As a New Year’s resolution, we often look to clean up the mess we created during the final few weeks of the year. Between the holiday parties, family get-togethers, and all of the leftover Christmas cookies, things can easily get out of hand. So how do you detox? How do you clean up the inside of the body in order to start 2019 off in the right direction?

I recommend using a whole-body approach for a great detox. Instead of following a complicated list of dos and don’ts, keep it simple by following these five action steps.

1. Clean Up the Brain
Detox is more of a state of mind than a magical food list. Unhealthy eating and addictive patterns are often more behavior problems than anything else. Therefore, addressing the behavior pattern is most important. Look at a detox as a short-term, highly focused eating program designed to scrub the brain of the addictions that were created while eating with abandon. Detox resets the brain by halting the unhealthy behavior and creating new, healthier behavior patterns. The most important first step is to stop the unhealthy patterns. The best way to do this is rid the pantry and refrigerator of the leftover unhealthy foods.

Action Step #1: Throw out the easily accessible unhealthy foods in the refrigerator and pantry and on the kitchen countertops.

2. Detox the Liver
The main goal of detox is to help the liver function, which will go on to detox the body. When the liver is detoxing efficiently, you will find yourself having great amounts of energy, sleeping well, and a having healthy immune system. To assist the liver, temporarily cut out food and drinks that damage the liver (alcohol, coffee, processed foods, etc.). If you struggle with exhaustion, stress, inability to focus, unexplained weight gain, or trouble sleeping, your liver function may be a major player in your symptoms. Unfortunately, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol will prop you up in the short term, but could burn you out in the long term by wrecking your liver function. Increase the intake of foods that promote liver function. A short list of Hesse foods include: glutamine, dandelion greens, green tea, and dark vegetables.

Action Step #2: Consume a daily detox smoothie:

1 cup dandelion greens, 1 cup kale leaves, ½ cup coconut milk, ½ scoop chia seeds, 3 oz. pomegranate juice, 1 Tbs lemon-flavored fish oil, 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1 cup ice
Blend and Serve
*If you need more cleanup than most, add 1 tablespoon of L-glutamine.

3. Make Friends With Water
Drink more water! The best way to start your detox is by drinking a cup of hot water with lemon. Do this before consuming anything else. Throughout the day, consider adding a tablespoon of liquid Chlorophyll, organic apple cider vinegar, or lemon squeeze into your water. It helps carry the water to the liver and gallbladder and flushes out any toxins stuck to the cell walls. Avoid cold water! The best choice for the remainder of the day is room-temperature water. During the winter months, cold water can stagnate your metabolism.

Action Step #3: Fill an insulated water bottle with hot water and a lemon slice before you leave the house in the morning. Drink a complete bottle of water twice before lunch and twice between lunch and dinner.

4. Add Some Yin to Your Yang
Many individuals have formed an unbalanced connection between weight loss, hardcore training, and their weight on the bathroom scale. When it comes to training and utilizing all your body has to offer, it pays to think beyond just a designated number. During your cleanse, avoid the hardcore training, as this can be stressful to the body. Experiment with new training methods. Care for yourself through yoga, prayer, slow swimming, and long walks outdoors. These are activities that may not give you the same heart rate spike initially, however, they have other benefits like helping digestion and assisting organ function. In the long-term, this will reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone in the body) and encourage deep breathing. This helps to eliminate toxins and improve blood circulation.

Action Step #4: Exercise gently for 15-20 minutes daily.

5. Plan For Failure
Because addictions are so strong and bad habits are so hard to break, you WILL fail soon. So plan for your failure. Create a backup plan for the moments when “life happens.” Life happens when the meeting goes long, basketball practice schedules change, you have to stay late at work, etc. When life happens you will most likely find yourself right back in the old habits that drag you down the black hole you are striving to escape. So have a backup plan for a quick meal on the go. Nuts, protein shakes, and protein balls can be portable and instant meals in a pinch. Don’t let life keep you in the gutter.

Action Step #5:  Use choco-peppermint protein balls as a backup snack.

1 cup organic chocolate whey protein, 1 cup mixed nuts chopped (almonds and hazelnuts), 1 cup shredded coconut, 4 dates, 3 Tbs coconut oil, 1 Tbs flax meal, 8 drops pure peppermint extract, 4 Tbs warm water (or as much as you need to bind)
Directions: Put the nuts, coconut oil, water, and peppermint extract into a food processor and grind to a rough powder.
Pour into a bowl and stir in flaxseed meal until well mixed. Add another tablespoon of warm water if mixture is too dry. Should form a dough-like consistency. Roll mixture into balls, then dust with more shredded coconut or cacao powder. Serve or store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Bonus Tip: Write it All Down
Keep a diary of what you’re eating, how much you eat, and how you feel afterward. Do the same with how you move your body. It doesn’t need to be a new obsession, just take notes when you think of it. It will reinforce new conscious choices and help build long-lasting health.

FREE Detox Class
Join us Thursday, January 24, at 6:00pm for this free class! Learn to detox with easy recipes designed to get toxins out of the body and improve metabolism. Email us to reserve your spot:

Our Facebook page is a great resource for additional tips and recipes:

Call our Roanoke, Virginia office for an appointment, or to request more information on making 2019 a healthier, more productive year: 540.344.1055



Daryl C. Rich, D.C., C.S.C.S