Health Topics A-Z





























Pre-Pregnancy Detox Plan

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: There's never a more important time to be in optimal health than prior to conception and during pregnancy.
Air Date: 3/4/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Rea Frey, Author
Rea-FreyRea Frey is an award-winning author, nutrition specialist, and International Sports Sciences Association certified trainer. She is the author of Detox Before You’re Expecting: A Cleansing Program to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy, Power Vegan: Plant-Fueled Nutrition for Maximum Health and Fitness and The Cheat Sheet: A Clue-by-Clue Guide to Finding Out If He's Unfaithful. Her work has been featured in Oxygen, Fitness, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Whole Living. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter.
  • Book Title: Detox Before You're Expecting: A Cleansing Program to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy
  • Guest Twitter Account: @nashfitfam
Pre-Pregnancy Detox Plan
There's never a more important time to be in optimal health than prior to conception and during pregnancy.

Those nine months shouldn't be used as an excuse to eat whatever you want, or "eat for two." So, cleansing the body prior to pregnancy is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

Detoxing is not a new concept. But, most of the detox programs that are popular (fasting, herbal cleanses, juice cleanses) aren't really sustainable and many aren't safe.

Rea Frey is a nutrition specialist who wanted to devise a plan that people could keep up with year-round, safely, using whole, unprocessed foods. 

In her book, Detox Before You're Expecting: A Cleansing Program to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy, she goes over three different levels for detoxing: beginner (someone who eats fast food and drinks soda), intermediate (someone who eats healthy about 50 percent of the time), and super-advanced (someone who eats healthy 95 percent of the time, but still needs a little help).

Frey also discusses her concept of "toggling" calories. Not everyone likes to count calories, but she has found this method to work for individuals who have failed again and again on diet plans.

It works like this: find your baseline caloric intake (the number of calories you ingest without gaining or losing weight). For example, if your baseline is 1800 calories, you reduce that by 25 percent (450 calories for a net of 1350) for two or three days. You can do this every three weeks or so and it will jump-start your metabolism each time.

By reducing your calories in this way, your body won't adapt to that lower number; something that often happens with most traditional diets.

Listen in as Frey joins Lisa to share more about her detox methods, why it's so important to detox pre-pregnancy, and ways you can detox and stay in optimal shape whether you're planning to get pregnant or not.

RadioMD Presents: Naturally Savvy | Original Air Date: March 4, 2015
Hosts: Andrea Donsky, RHN & Lisa Davis
Guest: Rea Frey

Whether you are new to the living healthy lifestyle or a healthy living veteran, this is the place for the honest answers to your questions. Naturally Savvy with registered holistic nutritionist Andrea Donsky and health journalist, Lisa Davis on RadioMD.com.

LISA: Hi. I’m Lisa Davis. So, glad you’re listening to Naturally Savvy on RadioMD. Andrea is off today. We’ve all talk about detox and heard about detoxing, but what about detoxing before you’re expecting?

Well, Rea Frey joins us. She is the author of Detox Before You’re Expecting: A Cleansing Program to Prepare Your Body for Pregnancy.

Hello, Rea. Welcome back.

REA: Thank you so much. Nice to be here.

LISA: It’s so nice to have you on. When our show first came on, you came on to talk about Power Vegan and Plant Fuel Nutrition for Maximum Health and Fitness.

REA: I did.

LISA: And now, you’re here to talk about detoxing before expecting. I know that you like to use whole food detoxing. Jump right into this and tell us how if you’re trying to get pregnant; what if you’re already are pregnant. So, I guess that’s not before, right? But, what do you want to do for both situations?

REA: Yes. So, detoxing is not a new concept. It’s been around for quite some time, but I find that a lot of the detoxes that are out there with fasting, using the herbal cleanses, the juice cleanses, they’re not really sustainable and they’re not safe. So, I really wanted to kind of devise a plan for people who could do this kind of year round and do it in a very safe way using whole, unprocessed foods. There’s never a more important time to be at the optimal level of health than before conception. I think, a lot of times, we just kind of use pregnancy as this time to eat whatever we want and to kind of gain weight and, of course, you’re going to gain weight, but you want it to be the right kind of weight. You want to go into pregnancy at the absolute best level of health that you can get and cleansing the body prior to that is one of the greatest things that you can do.

LISA: You know, I totally agree with what you’re saying about women. Kind of giving them a pass, in a way.

REA: Yes.

LISA: “Oh, I have a craving. I have to eat 4 chocolate cakes,” and so, you know, I’m not saying you have to be completely strict, but it’s not like a free for all, right?

REA: It’s not a free for all. Yes.

LISA: So, you definitely want to take care of your body.

REA: Absolutely.

LISA: And, I know that you write about something called toggling calories. Am I saying that right? Toggling?

REA: That is. That’s right. Yes. That is right.

LISA: What does that mean?

