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What is detox?

What is detox?

by Amy Rachelle amy rachelle
Nutrition | Cleansing

understand detoxing. get started. reach your goals.

From a holistic perspective that uses raw foods, internal cleansing, and personal transformation to regain balance, the process of detox not only eliminates accumulated waste from our intestines, cells, organs, glands, blood and bones – it also simultaneously clears accompanying emotional residue that is typically found in tandem with consuming toxic foods devoid of nutrition.

For many, our modern day lifestyle leans towards stress, overworking, overeating, relationship issues – and exposure to food, environmental, and emotional toxins. These stresses often lead to poor food and lifestyle choices that reinforce not feeling so great, and bring to light the need for understanding ourselves emotionally. Detox can undo what’s been done, turn back the hands of time, and remove what otherwise can create disease, instability, and imbalances. The symptoms of ill health, unhappiness, or just a simple lack of luster for life can usually be rectified through letting go – and cleaning the mind and body.

Why Detox & Benefits

1. To clean the blood and therefore increase the amount (and quality) of nutrition available to be fed through the circulatory system.

2. To increase circulation so the body can absorb oxygen that toxicity otherwise causes cells to suffocate in and die prematurely (i.e. robbing us of life).

3. To rid the cells of waste that cause them to be die off more rapidly than they are being regenerated. We experience healthy cell life span by feeling full of energy and vibrant, glowing skin and bright eyes, full robust health, and a happiness to be alive that naturally extends a positive, youthful and content feeling – no matter one’s age.

4. To experience waking up with ease and feeling rested – happy to be alive!

5. To feel more energy and a heightened sense of awareness.

6. To gain a broader understanding from within why we’re alive, our greater sense of purpose, and the deeper meaning of life – in our own experience that offers emotional stability, comfort, and a sense that all is good and well.

Potential Side Affects and What to Expect

The first three days are usually the most challenging in terms of surpassing hunger pangs, and wearing off negativity from the stress that poor habits cause digestively, and therefore in how you feel. In general, in the first few days (and sometimes longer), your body is adjusting to releasing what’s been making one feel less than consistently energized and vibrant.

No worries just keep going until “the pipes run clean.” You’ll know this is happening because your mind will feel of ease and your body light. It may take longer than a few days, especially if its your first cleanse, so expect to need lots of extra rest, peace and quite, and surrounding yourself in an atmosphere that’s conducive to letting go, distressing, and allowing yourself to feel emotions that may surface. Its natural to potentially experience strong emotions – especially in the first days of a fast – allow for it by creating a safe space to detox in.

How to Detox

After you’ve determined a safe space for your detox (yes, you’ll be fine – more than likely – to work, just take it easy and don’t plan to do much else), decide how many days you want to commit to your process – AND COMMIT TO IT. Making the decision that this is for you, to take care of yourself, is where to begin.

Here’s a quick reference for a 3 day cleanse that can be extended in each phase, according to how much time you have, and your desire:

Phase 1 - Start eating 80% raw foods, 20% cooked. No animal products or byproducts. No sugar (of any form such as agave, honey, dates, fruit, etc). Also avoid caffeine, wheat, soy, corn, alcohol and recreational drugs. Drink 3 liters+ of lemon water daily (start the day with this), as much herbal tea as you like (avoid caffeinated forms like green tea, jasmine, and Chinese teas), and do your best to drink 1-3 liters of green juice either in the morning after your lemon water, or throughout the day.

Phase 2 – 100% raw. Same as above, just all raw.

Phase 3 – Consume blended soups (as much as you like), freshly made vegetable juices (no bottled and canned), and follow the same guidelines as in Phase 1.

Like to continue past 3 days? Go for it!

In the next phase, continue with blends, juice, tea, and water as above – stay with this, or if you still feel very full in the belly (this means you’re full of old waste), drink only juice, tea, and water. And remember: your body knows best, so listen closely to what’s its communicating and it will tell you exactly what it needs – beyond the mind, fears, concerns, and resistance that can come up when beginning a cleanse. Trust your body’s voice and intelligence as your number one guide!

Highly recommend while detoxing

1. Schedule some colonics (twice per week is great) – and enemas as needed (daily is great)

2. Honor yourself with a weekly (or more!) massage

3. Get into the sauna (infra red is magical) and steam at least once per week (3 times weekly is even more efficient)

4. Maintain some light exercise like therapeutic yoga, Tai Chi, walking, smimming.

5. Do your pranayanams (breathing exercises)

6. Meditate and quite your mind (start with a regular practice of 15 minutes a day and increase as you get more comfortable with your practice to twice a day for 20 minutes)

7. Seek sources of support and therapy for emotions that may surface. (detoxing with your mate or a friend comes as a great support to your jouney)

Why it works

Fasting works through what’s technically called autolysis. Autolysis is self-digestion. Just like our heart and other organs never stop working, and we don’t have to tell ourselves to breath, the SNS (Sympathtic Nervous System, the automatic part of us) ensures that digestion continues like all other body systems, even when we stop eating. Autolysis – or self digestion – kicks in when the body no longer has food in the way of it breaking down and eating up harmful toxicity that poisons the body and wreaks havoc on the immune system.

Detoxing can be easier than it seems, take it easy and start simple by eliminating processed food from your diet and doing a with a 3 day program (as above).

Happy detox!


To follow Dr. Amy's detailed cleanse protocol, and for more suggestions and helpful hints, please see and download her free eBook.