DETOX - Part 2

In Part 1 of this detox series, we covered what detoxing is, signs your body gives you when it’s time to detox, and some of the benefits of detoxing. In Part 2, we’re going to cover detoxing controversy, how to support systems involved in detoxification, and mistakes you should avoid making while cleansing. Ready, let’s go!

Before I Knew Better…

As I mentioned in the last post, I used to think detox programs and cleanses were all totally unnecessary. I thought if you made healthy choices and exercised some, you wouldn’t need to cleanse. The thing is, I didn’t have enough accurate information to make an educated decision. I didn’t realize all of the things in our world that can build up and pollute us. I also didn’t realize that cleansing doesn’t have to be quick and strenuous. Now that I understand what all we’re bombarded with on a daily basis (from negative thinking to dirty water to radiation from electronics to food), I appreciate how a well-planned detox program can help decrease the stress I’m under – which always makes me feel better and perform better in all areas. 

A Lot Of Systems Are Involved

Depending on the detox program you choose, you’ll be clearing out toxins from your body, mind, and/or spirit. Many programs cover all three of these things – even if you don’t realize it. Let’s take a look at each of the systems involved and how we can support them.

Digestive System

  • Includes liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and colon
  • Requires water, fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients
  • Probiotics and fermented foods can be helpful
  • Regularly cleansing the digestive system is a critical part of effective detoxification

Urinary Tract

  • Support with water, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium carbonate

Respiratory System

  • Includes lungs, airways, muscles involved in exchange of gasses
  • Support with clean air, aerobic exercise, deep breathing
  • Eat berries, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, goji berries, and essential fatty acids found in things like avocado, olive oil, hemp seeds, nuts
  • Avoid mucous producing foods

Lymphatic System

  • Acts as the bodies sewage system but it doesn’t work on it’s own, we must move it
  • Support with water, deep breathing, exercise, sweating, dry brushing


  • Support with dry brushing and sweating
  • Avoid products with fragrance and other chemicals


  • Thoughts have biological and physiological effects – meaning they change our body on a cellular level and impact our physical body
  • Cleansing the mind of thoughts and feelings is critical to optimal wellness
  • Support with meditation, yoga, and other calming practices
  • Eat complex carbohydrates (brown rice, quinoa, squash, sweet potatoes), healthy fats (avocado, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, hemp), and protein
  • Avoid trans fats, alcohol, sugar, and caffeine


  • Just as thoughts can impact our physical body, so can spiritual beliefs
  • Support with meditation, yoga,  gratitude, journaling, increasing vibrational frequency (eating fresh foods, talking with a loved one, moving in a fun way, using uplifting essential oils)

There Are 3 Phases

Detoxing is more complex than I once thought. There are actually phases that occur and it’s really important to provide your body with the right support and ample time to work through all of the phases. During phase 1, your body begins to pull toxins from the tissues. Between phase 1 and 2, there is a potential for a lot of cell damage to occur if the body is not supported nutritionally with things like antioxidants and vitamins C and E. Also, many short detox programs stop before the phase 2 process can begin, which leaves these toxins floating around in the body – not good!

In phase 2, the toxins are packaged up for elimination (through a very scientific, detailed process). Certain nutrients also play an important role here to ensure the toxins are actually ready to be eliminated. Finally, phase 3 takes place and this is when the toxins can actually be eliminated from the body. 

Mistakes You Should Avoid

As you can see, there are many systems and processes involved in a cleanse. In the final post of this series, I will talk about various detox methods and other ways to support yourself throughout a cleanse. For now, I’d like to make a few recommendations for things to avoid in regards to cleansing and detoxing:

  • Depriving your body instead of nourishing it
    • Starvation and cleansing are totally different things. Remember how important it is to provide the necessary nutrients needed to support all of the systems through all three phases of detoxification.
  • Detoxing too quickly
    • Remember, the process takes time, and your age, genetics, lifestyle, and gender all influence how much time is needed. 
  • Not taking a holistic approach
    • By neglecting the mind and spirit you’re missing out a huge opportunity to feel better and live healthier
  • Excess detoxing
    • Although detoxification can play a helpful part in living a healthy life, it can be overdone, so be kind to yourself.

In the final post of the series, we’ll cover different cleansing options and detox programs to help keep toxin levels low, and also practices you can add to your daily life for long-term results.


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Author Becky Litwicki