Cleansing: is it good or bad?

Today, I want to share with you my client, Sara Bradford’s, take on this controversial topic.

From Sara:

I’m still on the fence about it.

As a registered holistic nutritionist, who has been working with clients for over five years, and experimented on herself A LOT, I feel like I’ve seen it all.

I’ve seen transformations come out of a change in diet alone. Life-changing ones that elevate people to another stage in their health.

And I’ve also seen people have the opposite experience. Thyroid conditions arise, low energy follows, a spike in feeling amazing followed by total burn-out, the feeling of overwhelming hunger, digestive issues getting WORSE. All from eating in a way that is SUPPOSED TO be “healthy” or better.

I’ve been around the block and I can tell you MANY reasons NOT to cleanse.

What!?!? Not cleanse? Bet you haven’t heard that too often. But I’m totally serious. There may be reasons you feel CRAPPY AFTER you’ve done one, or a reason why you can’t FINISH one. And it’s not your fault. Our society — and the industry I work in — tends to throw out MANY health food claims. And one is that we ALL NEED TO CLEANSE. Like we are dirty little beings.

But guess what…our bodies are going through a natural detox process all the time. We are CONSTANTLY detoxing. It’s what we are designed to do. Our detox organs are working really hard all the time. And while it makes sense to lighten the load, and clear out detox pathways in order for the job to be done more efficiently — it doesn’t mean we have to go to such extremes to do it.

Here are a pile of reasons to give that cleanse a second thought:

  1. Many Cleanses make you HUNGRY. Being hungry sucks. And it can be done differently.
  2. Many Cleanses do not take into account the various seasons — we are designed to eat seasonally for a reason — because the foods grown then are also what our bodies need. It doesn’t mean you need to go your life without avocado. But re-think that juice cleanse in January.
  3. Many Cleanses do not take into account everyone’s various constitutions. What may be right for one, is not necessarily right for another. Period. For example: Some people digest raw vegetables fine — however, others may as well be eating razor blades as raw vegetables.
  4. Many Cleanses, especially juice cleanses, are high in natural sugar OR filled with green cruciferous vegetables that can wreck havoc on your thyroid, if you’re not careful.
  5. A juice Cleanse (specifically) is pretty darn low in fibre. And while it may release toxins, it provides very littles for toxins to bind to. Therefore, you end up feeling pretty rotten, as those toxins keep circulating. And sometimes it makes it awfully hard to poop, also.
  6. Speaking of poop — nothing brings you closer to your own bowel movements than a Cleanse. Many people go into a Cleanse unaware of this — and are shocked to discover themselves on the toilet for 10 days. Or, possibly even worse, bunged up for the entire time. Ack!
  7. Many Cleanses expect you to do it alone. No support from a team or guidance from a practitioner. The questions and concerns you have go unanswered. The little box of supplements don’t pat you on the back or suggest alternatives. And without support or people that help through the thick and thin of it, you’re more than likely just going to QUIT!
  8. Many Cleanses make you feel TERRIBLE. Headaches, fatigue, bowel issues, achey, hungry, angry, shaky — and you still have to deal with LIFE, kids, work, and all of it.
  9. Many Cleanses make you feel GREAT for a while — then afterwards, when you’ve become addicted to feeling this way and just want to keep going FOREVER…you crash. Because guess what? You’re not SUPPOSED to cleanse all the time. At some point, you need to begin building again.
  10. Stress. Cleanses cause stress. Stress affects digestion. Stress kind of affects EVERYTHING. If you are in an extremely stressed state to begin with a Cleanse is not going to help. It’s going to make it worse.

Is there a solution? Well..yeah there is!

Eat Real Food!

Chances are you’ve had a relaxing yet fairly indulgent summer. The stress of Fall is beginning to take its toll. And you are well aware of the upcoming holiday season.

I’ve designed this 10-Day group food cleanse, that’s kind of an UnCleanse, to help you — with a strong focus on:

  • Digestion — to make it as soothed and amazing as it could be
  • Immune System — to build it up for the best winter ever
  • Self-Care — because that is something many of you don’t get enough of
  • Yoga — because sometimes all you need is permission
  • Seasonal — because it’s Fall and you deserve the foods that are going to ground you


To read more head here: The Fall Community Dump + The UnCleanse

There is so much good that comes out of THIS CLEANSE, I don’t even want to call it a Cleanse. So it’s an UnCleanse.

However, if you want to keep playing you can — for an entire 6-weeks. If you want to go farther and longer than 10-days, and transition from cleanse back to a real food (yet indulgent) life, then sign up for the entire program. It’s the 10-day Community Dump + 4 more weeks.

Please join in the fun. I’ve had fun just sharing with you. xo

Super-Real Superfoods For Fall

hollithompsonbookByline: Holli Thompson

Fall is the perfect time to reset, rejuvenate, and revamp your nutritional style (too many skinny margaritas by the pool this summer?). And it can be inspiring to look around and see what Mother Earth (via your local farmers’ market) has to offer you and your family’s fall menu. Eating seasonally is also the best way to make sure your body continues to thrive with rapid weather shifts. Here are some of my favorite superfoods for fall to pull out of the closet (so to speak) when I’m putting together my nutritional fall look.

