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How to Detox With Whole Foods

With Anika Christ, RD, CPT

Season 6, Episode 3 | January 10, 2023

“Detox” is a long-debated topic: Some associate it with deprivation, while others think the practice is not necessary because of our body’s natural detoxification systems. Anika Christ, RD, joins us to clear up the confusion, and explains how to detox your body with a whole-foods approach that feels far from depriving — and that can support nearly everyone in feeling and functioning better.

Anika Christ, RD, CPT, is the senior director of weight loss at Life Time. She’s known to many as “Coach Anika” and leads a number of digital programs at Life Time, including the D.TOX program.

Christ says one of the most common misconceptions she hears is that going through a detox protocol is only necessary if you’re noticing digestive issues — but it’s actually something most everyone can benefit from. She offers the following advice when it comes to detox for :

  • Detox twice per year, if not four times, for maintenance. Even if you’re not experiencing signs or symptoms of a high toxic load, which is due to what we’re all exposed to in our daily lives, our body’s natural detoxification organs can benefit from the periodic support of a detox protocol. Christ says this is optimal to do during seasonal changes, with the spring and fall being the two most popular times for her clients.
  • Detox more often if you have more environmental exposures. If your regular exposure to toxins is higher than the average person — for example, if you work in an industry such as dental care or city maintenance workers — then you could benefit from more frequent detoxing. Christ shares that people who are going after bigger weight-loss goals may also want to consider detoxing more often. Excess fat can cause your body to absorb toxins, and as your body breaks down and eliminates fat, it can release those toxins into your system.
  • Consider a detox now if you’re experiencing symptoms. The biggest red flags that Christ looks for are digestive issues; skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, or keratosis; and brain issues such as feeling foggy, lightheaded, or having low energy. She also encourages a detox for anyone who feels like they could use a nutritional reset or who have been drinking more caffeine or alcohol than they’d like.

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Transcript: How to Detox With Whole Foods

Season 3, Episode 3  | January 10, 2023

Welcome back to another Life Time Talk’s episode. I’m David Freeman.

 

And I’m Jaime Martin.

 

And today’s topic is going to be all about detox. Let’s talk about detox is been Life Time’s most popular program. In this episode, we’ll be talking about detox in general, what it is, and why it’s important, as well as methods for, and strategies around detox, and including what to know about the detox program.

 

We’ve got a special guest. You might have seen her before. Anika Christ is a registered dietician, personal trainer, and senior director of our weight loss program here at Life Time. She’s known to many people as Coach Anika, and is one of the original virtual coaches who continues to lead several digital programs each year.

 

She started at Life Time in 2008 and has spent her entire career building Life Time’s nutrition fat loss programs. When she’s not at work, she enjoys reading, lifting weights with her husband, and playing with her two daughters. You just got back from Florida, right?

 

I did.

 

And how was it?

 

Can you tell?

 

Oh, yeah.

 

You got a glow.

 

You got a little glow going there.

 

Do I? I mean, I love Florida. And I always think living in Minnesota. I love to get some last chance vitamin D, and a warm city, a warm state. So it was lovely.

 

Well, this topic, I know, is near and dear to you. So I’m excited to share with our listeners all about detox, right?

 

Yeah.

 

I’m going to digress for a second though, because I love that you said that you enjoy reading. Did you read any good books on vacation or do you have one you’re in the process of?

 

So two of them. I’m usually reading two books at a time. So I have two– it’s nuts, but I always have a nonfiction and a fiction all at the same time. So I love to learn. And I love to perfect my craft, but then I love to escape and get away. So I started It Starts with Us, which is the prequel to It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. Big Colleen Hoover fan.

 

And then this one, I’m going to mess up the title, but it’s Happy, Healthy Moms. And it’s common illnesses of childhood that are preventable through nutrition and lifestyle choices. And it’s through the lens and– through a medical doctor lens of her learning, of helping kids with ear infections, and all the things that little kids usually bring, and deal with eczema, skin disorders, and how it goes back to food, and your inflammatory load.

 

So I know enough about that just with my experience at Life Time. But I love to read different points of view of it and how people actually get there, especially in the medical world. So I’m about halfway through that and learning actually, which is really cool.

 

That’s awesome.

 

I love great book recommendations.

 

Yeah, stepping outside the box and learning outside of what it is that we do day in and day out. That’s how we continue to grow. So I love that you’re doing that.

 

Yeah.

 

All right, so we’re going to jump into detox. This is probably the program that you did lead at Life Time. That’s probably the most widely used maybe, is that accurate to say?

 

That’s fair to say. Probably ahead of 60 Day even. 60 Day being number two.

 

Yeah, and this is so surprising to me because it’s been around for a while, this program. And I can’t believe we haven’t touched on it yet. It’s really exciting to me that we’re going to dedicate a whole 45 minutes, whatever this ends up being to that. So let’s start talking about detoxing and why it’s important just in our daily lives and in general.

