Ever feel like your entire self is in a bad mood — body, mind and spirit? You join the gym, try a radical diet, resolve to not spend so much with people that get you down. But there’s a better, smarter, and far more affirming way to feel healthier and happier. Nutritionist and detox powerhouse Dr. Deanna Minich has a new book, Whole Body Detox: A 21-Day Personalized Program to Break Through Barriers in Every Area of Your Life, that’s designed to help you detox every aspect of self. It’s a total approach, and it’s good for you, too.
To truly cleanse ourselves of toxins, emotional as well as physical, to heal ourselves, and to recalibrate our own sense of purpose and passion takes a step-by-step, caring and committed effort, according to Dr. Minich. Instead of focusing on deprivation, her program focuses on nourishing, replenishing, and replacing all that bad stuff with what’s health-giving and good. She draws on a whole range of traditions — ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, science and spirit — bringing them all together into a unified approach designed to celebrate yourself. This is a detox that will enhance and enrich your life.
Dr. Minich’s Whole Detox program is divided into seven aspects of ourselves — our core aspects of health — such as the Root, Fire, Love, and Insight. Each correlates to different organs and functions in our body, and each is addressed with foods and spices of a different color on the spectrum. It’s a unique approach that has a vibrancy and a sense of joy. It’s also a visually appealing, compelling way to present a traditionally colorless concept. And it underscores that fact that this is all about finding happiness and light as well as health and energy.
We know from studies that colors have emotional and physical effects on us. In Dr. Minich’s book, we also learn about their specific nutritional powers. The Root, for instance, has to do with our adrenals, immune system, bones and skin — and is best supported with red foods, such as red bell peppers and strawberries. But the Root also includes feeling rooted, safe in our life and our community. Dr. Minich points out how that feeling is related to our adrenals: when we feel ungrounded and detached, our adrenals are overtaxed and immune system is often fragile. It’s an intricate but common-sense connection.
Dr. Minich is an active and respected practitioner, passionate about her subject and skilled in how to present it. She begins with an overview about the importance of addressing the whole self, using examples and philosophies from yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, and ayurveda, as well as new thinking about body, mind and spirit. She explains the latest findings in science and nutrition, and builds a cogent case for taking a full 3 weeks to detox: that’s what our system needs. As the book delves into the workings and steps of the program, there’s a delicious amount of information, which enables the reader to feel like a bit of an expert, too. By the time we’re done with the detox, we’re also well equipped with the tools and understanding to take care of ourselves from now on.
Each phase of this detox has its own meals, in both omnivore and vegan options. Offerings are delicious, fortifying, and supportive, from smoothies to soups to serious entrees to desserts (yes, desserts). There are also rituals to do, such as: writing down emotions and thoughts as they’re shaken loose, practicing movements that help balance and activate the body, and spending time checking in and listening to one’s self as it begins to reemerge. Relationships are examined; the toxic ones are let go and the good ones nurtured and reaffirmed. Every three days the detox can shift to address another aspect of the self — the pace and framework is up to the reader. But the concept is that you need to tackle each progressively: our whole is the sum of its parts.
As Dr. Minich asserts, there are no quick fixes to a genuine transformation; it takes a step-by-step method to reach a happier, healthier, more purposeful place in your life. But within these well-written pages is a comprehensive, systematic method filled with inspiration, intelligence, warmth, and promise. It will make you want to take your time and do detox right: well worth it to feel truly whole again.