didn’t indulge because he didn’t want his accomplishments to go to waste.

You Want In?

Is this the BEST program that was ever created? Absolutely not, the BEST program is to live healthfully every single day - but sometimes, that isn't always realistic. Why I recommend this program is because it is easy to follow, the products have top notch ingredients, and my husband and I both felt amazing afterwards. Why look for anything else? Our bodies need a reset every so often; whether it is for a mother who is done nursing or getting ready to have another baby, maybe it is after a holiday or a vacation where you indulge a bit too much and come home in a ‘funk’, or maybe it is just the change of seasons (a common ideology in Chinese medicine). Whatever your reason, maybe this is the reset you are looking for. If so let me help you get started! I will be offering special pricing on detox kits until the end of March to help you usher in Spring! Not quite ready to do it, but you want in on the special pricing? Get it now and hang on to it for when you are ready (just don’t let it go too long)!

Click here for the Core Restore Product Sheet

 

Resources: 

1. Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, Updated Tables, January 2017 I

Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/pdf/FourthReport_UpdatedTables_Volume1_Jan2017.pdf

 

2. Liska, D. J. The detoxification enzyme systems. Altern Med Rev. 1998; 3(3):187-198.

 

3. Liska, D., Lyon, M. et al. Detoxification and Biotransformational Imbalances. 2005;(22):275-298