You may be interested in Spring Cleaning your home this time of year, but how about cleaning your body and mind as well? You’ve read about a short detoxification protocol in a magazine or heard about someone doing a “juice cleanse” but you don’t really know where to begin. I’d like to share a few of my detox tips to empower and support you on your path to vibrant health.
First, I want to emphasis that I believe we do need to detoxify but most people have no clue how to effectively do this without causing themselves more harm than good. I’d like to educate and empower you to get the most out of your cleanse.
Let’s start at the beginning – there are six major organs of elimination: lymphatics, kidneys/bladder, liver/gallbladder, colon, and skin. If you want to do a real cleanse these must all be supported. If they aren’t, you’re in danger of releasing toxins from one organ, they’ll recirculate and settle in another part of your body, and you’ll be unable to purge them.
These organs can be supported through herbs, homeopathics, lifestyle choices, hydration, specific detoxification practices, and food.
I’d like to share what not to do before I guide you in what to do.
Mistake #1: Disrupting blood sugar. Many people think that a juice fast is healthy, however if your blood sugar is unstable, it’s not necessarily healthy to do a juice fast. When you fast on juice alone, you’re adding pure sugar from some common veggie and fruit juice ingredients (carrots, beets, apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple, mango, etc), minus the fiber which slows absorption. This will spike your blood sugar and you will crash, feeling horrible. If you’re juicing only fruit then it’s worse. I understand you may want to add sugary fruit to a green juice to make it taste better. Please slowly train your taste buds so you can eventually stop this. Using dark berries is better than other quick sugars.
Mistake #2: You’re likely already dehydrated, so attempting to cleanse when you don’t have enough water in you to flush the toxins out is unwise. Almost every patient I speak with reports low water intake and I see signs of dehydration on their lab. In fact the few people who claim to drink enough water are often drinking reverse osmosis water and continue to show signs of dehydration because the type of water they’re drinking isn’t being well absorbed by the body. You can’t effectively detoxify if you don’t have enough water to flush your organs of elimination.
Mistake #3: You do a cleanse but you keep using toxic body and skin care products as well as cleaning chemicals in your home. It’s important to look at your environment and clean that up, otherwise you’re constantly adding toxins into your body. Shifting to natural and non-chemical body/skin care products is a wonderful detoxifying lifestyle shift.
Mistake #4: Too much sugar! I see this one all the time – I’m sharing this to encourage you to begin a healthier lifestyle not to dissuade you from cleansing, but this is a problem. People who eat too much sugar, too many carbohydrates, drink alcohol (a poison), don’t sleep enough, have high stress, limited self-care, and don’t exercise, all of a sudden decide they must cleanse their body and do some kind of juice fast for a week. To be frank, it’s really not going to do much of anything for you. If you would clean up your life a bit you would feel a whole lot better. The important detail that has been missed is that your body is capable of detoxifying all the time, if you give it the chance. When you live a life of stress, lacking self-care, and unhealthy nutrition, then you’re unable to do much detoxification in your daily life because your body is constantly struggling to survive without enough resources to thrive. Doing a little cleanse isn’t going to shift these unhealthy habits. Significantly changing your life and nutrition will free up your body to be able to detox much more effectively. If you attempt a juice fast without supporting the organs of detoxification then you’re not really reaping the potential benefits of the cleanse. I encourage people to lead a more detoxifying lifestyle so your body has the resources to detox daily, rather than accumulating a bunch of toxins that cause damage, then once a year you try to release them but your organs can’t handle the heavy load and you’ve really made no significant progress. In fact, you may have caused more stress to your organs and systems because you didn’t support them properly.
Mistake #5: Avoid “dry fasting”. This means no water or food. This is dangerous. There are people on the internet who are advocating for this. Please seriously check their credentials, they are not doctors and often have no real training. Just because they claim it worked for them, doesn’t mean it’s safe. People have died from “dry fasting”. Your body requires water to process nutrients, clean out toxins, and for basic metabolic functioning. A great way to screw yourself up is to “dry fast”.
