DETOX - Part 3

In the first two posts of this series, we covered signs that indicate it’s time to detox, benefits of detoxing, systems involved, the phases of detoxing, and what you should avoid during detoxing and cleansing. In this final post, we’re going to talk about various cleansing and detox programs and also other ways to minimize toxins on a regular basis.

Enhancing What We Do Naturally

As a reminder, detoxing takes place naturally in the body. But, there are many benefits to enhancing this process using safe cleanses and detoxification programs. Below, I’ve listed the types of detox programs that are available along with a few key notes from each.

  • Fasting:
    • Can be beneficial or harmful
    • May be done for religious or spiritual reasons, peaceful protest, or for health
    • Involves not giving your body nutrients for a designated period of time
    • Technically begins when all nutrients have been used from food and the body turns to its fat stores
    • Recommendations for a safe fast include: one-day or half-day which allows your body to tap into fat stores during the morning and then you begin eating again when the toxins are being released from your cells which will support their elimination
  • Water Cleanse:
    • One of the oldest methods of fasting that consists of drinking only water for several days
    • The ideal water to use is spring water
    • Can help flush toxins, limit exposure to new toxins, and give the digestive system a rest
    • Lack of nutrients can lead to imbalance in electrolytes as well as impact the brain, nervous system, mood, and more
    • Great caution should be used during water cleansing as a large amount of toxins may be released and without the proper nutritional support they may not be properly eliminated from the body
  • Juice Cleanse:
    • This popular detox method involves drinking only juices from fruits and vegetables (ideally from organic sources)
    • Important to drink plenty of water and a variety of juices made with various fruits and vegetables
    • Can last a few days or many weeks
    • This can be more supportive than a water cleanse since the nutrients from the produce is easy to absorbed when juiced
    • Although many beneficial nutrients are provided, protein, sodium, and other key nutrients are not provided and these are necessary for moving through all the phases of detoxification
  • Whole Food Cleanse:
    • Involves eating a diet made of whole foods and excludes processed foods
    • It’s important to choose a variety of organic, seasonal food to avoid exposure to toxins
    • Great way to increase the amount of nutrients available through the diet
    • Depending on toxicity of the body and diet, additional supplements may be needed to help the body get rid of toxins
    • As long as a variety of foods are selected, this can be safe to do on a regular, on-going basis
  • Raw Food Cleanse:
    • Similar to whole food cleansing but only whole, uncooked foods are consumed
    • It’s important to still eat a variety of foods even though the choices may be limited
    • Sprouted and dehydrated foods are allowed
    • Maximum nutrient density of food is available because it has not been lost in the cooking process
    • As long as a variety of foods are selected, this can be safe on an on-going basis
  • Nutritional Cleanse:
    • Combines nutritious, whole, cleansing foods, and supplements
    • This is the best option for supporting your body through the detoxification process
    • There is a large focus on nourishing the body, instead of depriving it
    • Includes eliminating toxins and foods that may cause irritation
    • Ideally, these also include exercises to cleanse the mind and soul in addition to the body

Like I mentioned, our bodies are designed to naturally detox. But, with so many toxins in the air we breathe, the foods we eat, the water we drink, the thoughts we think, etc. it can be very beneficial to support the detox with one of the options listed above.

Minimize Your Daily Exposure To Toxins

It’s also incredibly helpful to be on the lookout for ways to minimize or eliminate toxins on an on-going basis.

Here are a few suggestions for that:

  • Avoid processed, non-organic foods
  • Replace cleaning product with “green products” 
  • Spend time in nature getting lots of fresh air
  • Place green plants in your home
  • Use simple cosmetic products made at home or made with natural ingredients
  • Use no-VOC paints
  • Avoid plastics 
  • Avoid sugar, fried food, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and other drugs
  • Avoid perfumes, colognes, and other items with fragrance
  • Choose environmentally friendly dry cleaners or get a steamer to clean your items at home
  • Wash new clothes before you wear them.

Additional Support For Detoxing

Lastly, there are a few additional practices you can add to your lifestyle that support the detox program. 

  • Dry body brushing
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Infrared Sauna Therapy
  • Yoga
  • Rebounding

Recommended Programs

If you’re interested in a nutritional cleanse to clear things out this spring, I would recommend looking into one of these options to see what might be best for you:

  • Standard Process 21-Day Purification Program (Can be bought from Schulte Family Chiropractic. Just call 630-485-5088 and tell them you heard about it from Becky)
  • The 21-Day Transformational Nutrition Cleanse (Can be bought from Gayla by clicking here)

Lastly, please remember that cleansing and detoxing are NOT about starving the body, and it’s not a quick process. To make sure your next cleanse is safe and effective, be sure to provide your body with ample nutritional support and the necessary TLC to help yourself out.



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), andprotein
  • 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 fewrecommendations 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