To complement the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Foods that Detoxify,” by Erin Zimniewicz Williams, in the February 2012 issue. Article summary: Toxins decrease the body’s ability to respond to stress and heal appropriately. The goal of detoxification is to help the body naturally mobilize toxins from tissues and eliminate them. The skin, kidneys, colon and lungs all assist in removing toxins, but the liver is the main detoxifier to eliminate waste. The liver acts as a filter for all the toxins that enter into or are created within the body. Liver support diets aid in detoxification, and there are a number of foods you can eat to help in the process.

by Adam A. Graham

Detox is growing in popularity these days. While talk show hosts promote the latest detox diet, celebrities are making headlines with their own exploration of detox. It may be difficult to separate the truth from the hype in the world of detox, but never fear: The Complete Idiot’s Guide series has released a book focusing specifically on raw food detox. The book is a great overview to the principles behind eating vegan raw foods and their ability to detox the body. Here’s a quick list of six action steps you can take to explore detox.

1. Skin brush in the morning. Dry skin brushing invigorates the body and removes dead skin, diminishes cellulite and stimulates the immune system.

2. Green smoothies once a day or at least three times a week. Fresh greens like spinach work best in a green smoothie, but you can also use a green superfood powder. Find a powder that contains all whole-food ingredients and no fillers. Here’s a simple green smoothie recipe:

  • 1 banana
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 teaspoons of maca
  • 2 teaspoons of chia
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

3. Find an alternative to coffee. Coffee is an addictive diuretic that acidifies the body. For detox, it is critical to eliminate acid-forming food, drinks and activities. One of my favorite coffee alternatives is from Teeccino. It’s a caffeine-free herbal blend that comes in a variety of flavors.

4. Remove dairy from your diet for a week. Pasteurized dairy products are extremely acid and mucous forming. Milk products contain a powerful opiate known as casomorphin. The more concentrated the dairy product like ice cream and cheese, the higher concentration of this substance. This is one of the possible reasons it’s so difficult to kick the dairy habit.

5. Remove wheat from your diet for a week. Products containing gluten (wheat, rye, oats and barley) also contain an opiate compound like that in dairy products. Gliadorphin is compound that has similar effects on the body as the casomorphin in dairy products. Once again, we can see why it is so difficult to remove these grains from ones diet.

6. Switch to healthy salt in the form of sea salt or Himalayan salt. Salt is necessary for proper cell function in the body. All salts aren’t created equal. Table salt is processed in a way that makes it inorganic and difficult for the body to use. Sea salts and Himalayan salts that haven’t been high temperature dried provide the body with organic sodium along with many other trace minerals, which the body desperately needs.

Adam A. Graham is a vegan raw food chef, instructor and author. He is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Raw Food Detox and a memoir recipe book entitled Zen and the Art of Gadgeting. Graham received training at The Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center. He has taught classes and prepared food around the globe. Find out more at