Happily spending a day in detox

It’s a lot better than you think

IT TURNS OUT that it’s not just my body that needs a good detox. As I soon found out, so does my (very underused) kitchen and my TV-infested bedroom! Who knew? No wonder my life is in shambles!

When I meet with Dr. Natasha Turner, a leading naturopathic doctor and authority on hormonal and digestive concerns and the author of The Hormone Diet: Lose Fat. Gain Strength. Live Younger Longer, I was expecting the usual healthy lifestyle rant about eating a ton of vegetables, drinking water and less Diet Coke, stopping buying and eating processed everything.

Instead, I leave Dr. Turner’s wellness boutique, Clear Medicine, with a wrinkle-free forehead, a bottle of fish oil, some vitamins and a better understanding of how my hormones control my health and stress level. Best of all, I feel more rejuvenated then I felt coming back from my last beach vacation. A visit with Dr. Turner provides so much more than your average naturopathic visit. In Dr. Turner’s more than 10 years as a naturopathic doctor, she has never had to advertise her services. (She works six days a week at Clear Medicine and is booked for almost three months in advance.) Finding her in Toronto is akin to winning a car in Tim Hortons’s Roll Up the Rim. A miracle!

Located in a modern townhouse at Avenue and Dupont, Clear Medicine offers naturopathic nutrition and weight-loss programs and suggestions but also yoga, Pilates, weight training, stress management coaching, foot specialists, even career counselling. The petite Dr. Turner is one of those people who, even sleep deprived, is cheerier than the average happy person.

“I didn’t have the best sleep last night,” she admits, with a broad smile. (Even her mutt, Walter, who comes to the office, is friendly as can be.) At 38, Dr. Turner could pass for a decade younger.

“I had always wanted to be a doctor,” she says. “One day, I went for a massage, and the therapist suggested that I look into naturopathy, and that was it. I was hooked.”

First, we chat. Dr. Turner tells all her patients who want to detox to first detox their bedrooms and kitchens (I know! Interesting right?) “I tell people to turn their bedrooms into ‘dens of darkness,’” she says. “Alarm clocks should not be within three feet of the bed.

There should be no TV in the bedroom,” she says. (She notices my look of horror! ) “Your body should be cooling down at night, so no heavy blankets.”

After a health assessment, which includes body composition testing, urine tests for bowel toxicity and adrenal stress, a pH balance and blood testing, she has clients detox their kitchens by removing all harmful foods and plastics that contain chemicals that disrupt hormones.

She’ll also give out an anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic diet. Most people can detox in two or three sessions, over a few weeks, she says. But along with having a body composition and assessment test, there’s also some fun stuff a body detox offers.

I tried the infrared sauna, located in a small room on the upper floor. “This will be great for you because you’re holding onto a little too much water,” she explains. The individual-sized sauna is relaxing to say the least, and while you don’t get as hot as your usual sauna, you sweat out a ton more. “It’s been proven to detoxify, give relief to chronic pain, help in weight loss, improve skin tone,” Dr. Turner lists off.

After, I do feel like I’ve been in the sun (without the tan) but feel glowing, rejuvenated but not drained. Patients can call ahead to see if the sauna is available and pop in for a 30- to 45-minute infrared session. (And, yes, there’s a nice shower for later!)

Next I try the acupuncture facial. “One of our patients who also lost weight here did a series of facial acupunctures, and even our receptionist said she looked 10 years younger,” says Dr. Turner. “It’s amazing for wrinkles.”

I ask her if an acupuncture facial has the same results as Botox and she says yes. “And if you have Botox, the facial acupuncture will help it last longer,” she says. She notices my bare feet.

“Your skin is dry. Do you take fish oils?” she asks. There’s nothing Dr. Turner doesn’t seem to notice. I tell her I need a very simple routine and can’t keep track of taking different vitamins with different meals. She listens and says, “OK,” and makes it as simple as can be. She understands that people are busy (and forgetful.)

One of the most interesting aspects of this naturopathic program is the personal training. “We have this specific way of training that hormones respond to for optimal results,” she says. “Most people, even those who exercise regularly, aren’t exercising correctly. There are so many people who don’t get results.”

Of course, I ask for a shot of vitamin B 12 before I leave. (They do that too!) Back home, I feel not only pampered, but also accomplished. And, left wondering: does my bathroom need a detox, too? For more info, go to www.thehormonediet.com.

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