Ask a Nutritional Therapist: Spring into Health!

…with Trish Carty

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah

Part 1: Rites of Spring – Detoxification

We all know that one of the important benefits of consuming kombucha, is its ability to detoxify the body in a gentle way. Detoxification is important because we are exposed to many toxicants on a daily basis. We are exposed to over 800 different types of chemicals in the air, water, and the food supply. While the amount of toxicants might be minute, over time they accumulate in the body. If the buildup is not removed, it leads to many problems in the body.

In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.

PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.

What Does It Mean To Detoxify Your Body?

Photo credit from Green Living Magazine

How is the toxic load in your body? Take this quiz and see! (pdf)

Detoxification is the process of nourishing, cleansing and resting the body from the inside out. It works on the cellular function of the body. If the body is functioning at its optimum level, all systems and organs work synergistically giving a sense of wellbeing and create homeostasis.

Now is an excellent time of year to prepare the body for detoxification. Typically, most people cleanse their insides two times a year. A spring and fall time frame works great for most people, as they are working with the changing of the seasons. In order to prepare the body for this process, some steps need to be taken first to ensure the body does not detox too quickly. If you do, the process known as a healing crisis can occur. Simply put, the speed at which the body is releasing impurities is too fast and it is not able to keep up with the elimination of those toxins. The signs of a healing crisis manifest in a variety of ways such as:

  1.  Digestive reactions, such as diarrhea.
  2.  Allergy-type reactions, such as swelling or rashes.
  3. Symptoms that mirror what you are trying to fix. Often it can be a quick and intense response, as the body is releasing the toxins too fast.

If this occurs, it would be necessary to step back and slow the process down.

Why Is Detoxification Important To Healthy Functioning?

The body is exposed to too many toxicants on a daily basis. One of the main ways we can control this toxicity is to be conscious of the foods we put into our mouths. Processed and genetically modified foods are seen by the body as toxicants. If too much food uses excess energy, it leaves us not enough to detoxify our bodies naturally. If the proper micro and macro nutrients are ingested, then the body is able to cleanse naturally.

By removing the stresses of inflammatory foods, the body will have a way to clear out the toxins.  The industrial revolution brought man-made, fake foods onto the market. Degrading our food a step further are genetically modified foods. Eating real foods in their natural state ensures the best defense against the myriad of challenges we face to stay healthy.

Each system within the body is impacted when detoxification is not working properly. It is important to understand all the various systems within the body that are involved in detoxification. These are considered the foundations to detoxification process and must be addressed so to ensure all elimination pathways are open. They include- cardiovascular, lymphatic, digestion, urinary, skin and respiratory systems.

Cardiovascular System

The blood links every organ in the body flowing into all tissues to deliver nutrients and oxygen to each cell while carrying away metabolic waste. Blood is the communicator for molecules and cleanses detoxification sites such as the liver and is a major factor in keeping the immune system strong. Good health depends on the ability of the blood to perform its functions but it is also very sensitive to toxins. It is the first of the body’s fundamental system’s to be affected and once poisoned by toxicants, it becomes a shuttle and depository for them.


Lymphatic System

Lymph is another important fluid for detoxification. It is an interstitial fluid that flows through the lymph nodes to filter out viruses, bacteria and organic material. The lymph system is considered a pre-filter for the liver to prevent clogging and liver overload. After the lymph is filtered, it returns to the bloodstream through the thoracic duct in the chest. Lymph flow is much slower than blood flow. The rate is 3 liters/day whereas the blood moves at a rate of 5 liters/a minute! The movement of the lymph is dependent on the action of the skeletal muscles, lungs and contraction of the smooth muscle fibers which means quite simply, that exercise is critical to the health of the lymphatic system.

Digestion System

There are many functions that go on within the gastrointestinal system besides the physical break down of foods. Other important functions are as follows:

  • Scan food for invaders
  • Detoxify poorly digested, fermented toxicants
  • Filter food and bacteria
  • Eliminate toxicants and other waste substances from the body

Urinary System

Toxicants exit the body through the digestive tract as feces or the through the kidneys as urine. A primary role of the kidneys is to remove cellular wastes by filtering the blood.


Sweat glands are a major gateway of elimination for the body. The surface area of the skin covers 11,000 square feet. Yet another reason why exercise is extremely important to the process of elimination.

Respiratory System

The lungs eliminate a variety of waste products especially carbon dioxide. Respiratory rate is a major mechanism of maintaining homeostasis by controlling the body’s pH.

How Do I Start To Prepare My Body For A Detoxification Process?

When you begin this diet, understanding the quality of the foods are of utmost importance. A ratio of 30/40/30 is a good dietary guideline to follow. That means thirty percent is of clean sources of protein. Examples of this are grass fed, pastured poultry and wild caught fish. Forty percent of diet can include complex carbohydrates, which means low glycemic vegetables. Examples are leafy greens, lots of raw and cooked vegetables making up a rainbow of colors and textures. Removing the starchy ones such as potatoes and yams is a must.

veggies for fermentation
Taste the rainbow of good health with whole foods that also bring the body back into balance. Photo credit – Trish Carty


As a rule, thirty percent shall make up make up the remainder of your diet in good quality fats. Examples include, grass fed ghee, extra virgin, organic oils such as coconut and olive oils. Leaf lard, tallow, duck fat from grass fed animals are great sources to include in this challenge. I also like to include fermented vegetables such as kim chee or sauerkraut. I also like to add bone broths for the in between snacks.

  1. It is the natural state of detoxification we must start with as a first step. This begins with an elimination or autoimmune diet for 3 to 6 months. Essentially, these diets consist of the removal of all forms of sugar, dairy, grains, seeds, nuts and caffeine.
  2. The body is ready for a 21 day cleanse to further clear out the toxins from your detox pathways. Once the toxins are removed, the goal is continue with natural chelation on a daily basis. An excellent way to maintain this procedure is eat a variety of fermented foods and drinks; such as kombucha.
  3. Maintenance program- Two times a year, engage in a 21 day detoxification program.

In conclusion:
1. Take the toxic load quiz.
2. Report back your findings in the comment section.
3. Consider trying the elimination whole foods challenge for 14 days.
4. Look for part two in this series for more information on detoxifying your body.

    Introduction To The Human Body- the essentials of anatomy and physiology 7th edition
    Nutritional Therapy Association- Module12- Nutritional Detoxification
    Primal body, Primal Mind by Nora Gegadous
    7 Day Detox Miracle
     by Peter Bennett. ND and Stephan Barrie N D with Sara Faye
    Staying Healthy With Nutrition by Elson M Haas MD


Trish Carty, NTP, CHFS, CGP

Trish is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Professional Chef, Certified Healing Foods Specialist and Certified Gaps Practitioner.
Her specialties are digestion, blood sugar handling, adrenal and thyroid deregulation. She loves to empower people to cook real foods and holds fermentation classes around the world. Her blog and business is

Did you enjoy this post? Want a free DIY Kombucha Guide + my free 5-day into to Kombucha by email? You should sign up below! 🙂 

Check Out These Related Blog Posts!

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Responses to Ask a Nutritional Therapist: Spring into Health!

  1. Great post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I am inspired!
    Very useful information specially the final part :
    ) I care for such info a lot. I used to be seeking this particular info
    for a long time. Thanks and best of luck.

Leave a reply