Detoxing, Not Dieting
Updated: Sep 23
By Chrissy Somers, Owner + Founder, FamiliesOnTheFox.com
I have a tumultuous relationship with food. I love everything I shouldn’t, but it certainly doesn’t love me back.
Loaded with sugar? I’ll take two.
Straight caffeine? Put that in a large cup to go.
12oz. Ribeye and caramelized carrots? That’s healthy, right?
I abuse food when I’m stressed, and it abuses my body in return. Bloat, constipation, irregular bowel movements, dehydration, upset stomach, acne. The food I was eating did not agree with my body. I was tired of this cyclical relationship and decided I needed to take control of my eating habits.
I didn’t want to diet, but instead I wanted to understand how certain types of food impact my body.
But where do I even begin with that?
Pinterest. That’s where I started. Not smart, but don’t act like you haven’t done the same thing. I was guided to all the crazy corners of the internet but found all of the “answers” were NOT from medical professionals. Not to discredit any of the bloggers or columnists of the articles I read, but this being my first go round of truly analyzing my diet, I needed to make sure it was done properly. In a way that wasn’t going to compromise my health. In a way that was monitored with regularity throughout the process.
After more research, I discovered Forum Health. This group of medical professionals, nurses, doctors, nutritionists, etc. across the country all share a common belief in the power of functional medicine and treating the root cause of a problem as preventative measures. It seemed like I had discovered exactly what I was looking for in their GDRx Program (Gut Detox Program), but I was still a little hesitant.
I attended two different Q&A Webinars from Forum Health doctors and nutritionists about the program, its purpose, how it works, and how patients are monitored through it all.
I didn’t have to try too hard to convince my husband, best friend, and mother in law to do it with me; they all agreed that this would be highly beneficial for their bodies too. We all chose to start at the same time and complete the 10-day version of this program.
The 10-Day GDRx Program included:
A pre-detox meeting with my “coach” (the medical professional assigned to you based on your needs)
A container of 'Complete Cleanse' shake and the Duo Detox supplement
A workbook to determine where my body’s toxicity levels were
A grocery list to make meeting the needs of this detox easy
A seven-day menu laid out for my success (coordinates with the grocery list above)
The Forum Health Cookbook filled with over 100 dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and non-vegan recipes
Daily electronic check-ins to ensure my health and safety throughout the detox
A virtual meeting or two with my coach during the detox
Easy access to my coach via email, phone, or video conference with any questions or concerns throughout the detox
I kid you not when I say this was the best investment in myself that I’ve ever made.
The answers I got about my body after the 10-day GDRx Program was completed were amazing. I was able to identify how certain food groups impacted my body internally and externally.
Something to keep in mind: the GDRx Detox Program is an Elimination Diet, meaning you do not ingest any high-allergen or inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten, peanuts, sugar, caffeine, and non-lean meats. You are DEFINITELY still eating, though! And eating WELL!
I’ll share all of our individual experiences on this detox below, both in writing and in video, but please know that WE ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, though we did work very closely with them throughout this detox. I am not saying this is your answer to your problem. What I am saying, however, is that although the four of us (myself, my husband, my mother-in-law, and my best friend) have different underlying issues, this was beneficial to us all in different ways.
Without further adieu, here is how we each experienced the detox…
35 years old | Underlying Issues/Areas of Concern: Heart Health
“The GDRx Program and Complete Cleanse shake and supplements were very eye opening. In 10 short days, I learned a lot about how foods affect my body, my mood, and overall health. In the beginning I felt very bloated, I was tired a lot, relying on caffeine to keep me going, and was struggling with brain fog.
Upon completion of the detox, I felt a lot lighter, more energetic, and had a clearer thought process. I saw the biggest results in my stomach. It shrank quite a bit and shorts that were once tight were starting to feel big. It was a pretty dramatic change in such a short time. The biggest struggle I had was with cravings. I didn’t realize how dependent my body was on caffeine and sugar, but once I removed those from my diet the cravings really kicked in. They only lasted a couple days and once the cravings were gone I felt better than I ever have.
Once the program was over I started to slowly reintroduce some foods back into my diet and realized that dairy makes my gut bloated, sugar makes my hands swell, and thankfully no adverse effects from alcohol! All in moderation, though! Overall I was surprised at how quickly I would see results, but more importantly, I learned about what food does to my body internally.”
33 years old | Underlying Issues/Areas of Concern: Anxiety, prior eating disorder
“Let me start by saying this again: the GDRx Program was the best investment I’ve ever made in myself.
I was getting at least 30 minutes of exercise daily consistently for over four months prior to starting GDRx. Although my activity level changed significantly, my diet hadn't. Working out alone helped to transform the outside of my body drastically, but I still felt sluggish, overwhelmed, and couldn’t keep my thoughts straight. Naturally, I attributed this all to stress, but I learned I was wrong...
