Let’s start by talking about what it means to detox, and why it’s important to consider doing a detox.
First, it’s important to understand that our bodies already are using their natural detox process all day every day to keep our bodies healthy. It does this by flushing out chemicals and toxic substances through our colon, our lungs, our kidneys and even our skin.
But, the reality is that we live in an increasingly toxic world and we are exposed to more toxins on a daily basis than we used to be.
We run into problems when we’re over-exposed to toxins and our bodies can’t keep up. Our livers are responsible for organizing the toxins that enter our system and then distributing them to one of the four channels of detoxification. In fact, if you notice that you have dull skin or breakouts, you might be in need of a detox because the skin is the body’s last-resort, and least efficient, detox organ. When things start coming out through the skin it’s because the body is starting to get desperate. If you read my blog, "Why do we say, Good Health Begins in the Gut", you will see that many of the reasons for gut issues can be helped by a detox.
When the liver gets overloaded, its primary job is to keep you safe from the overflow of toxins because those, as you likely know, cause all kinds of damage to our bodies. The way the liver KEEPS you safe, however, is not so awesome: it actually wraps up those toxins in a ball of mucus and stores it in a fat cell. YUCK! The reason so many people have trouble getting rid of fat in certain places is because the fat cells can’t be burned while they are holding a toxin inside.
A detox or cleanse program helps by letting your liver activate those toxins that are stuck in your belly fat and other fat cells throughout your body. Once those toxins are re-activated they move into the blood stream to be dumped out of the body. This is great because the this means stored toxins have been removed from your system, AND your body is now able to burn up the fat cell that’s been storing the toxin. It’s a double win.
Finally, and this is actually the reason that I think is the most important, and that is that a detox or a cleanse can re-set your eating habits. Have you ever noticed how once you start eating junk it’s really easy to let yourself keep eating junk? It’s like when you have something not so great at breakfast, then at lunch you think, well, I’ve already ruined the day so I might as well keep going.
Why is that? Why does that seem like such a good solution at the time, even though you tell yourself you want to focus on taking better care of your health?
If you’ve EVER caught yourself doing something like that, then a simple detox could be a really good idea for you to get back on track with your eating habits. It’s something I do on a fairly regular basis to help me hit the reset button and to help me up my game when it comes to what I’m putting in my body.
But, if you’ve never detoxed before, or you’ve never had a successful detox before, you’re likely wondering how you can detox in a way that’s actually going to work for you.
That’s exactly what I want to talk about here. I’ve noticed that when people aren’t successful with their detox programs, it’s usually because they are making at least one of three common mistakes.
The funny thing about these mistakes is that they are not your fault! In fact, when I made these mistakes, I was doing something that detox and cleanse experts were telling me to do. The reality is that their models just didn’t work for me. The real learning here is for you to allow yourself to make the choice about detoxing that’s right for YOU, not matter what any expert, including myself, tells you.
Mistake #1: Doing a Detox that’s Too Complex
A detox is an incredible opportunity to look at your eating habits from an analytical perspective. Most of us have attachments to certain foods, whether it’s sugar, or potato chips, or a glass of wine at the end of the day. Many detox programs require you to give up a LOT of foods at once. Some even require that you give up food altogether and live on just juice for weeks.
The reality is that dramatic shifts in our eating habits don’t usually stick. And, when we are being asked to change everything about the way we eat, it can be really hard to find the ingredients and to do the prep work we need to do to be successful. Plus, many of us don’t have time for a 21-day detox program - our lives simply aren’t set up to support that.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t detox anyway! There are plenty of one, three and five day detox programs that are quick to administer and deliver REAL results.
Even better, there are plenty of detox programs out there that take a lot of the work out of it for you. In fact, I no longer will do detox programs that don’t help me out by giving me recipes, shopping lists, and suggested meal plans. I need that kind of support to be successful. I remember I once did a program that lasted 7 days and I only got three sample recipes!