 

Yeah, so well, our body, we have organs that are flagged as detox organs. We have liver, kidneys. We’ve heard of those before. So I’m usually having this conversation with either my clients or family members, because they’re always like, don’t we already have a detox system? Doesn’t your body already do that?

 

And the reality is, we call it a toxic load is so much higher than years before. We’re all way more exposed to toxins in our environment, the food we eat, cosmetics, more on a side that our body isn’t able to withstand that or keep up with that. So I just tell people, it’s really not– we can’t live in a bubble. So it’s hard to get away from toxins.

 

But you can help your body and its natural detox organs be more efficient and help your body clear it in a more regular basis. And there’s certain common signs and symptoms that we actually see with people all the time that actually will raise their hand already like, oh, I think I actually need to support my body through a detoxification program.

 

Yeah, well, you said toxins. And then that term gets used a lot. And when I hear toxin, I think of the skeleton with the two bones or the X or is something that does so.

 

Yeah, Mr Yuk.

 

Yeah, so now, I mean, what are some common toxins out there that people might not even be aware of that we’re exposed to?

 

I work with a lot of women. So I feel like I’m constantly educating about cosmetics. So stuff that we put on our skin. And there’s a lot of good quotes out there that the average– I think it’s as much as 30 different products we put on our bodies every single day as women. So that can come down to mascara, lotion, body wash, shampoo, conditioner. So just stuff that we use on a regular basis that we use for cleanliness or just putting ourselves together.

 

There’s a lot of really bad products out there. And it’s a system that’s not as regulated as food. So when we talk about the beauty industry, there’s a lot of really great products and brands out there that are doing a really good job in trying to fight against that or do a better job. But I’m not trying to help people pick out their mascara brand, but I’m like, just know that, in general, we are putting everyday stuff on that you might not be thinking about.

 

The common ones people have heard of are food. So they’ve heard of pesticides and herbicides. They have all sorts of questions on when to choose organic, when do not have to per se. I always think of the air we breathe. There’s stuff that is put on farmland. So if you live closer to farmland, you’re more highly exposed. The water we drink, unfortunately.

 

So I’m usually talking a lot about filtering their water at home and how to do that without breaking the bank because that’s a big question too, but just everyday life, in general. It’s like when people call things chemicals. It’s like everything’s a chemical. Sometimes it can feel like that with toxins. Everything feels like a toxin. Well, it’s up to your body to be able to get through that, but you have to look yourself in the mirror sometimes. Am I doing everything I can to help my body do that so I don’t get bogged down?

 

Awesome, yeah.

 

So what can happen in our bodies if we let this build up just continue?

 

Yeah. So I would say the biggest misconception is– when I talk about detox with an individual, they’re like my digestion is fine. And I’m like, it’s not always about your bowel movements. And that’s usually what people think what digestion is, bowel movement frequency.

 

I think the biggest red flag is skin. Skin is our largest organ that has the most ability to help your body detox, but show the signs that your body needs help with detoxing too. So common things, we were just talking about, eczema. The keratosis on the back of the arms. If you feel like you’ve had rosacea, or like the pink cheeks, and stuff in certain amounts. That’s where I probably see it the most.

 

So I always go digestion, skin. And then I always look at the brain. Are you feeling foggy or lightheaded on a regular basis? Do you just not feel well in general? How is your energy? Those are all really good common signs that you might need help with some clearance or some detoxing.

 

So you just hit on a few of them. You get foggy brain, digestive issues, some skin issues, some other signs that you got that we connected on here, as far as a changing in appetite, as far as what they could probably benefit from a reset from a detox. So feeling sluggish, increase of alcohol, caffeine intake, feeling bloated, trouble sleeping, or some other things too. So you want to dive a little bit into those as well?

 

Yeah, well, especially during the midst of the pandemic and post pandemic, I’ve never not– I’ve never talked so much about caffeine and alcohol in my career, honestly. It’s a thing. It’s OK to own that too. So I always tell my clients– I never want people to come to me feeling ashamed or that. I know this is bad. I don’t need to be told this is bad. It’s the reality of what happened.

 

I even, myself, during parts of that, I was like oh, wow. I’m just opening a White Claw. And I’m not even thinking about it. There’s parts of that pandemic that were super stressful. And where you could come together with community and family, I think, beverage and dining. That’s what I love about the food industry, is it can come together in good conversations.

 

So I will tell people though that alcohol is a toxin. It literally is the definition of a toxin. So there’s a lot of really cool gurus in the nutrition field that are talking about– if you thought of one thing that in 20 years we’d all be like, oh, yeah. That was never healthy. It’s alcohol. Where it’s been confusing, there is a time– even when I was getting my degree, it was like, oh, red wine is OK though because it has more benefits than negatives. And it’s not. It’s a toxin. Your body is going to try to get it out and try to remove it.