1) Pumpkin

I love the look of the farmers market in fall; an abundance of colorful pumpkins never fails to lift my mood and get me excited about the crisp, autumn weather. Besides being a natural happy pill, in my book, pumpkins are a certified superfood. They’re a healthy carb, and loaded with B-Vitamins, fiber, beta-carotene, and more. My favorite way to enjoy them is in this sumptuous smoothie.

2) Cinnamon

This wondrous spice is at the top of my list for boosting my metabolism and immune system. Cinnamon warms the body at the cellular level helping to rebuild and revitalize, perfect as fall approaches. One of my favorite tips? Sprinkle it over a chopped apple when your sweet tooth kicks in.
Bonus: the malic acid from the apple helps break up congestion throughout your body’s key elimination organs.

3) Bee pollen

Getting sick can really cramp your style during a busy time of year with lots to do. Avoid it all together by adding a touch of bee pollen to your daily routine. Containing 22 amino acids, including the 8 essential ones, and an assortment of enzymes that benefit your health, bee pollen is (most definitely) a super addition to your smoothies.

4) Pomegranates

I’ve loved watching these gorgeous fruits become more popular and accessible in supermarkets over the past few years. A symbol of fertility in ancient times, these jewels are full of potassium and vitamin C. My assistant knocks out the seeds and eats them with a spoon, while I often opt for buying them peeled and ready to go at my local market. I love them in my smoothies, and even on top of seasonal dips.

5) Kale

To me, kale is the little black dress of produce, and fall is its season to shine. One cup of cooked kale offers up to 1,200 percent of your daily vitamin K and almost 600 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement. If you haven’t added it to your menu yet, consider it now. Between salads, tasty kale chips, and even smoothies, it may be more versatile than you think.

Variety matters when it comes to your foods, and so does eating what the seasons provide naturally. When you do, you’ll feel more in tune with your body, grounded and ready for all the upcoming year will bring. Find other tips for seasonal essential oils, exercise, cleansing, hydration and much more in my upcoming book, Discover Your Nutritional Style.

Bonus Offer!

Any member of the Real Foods Witch tribe who pre-orders before September 15 also gets a copy of my guide for ultimate and delicious ways to stay hydrated. And get entered to win a Vitamix machine, an essential oils kit, and much, much more.

Mention this article and Real Foods Witch in the subject line and email us your receipt to

Happy Sweater Weather!

holliHolli Thompson is a former VP for Chanel, turned creator of Nutritional Style®, a health and nutrition blog and consulting company. Her innovative method of identifying the three types of nutritional styles; Healthy Omnivore™, Flexible Vegetarian™, and Modern Vegan™, was established to allow women (and men) to finally experience an attainable, satisfying and always health-filled lifestyle. An inspirational speaker, and TV guest for several major networks, Thompson is the author of a soon-to-be published nutritional lifestyle book, scheduled for 2014. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Love, and shares weekly on her own blog, She also contributes to MindBodyGreen.
You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

A 5-Step Guide To A Picky Eater Lunchbox

Picky Eaters love real food, too | Nourish Real Food

Byline: Sara Bradford

It’s back-to-school and everyone is thinking about lunchbox packing. Which lunchbox vessels to buy, what ideas you can come up with, and how you’re going to send a lunchbox that comes home empty.

While an exciting time for many of you and the chance to return to routine, the lunchbox brings up a range of emotions that is unique to anything I’ve seen as a nutritionist. This is ESPECIALLY TRUE when you are a parent that gets to pack A Picky Eater Lunchbox.

There is a very good chance you have a particular someone in your home that’s going to make packing lunches a challenge, that will test your patience beyond supermom capabilities. What about our “picky eaters” that just won’t eat anything we want them to eat? What then?

Well, you see…the picky eater (as we call them) are just little creatures with undeveloped palates. And it frustrates us to all heck when we feel they have control over this food thing. But perhaps that is where we’ve gone wrong. Perhaps we must all make an attitude shift. And instead remind ourselves of the reason they eat this way. And how to prevent it from making us crazy.

This is where I use my “very-experienced-lunchbox-building-nutritionist-mama” advice that COULD possibly change your life.

Focus On What They Will Eat!


Yeah, instead of wasting all that energy on why they don’t eat broccoli, praise them for eating green beans. Instead of turning inside out because they turn their nose up at chicken, hide some lentils in their homemade muffin.

And please stop saying to yourself that you HAVE to give them baloney sandwiches because it’s one of the only 5 things they’ll eat. Guess what, your list just got shorter…and easier!

Here are FIVE special ways to pack a picky eater lunchbox – that may even make you stop using the words “picky eater”.

#1: Master List

Make a master list of ALL…and I mean ALL the foods your simple-palated lovely likes to eat. You will be AMAZED at how long this list actually is.

