Neighborhood Nutrition Team: The Ins and Outs of Detoxing

Nicole Schillinger Vogler, Weavers Way Neighborhood Nutrition Team


MAY: Recharge, rejuvenate, and renew this Spring by detoxing your body! This month the Neighborhood Nutrition Team will cover workshops on herbal detox, intermittent fasting, and juicing and smoothies so you can jump-start your body for a more active and healthier YOU!


  • Tuesday, May 7, 4-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 14, 4-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 21, 4-6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 28, 4-6 p.m.



"Detoxing” has become a common word in our society. There are many ways to detox, and many benefits of detoxing. Some people report feeling more focused and energetic during and after detox diets. We can detox certain organs, such as our brain, gut, and liver. Detoxing should be done twice a year to reset the body.

Detox diets can include total starvation fasts of not eating all day long, juice fasts, and food modification approaches, and often involve the use of laxatives, diuretics, vitamins, minerals, and/or cleansing foods. If you’re doing a juice fast, it should only last three days at the most to avoid protein deficiency. There are also fasts that limit the times you eat in order to detox.

A healthy diet is the most important way to detox. For lasting results, your best bet is to eat a diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein. You can incorporate herbs such as cilantro and parsley that help support detoxing the body and liver. I like to add these on my salads and in smoothies — fresh is always best.

Dandelion root and milk thistle have been seen to support liver functioning and the detox process. I like to use these in a tea form or a tincture I can drop in my water or smoothie. Chlorella is a great detoxifier of metals from the body. This type of green algae is considered a superfood and can bind to lead and mercury in the body and brain — just a small amount goes a long way. Look for broken cell wall Chlorella and try adding it to your detox regimen!

To start a detox, first remove foods that interfere with the detox process or make you more toxic. Fructose is a good place to begin — this simple sugar correlates with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which contributes to obesity. It’s mostly found in fruits, which is why we only need a limited amount per day. Fructose is also found in sweetened drinks, flavored coffee creamers, jellies, and many boxed products.

Other foods to take out of the diet are sugar, trans fats, fried foods, and highly processed foods. Food sensitivities can also stall weight loss and exacerbate toxicity by making your gut more permeable and allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream. Gluten, dairy, soy, and corn are among the common food sensitivities. When considering detoxification, try eliminating these foods for three to four weeks.

Intermittent fasting is another form of detoxing. This involves allowing the body and organs to rest versus being in a fed state all the time. The most common intermittent fast is 16/8: You eat within an 8-hour period during the day and then fast for 16 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. For example, you could start with breakfast at 10 a.m. and not eat after 6 p.m. This does not limit what you eat, it just limits what time you eat. I have seen this be useful for weight loss and glucose control.

Did you know exercise can help you detox? Among its many benefits, exercise can help your body better excrete toxins and burn fat more effectively. Whether that involves hot yoga or high-intensity interval training, find a consistent workout plan that fits your preference and schedule.

Start this spring with a detox of removing harmful foods, sweating during exercise, drinking plenty of clean water, adding in herbs and other foods that support the detox process, and trying the 16/8 intermittent fast method. Your body will thank you!

Nicole Schillinger Vogler, RD, LDN is a certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and a member of the Weavers Way Neighborhood Nutrition Team. She directs the Functional Health Center (, her own private practice, in Ambler.