 

So if you feel like you’re doing those beverages on a daily, and especially in the caffeine world, if you feel like I cannot get through the day without caffeine, it’s probably time to detox. Because the idea is when introducing– specifically with this program, we introduce people to real food again because you’re eliminating mostly processed foods. And it’s back to reality with good wholesome, good choice foods.

 

And so usually, people start to just feel better because they’re not relying on drugs, caffeine, or alcohol, or a toxin. And then the food just makes them feel better. So that’s probably my favorite part is like, hey, it’s really not a diet per se. It’s laying the foundation again. What should your body be able to survive on and feel great and nourished with? And that’s probably the most inspiring thing. And why people keep coming back to detox, they’re like, even if my body doesn’t feel sluggish, I need to reset my eating. And it’s back to real food. We could all do that.

 

Exactly. Well, it’s funny you say that. I did the detox– what time of year is it right now? In the spring. I did a detox, but I still have a shake that I go to. That’s my go to. I had it this morning for breakfast because it’s just– it’s so good. And some of the recipes, like there’s the white chicken chili recipe, for instance, which is delicious. My whole family loves this. This is now part of our rotation. And these healthier eats, setting the foundation for healthier whole food eating in many cases, I think, for a lot of people. And not just the person doing it but the family, people around them too.

 

Yeah, that’s always the aha with parents going through detox. They’re like, oh, I can do this for my kids. It’s real food. Yeah, that’s the best part. It’s real food.

 

There’s nothing they can’t eat in all this. Well I do want to– you mentioned caffeine and alcohol. We have episodes one with you and one with, I think, Paul. Was it– or were both of those with you? I can’t remember. We have episodes people can go back and listen to. And we can share that in the show notes as well. So one of the reasons– I mean, I love that Life Time has its own detox programs. And that came about because of lab test results you were seeing from members. So let’s talk a little bit about that. And what prompted all of this?

 

So we do have a lab testing company inside of Life Time. We basically serve personal training clients. So usually, a personal trainer will get someone invested in a lab test if A, they’re not reaching their goals. So maybe they’re doing everything right with eating, everything right with training, sleeping. They need more information. And so that was my first gig at corporate Life Time.

 

So I was in the field for a long time, then came to corporate. And I would read lab testing results over the phone, which basically encompasses identifying any areas of concern with metabolism. And metabolism is– we should do a whole episode on metabolism because there’s several areas of metabolism. But one thing we are finding is people are having a hard time clearing out stuff.

 

Clearing out could be hormones. So estrogen dominance was on the rise during that period of time. And a lot of people were like, well, why is it that way? I’m not on birth control. I’m not taking anything. And it’s like– well, hormones, it’s either a production issue or it’s a clearance issue. And sometimes when your body is so bogged down, your liver cannot process anything that it’s exposed to. So if you have an overabundance of anything, the liver has a hard time.

 

Now, put in medications that people are on a regular basis. We would see just issues with their gut integrity. So they’d have what we call leaky gut or a high permeable gut. So they were starting to react to foods that they had never reacted before. And you might just hear that in conversation. People would be like, all of a sudden, I can’t have dairy. I’ve had dairy my whole life. All of a sudden, it’s an issue.

 

Well, it’s not usually the food that’s problematic. It’s the gut integrity of what’s going on. So that is a thing. But we also would identify that, hey, when your body is trying to clear stuff, the best thing you can do is reduce as much inflammation as possible in the body, which is a hard thing to do. But there are foods that are higher than inflammation than any other foods. And that is for everybody.

 

That doesn’t mean, hey, you can’t have dairy. So dairy’s inflammatory to you. It’s inflammatory to me too, but it might be OK for me right now because of my inflammation. We call it an inflammation cup because it fills up based off of what it’s exposed to. But those foods are the ones we eliminate in detox.

 

So basically, me and– I had a partner dietician at the time that would read– we had this protocol we’d put people on. So it was an elimination diet which got rid of peanuts, gluten and wheat, cow dairy, pork was on there for a little bit. Citrus foods can be problematic too. Corn is another common one. And then we would put them on supplements that would help support their liver and detox organs because then that would help that.

 

And then in addition, we would put them on a protein shake because this is what’s so interesting in the industry, especially the detox industry is a lot of the other programs eliminate protein. You need supple amino acid pools in your body for your body to actually detox. So depriving them of that nutrient is– it would go against everything that you’re trying to do.

 

So I usually educate people on that. So I would put them on a vegan, a low inflammatory protein shake, on the side give them supplements, and then give them a food plan. And we were recommending it so often. My boss at the time that was running the vision was like, we should just put this in a kit and make this easy.

 

And then we also wanted to make it accessible. So if you never did your labs or never got to talk to Anika on the phone, you could go do it yourself, or do it with a trainer, or now that we have a virtual program, today, we’ve been trying to make it as accessible as possible.

