Cleansing to Start the New Year

It is the New Year- the celebrations have finished, the high calorie foods are now tossed or consumed- and you want to start fresh and clean and ready to tackle the year.

So what about some “cleansing” to “flush the toxins” out of the body?

Thankfully, your body has already done that for you, and there is no outside cleanse  that will do more for you, than what your body has done.

There are thousands of people who will offer you various forms of “cleansing” from simple fasting, to colonics, to drinking olive oil and lemon juice. None of which have any merit to them- none of which will help your body – and some of which might even have some downsides.

Of course people who advocate “cleansing” will point to all the bad things you took in: the alcohol, the high sugar cookies, the fatty meats, and state that their product will clean the rest of those out of your system so you can start the New Year fresh and healthy. They are just full of what they want to rid you of.

By now your liver has processed the alcohol and it is gone. The food has passed out of you- and if there were any “toxins” left- well, none of the therapies that you can find in your health food store will do more than what your body has already done.

So, you want to help your body? Try this instead: focus on eating healthy this year.  Don’t bother trying to drink Acai berries (see a previous post) – they don’t taste that great and are not as “anti-oxidant” as blueberries (cheaper and tastier).

So relax – eat healthy – minimize the processed foods, and think of whole grains, fruits, vegetables – and if someone offers you a coffee colonic? It isn’t worth it.

Drank too much? Your body has processed it.  Will a “liver cleans” make it better – nope.  What about those “gallstones” that come out– well, they are not gallstones. As a surgeon, I can tell you that if you had gallstones that size you would be yellow– and then a liver cleans isn’t what you need. Those are simply little balls of feces that have been brought together by the lime or lemon juice and olive oil (really- it is just that). You want your liver to be healthy – don’t abuse it. Moderate your alcohol intake, and get rid of excess pounds, and avoid too many cakes and cookies and that is the best you can do to keep your liver healthy.

And colon cleansing- they show these photos of all this stuff built up. Well, having operated on hundreds of colons, I can promise you, things don’t build up in there. The only thing you will have when you get your enema is a lighter wallet and no benefit to your health. Colon cleansing is a myth, and in fact it can be a dangerous one.  But many famous people believed this would be the secret to long life- including Kellogg, of the cereal fame- who died of a heart attack – with a very clean colon. John Kellogg used water and yogurt “from above and below” to restore the bacteria of the colon (apparently he like pro-biotics). Bottom line (couldn’t resist) – colonics are worthless.

Looks like they should be asking if you want unleaded or not

This year resolve to take lots of walks – moderate your drinking – and plan the New Year to be a year of health – because if you have your health- you have everything. Eat healthy- we just don’t know what that means – honestly we don’t. We know a bit about it – mostly don’t eat too much. Stop being a member of the clean plate club, and instead – leave a quarter of what you would eat on your plate. You will see the pounds disappear and you won’t be so hungry.

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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Latest Comments

  1. Annemarie says:

    Listen to the Dr. Eat healthily and take up a hobby that takes you outside. Enjoy the beautiful weather and get off the couch. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a patient of Dr. Simpson and look forward to the journey awaiting me.

  2. Sheffield says:

    “Bottom line (couldn’t resist) – colonics are worthless.”

    I had to read that a second time once I realized what it said, but well played, Doctor, well played. Loved the post. : )


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