REA: So, a really cool way to kind of reset your metabolism and kind of jumpstart your metabolism and cleanse naturally is this idea of toggling calories. So, not everyone wants to count calories. I’m not really a calorie counter, but if you take a little bit of time to do this, it can absolutely change your life and change your body. So, what you have to do is basically find your baseline caloric intake which, all that means is, the number of calories that you’re ingesting where you don’t gain weight and you don’t lose weight. A lot of us are probably there right now. I give a way, in my new book, to figure this out. You can get your lab work done and do it that way, or there’s a cool calculation where you can find out what that is. But, say your baseline is 1800 calories and this is the calories that you consume where you won’t gain weight and you won’t lose weight. All you’re going to do is reduce calories by 25% for 2 or 3 days and that’s it. You can do this every 3 weeks and then, you go back up to that 1800 calories. By reducing it by just 2 or 3 days, you’re not adapting to that new number. So, what happens when we do a diet, right? We go down to that 1200 calories or 1300 calories or 1500 calories even and we stay there for a long period of time. So, our bodies naturally adapt to that lower number. So, any time we’re going out to eat and we eat 1800 calories or 2000 calories a day, then we’re in a surplus and we’re going to gain weight. That’s why diets are not effective and they don’t work, but when we toggle calories and we only reduce those calories for 2 or 3 days, we’re just jumpstarting the metabolism. We go right back up to where we’re comfortable with the calories and we haven’t adjusted to that new number. So, we can kind of shed weight, shed toxins without it being dangerous and it’s just a really, really cool way to kind of jump start that metabolism every 3 or 4 weeks.

LISA: Now, these calories that you’re toggling, you want to be doing the whole food detox during it or is this just when you’re back to your regular healthier eating? Give us a little bit.

REA: Yes, you can do it, actually before you do detox, like right before you do detox. You can actually do it during the detox, if you want or after. It’s a very safe thing to do just, obviously, you don’t want to do it while you’re pregnant or nursing, but other than that, it’s really safe to do at any point.

LISA: Alright. So, take us through the detox.

REA: Sure. So, in the book on this detox before you’re expecting, I have 3 different levels of detox. I think that’s really important because we’re not the one size fits all with the way that we eat or our food sensitivities, so I have a beginner detox for people who really just eat fast food; they drink sodas; they just don’t really know what healthy food is. There’s an intermediate detox for people who eat healthy about 50% of the time; and then, there’s this super advanced detox for people who eat incredibly well, but still need a little bit of help. So, each program has a different set of criteria, different rules to follow, and different food suggestions for them and they’re each for different lengths of time, so you can really kind of pick and choose where you want to be, but you are using all whole, unprocessed foods. It’s mostly plant-based for the beginner detox. A lot of people are not going to give up meat which is completely fine, but there are just really good suggestions for healthy swaps along the way.

LISA: Oh, great. Share some of those swaps with us. For example, I am very much Paleo, so I’ll have a ginormous salad with tons of vegetables, an avocado and olive oil and then I might have a little grass-fed beef on the side and maybe a little bit of a yam, so I am, you know, very vegetable focused but I do like my meat as long as it’s grass-fed. But, I know it’s still meat, but anyway, it’s all good.

REA: Yes and, again, meat, as long as you know where it’s coming from.

LISA: Sure.

REA: The thing with Paleo what’s kind of happened is, the Paleo diet is actually based on a moderate protein consumption. It’s not this crazy high protein and I feel like we’ve really gotten out of control with it and that’s what we’re focusing on. The focus should really be more on kinds of vegetables and things like that. But with Paleo, or anything when you’re excluding whole food groups, you can still kind of miss out on some important nutrients, so it’s really good to vary the way that you eat. That’s something that I talk about as well. We reach for the same 5-10 foods on a consistent basis and it’s very, very important to change up the way that you eat. So, if you’re eating grass-fed beef, for instance, maybe try some fish. If you’re eating kale every single day, let’s try some Swiss chard. You’ve got to change it up because our bodies can actually become allergic to the foods that we’re eating even if they’re really healthy foods. So, that’s just very, very important.

LISA: Now, what about people who are not just sensitive to gluten, but maybe whole grains? They just don’t agree with them for whatever reason.

REA: Don’t eat them. Yes, don’t.

LISA: Okay. But, they are part of your detox, correct?

REA: Well, not all of them.

LISA: Brown rice or quinoa. Not all of them? Okay.

REA: That’s suggested for people who can absorb and digest grains. You know, I do always suggest to soak and sprout grains whenever you can because it’s the phytate selectins in certain foods. Those are what really messes with people and the nuts as well. So, if you can soak and sprout your nut seeds or grains, that really helps a lot of the time, but really looking for things…You know, if you’re not going to do grains, if you can do root veggies, if you can do sweet potatoes or things that you’re still getting a little bit of those complex carbs in there because our bodies do need that energy. We can’t just be all meat and all veggies all the time. We need a little bit of variation.

LISA: No, I agree. I make a smoothie that I love with a little bit of mango and a lot of like 5 different types of grains. I actually learned about something new: tatsoi. T-A-T-S-O-I. Do you know what that is?

REA: Oh, I don’t actually.

LISA: I’ve got this like green blend. Oh, anyway, and then I put an avocado in there and an orange and it’s delicious. We’re already out of time, Rea. This goes so fast.

REA: Oh, my gosh!

LISA: Tell us how…I know…Tell us how we can learn more about you.

REA: Sure. You can go to my website. It’s ReaFrey.com. I kind of have updates, my books are on there, where they’re sold everywhere. Yes. And that’s kind of the easiest way to get in contact.

LISA: Well, you’re a fabulous guest.

REA: Oh, thank you so much.

LISA: You always have such good information. I’m so glad you came back. I want to thank you.

Thanks everyone for listening. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @YourRadioMD and @NaturallySavvy. I hope you all have a great day and stay well.