 

That word itself is just access. And I know you get a lot of texts and calls, for me as far as individuals who are having opportunities in this space. And the one thing is– I look at the detox and I’ve done it a couple of times myself, when I say low barrier of entry, obviously, there’s a lot of value still there. But when you go to a lab test that can help identify what we might have some issues with, a lot of people don’t want to fork out those dollars or make that investment in the lab.

 

So now, when it comes to detoxing, what are some things– you talked about some symptoms that could come up. You said, you can be a little gassy, skin, so on, and so forth. So when should somebody probably start to think about, all right, I needed a detox. If I’m not going to check this lab, I’m not doing X, Y, and Z. This might be good for me, for me to have this reset. What should be that process?

 

So I would say like the average– I like to go with the average is first. And then I’ll tell you some people that I might have them do it on a regular basis. So average, I tell most customers or any of my clients, two times a year if not four. Optimal would be with season changes. And that’s just due to what we’re exposed to. That’s the reality of the planet we live on, United States specifically, with our patrolling of food and cosmetics, the things that we’re exposed to every day.

 

I have worked with dental hygienist and people that have even more toxic load than us. So think of that position in the past, working with mercury. That’s not really allowed it in there, but they’re still working with other heavy metals and stuff. People that work in the city. My dad used to do work for the water department. So again, I think of drilling. Things that you’re actually exposed to, other chemicals, other things that just that industry brings upon.

 

So with those people, I might say even more often. Hey, your toxic load or exposure is just higher than the average. One other funny thing that happens is, when people are trying to get healthier, or even lose fat, or body weight, your body when it breaks down, fat loves toxins. So your body absorbs toxins when you have excess fat around your body.

 

So when your body is breaking it down and eliminating it, because you’re trying to lose weight, it can actually become more toxic because as the fat breaks down, the toxins are exposed. You have your detox organ. So it’s going to try to eliminate that. But if it’s been sitting in fat for a long time and you have an abundance, you might need some more support.

 

So some of my heaviest clients, in the past, that might have more than 50 pounds of weight to lose, I might have them detox for a year just to help their body eliminate as they’re losing and eliminating fat. So it’s not something that’s often talked about, but it definitely happens. And the idea is, when you’re becoming symptomatic– if you can do it twice a year, that’s amazing. That’s better than most people are doing. But if you’re already feeling symptomatic, I’d say, yeah. Do it right now.

 

I think spring and fall are probably the two most popular times because there’s something about those two seasons changes that bring on– spring is change. It’s all about change. And then fall is back to routine. So people love the fall one because it’s like, yeah. OK, my kids are getting back into school. I’m done with the summer drinks. Maybe I was more lackadaisical in that season. So those are usually the two times I make most people do it if they’re working with me.

 

Makes sense.

 

So there are a lot of quick fix options out there. Why is a whole foods program like this important?

 

I like it because it doesn’t teach deprivation, where I feel like a lot of the quick fixes out there deprive people of food and label food in a way that it doesn’t need to be. I’m passionate about identifying real food because I do think there’s a lot of stuff out there that we call food. But the reality is that it’s nowhere near nature or where it began. It was created in a box in a lab.

 

I love people to fall in love with nutritional. And that’s how I got into nutrition. Most people are surprised when– they’re like, oh, you love food. I’m like, I love food. If I wasn’t doing this, I would go taste test food. I absolutely adore food. But I want people to recognize that a lot of the things that they might think tastes great now, you would be so shocked at how many palettes we change to this program.

 

They’re like, oh, my gosh. I didn’t even realize like what real food could taste like. And the reality is, there is this generation. And it’s going to continue. A lot of my clients were middle-aged when I first started working. And they didn’t know how to cook. And that was their biggest shame was that they didn’t know how– they didn’t learn those skills from their parents.

 

So I always am so passionate about like, let me introduce you and expose you to cooking your own food. I’ll make it simple. You don’t need to spend a whole day in the kitchen because that, I think in today’s world, we do value convenience more than we ever have. But the idea is that, hey, I want to know what real food tastes like. I want to be exposed to it. I want to feel confident.

 

I want some recipes so that I can keep doing this in rotation. And make sure my whole family enjoys this so it’s not mom or dad’s diet per se. Because we were the generation. I feel like our generation of parents, that was the thing. It was like, oh, mom’s on a diet. And I don’t want any of that to come through with us. But the idea is, we’re doing it right because it’s the right balance of macronutrients. We we’re talking about you need protein no matter what. You just do for something like this in general.

 

But it’s exposing you to healthy fats healthy carbohydrates. That’s always the biggest question. It’s like, oh, I can’t eat bread. Well, the idea is we’re going to go to whole food carbs first. And the reality is, you’re going to learn that things like wheat, and gluten, and dairy, some people keep it out for good after this program. So I’m like, I feel worlds different.

