My Top 6 Detox Survival Strategies

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I love to clean house. My internal house that is. Especially after a summer of less than fabulous self-care, there’s nothing better than a nice, deep, detox.

Let me rephrase: there’s nothing better than the END of a nice, deep, detox. The first part sucks, and yeah, detoxing hurts.

Headaches. Lightheadedness. Fatigue. Strange poops. Strange smells. Nausea. Hunger. I’ve felt them all, and if you’ve done a cleansing regime of any kind, you’ve probably felt them, too.

Today marks day 10 of a 12-day program I’m doing to recalibrate my system. I’m at that point where my body is purring in appreciation. But if you’d talked to me Saturday, well, that’s a whole different story. As I sweat and pooped out my summer sins, I begged my body forgiveness and its accumulated toxins speedy exit.

Here are my top six strategies for surviving a detoxification program.

1) Drink loads and loads of (filtered) water. When you think you can’t drink more, drink more. Now, don’t send yourself into hyponatremia (dangerously low levels of electrolytes due to excess body water), but do some serious rehydration. Most of us are walking around wildly dehydrated without even knowing it and when you’re cleansing, water has an important flushing role. Flush baby flush!

2) Sleep as much as possible. You’ve heard me say it before, but it’s worth repeating: your body only heals when you sleep. Detoxing is tiring on your body – it’s hard work to clean up! – and if you’re on a cleanse with limited food intake this is only more exaggerated. Take advantage of the built-in excuse for extra sleep. Plan for naps, don’t book morning appointments, head to bed an hour early. Your body will thank you.  To help you with this:

3) Plan nothing. Most detox programs have a curve to them. A gentle entry (hey, this isn’t so bad after all), a phase of deep detoxification (OMG when will this be over?), and then a gradual shift back to a new, better-feeling better-looking you (yehaw!). During that middle phase, clear your calendar. Trust me. This is when the uglies show up – the headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, interesting odors – and I promise you’ll prefer to be snoozing on the couch with a big vat of lemon water by your side than out and about wondering if you’ll find a toilet in time.

4) Remove temptation. Okay, so you’ve committed to two weeks where no sugar passes your lips. Then why are you tormenting yourself with leftover cheesecake in the fridge? Toss that stuff or find it another home. Removing temptation is one of the most important strategies for success and for your sanity. If it’s not staring you in the face, you’re much less likely to reach for it.

5) Keep moving. This might feel counter-intuitive, but even on a liquid fast movement is beneficial. A nice evening walk. A gentle, short run. A bike ride. Some restorative yoga. Take your pick, there are many options. But remember that one of your primary detoxification systems – your lymphatic system – requires your physical movement for its circulation. It doesn’t have the benefit of a heart to pump its fluids around. When you’re eliminating toxins, it’s all the more important to make sure that lymph is flowing nicely.

6) Get a buddy. Cleansing is much more fun if others are doing it with you. Who wants to go through a healing crisis alone? It’s much easier on the soul if you can compare notes and cheer someone else along. You keep each other accountable, and you have someone to share your victories and miseries along the way. If your buddy is your partner or roommate, all the better. Turn your abode into a sacred cleansing zone.

Got a detox coming up? Try these strategies to ease your way through it. Looking for a program that’s customized to your needs? Write me and let’s see what would make the most sense for you.

photo credit.


  1. Jordan


    What cleanses do you recommend?

    • It really depends on the goal of the cleanse and your current state of health. I use several, but none of the pre-packaged ones. We do a sugar cleanse with many of our clients that’s an excellent starting point.

      • Lavern Sterling


        Hi good morning, what’s a good sugar cleanse or a y laxative tea to do while breastfeeding?

  2. bets


    With neurological issues-my GI tract was whacked out-leaky gut-I lost 25 lbs-became emotionally angry about everything-fatigued and so foggy in thinking that I thought I was dying.
    NOW-I am seeing a functional neurologist and he’s put me on a high protein-veggies and fruit diet while I take powdered mixes to support my health. No glutin/casein/sugar/dairy.
    I feel horrible-knees ache, back aches-feel like I have sinus infection -am irratible or crying-BUT this is all part of the detox!! Oh boy-what fun while I heal my fractured body! NOT FUN!
    Wondering how long the detox will take before I start to feel normal? I cried and my Dr smiled and said it will be worth it-that I’ll get better-my hormones are whacked but with all the blood tests/ stool samples and saliva tests, they’ll be able to determine if I am intolerant to certain foods-what to avoid and proper nutrients when I’m detoxed-am taking Repair-vit and something that tastes like liquid liver AND I’m not giving up-this 55 yr old will not give up!
    So nice to know there are others not giving up-I think the whole country needs to detoxify!

  3. Karen


    THANK YOU! This is just what I need this morning!

  4. Asri


    Hello from Indonesia! I’m a 35 year-old woman who is having my first detox ever in my life now, after getting through a denial phase, that I am really gaining weight and becoming an unhealthy person who has been neglecting my own well-being in the last 3 years. I’ve just survived a day where I am sitting in a training room with everyone around me snacking on sweets and chips. As I am starting to feel lightheaded and unsure if I would go on with my detox tomorrow, I browsed around on “surviving detox” keyword. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I am so looking forward to feel the good feeling after this process ends. 🙂

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