To be honest, prior to this program, I never experienced first-hand the healing power of clean eating. I’ve seen countless documentaries (“Game Changers” and “Forks Over Knives” to name a couple) that shared data and research backing up how ‘food can be medicine’, but I never truly believed it… until I completed the GDRx Program.
By the end of the ten days, I regained my lost energy, combatted my caffeine addiction, eliminated much of my belly bloat, and had clearer thought processes which in turn helped me feel less overwhelmed.
When I started reintroducing foods back into my diet after Day 10, I decided I would forego introducing caffeine because I struggled so much with caffeine withdrawal. I drink decaf these days and couldn’t feel better about it. I learned gluten and wheat caused inflammation in my joints and in areas I had previous injuries. I always knew dairy upset my stomach, but now I know within 45 minutes of ingesting dairy in nearly every form, I will end up in the bathroom (#SorryNotSorry… you need honesty from me). Wine immediately brings about nasal congestion, and beer brings about bloat.
I learned so much about how food can serve as fuel and medicine for my body. And although I still love sweets and a good medium rare filet, I now know that moderation in ALL THE THINGS is the key to overall health.”
33 years old | Underlying Issues/Areas of Concern: Hashimoto’s Disease (Thyroid)
"As our temporary “new normal” that is the year 2020 dragged on, I was excited to learn about the Forum Health GDRx Program. A detox sounded like an ideal refresher after months stuck at home baking all of the banana bread and sipping on a few too many glasses of wine. As an established patient of a practice under the Forum Health umbrella, it sounded like an ideal program for me to try.
As a mother of two young girls, and with a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism, fatigue and difficulty with weight loss is a constant struggle for me. With visions of increased energy, clarity, and decreased bloat and belly fat, I visited with my health coach and began meal prepping. I have followed a similar program food-wise before; a candida protocol diet, so I was comfortable and confident with my food choices, and was excited to utilize the veggies I had carefully grown in my garden over the summer.
Day 1, I jumped in 100%, expecting some slight headaches as I skipped my usual morning coffee. The headaches came, but I managed just fine. Day 2, a similar situation, though the headache lingered more intensely, along with some sinus pain. Day 3, however, things took a rough turn. I slept terribly the night before and when I started my day, I was having full body chills, aches, and weakness. While some of that was expected, I was barely able to function. I began having weepiness and could not stop crying, even though there was nothing going on in my day to feel emotional about. In an ideal situation, I would crawl into bed and wait it out, but with my husband out of town for work, and two very young children to care for, this was simply not an option for this mom.
I attempted to ease symptoms with a small amount of caffeine and ibuprofen. This didn’t do the trick. On day 4, the sinus pressure became so intense, I could barely concentrate. With anxiety surrounding the pandemic, I started to worry I was coincidentally exposed to the virus and may be putting my family in danger by not acknowledging this. So, the end of day 4 ended in a visit to obtain a COVID test, as sinus pain, coupled with the chills and body ache, could very well be just that. I ceased the program then and there, I simply could not handle it at this point in time, despite my willpower urging me to continue on.
Fortunately, my test returned negative results. However, it took me well over a week to feel back to myself again.
I understand that what I felt can be called a healing/detox crisis. I will consider trying this program again, more gradually, when I have ample help to care for my kiddos, and less pandemic anxiety. Until then, this program was a little too much for my personal situation and body chemistry, so I’ll be over here patiently waiting for the tides to turn."
60 years old | Underlying Issues/Areas of Concern: Menopause, general arthritis
“I recently completed the 10-Day GDRx Program. My goal for the program was not necessarily to lose weight, but to gain energy and hopefully find the foods that make me feel bloated and tired.
The program did exactly what I wanted it to do and the bonus was that I lost a few pounds as well. The program was easy to adapt to and the shakes were delicious. After the first four days, I could feel my energy level increasing and less brain fog.
As we began to reintroduce foods after the 10th day, I was able to determine that dairy is the food that makes me feel the most bloated. Sugar was the surprise for me, though. After about ten minutes of introducing sugar back into my diet, my feet began to tingle! I had the foot tingling here and there but never attributed it to my diet. I pulled sugar back out of my diet for four days and reintroduced it again to determine if the tingling was merely a coincidence. It was not! The tingling came back after ten minutes!
I would definitely recommend the GDRx Program to anyone wanting to detox and feel better, or for those looking for more in-depth answers about how diet impacts your overall health.”
If you are interested in learning more about the GDRx Program, you can click the link HERE. I strongly urge you to attend a GDRx Webinar and ask any and all your questions to the medical professionals running the webinar. This may be a GREAT fit for you and your needs, ***or it may not***. What works for one person may not work for the next, which is exactly what happened to Brenda.
Be smart and never jump right into something until you’ve done the appropriate research and feel comfortable with the program you have selected. Although it’s not necessary, I always say to check with a medical professional before starting any detox program. And if your body isn't agreeing with the detox, STOP. Listen to your body! Talk to a medical professional to determine the best time/way to try again.