 

And I take them through this week after the plan, where they can reintroduce that stuff, and then pause, and see how they actually feel. Some people can bring it all back in. Some people choose not to. And people like me, I just always am dairy and gluten free. Because I just know better. I know my gut. I know my stress. I know my metabolism.

 

But the idea is that people start to get really excited about food. And then how much confidence you get out of that to decide, hey, I’ll bring bread back in when I want to. And maybe it’s once a week or maybe it’s pizza night on Fridays. But they feel so confident in their other decisions, and that they can make really good food healthy, that’s nourishing, and actually feel that power back in. That’s probably the best part of that. That’s where I get excited.

 

Super empowering when people realize that they have that– they can take control of those pieces of their life and they’re not reliant on other things. OK, so you were talking about reintroducing foods. I want to talk about what happens when you initially take foods out. Because for a lot of people, you’re starting– the detox program at Life Time is a 14-day protocol that doesn’t include the reintroduction phase. But those first few days can be really hard because there are often some unpleasant symptoms. So what are some of those? What are they? And how can we deal with them?

 

So there’s two common ones that always happen for most people. So one is if you’re drinking caffeine on a regular basis, you probably will get a headache. It always happens. I always tell people to slow the roll the weekend before, like gradually reduce it. I do, for some clients, give them a little bit of caffeine during those weeks too. Some people raise their hand like, oh, yeah. I just do the one cup. Anika said it’s OK. And it is OK.

 

The idea is though, we take caffeine out because if you do too much caffeine, it actually speeds up the detox process. It’s called phase one liver detoxification. And that feels even worse. So trying to prevent that and keep it chill. But the idea is usually people will get a headache those first few days.

 

So what I always try to help them with is chug more water, do electrolytes if needed because usually that’s what’s going on. Your body probably was used to that caffeine. And everyone’s different. That’s why again, there’s no shame in this. Some people come in, they’re like, I’m literally doing a pot of coffee a day. And I’m like, OK. I’ve heard that before. I’m not shocked by that. I don’t want them to feel like, oh, wow. That’s pretty bad. The idea is we’re going to gradually reduce it. Go where you’re ready, but that’s a common one.

 

I also get a lot of belly aches and tummy digestive issues. And so there’s a couple of reasons that can happen. So sometimes that’s too much fiber too fast for the individual. It happens all the time. And it’s funny because a lot of us really do feel like we’re doing really good with fiber. And the reality is, maybe you’re getting some artificial fiber through processed cereals or bars but not real insoluble or soluble fiber out of food.

 

We also have fiber in our shakes. So sometimes I will back off the fiber they’re doing there and say, you got to increase it with water. So you’re not doing enough water for your fiber intake. Ideally, most of us should get 25 grams a day. The reality is some of us are getting like 4 grams. So you bring in whole fruits and vegetables that skins with fiber. You’ve got fiber in your shake. It can be pretty fast for someone if they’re not doing any. So those are the two.

 

Now, sometimes, the energy will go up and down. And the other thing I want to make sure people are doing is eating enough because they take out the foods. And they’re used to what their body was used to. And then all of a sudden, they’re like, I am starving. I’m like, OK. So you might need some snacks.

 

The better use would be build out your meals at mealtime to make sure they’re more balanced and have every macronutrient in there. Some people get full pretty fast though too. So they might need to do snacks throughout the day too with their detox. And that’s OK. The idea is just to meet them where they can and gradually increase it along the way.

 

So usually then if you’re hungry, it’s more water first, add the snacks, stick to the plan, and then absolutely do the shake. So some people can do the program without the shake although choose, I’m just going to follow the food protocol. And that’s OK too.

 

Usually though, I don’t even have to talk about it because the participants will talk about it. It doesn’t work as good. Do the shake. You’ll feel better. The shake has the detox nutrients in it too that actually support the liver. So that’s actually helping your body do the process, but some people like to use the program as just the food protocol to get a re-kick or a restart on nutrition too.

 

Absolutely.

 

One thing I appreciate about it, it is a program. It’s a full thought. So when we look at the breakdown overview of what you are getting encompassing with the whole detox program from start to end and then how that can carry on beyond the 14-day period, so if you can, just give everybody who’s listening right now the overview of what comes within the actual detox.

 

Yeah, so if you sign up for the class, I’ll do the class and the kit. So the program is complimentary. So whether you buy the kit or not you have access to the program. So we have it in our app for our members. So they can do their day one whenever they want to start. Sometimes I’ll do live classes where we pick a start date together because there’s science and psychological stuff, in that we all be getting together on a date. So I like to do that a couple of times just for our members and our clients.

 

So with the program, you’re going to get access to– gosh, it’s probably like a 50-page guide. And the guide takes you through everything. It takes you through what foods you’re going to take out and what foods you’re going to keep in. It has a ton of recipes that we actually also have published on experiencelife.life so that they can go find whatever recipes that they want and sound good to them.

