You often think of Spring Cleaning your home this time of year, but how about cleaning your body and mind as well? You may have 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 emphasize that I believe we do need to detoxify but most people haven’t a clue how to effectively do this without causing themselves more harm than good. I’d like to educate and empower so you 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 properly supported, you’re in danger of releasing toxins from one organ and recirculating them into 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 guiding you in what to do… The following five mistakes are the most common ones that I see in my patients.

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 this type of 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. It’s understandable you may want to add sugary fruit to a green juice to make it taste better, but you can slowly train your taste buds to eventually stop this craving. Using dark berries is a good alternative to 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 reports. 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 as well, 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 common problem. People who eat too much sugar, too many carbohydrates, drink alcohol (a poison), don’t sleep enough, are highly stressed, have 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. An important detail being 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, as 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. Don’t mess with your body in this way!

Next week I will share with you my detoxification tips so that you can do it safely and effectively!

Blessings of Vibrant Health,

Kristin Grayce McGary

Health & Lifestyle Alchemist