Now you’ve got the “Don’ts”, let’s look at the “Dos”.
Detox Tip #1: Plan ahead. If you’re really going to do a cleanse, then do it safely and effectively. Plan out your days and evenings. This means making food ahead of time, or purchasing your juicing veggies and bone broth ahead of time. Let your holistic healthcare practitioner know about your desire to cleanse and ask their opinion. Make an appointment for a Lymphatic drainage session, acupuncture, and visceral manipulation to support your organs, glands, and meridians. Don’t go to a loud concert or busy mall during your cleanse. It’s important to give yourself time and space to allow your body to do its job properly. Overstimulating your nervous system along with added stress isn’t a good idea.
Detox Tip #2: Get extra rest and sleep. Your body heals more when it’s sleeping. Plan on getting to bed early during your cleanse as well as right after. Don’t push yourself to stay up and work late or go to a party.
Detox Tip #3: Detoxify your mind as well as your body and environment. Do your best to stay off social media, no TV, and disengage from gossip and superficial social niceties. Let your close family and friends know you’re doing a cleanse and you’d like support in holding a container of love, peace, and ease during your cleansing time. Take time to begin a prayer or meditation practice. Begin with 10 minutes 2 times/day. Focus on your breath, inhale for a count of 7-10 and exhale for a count of 7-10. Slow it down. When your mind wanders, which it is bound to do, gently bring it back to focus on your breath, or you can focus on a picture, a flower, or a candle. Continue this practice even after you’ve completed your cleanse. Meditation has been proven to decrease stress hormones and inflammation in the body.
Detox Tip #4: During a cleanse, whether you’re taking supplements or juicing, make sure you’re drinking plenty of spring water. Consider doing bone broth and only healthy, non-sugary liquids. Consider a soup fast, keeping it light, with veggies or juicing veggies in a Vitamix so the fiber remains. The green juice will be thick, and you could consider straining half the fiber out to help get it down.
Detox Tip #5: Far infrared saunas are incredible way to assist in your detoxification. Find one in your area at a spa or a healthcare provider’s office. I have a 4 person infrared sauna that I used to allow my patients to use for free. The research is sound – they help you detox from heavy metals as well as stimulating immune function and increasing your metabolism. I recommend 20-40 minutes, 3 times/ week for two weeks, at a high temperature. Drink plenty of spring water and replace electrolyte loss with liquid Trace Minerals by Trace Minerals company (10-20 drops mixed with water) after each session.
Detox Tip #6: Get off stimulants like coffee, soda, tea, mate, and chocolate – your adrenals and digestive system will thank you. Even if you consume “organic” coffee, its processing causes it to be carcinogenic, yes cancer causing. Dr. Bruce Ames found 20-200 carcinogens in a single cup of coffee.
Detox Tip #7: Ending your fast or cleanse is just as important as the cleanse itself. Don’t hurry to eat a huge meal right away. Transition slowly to solid foods, chew well, and consume small portions. If you’ve been fasting, I recommend gently moving to bone broth, then soup, perhaps a green juice or smoothie first. Continue to drink lots of spring water and sleep a little extra as well as keeping stress low to none.
My Favorite Key Supplements:
• Triphala, pure Aloe Vera juice, Magnesium Calm (I like raspberry lemon flavor) – these move bowels and cleanse you gently.
• Milk Thistle seeds aka Silymarin, yellow dock root, and Dandelion for your Liver
• Globe Artichoke for Gall Bladder
• Livatrex is a combination of herbs in tincture form (liquid) that is excellent for liver and gall bladder cleansing
• Red clover, Cleavers, and Manjistha are all herbs for cleansing the lymphatic system. Rebounding or jumping on a special lymphatic trampoline also gets your lymph moving, as well as manual lymph drainage.
Enjoy Spring Cleaning your Body & Mind!
Blessings of Vibrant Health,