Detox advice for women over 40 – ask the expert

Kicking off my ‘ask the expert‘ series, I’m delighted to be interviewing Sara Russell, our expert and Nutritional Therapist, for her detox advice for women over 40. Detoxing during midlife brings up some worries and I’ll be asking Sara for the answers to common concerns.

I met Sara online and was immediately struck by her professional and caring approach to the questions posed to her and her genuine interest in others.

I learnt later that Sara has had an incredible personal journey that helped lead her to this point in her career. It helped explain to me why her obvious passion and compassion stood her out from the crowd.

So, I’m thrilled to now introduce this rather brilliant and rather wonderful woman to you, as she gives us her detox advice for women over 40.


Detox Advice For Women Over 40. Ask The Expert. Sara Russell.

Sara Russell, NTP.


Sara, you’ve had an incredible life. Before we get on to your brilliant detox advice for women over 40, could you tell us about your journey to becoming a Nutritional Therapist?


During my earliest years, my family went through some financial struggles, and I remember wandering through the streets of Venice with my brother and sister, making friends with kind-looking adults who may share a bite of food with us.

Then, when I was seven, we moved to the Tuscan countryside, and I fell in love with the abundance of the land.

I gathered stinging nettles, rose hips, edible mushrooms, blackberries… and helping dad grow his vegetable garden. My parents also gave me permission to raise chickens and ducks. I participated in the local grape and olive harvests and loved witnessing the production of food as well as the way food just grows in the wild.

Life brought me as a teen to a small remote gambling town in the middle of the Nevada desert, and I remember trying to nourish my interest in and curiosity for nutrition by reading library books, which at the time were all for some reason promoting mega-dosing on synthetic vitamins rather than promoting food-based nourishment.

So I got derailed and studied literature.

It was after the birth of my third child that I had the chance to dive back into leisurely non-academic reading, and at that time I discovered Weston Price’s pioneering Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, which changed the direction of my life forever by re-activating my desire to study and practice food-based nutrition.

So, what is it to detoxify? I mean, I assume there’s more to it than downing a smoothie and avoiding smoking rooms…

Detoxification is a poorly understood concept, in part because there are a lot of marketing of programs and products that push the body into rapid detoxification mode.

In reality, detoxification is a normal, natural and ongoing process that our body coordinates on its own when given the right conditions.

The right conditions include a nutrient-rich diet, sufficient sleep and rest and a lifestyle that limits exposures to toxic chemicals in air, water and food. Also, remember that stress is toxic, as are some people!

Detoxification, as I have defined it, should be a lifelong process.

Focusing on detox advice for women over 40. Broadly speaking, is detoxifying a good thing for midlife women?

It really depends on how you define “detoxification” – if you define it as letting your liver, kidneys, skin and lymphatic system do their job properly, then my answer is a resounding “yes”.

However, if you define it as something we push the body into doing whether it’s ready or not, then my answer is “probably not”.

I really encourage everyone reading this to remember that your body is both much simpler and much more complex than you can imagine, and that the key to your best detoxification is unique to you.

Many women over 40 are on HRT. Does that change anything?

If you push the liver too hard with detoxification supplements and programs that are excessive compared to your needs, you could actually end up pushing the excessive detoxification of the prescription hormones your doctor has painstakingly dosed and prescribed to meet your needs. This is counterproductive, as you can imagine.

Luckily, you can’t go wrong with a healthy nutrition and lifestyle matched to your needs. Relaxation and sleep will help your body detoxify effectively with none of the adverse effects that wrong-for-you products and programs may entail.

For those women already resting and eating a pretty healthy diet, is detoxifying even necessary?

Everyone needs to detoxify on a daily basis in the sense I explained above. If you’re eating a healthy diet and practicing a healthy lifestyle, you may not need additional support to detoxify effectively.

However, if your detoxification organs and pathways have worn down over time from past or present illnesses, nutritional deficiencies or toxic exposures, you may benefit from additional support.

In other words, if you’re doing everything (or almost everything) right and are not feeling well, it’s a good idea to work with a competent professional.

Can we expect to lose weight (she asks expectantly)?

It depends. Certainly, by optimising liver function and lymphatic drainage via bio-individual nutritional therapy, one notable “side effect” is improved metabolism!


OK, so lay it down – what should we be doing to avoid detoxification?

Common obstacles are sleep deprivation, too much doing and not enough being, excess stress and nutritional imbalances.

The latter are complicated because each of us has individual needs. Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances can originate from toxic exposures (especially mercury), digestive dysfunction, illness, stress or inadequate nutrition.

Common obstacles are sleep deprivation, too much doing and not enough being, excess stress and nutritional imbalances.

Ideally, how long should we detox for?

A targeted cleanse, if indicated, should be short-term, perhaps a couple of times a year. Detoxification, as I have defined it, should be a lifelong process.

