In this episode, you will learn the common detox mistakes and how to overcome them. You will also learn the signs you may need to detox and how to ensure that you are doing more good than harm for your body.
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Resources mentioned in this episode:
- 7 Day Spark
- Eating with Intention
- Wellness Tribe
- Submit a Question for the Show
- Fall 2018 Nourishing Detox
- Food Addiction Fact or Fiction Episode 051
- Sluggish Liver Episode 050
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Top Detox Mistakes
Recap: What is a Detox? Cleanse? Why Would I recommend it?
You might be wondering what the difference is between a detox and a cleanse. The words "detox" and "cleanse" are generally used interchangeably. Basically, a detox is a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. You also might know of detoxes happening when people are getting off of addictive substances. Now clearly it’s not possible in this day and age to abstain from toxins, or really even fully rid your body of toxins, it is possible to give your body a BOOST and help it get rid of toxins all on its own.
Cleansing, again, is often used interchangeably, and in this instance and neither is right or wrong. Both are all the rage right now, so you have surely heard of them before.
Cleansing is defined in the dictionary as making something clean, but when thinking in terms of bodily function, the term cleanse is used more often when a program is specifically targeted toward cleaning out and toning certain organs in the body, and most often the digestive system. Some people say that a cleanse eliminates junk and strengthens your body’s detoxification process and a detox is super restrictive...but NO not accurate, they are the same thing, the resticitveness is completely up to the prescriber.
For our purposes, I’ll be using the terms interchangeably.
Why is it important to detox?
The reality is that we live in an increasingly toxic world. Now, we have a choice to bury our heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening or we have a choice to pay attention and do what we can to keep ourselves as healthy as possible.
We’re exposed to toxins on a daily basis, and our bodies are built to process a certain toxic load each day. I go into pretty in-depth detail about that in Episode 055, Detox 101. It does this by flushing out chemicals and toxic substances through our colon, our lungs, our kidneys, and even our skin.
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 the channels of detoxification. In fact, if you notice that you have dull skin or breakouts, you’re likely 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.
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.
I am frequently seeing, now more than ever it seems, clients with sluggish livers and borderline kidney troubles too. And unfortunately I also see lots of detoxes/cleanses on the market that claim to help these issues and they are overly restrictive, unsafe, OR leave out key components that can cause the toxins to dive deeper and even slow down the metabolism, instead of help the body to flush them out faster and more effectively.
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 bloodstream to be dumped out of the body. This is great because the toxin’s 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 reset your taste-buds. 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."
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 and give those taste buds a remembrance of what it's like to eat food that is delicious AND nourishing. It’s something I do on a fairly regular basis – usually seasonally – to help me up my game when it comes to what I’m putting in my body and to help keep my immune system healthy. It’s something I’m extra sure to be aware of as I’m heading into the long holiday season and cold and dark winter when sweet treats, low vitamin d levels, lots of germs, and foods that aren’t on my usual menu are looming everywhere.
What are the 3 mistakes that detox-ers make?
The kinda funny thing about these mistakes is that they are not your fault! Often times we hear to do these mistakes from detox and cleanse “experts.” In reality, their models just don’t work, they drive toxins deeper or they are unsustainable or both. You know I always say go with your intuition or go with your gut, the real learning here is for you to allow yourself to make the choice about detoxing that’s right for YOU, no matter what any expert, including myself, tells you.
Mistake #1: Doing a Detox that’s Too Complex
So, I’m one of those people who doesn’t always like to start at the beginning. I want to be good at everything, like, right now! It’s probably one of the reasons I seek out so many certifications, I like to know and be good at all. the. things. I think that is pretty natural for many of us.
With detoxing, this gets a little tricky. I’ve found through working with my clients through their Eating with Intention journey, and my own journey, that most of us have really complex relationships with food. The challenge with food is that we can’t avoid it, it's required to live– we need to eat to stay nourished and healthy. And for many of us, this is where the problem lies: you can’t give up the thing that’s causing you pain. (It’s one of the reasons why some people in the science and medical community relate this to food addiction - and you can find out why that is a load of BS here.)
A detox is an awesome opportunity to look at your eating (and other) habits from an analytical perspective. Many of us have attachments to particular foods, whether it’s a sugary treat, or potato chips, or a glass of wine or cocktail, or even our morning jolt of caffeine.
Many detox programs require you to give up a LOT of foods + other things at once. Some even require that you give up food altogether and live on just juice for days or weeks.
The reality is that most of us don’t have the opportunity to take a week or ten days on a regular basis where someone cooks all our food for us or gives us a massage a day (if you did you should totally go here for that). And for the vast majority of people, it's not safe to restrict lots of foods or live on juice for days or weeks at a time. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from a 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, when I am testing detox programs I no longer will do detox programs that don’t help me out by giving me lots of ideas for what to eat and tips and checklists to make my detox program easier. One time I did a program that lasted 10 days, and only gave me five sample recipes. WHAT?!? I remember being so confused about what to eat and gave up halfway through, and I have plenty of knowledge on the subject, I'm not a noobie! Also, because I just couldn’t figure out what was allowed and what wasn’t to achieve the end goals.
The moral of this mistake is that when you’re searching for a detox program, be sure to choose one that gives you more information than you ever think you’ll need so that you aren’t 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?
Oh man. I’ve soooo been there and done this one! I’ve tried to do detoxes all on my own and it never ends well. When I rely on my willpower and my attempts to ‘force’ myself to stick to any diet, I end up just feeling frustrated, alone, and ticked off. Which is how I discovered the anti-diet science movement of health at every size (because all diets are like that).
