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7 Steps to Cleanse Your Body of Toxins

Internal Spring Cleaning

7 Steps to Cleanse Your Body of Toxins

Some of us feel the need to rearrange furniture, power wash the deck, and spruce up the garden beds in springtime, but our bodies need a little spring cleaning too!
You don't have to go on a crazy juice diet or deprive yourself of food for days on end to give yourself a "cleanse" either. Detoxing or cleansing mean different things to different people. I simply believe that if we can give our bodies a little rest from the toxic burden we assault on it every day, our health will improve.
To properly cleanse your body, you need to start with cleaning up your diet. A diet heavy in processed foods, red meat, alcohol, caffeine, sugar and sweets is overburdened and probably not functioning properly. But, even those with squeaky clean diets need a little reboot once in a while. Every day we are assaulted with chemicals in the air, our water, our food and the environment as a whole. Cleansing your body can assist your natural detoxification pathways and you’ll feel better as a result.

I like cleansing in the spring because it feels natural and we’ve just come out of a long winter with heavy foods, like stews, casseroles, hearty pies and baked goods. Those foods were nourishing in the winter and kept us warm, but now it’s time to release the excess and clean the pipes – so to speak!

Step 1: Clean up your diet. For one week, cut down on red meat, gluten, sugar, treats, soda, caffeine, alcohol, nuts, seeds and any processed or fast food. This doesn’t mean complete avoidance, but try to cut back as much as possible to assist your digestive tract. Increase leafy greens, load up on veggies, fish, whole grains like quinoa and lots of water. The more you cut back, the greater success you’ll have. Plus, you may even lose some weight.

Step 2: Let’s clean those pipes! The first detox pathway is cleansing the colon because you can’t do a liver cleanse or gallbladder cleanse if you’re not moving waste out properly. Start with daily lemon water in the morning, add in lots of filtered water, and herbal teas. You could try colon hydrotherapy, coffee enemas and drinking pure green juice if things aren’t “moving along.” Herbs like slippery elm and buckthorn can help.


Step 3: Cleansing the Urinary Tract. Again, lots of water throughout the day is helpful, as is eating parsley, asparagus and pure cranberry juice. Make sure the juice is pure and has no added sugar.

Step 4: Cleansing the Liver. Add in beets, ginger and citrus fruits. You can also add turmeric to everything you eat (I add it to eggs, soups, ground meats, stews, pretty much everything.) Milk Thistle is a supplement you can take to aid in liver cleansing. Increase carrots, beets, dark leafy greens and green juice to aid in cleansing the liver. Also beneficial is adding in fiber to your diet to assist the body in removing toxins that the liver has filtered out. I like flax and chia seeds for this.


Step 5: Cleansing the Lymphatic System. Two of my favorite lymph exercises are daily dry skin brushing and rebounding. Before every shower, grab a natural bristle brush and brush towards your heart. Start at your feet and move up (avoiding the face and chest). Rebounding is great for moving lymphatic fluid, as is massage. Go get one! I also like Pau d’arco tea , burdock root and cats claw for herbal therapies.


Step 6: Chemical & Heavy Metal Detoxification. If you take prescription medicine, antibiotics, get vaccinations, have dental amalgams, or you are exposed to toxins via your environment, then you also need to do a heavy metal cleanse. This can be a little more intensive than your run-of-the-mill spring cleanse, but stick with me. Adding in chlorella, spirulina and blue-green algae can draw the metals out of your system. You can add these powders to your smoothie to disguise the flavor. 

Heavy Metal Detox Juice:
Juice the following:
3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, 1 handful parsley, 1 handful cilantro, 1 green apple, 1/2 fennel bulb, 1 lemon

Step 7: Systemic Detoxification. The last step can be up to you. Do you need an emotional detox, a spiritual cleanse, or perhaps just a simple cleansing of your personal care or cleaning products? Remember to breathe (slowly and deeply), practice daily meditation and gratitude and journal during your cleanse. You can refer to Chapter 12 of Unprocessed Living to help you clean up your personal care and cleaning products and decrease your exposure to toxins in the home.

Remember to give each steps several days to really work, then move on to the next step. Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions during your spring cleanse! Good luck!




This article is not a substitute for seeking medical advice from your physician or health care professional.

Sadness, Loss and Eating Your Emotions

The past week has been a true roller coaster ride of emotions. Last weekend, I was in New York City for book signing events, a nutrition conference and I even got to sit front row for a Dr. Oz taping (and yes, I gave him my book!).

Then, I came home and had a seriously amazing photo shoot for First for Women magazine, complete with complimentary outfit, hair and makeup!

photoshoot green dress
swimsuit shot

I was on a high and feeling unstoppable. Then, Friday rolled around and my ride came to an end. Our family dog of twelve years, who wasn’t in the best shape, was crying in pain. I took him to the vet and they informed me that he was in organ failure and it was “time.” I never felt such sadness and pain. He was my office companion and my protector for twelve long years.

The past few days have been really hard and I feel like I have a little hole in my heart. My initial reaction, after crying for a while, was comforting myself with food. I wanted to dive headfirst into a big chocolate cake! Have you ever felt that way?

This is what got me into trouble years ago and led to my health problems and weight gain. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was eating my emotions. I used sugar as my drug and occasionally alcohol to numb the pain. But today, I don’t eat sugar anymore and I stopped drinking about a year ago. Today I am aware and I know that the loss and sadness will still be there after I eat the cake. And, then I will have food guilt, bloat, and regret. Pretty much not worth the cake, right?

Plus, if I gave into the sugar and carb cravings, that would only lead to more cravings and sugar and stress lower your immunity and would make me more susceptible to illness.

So, you may ask, what did I do instead? Well, it was hard, believe me. I wanted the cake, but instead I opted for adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola and Holy Basil. The former I take as a supplement for lowering cortisol levels. The latter, I drink as a tea. I like Organic India brand teas. The natural herbs are uplifting and naturally lower cortisol levels in the body (which can spike during times of stress or sadness).

As a family, we spent time together and gave lots of hugs and cuddles. We went bowling to get out of the house and laugh a little. I also gave myself a little break with work and spent some extra time in my infrared sauna. A little self-care goes a long way.

So, I hope if you ever find yourself in a sad situation or have to deal with the loss of a pet, you won’t feed your emotions with non-nutritious food, but will instead give yourself time, lots of love and self-care.

In memory of Bailey...