What? I remember being so confused about what to eat and gave up halfway through because I just couldn’t figure out what was allowed and what wasn’t. If you’ve experienced something similar, I want you to know that it wasn’t your fault - you just didn’t have the support you needed.
The moral of this mistake is that when you’re searching for a detox program, be sure to choose one that gives done for your recipes, checklists, and shopping guides, and enough information so that you’re set up to succeed, and not left feeling frustrated and stuck.
Mistake #2: Going it Alone
Have you ever tried to use willpower to get yourself to do something? How did it go? Were you able to get what you thought you needed or did you end up in worse shape than when you started off?
I’ve tried to force myself through detoxes all on my own and it never ends well. When I rely on my willpower alone, I end up just feeling frustrated,, like a failure, and frankly, ticked off. When you really think about it, it’s kind of silly, but for me food is about inclusion and friendship and relaxation. When I’ve detoxed all on my own before, it’s felt like a punishment that I couldn’t wait to have end. It really stinks to be eating food that’s totally different from what your friends and family are eating!
The solution: NOW, I’ve figured out that it’s really important to get a few buddies together so we can support each other as we detox. Or, more often, I join a group detox where there’s a leader and where I’m able to connect with other detoxers. Considering how easy it is to connect with people all across the globe these days, you can be part of a detox community whether you live in a really densely populated city or if you’re out in the country. Even if it’s just you and your spouse or you and your best friend agreeing to do the detox together, having a support system in place increases your chances of success so much! You’re so much less likely to ‘cheat’ if you know that you’ve got someone on your side. And it’s even easier to stick to a detox if you’re using an easy to follow program with real food, with connection to a group, and with to be supported along the way by a professional facilitator. Regardless of what kind of detox feels right for you, give yourself the benefit of having a cheer ing section to help you keep going when the going gets tough.
I’m also going to be sharing with you how you can get a really great supportive program after we talk about mistake #3.
Mistake #3: Punishing Yourself
I’ve had so many people tell me that they are nervous about what’s going to happen to them if they detox. They worry about being hungry, or getting too tired, or frankly of spending too much time in the bathroom. Let’s be really clear about one thing: detoxing has a negative connotation in some circles that doesn’t have to be there.
It is absolutely NOT necessary to do a hard core cleanse or detox that forces you to suffer to get a benefit from detoxing. Many detoxes are in my opinion, actually far more dangerous and damaging for most people than effective. Gentle and whole food based detoxes are incredibly effective and they are more likely to help you make a lasting change that impacts your health over the long term.
Because seriously, what’s the point of doing a lemon juice cleanse if you’re so miserable halfway thru that you just give up and dive into a bag of tortilla chips? This is actually one of the worst things you can do because with the lemon juice cleanse you’ve pushed your body into believing you are starving. And guess what happens when you eat something when your body thinks you’re starving? That’s right – your body stores that food as fat immediately to protect you from impending starvation and death.
I also want to address that if you choose to do a detox or cleanse, you should do a program that you WANT to do. Not one that you SHOULD do or your FRIEND did or your mentor did. Choose one that feels right for you and your needs. Allow yourself the opportunity to work up to a bigger cleanse or detox program. Listen, very few people are capable of taking on difficult physical challenges like running a marathon without a lot of TRAINING AND LEARNING. Let your detox experience be the same, and I promise you won’t feel like you’re deprived and suffering.
#4. Also, we must support our bodies while doing a detox.
As I mentioned in the beginning, toxins are stored in our fat. When the detox gets going, and the toxins start coming out, we want them to be able to get out of our bodies. If our pathways for detoxing are not open, and there are too many toxins floating around in our blood stream, it's not going to feel great. That is also why Hard Core Detoxes that contain no food, or go on for too long are not really great for our bodies. We have been thought to believe that the more sacrifice the better, or the harder, the longer, the more intense, the faster weight loss, the better, but no. Can you see why?
