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The Nutrition Babes weigh in on detox diets

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The Nutrition Babes ( and I had the opportunity to meet in Philadelphia at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual conference in October, 2012. Kathy Siegel, RD, CDN and Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RD are registered dietitian nutritionists passionate about better health through balanced nutrition, exercise, and cleaner living.

I wanted to ask their thoughts on detox diets. And as I suspected we were on the same page. To watch the video scroll to bottom of page or click here.

Kathy: Yes, I am sure we are on the same page with this one. This been going on a little longer than I would have liked with the trend on detox. It just keeps evolving and changing but basically we have a different take on detox.You really want to aim towards whole foods. If you want to detox, you want to eliminate the processed foods, the things with a very long list of ingredients. You want to consume foods that come from the ground, items that do not have labels. It can be a higher protein source that’s also a grain. You can look for quinoa.There are a lot of different items that we think we can consume that are healthier and by taking out the processed foods, you’re having a healthy detox. High fiber is going to help eliminate a lot of the waste that these people talk about.
Neily: You mean we don’t have a lot of sludge sitting inside our GI tract?
Lauren: Haha…..our bodies, our livers—that’s what they are meant to do. They are meant to detoxify things. Because the truth is we have a lot of chemicals in our diet and in our environment. If you want to detox yourself, blend up your own fruits and vegetables and make your own juices or smoothies. Do it in a high-powered blender and not in a juicer so you actually get to keep the pulp and fiber instead of only extracting the sugar. Don’t add sugar to foods in your diet if you really want to do a little detox. Eat whole foods, whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, no added sugar. You’ll feel much better; you’ll feel like you detoxed yourself. It’s really a great way to go. Your body doesn’t need these really expensive, trendy drinks at all. You can do it all by yourself and you need to learn to read the labels too. It’s not like you can’t have anything in a package but you need to understand that when you want a cracker that has some whole grain and a little bit of oil and a little bit of salt, that’s all you need in a cracker. It doesn’t need a paragraph (on the label). It doesn’t need food dyes. You need to look for words that your grandma would not have known and that your third grader can’t read. You really just want very simple labels.
Kathy: The shorter, the better. And go back to the kitchen. You don’t have to buy all the food already prepared. It can be just as quick to make some rice in a rice cooker and saute—have a stir fry with vegetables and lean meat on your stovetop. Just as quick then as putting it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Neily: You’ve got some great ideas on your website (
Kathy: We have some great recipes on our website. We have a lot of meatless meals that are always great. We have a Nutrition Babes Lasagna that is fantastic. We have a lot of crockpot recipes because we know everyone is busy and they think this is more time consuming (to have whole foods), so we have lots of ideas to get dinner on your table very quickly.
Neily: So remember, healthy detox—fruits and vegetables and whole grains, lean protein and forget those faddish type things.
Kathy: You’ve got it.
Neily: Thank you so much! Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.


Related articles

6 simple tips to eat healthier now

Eating better may not be as hard as you think. An overhaul of the diet isn’t necessary – just start doing one thing at a time. (Prefer to watch versus read? Look below for video.)

Here are 6 simple tips for healthy eating – one tip at a time and you’ll be eating healthier before you know it!

  1. Double the number of vegetables on your plate and downsize the starchy carbs. Save 75% if not more of your caloric intake.
  2. Buy fruits & veggies on sale or at least when in season; they will be much less expensive. You can always buy frozen and have them year around – fruits and vegetables. They’re often just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.
  3. Go meatless on Monday or at least one day of the week. You will save the saturated fats in your diet, increase fiber AND you will be helping the environment. Check out
  4. Drain and rinse canned beans first and cut sodium content by about 40%.
  5. If you eat rice, make sure you eat brown rice or wild rice which are both whole grains. And you will be getting more vitamins and minerals as well as more fiber than its white counterpart.
  6. If you do dairy, make sure you are drinking nonfat or skimmed milk or soy milk. And if you drink whole milk (which btw is 3.25%), then you may want to switch to 2% first before ultimately going to nonfat or skimmed milk. Nutritionally, they are all the same except for the saturated fat and the calories in them. And if you don’t like that ‘blue water’ then you may want to switch to lactose-free milk or organic milk, which have a much richer consistency than regular nonfat milk. I think you will enjoy it more!

Why the Paleo Diet amuses me


This is what really cracks me up about the Paleo diet. Jan D came for a visit – wanted to know my thoughts about it. I can’t argue with many of the components – more protein, fewer carbs, and of course, no processed foods. But then Jan pulled out a “Paleo” turkey jerky bar, “what do you think about this?” I chuckled and we laughed together when I asked how in the world can a Paleo product exist in a package. Seriously? I googled Paleo diet, clicked on a page (developed by one popular fitness chain) and it had an impressive list of what you can and can’t eat. No potatoes. Okay then why was there a recipe right next to the article that included sweet potatoes? And maple syrup. That’s a sugar. Why is that allowed and not “sugar” sugar. I find it amazing to see how many recipes there are for Paleo bread, Paleo pancakes,

Alcohol? Depends on which Paleo version you look at. Diet soda is even allowed on one. Hmmm, wonder where our ancestors made that stuff.