Be careful as a consumer, because a lot of products and programs touted as miracle detoxification remedies are ineffective or in some cases potentially harmful.

If you feel the urge to support your detoxification, please work with someone who will support your unique needs.

For those women not up for the whole shindig, what are you top 5 most important changes to try?

Eat nourishing food and drink hydrating beverages

Do something that makes you happy

Engage in a favorite hobby

Breathe deeply

Gentle movement

If any of my readers want to learn more about detoxing for women over 40, can they contact you for a private consultation?

Absolutely! I can be reached via my website, or via email at [email protected].

PIN this!

Kicking off my 'ask the expert' series, I'm delighted to be interviewing Sara Russell, our expert and Nutritional Therapist, for her detox advice for women over 40. Detoxing during midlife brings up some worries and I'll be asking Sara for the answers to common concerns.


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  1. December 14, 2017 / 7:29 am

    Fabulous post and right in time for me. Thankyou. #TeamLovinLife

    • Maria Kelly
      December 14, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      I’m so pleased you have found this useful Jo x

  2. December 14, 2017 / 11:19 pm

    I love this really balanced approach to the notion of detoxing. It’s so easy to get caught up in ‘miracle cures’ and the like, when really it’s the everyday stuff we need to be focussing on and letting our body and organs do what they’re meant to!

    Thanks for sharing! #teamlovinlife

    • Maria Kelly
      December 15, 2017 / 11:42 am

      I agree and you’ve put that so well Deborah! Sometimes tho’ when doing the right things isn’t enough it’s good to know Sara is there to help – using the most natural products straight from Mother Nature x

  3. December 14, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    I turn 40 next week so it might be time for a detox!

    • Maria Kelly
      December 15, 2017 / 11:44 am

      Yes, I’m approaching 50 and can’t eat or drink the way I used to. Isn’t it interesting how there really isn’t a one fix for all?! x

  4. December 15, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    Wise words x

    • Maria Kelly
      December 16, 2017 / 7:33 am

      Yes, Sara is incredibly smart (and completely lovely too). There is a really personal and bespoke approach to her advice. x

  5. December 15, 2017 / 8:49 pm

    I read somewhere that you don’t need to do any cleanses or detox’s as such as your body naturally does this on its own and no amount of juices etc can do what your body is naturally designed to do. This to me fits in well with that and it definitely something I need to work on as I reach my late 30’s #blogstravaganza

    • Maria Kelly
      December 16, 2017 / 7:36 am

      Yes, I think generally Sara is saying the same thing Tracey. But, then if there are stubborn and chronic ailments, a bespoke detox under supervision may be of great help x

  6. December 16, 2017 / 5:45 am

    I’m too weak willed to commit to a detox but thanks for sharing this really educational interview. Menopause isn’t too far off for me and I need to get my lifestyle in order for it.
    SSG xxx

    • Maria Kelly
      December 16, 2017 / 7:48 am

      Me too. However, applying these ideas at least some of the time would improve health. If or when we go through persistent health issues there is always Sara to guide in a very personalised way xxx

  7. December 16, 2017 / 12:56 pm

    This is a really interesting read, I might not be 40 but i don’t think it would do me any harm to take some pointers! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza, Merry Christmas! Xx

    • Maria Kelly
      December 17, 2017 / 7:34 am

      Oh yes, most of Sara’s advice applies to everyone. We could all take something from her sound words xx

  8. December 17, 2017 / 10:37 pm

    I’m with SSG. I’m a bit too weak to stick to it. But it’s a really interesting read! Maybe I’ll commit to something like this one day.

    • Maria Kelly
      December 18, 2017 / 12:26 pm

      I’m glad you found it interesting Leanne. Yes, I think it’s much easier to stick to when you need to detox to feel well once again. x

  9. December 18, 2017 / 1:08 pm

    Very interesting post, I think everyone could benefit from this advice not just over 40’s. I don’t have the will power to commit to a full detox but I will be taking this on board and making some changes. Thank you for sharing. #Blogstravaganza

    • Maria Kelly
      December 19, 2017 / 8:45 am

      Yes, Sara’s advice is sound and it’s well worth us all making some positive tweaks to our diet x

  10. December 19, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    This is a really interesting post and something I had never really thought of before. Good luck with detoxifying. Thanks for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    • Maria Kelly
      December 19, 2017 / 8:44 pm

      I have found it really interesting too. I hadn’t realised detoxing needed to be so bespoke to be affective – although as Sara suggests we can all make small changes easily enough x

  11. December 21, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    This was so informative! Good to know that with the right regimen, the body can detoxify itself!


    • Maria Kelly
      December 22, 2017 / 3:41 pm

      Yes, without being extreme! I think most of us need to be aware of what our bodies are telling us and why. Sometimes tho’ that’s complicated and that’s where Sara can step in x