 

You also get access to my coaching team. So I manage a team of dieticians at corporate. And some are at select locations virtually. The idea for that is if you have a question, you can call a dietician. You have to email us. You can’t call us but you can email us. That was a thing early in my career. And people like that because it gives them more confidence. All the information is there, but it doesn’t matter what question.

 

Sometimes you were like, is this OK? And it’s like, page 3, girl. But yeah, you’re good. You got it. The idea is just to give them access to as much stuff as they can. So it will take you through– so if you want to follow a meal plan, we have meal plan. We also have a vegan meal plan too because we love– we love Dave and our vegan friends. The idea is so that I don’t ever want people to feel like they can’t do a protocol because of something. So it’s, hey, there’s either way.

 

But if you just want a food list to stick to, you can do that too. And that’s why everyone eats a little bit different. The idea here is that there’s not one way to do this. I’m someone I batch prep ingredients. So I just like to roast a bunch of veggies. I do a bunch of grilled meat on my Traeger. I do a lot of healthy fat snacks.

 

And then I just piece it together, where you like the white chicken chili. And people love the buffalo sweet potato, the loaded chicken sweet potato. People that thing. And then the stuffed pepper. Those are the three that people are like– I just make that. I batch prep that for the week. So we give people different ways to eat the food in that way.

 

But then basically, day 1 through 14, we’re going to take you through a list of stuff to do. So the idea is you’re going to eat two meals that are detox friendly. You’re going to drink a detox shake. We want you to sleep. We want you to manage your stress. And then we want you to commit to whatever you’re currently doing activity wise.

 

So if you’re already doing alpha or you’re already doing a program with a trainer, you can keep doing that. You don’t have to stop that. What I don’t want you to do is all of a sudden be like, I’m going to start training for a marathon this week because your body is going to go through some stress. And we’re talking about the food. I’m just trying to lower the inflammation bucket or cup there.

 

Same thing with fitness. I’m just trying to keep it the same, not add any variables or add any additional stress. But walking is brilliant. Lots of water is brilliant and sleeping. All those things nourish the body really well. So we basically take people along for the ride over two weeks. So I send them an email or a message of what to do, what to focus on.

 

If they’re doing the shakes, day 11, we actually boost the shakes to two shakes a day so we’re going to finish out the kit right. So the idea is just to keep them accountable on momentum, but then give them access. If they need some expert advice or any questions, they have access to our team too.

 

It’s awesome.

 

The last time I did the detox, I started the two a day shakes on day 7, because I was like, a week. And it was like, what is happening? Should have read the guide closer. Just full disclosure. Well, one thing– I mean, I know that a lot of people have gone through this. Over half a million people have done this program. I mean it’s– being one of those people, it’s really doable.

 

And I think part of it is because of what you just said up here. You’re empowering people with a lot of really good information. And it’s not set up to be depriving for people at all too. So I think– I mean, I just want to acknowledge that because I’m a person who has struggled many times to get through these types of things.

 

I stop when I start to feel cruddy. But I think what’s nice about this is you can– it’s so guided. if you choose to really follow it that way. And it feels like someone’s holding your hand through it, which I really like because it can be hard.

 

Yeah. When I always think with people too, they just want– everyone wants to know what to do. So we also try to be just direct, here’s the playbook. And if you mess up, that’s OK. Own it and move on. The thing that I learned from the generation above us our moms that were dieting and stuff was it was always such extreme or nothing.

 

All or nothing.

 

I get some of that in our inbox sometimes. I can tell how old they are because they’ll be like, So I messed up at breakfast. So should I just quit? And I’m like, no. It’s OK. And she’s like, did I just mess up the detox? No, you didn’t mess up the detox. We can reevaluate. You didn’t screw it up.

 

There’s something with that generation where it’s like, no, that’s OK. That’s how we should live. The biggest compliment I get is people were like, I could do this forever. I’m like, you can if you want to, like do it. I’m not perfect like that, but there’s things that I took out of it too. And I was going back to me. I have to be gluten free and dairy free most of the time, but I will bring that stuff in.

 

And the amazing thing is, for years, I would struggle with that. If I accidentally got gluten, my back would ache. I’d have all these symptoms. If gluten comes in now I don’t react in the same way, which is really empowering. But I also know myself. It doesn’t mean you can have it every meal, every day on a call, keep it in check.

 

But I think for a lot of people, they didn’t realize how big of a deal food really is. They did with maybe weight or body composition but not how they felt and functioned. And they get very empowered. And we do it with kids all the time. That’s where this protocol came from, we were talking about earlier, as the elimination diet. I’m like, you could do it for three weeks. It’s just three weeks.

 

And having to guide people through that. A lot of people have never even tried it. So when they do it, they’re like, wow, OK. And I’m just like, it’s not forever, just three weeks. And it’s usually not the food that’s the problem. Let’s fix your gut. Let’s help your body. And that I think is so much more maintainable than thinking, I’ve got to be gluten free forever.