Why diets don’t work (or do they?)

Why diets don’t work (or do they?)

Diets actually DO work. They (usually) help people lose weight. How many people do you know that went on the Atkins diet? Lots? They lost weight right? Did they keep it off? Likely not. Why? It’s not sustainable. But it is so easy! ALL you have to do is stop eating carbs. That’s it! But is it the baked potato that’s the bad evil creature? OR is it the company it keeps? Can’t have a baked potato without the butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon!

Okay so the Atkins diet is passé’. Been there done that. Let’s look at a more popular diet – the Paleo diet! Why has it gotten the attention of so many people? I’ll tell you why. Before embracing the miracle, Tony J was eating crap. Fast food almost every day, beer frequently. He suddenly discovered Paleo and turned his eating habits around. Was it the Paleo diet or because he stopped eating crap?

Are you keeping a food log?

Food journaling

I acquired a client when a dietitian left Cooper Clinic where I worked. Joyce was awesome. Ate healthy, lots of fruits and veggies, kept a food log. But weight loss had stalled. She had already lost a significant amount of weight and we figured she just hit a plateau. Plateaus can last weeks or months. In reviewing her food journal Joyce had written one cup of Kashi GoLean cereal for breakfast and a snack was one tablespoon of peanut butter with an apple. I asked Joyce if she measured the cereal and peanut butter. No, she used to but got away from the habit. I asked her to measure everything for the next two weeks. Be honest. Two weeks later she was down three pounds. Her eyes had deceived her. It happens. A lot.

 food journal


Annoying Advertisements

It’s the type of advertising I’m beginning to see more of and it really annoys me.  I’m reading the paper and turn the page—yes I’m one of a dying breed I know, but I just love a quiet morning with my cup of coffee and the Dallas Morning News, what can I say?

What so innocently looks like another article, upon closer look clearly is not.  The typeface is slightly different.  “World’s Most Perfect Food Stuns Diabetes Researchers in Landmark Trial.”  Yeah, whatever.  Look closely at the top: “paid advertisement”.  Do people really fall for this stuff?  They must because it’s a half page ad in the front section of the DMN—certainly not cheap.

Red flags for me—some subtle, some not so subtle:

  • FREE 30-day supply (but they don’t tell you that a 3-month supply needs to be ordered in order to get that.  At least that’s what it looks like on their website.  I wanted to verify so called the toll-free number—and did several times just to be sure I heard correctly—“Thank you for calling Coldwell Banker Mortgage”.  Oh my.  Someone needs to work on their proofreading.)
  • Throughout the article you never see the full names of “quoted” people, just “Dan” from Laguna Beach or Sandra D. or Christine B.  Certainly they could find someone who would disclose their real name?
  • Use of the word “diabetic” when referring to someone with diabetes.  Okay I don’t have any objection to someone referring to themselves that way.  I do however object to someone in the healthcare field referring to “diabetics”.  It’s just not politically correct. (I’ll blog about that some other time.)   So if this company knew better, their infomercial would sound more believable not using that terminology.  Granted someone that may be influenced into buying this product probably would have no idea.
  • Reference to research that is never cited.  C’mon now.  What’s up with that?

There were a few more things that bugged me, but I want to write about a similar “ad” which annoyed me even more.  “Type II Diabetes…Do You Really Have To ‘Just Live With It?’”.  This was actually a full page but nowhere did it say “paid advertisement”.  Perhaps it didn’t have to because it’s supposed to be obvious?  I don’t know, but it had that similar article type writing to it complete with the “Dallas, Texas Staff Writer” author at the beginning.

This was actually rather comical to me for a number of reasons.  First of all, here is an ad by a supposed “expert” in diabetes yet refers to it incorrectly as Type II diabetes versus the correct type 2 diabetes.  So your average layperson may not know the difference, but clearly an expert in the field should.  Does he not know that the name officially changed well over a decade ago?  Obviously not.  For shame, for shame.  What else:

  • Have you ever noticed how certain doctors always have to use the title “Dr.”?  I rarely see a Medical Doctor state their name as:  Dr. Ben Wellness, MD (it’s often just Ben Wellness, MD)  But I seem to frequently see…Dr. Ben Wellness, DC (that’s just to make sure you know that the “D” stands for Doctor).
  • The use of SO MANY CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamations to MAKE A POINT!  “You need to know how SERIOUS this is!”  “NOTHING could be further from the truth!”  “Do some type II diabetics NEED medications to survive?”  “You’ll need a consultation with an EXPERIENCED doctor.” (You get my point.)
  • Act now because the doctor is VERY busy and ONLY accepting a few patients.  He doesn’t accept everyone so just MAYBE you’ll be one of the LUCKY ones he accepts!  (Aren’t you special?)

Goodness.  Obviously these products are selling.  How else could such expensive ads show up week after week.  People are buying and what a shame.  What a waste of money.

So what do you think of these ads?  Have you seen them?  Do they bug you as much as they do me?

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