When you really think about it, it sounds kind of silly, but food is about pleasure, inclusion, friendship even, and relaxation. When I’ve detoxed all on my own before, it’s felt like a jail sentence, it feels isolating while you eat your restrictive food (see mistake 1) all alone. 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 and to do a detox that is nourishing, delish, and safe for my entire family. Or, more often, I join a group detox that meets the qualifications and where there’s a leader and where I’m able to connect with other detoxers.
Considering the amount of connectivity we have these days with our smartphones and apple watches, whether you feel that is good or bad (and sometimes I’m on the fence about it) you’re able to find a group detox no matter whether you live in a really densely populated city or if you’re out in the sticks. 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! Frankly, now that I have developed this current detox plan, I usually sneak it on my family and they are never the wiser, just loving all the new seasonal recipes moms cranking out.
You’re so much more likely to succeed if you know that you’ve got someone on your side. And it’s even easier to detox if you’re using an easy to follow a program with real food, with connection to a group, and with the chance to connect with some kind of leader. Regardless of what kind of detox feels right for you, give yourself the benefit of having a cheer 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 not liking the food, or getting too tired, or headaches, 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. And it's because they aren’t doing in an effective manner.
It is absolutely NOT necessary to do a hardcore cleanse or detox that forces you to suffer and restrict to get a benefit from detoxing. Many detoxes, in case you haven’t figured out my clinical opinion yet, are actually far more dangerous and damaging for most people than effective. Gentle, nourishing, 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. So save yourself the trouble in all senses of the word and avoid those types of detoxes.
Another thing I want to mention with regard to punishment is that I encourage you to choose a detox that you WANT to do. Not one that you SHOULD do or your FRIEND did or your mentor did. Choose one that feels right to you and your needs. 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.
How do I know if I need to detox?
I generally recommend a nourishing and un-restrictive detox 2-4 times a year. It’s just good internal body hygiene. A few signs of needing a detox are fatigue, headaches, skin problems, and excess bloating. But the truth is that if you just aren't feeling that great, a detox can help. We live in an increasingly hectic and toxic environment, and taking time for high-level self-care like a detox can make a huge difference in your energy, mood, and even your body shape.
It’s important all year long to lighten your overall toxin load by eating organic as much as possible, eating the rainbow (a variety of plants), to sleep, move, and drink lots of water, reduce stress, meditate, spend time in nature, open your windows, have lots of indoor plants, reduce the usage of toxic cleaners, avoiding non-stick pans, avoiding plastics, working to improve elimination, and lymphatic flow. But it sneaks up on all of us.
Before I close this episode, I want to take a quick intermission to talk about how if you feel like a detox is right for you how you can go deeper into a super supportive, gentle, and effective detox program I offer seasonally.
You may already know that I’m uniquely qualified to talk about how to make a detox nourishing for lots of reasons but also 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 the diet, wondering what on earth I would eat, and frankly, I knew in the back of my head that I was really likely to fail.
If your curiosity is piqued about detoxes now but you’re nervous about trying your first one on your own, then definitely keep listening. I’d like to invite you all to join me for my Fall Five Day Nourishing Detox for Beginners. This virtual group detox starts on November 5th-November 9th. (Even if those dates don't work - go ahead and grab it, you can do it when you can and email me for support <3 )
You can find out more about it at audreychristie.com/falldetox
The 5-Day Detox for beginners is different because it focuses on real, whole foods, balanced for all 3 phases of your bodies detox system. You won’t be forced to make huge leaps in your diet (unless you really want to!) and you’ll be able to use these recipes again and again.
It’s also important to me to keep your budget in mind, which is why the supplements on the 5-Day detox are completely optional, and ones you can get at Amazon. Yes, they definitely will help you detox on a deeper level, but I’ve created a really cool ‘priorities’ list so you can see which supplements are the most important and which ones are beneficial but not necessary.
The 5-Day Detox for Beginners also includes tons of support. Next week's episode is all about detox mistakes, but I will go ahead and spill the beans, one of the biggest mistakes made when detoxing – going it alone. Although this totally works for some people, for most people, being held accountable and when I having a place I can go to get support anytime and ask questions anytime when I’m stuck is really crucial for a successful detox.
If you happen to be near a device right now, you can go ahead and go the registration page for the Fall 5-Day Nourishing Detox for beginners. That URL is https://audreychristie.com/falldetox
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:
- All experiences are different of course, but you can expect to learn about your eating habits, you’ll likely feel better, look better, sleep better, and many people lose weight on my 5-day detox program.
- Dozens of recipes that are specially crafted to support your body’s natural detox processes.
- Two live training calls taught by me on everything you need to know to detox AND on how to transition out of the detox
- A daily protocol with step-by-step instructions on what to do and when to do it
- A 20-minute strategy session with me to determine your next steps once you’re done with the detox
Bonuses I’m including:
- A shopping list template that will make hitting the grocery store a breeze
- A supplement guide including my favorite brands and where you can get them
- A “Deepen Your Detox” handbook so you can boost your detox experience
- A complete “Eating Out” guide so you’ll know exactly what to order if you have a business lunch or dinner with friends & family
If you register by October 24th, you can nab the early bird price, and one thing that’s NOT on this page is a really awesome bonus that you’ll get if you sign up by 10/24.
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 Nourishing Detox by midnight on 10/24.
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 10/24 at midnight. Doors close on registration on 10/27, but to get the bonus handbook, and the early bird pricing you have to sign up by 10/24.
To register, just go to audreychristie.com/falldetox and click “click here to register” button.
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, is safe, nourishing, non-restrictive, and on your timeframe.
Mistake #2: Going it alone. Misery loves company, right? Hahaha. Just kidding, I’m totally not about that here, which is the total purpose of this whole thing! But it DOES help to have a partner in crime or two when trying something new.
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. I say this all the time. 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.
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