 

Right, well, I think I wrote this down, the diversity of foods that you start to eat when you do this versus– because a lot of times we’re eating– a lot of people eat the same things over and over again. But this, what I love about it is that there is this amazing page of like, here’s all the things you can eat.

 

And there’s fruits, and veggies, and different things that I maybe won’t have bought for myself before. So it’s bringing things in. And it feels like I actually have a greater diversity of foods that I’m eating. And they’re whole foods. And they end up tasting good. And it’s really always interesting to me when I do that. I’m like, oh, there’s something new I’ve discovered here.

 

Yeah, that’s awesome. I love to hear that. I love to hear the– just preparing food in general. People are like, I didn’t realize roasting vegetables was good. I’m like, you never learned that? And they’re like, no, my parents never taught. I’m like, OK. That’s OK. I never learned to cook too. It’s OK. We’ll figure it out.

 

Well, I wrote down some notes here as far as these three forms of currency. I speak to this a lot when I’m speaking to coaches when it comes to programming. And this is a program. The three pieces I wrote down here is time, money, and trust. And when we think about it, obviously, we’re asking for individuals time to commit. Right? Obviously, it’s a little bit of an investment in self as well.

 

And I want to go to the trust piece. Trust is established from, wow, I got results from it. We both just said that we went through it and obviously pass the ball to you here in a few minutes. But I can tell you as far as certain things that I got from this, cognitive function. Definitely, it was better. We talked about foggy brain earlier. Mine cleared up. No clouds over here.

 

And then from there, the increased energy for sure. And performance wise, from what I do in the space of performance of alpha or whatever it may be, I can tell the difference in my recovery and my overall performance. So that stood out to me. What about you?

 

Mine were very similar. When I did this last one, I will fully admit there was part of me that was like, OK, I could stand. I’m in pretty good health, but I wanted to lose a few COVID-related [INAUDIBLE]. It’s fully disclosure about what my intent was. That actually didn’t happen for me. But I had more energy. I was sleeping better.

 

The whole brain fog thing for me– I felt like for a long time I was walking around in a cloud. There’s just this layer of stuff over me. And for me, that was huge to have that cloud lift. And I feel so much better when I keep most of the things that I’m eliminating with this out of my diet. So yeah, very similar.

 

So the empowerment as far as the trust, obviously, established there. But what are some other things that you’ve seen from folks?

 

Well, and even what Jamie was saying, because when the fog does lift, isn’t it easier to do your work all the next day and eat right? So that’s the other thing too. So some things I will tell and we’ll put this in our emails for the programs too because if you’re not feeling all those things, I want you to reach out to us.

 

Because sometimes, there is some really extreme metabolic cases where I might say we need to look under the hood and see what’s going on. If detox made you feel worse, the likeliness is you probably have a bigger toxin load than most or you have something else metabolically going on. So we want to check that out to make sure.

 

So that’s what I would say to listeners. If you feel like, yeah, that, I do not feel that. OK, talk to us because we want to dig deeper. But the idea too is even if the intent isn’t the measured outcome, so if, hey, I didn’t lose weight but now I feel like I could hit those habits better. And I’m not going to skip my workout.

 

Because I did the fall one. And Chelsea on my team, she runs our 60-day. We were glowing in a week. And we were like, oh, my– I haven’t brought coffee back in, which is not me. If you listen to Coach Anika on anything, she loves– I love coffee. I love the art of coffee. I’ve never felt deprived of or I don’t over drink it per se. It’s usually a cup or two.

 

But I didn’t bring it back in because I was like, well, let me just where this takes me. I feel like I’m in control here. I’m going to not do coffee for a while. And she kept it out too. And we were just like, let’s just keep this going. And the idea is we weren’t doing it for any body composition goals specifically. We were just like, I feel very dependent on things right now and just foggy. And my workouts were not great.

 

So I always joke– because I have a sauna in my house. And I love to use in the winter because I love to heat up and warm up. But I would literally just sit in my sauna for 45 minutes. I’m like Anika, you’re not even lifting. Get your butt– like that’s my– I have to check myself all the time. So now I feel like I’m doing fit and focus again in our app. I’m hitting PRs and stuff. Sometimes it’s just to get you back to your routine, your other routine.

 

Absolutely. So if somebody is going to undertake this, I mean, we want to give people some takeaways with this. So what are some tips for people to succeed whether they’re doing the Life Time program, or elimination diet of some other sort, or elimination protocol I’d rather call it?

 

Yeah, so I like to remind people they’re human being. So everyone needs sleep. No one is different than each other. That is still– there’s something about that of like, oh, I’m just going to burn my candle at both ends of the stick, not get sleep. So focus on sleep no matter what because when you’re getting good sleep, all the other habits are a lot easier to actually abstain or to do, to complete.