There are clean ways of eating and certain foods that can help your body function more optimally, and going super all in, as few calories as possible, doesn't necessarily help your body perform better. And detox should be done with a coach, or with the guidance of someone who can answer your questios and be there.
I want to take a minuter here to talk about the what I mentioned earlier and that is how you can go deeper into a super supportive, gentle, and effective detox program I offer. You may already know that I’m uniquely qualified to talk about what beginners need to do to detox because I’ve had many clients who had never tried a detox program before successfully complete my detox program. And I have to tell you, it’s been so fun! I remember what it felt like to start my first detox – I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stick to it, wondering what on earth I would eat, and frankly, I worried that I was going to cheat.
If your curiosity is piqued about detoxes now but you’re nervous about trying your first one on your own, then you’re in the right place. I’d like to invite you to join me for my Five Day Detox for Beginners. There will be a virtual group detox starting on January 22, 2024
You can find out more about it at and sign up at Winter Detox
The 5-Day Detox for beginners is different from other programs because it focuses on real, whole foods. You’ll be eating foods that are familiar yet will help your body increase it’s natural detox capacity, and you’ll be able to use these recipes again and again.
The 5-Day Detox I’m offering is perfect for you if you have noticed that your eating habits are off track, if you can tell that your body is feeling sluggish, or if you know that it’s time for you to hit the reset button on your eating habits. Since the program is just 5 days, it’s a really great way to get into better habits in less than a week.
The 5-Day Detox for Beginners also includes tons of support. As I’ve already mentioned, this is one of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started out – going it alone. Although this works for some people, I just happen to be one of those people who does better when I’m held accountable and when I have a place I can go to get support and ask questions when I’m stuck. That’s why the 5-Day Detox program includes an online members-only community, along with a suggested meal plan, tons of recipes, and done-for-you shopping lists.
If you happen to be on your computer right now, you can go ahead and go the registration page for the fall 5-Day detox for beginners here....Winter Detox
I’ll say it again: (detox sales page link or instructions on how to register)
As you can see, there’s a LOT of information on this page, but I want to make sure I quickly share a couple of the most important pieces and then I’ll open up the line for questions.
OPTIONAL: Now, one thing that’s NOT on this page is a really awesome bonus that you’ll get if you sign up by Jan 15. by Midnight. As a special bonus, I’ve put together a Make it Last Post-Detox Handbook just for you that details the exact strategies I use to make my post-detox glow last as long as possible. You’ll get the Make It Last Handbook when you sign up for my 5-Day Detox by midnight on January 15. A lot of my clients understand that transitioning back into the ‘real’ world post-detox is often the toughest part because they feel so great and don’t want to take any steps backward! I’ve created an action plan for you which you’ll get as part of the Make It Last Handbook when you register for the 5-Day Detox by January 15 at midnight. Doors close on registration on January 19, but to get the bonus handbook, you have to sign up by January 15.
To register, just go to Winter Detoxand click “sign up now”
So let’s do a quick recap.
Mistake #1: Don’t take on something that’s too complex just because you think you should or your friends are doing it. Instead, find a program that meets your needs and timeframe.
Mistake #2: Going it alone. Misery loves company, right? Hahaha. Just kidding. But it DOES help to have a partner in crime or two when trying something new. And joining my 5-Day Detox program is the perfect way to go through a detox with a cohort of people who will totally get what you are going through each day of the program.
Let’s recap mistake #3 which was to not punish yourself. If I had to say this in just one sentence, it would be this: Trust yourself and your body enough to know that your body will tell you what it needs. That means, if you find yourself really struggling or hungry or light headed when detoxing, do what you need to do to take care of yourself. DON’T force yourself to go through a program that just isn’t working for you. And really aim to detox with programs that have the right blend of support, real food, and real-life flexibility that will make so that you are set up for success instead of set up to struggle and feel inadequate.
#4: Go slow......smaller, gentler whole foods detox is the healthier way to go.
Categories nutrition, healthy eating, clean eating, detox, kick the sugar, weightloss