#2: Skip The Crap Food (like baloney)

Part of developing a palate is “un-developing” a taste for the bad foods. I taught a workshop once on the sense of taste at a YMCA. I was SHOCKED to discover kids there who thought the (rather unbearably) “sweet” tasting water was nothing but water. They consumed so much sugar that it tasted like nothing. This is easy to change once sugar is removed or reduced.

#3: Hide Stuff In Stuff

Eventually they’ll try new things. Just not yet. In the meantime, get that nutrition INTO them by adding pureed vegetables, fruits, beans, or whatever into what they will eat.

Example: My daughter, picky-eater-extraordinaire, eats chili (of all things). You’d be amazed at what I can hide in there. It’s awesome.

#4: Empower Them

Let them choose the vegetable you pack in the lunchbox. Or ask them what fruit they want today. Don’t be crazy-mom and ask what their choice of protein is – work with what they understand. (Do you want cheese or hummus?)

#5: Substitute Good For Better

They want chocolate milk? Give them raw milk with homemade chocolate syrup – or even give dairy-free milk alternatives a go. They want cooked carrots? Slather them with some kind of high quality fat. They want a banana muffin? Make it with fresh ground spelt flour with pureed lentils, natural sweeteners and hippy chocolate chips.

And continue to inspire. Don’t be a fuss-pot yourself. Try new things in front of them. Their curiosity will be piqued.

Most of all, know that you are doing just fine. You’ll both be laughing about this over raw oysters and kombucha in 15 years. Happy Back-To-School! xo

Sara Bradford | Nourish Real FoodSara Bradford is owner/founder of Nourish ~ Real Food and a registered holistic nutritionist. She gets asked time and time again how she maintains her lunchbox enthusiasm. But, somewhere along the line, she was blessed with a burning desire to create the most healthy, delicious, colourful lunch boxes for her kids – and decided to take her years of experience as a Holistic Nutritionist and shower you with healthy lunchbox recipes.
On her site, you can find Sara’s lunchbox blog, her upcoming Think Inside the Lunchbox e-book, Lunchbox Kitchen TV videos, and check out her upcoming 30-Day Lunchbox Building Challenge and sign-up for her free newsletter.

5-Minute Cacao & Superfood Smoothie

Recipe by Pauline Hanuise

My parents just came back from Africa with heaps of fresh coconut flesh for me. As soon as I got back home with it, I couldn’t help but whip up an amazing superfood smoothie for the whole family.

Here’s what I came up with, and I promise you’ll love it!

5-Minute Cacao & Superfood Smoothie5min Superfoods Smoothie

(Serves 2)


  • 1.5 cup coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut flesh
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite berries (here I’ve used frozen raspberries)
  • 1 Tbsp. hemp powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. maca


  • Pistachios
  • Hemp seeds
  • Cacao nibs


Blend all ingredients into your high-speed blender until well combined and serve with your favorite toppings. Here I’ve used pistachios, hemp seeds and cacao nibs for toppings.

Want more recipes like this? You can download your free copy of my Healthy & Happy People recipe book here.

Pauline HanuisePauline Hanuise is a certified Holistic Recovery & Health Coach. Featured by Cosmopolitan as one of the top 5 healthy women you should know, she believes everyone deserves freedom over food, health & happiness. Having recovered from 15 years of struggles with full-blown bulimia, she is now dedicated to help people making peace with food and get a better life. She is the creator of the health and wellness website and the Facebook community ‘Respect Yourself‘. She is also the founder of the “Make Peace With Food, Change Your Life” project, where she empowers women to live a better life.

Sprouted Quinoa Salad Recipe

Sprouted Quinoa Salad Recipe

Salads are great all year round but they are especially fitting for hot summer days.

Here is a great recipe that requires a bit of prep for sprouting but it’s so worth it! If you’re new to quinoa then you’ll discover that soaked and sprouted quinoa is even easier to digest than regular quinoa. There’s just something about awakening those enzymes that makes it easier on our bodies to digest and enjoy!

Sprouted Quinoa Salad

Basic Sprouting Guide

1. Place the quinoa in a bowl with water overnight.
2. The next morning pour the bowl in a cheesecloth bag (or nut milk bag). This will remove the water.
3. Then run the back under the faucet for another minute to rinse the quinoa. Place the cheesecloth bag back in the bowl (or a bigger bowl since it will expand!).
4. Keep the bowl on the counter, unless you live in a super hot climate that might cause mold to grow quickly.
5. Rinse the bag under water every morning and night.
6. The sprouting process should only take a few days, feel free to eat the sprouts when you choose. The length of the “little tail” is totally up to you!

For the salad, chop up the following vegetables:

• 2 Stalks celery
• 1 Tomato
• 1/2 Cucumber
• Chopped marinated mushrooms
• 1 Red bell pepper
• 1 bunch of parsley

Toss everything together with some olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and a little sweetener like stevia or raw honey.