 

Second, know the power of a shake. So Jamie was talking about it earlier. That is the number one thing people take from is like, wow, I didn’t realize how much a protein shake could help me. Now, it is a product. It’s a process food. I’m not going to tell people that’s a whole food. Mother nature didn’t make that.

 

But the idea is when it comes to processed food, that’s probably one of the best things you can do because it’s a macronutrient that most people are missing. It’s hard to get enough protein in. It’s easy. It fits that convenient lifestyle. It’s family friendly. And again, if you choose that as your first meal whenever that is, that will set the tone for the rest of the day. It always does, no matter what. I see it every day. I love that.

 

Third, water, but really more important, hydration. So sometimes the old school of thought is just drink as much water as possible. I still think that’s a good, smart thought than other beverages. I don’t think we should drink caloric beverages, so like sweetened juices, all the things on the market. But the hydration at the cellular level doesn’t just come from H20.

 

So know what electrolytes are. There’s a booming market. We have some of them at Life Time. They’re not Life Time branded, but we have some good options. I love Re-Lyte. That I would add into at least one water jug a day because that will help your body hydrate and hold on to the fluid that it needs to stay high energy, feeling good, not confusing with hunger cues that sometimes dehydration can do. Those three things.

 

And then I always say, just get some sort of movement in. You have to. Exercise is the best drug on the planet. It’s not going to go anywhere. It will cure everything. I shouldn’t say that, but literally to me, like mental health, stress, energy. It’s the funniest thing to me when people are like, I just don’t have energy to the gym. I go, if you would just give it a couple of minutes, that energy just comes from being there. It really does.

 

So figure out a way. Something that you like and enjoy. That might just start out as walking, but fall in love with strength training because to me, that’s where the magic is. And it changes body compositions all the time. And we all lose muscle at the age of 40 and older. So again, now’s the time. It’s the best ROI in your life. The best time is to start now. So do it now. Don’t worry about what you haven’t been doing. Figure out a program that you like though, that you’ll show up for.

 

Right, and that’s such a key like finding joy in movement. So whatever it is that just keeps you inspired and gets you out the door.

 

Absolutely. Absolutely.

 

Oh, man.

 

So Anika, is there anything that you want to leave our listeners with before we go into the mic drop moment, because obviously, I know you’re excited about that. Is there anything around the detox that we might have missed that you want to throw at our listeners?

 

I think the one thing I’ll say– because sometimes our team members get confused of this. It’s hard because the name says what it is. And I find this with weight loss. People are like, I don’t like the word weight loss because it has such a negative notion in the industry. Get away from the name of detox because for whatever reason– I’d love to change it to where detox is a positive thing, but it’s become a deprivation and a negative thing.

 

Just like the word diet. The original form of diet is a healthy thing. It’s the foods that we incorporate not a verb, right? It’s a noun. Think of it that way. So get away from the name of it. But just know the Life Time one, it’s a solid food foundation. Anyone can do it. There’s different layers and levers you can pull within it, but it’s changed so many lives. And I would invite anyone to give it a shot.

 

All right, are you ready for it?

 

I don’t have to be. I just get to observe. I love this observation here. OK, you got it.

 

Here we go. Pretty simple here. Your number one, there’s only one you can give here. Your number one nutrition advice you would say that is something that will always be a staple in this space. I know. I know because we’re always changing. But if you had one that’s a staple nutrition advice, what would you give?

 

Eat enough protein.

 

Eat enough protein.

 

Yeah, I would because I’ve seen it. And I think what’s hard in this industry is– I was talking to Susan about some of the stuff back there. But again, I went through an era where we were told eggs were bad. Now eggs are good. Eggs have inflammation. So there’s all sorts of confusion.

 

But the thing that I’ve seen the most, that I would say I don’t need a researcher to tell me, I don’t need some science to be backed by a food company to tell me that I’ve seen what changes the most with people is when they hit their protein goals, or what they’re needed to do for their body, everything changes. All of it.

 

There we go.

 

Number one.

 

Glad we did it.

 

We have an episode with Paul on protein too.

 

You do?

 

We have protein coming.

 

Paul likes protein too.

 

I was going to guess. I was going to say she’s going to say protein or hydration. It was going to be one of those too, but I could be wrong on that.

 

Paul might say hydration too. That’s his thing.

 

I love it. What’s always interesting to me about these episodes is the overlap as we’re recording, the commonalities. It just means that there are so many common threads. So thank you for bringing more of that to us today. If people want to follow your work, you can find detox and all the other digital programs that Anika leads through Life Time’s app or website.

 

She also writes articles for Experience Life at experiencelife.Life Time.life. She’s been on the podcast. We’ve talked about vitamin D, weight loss, coffee, which we mentioned. So there’s just a lot of things. So we’ll make sure to link to all of those things in our show notes. But Anika, as always, thank you.

 

Thanks for having me.

 

Thank you.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have thoughts you’d like to share or topic ideas for future episodes? Email us at lttalks@lt.life.

The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.

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