Here’s the deal: While I’ve written nine self-help books and have a deeply devoted spiritual and personal growth practice, I still fall into old habits that don’t serve me, especially in times of stress.
In March 2020, when we went into lockdown, I noticed some funky old eating habits resurface. I started looking for more starchy foods, eating later than usual, and even obsessing about my meals. All of this was an attempt to try to exert control when the world felt so scary and out of control. Does any of that sound familiar?
Maybe you drank a little more than you normally would, picked up the bag of chips or the ice cream carton to cope with stress, or laid around more than you’d like to admit. With all that’s going on in the world, it is totally understandable to feel anxious and out of control.
Acceptance is the first step to putting 2020 behind us. Take a moment to honor yourself for all that you’ve been through. Honor yourself even for relying on old habits or coping mechanisms just to get by. Those habits may have greatly served you for a period of time last year. But now, with 2020 behind us, we can create some powerful change and start fresh.
I needed a reboot, both physically and mentally. Here’s what I’ve been doing to detoxify, shift my energy, and move forward stronger than before. I hope this serves you!
MY CLEANSE PLAN
Before I conceived my son, I concentrated on a high-fat, high-protein meal plan. It supported my gut and healed a condition that I struggled with called SIBO. This felt like the right kind of food plan for me to do again.
As before, this is a high-fat, high-protein diet. I stay away from sugar, gluten, and alcohol (obviously, as I’ve been sober for 15 years). And I focus on detoxification through weekly saunas, daily exercise, and dry brushing. I also try to drink 60 ounces of water a day, with added electrolytes, the key ingredient for hydration.
It’s important to note that while this is the plan that works for me, everyone is different. Always consult with your physician before starting any new detox, diet, or health program.
Here are some of the ways I set up my detoxifying cleanse.
Since January 1, I’ve been starting my day with (modified) intermittent fasting. That means eating only within an 8-to-10-hour window. So my first meal is at 11 AM and I stop eating at
7 PM. It’s healthier for women to do this type of fast for a few days in a row (or every other day) and then take a break. It’s not recommended as a daily practice.
In addition to weight loss (if that’s your goal), the benefits of intermittent fasting include heart and brain health, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reducing inflammation in the body, and cell rejuvenation.
What I love most about intermittent fasting is that I have tons of energy!
One way to make your fast a lot easier is to put butter in your morning coffee (yes, butter!). If you’re into wellness trends then you likely know about my friend Dave Aspery’s Bulletproof Coffee. You blend together coffee, MCT oil and grass-fed butter or ghee. This mixture is full of antioxidants and quality fats to keep you full until you break your fast.
“Grass-fed butter and MCT oil contain slow-absorbing saturated fatty acids that have an incredibly powerful way of satiating hunger and turning off food cravings,” Dave says.
WHAT MY DAY LOOKS LIKE
At 11 AM I break my fast with the following meal:
- 16-ounce bottle of water with electrolytes to make sure I’m super hydrated.
- 8 ounces of green juice with cucumber, lemon and ginger.
- Superfood bowl of organic yogurt, chia seeds, goji berries, blueberries and protein powder. This superfood bowl is filled with antioxidants and protein to keep me going throughout the day. I top it off with Brazil nuts, which are highest in selenium, so they’re great for hair growth and balanced hormones.
When I was getting started with this diet, I also called my friend Jess Krux, Certified Nutrition Specialist and founder of Organic Earth Kitchen. She hooked me up with some delicious recipes to mix in throughout my detox journey. Below are the recipes for you to try!
IMMUNE BOOST SMOOTHIE RECIPE
“When doing any type of detox it’s smart to also actively try to boost the body’s immunity,” Jess explains. In the jar of the blender add 12 to 15 ounces of water first. Then add:
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- ½ cup raw oats
- ½ raw beet
- 3 prunes
- 2 dates
- ½ banana
- Dash of cinnamon
Blend well, add more water if needed. Save in the fridge. Will yield 2 to 3 servings.
OPTIMIZE JUICE RECIPE
“Juicing is a great way to increase alkalinity in the body—a goal while detoxing and for general optimal health,” Jess says.
In a juicer add:
- 1 head celery
- 1 cucumber
- ½ green apple
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 1 lime, peeled
- 1 thumbnail of ginger root or raw turmeric
Juice completely. Will yield 12 to 16 ounces. Drink immediately for the most benefits.
I have a huge salad for lunch, including:
- Dark leafy greens.
- Some kind of protein, like chicken or salmon
- Whatever veggies I have in the fridge; I love to add probiotic veggies like asparagus, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
One meal I’m really enjoying is Jess’s Midday Mediterranean salad. “The ingredients in this recipe have great detox properties alone and synergistically,” Jess says. “This recipe is a nice way to get high-quality nutrients while being gentle on the digestive system.”
- 4 to 5 kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, sliced thin
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- Handful of raw shiitake mushrooms, diced
- A medley of fresh parsley and mint, chopped
- Fresh lemon juice
Arrange everything in a bowl or large plate and squeeze the lemon juice over the top. To make it look really pretty, organize it in a rainbow pattern. Then, in a small jar or bowl, add equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar, the juice from half a lemon, and a dash of sea salt. Shake well or stir. Pour evenly over your chopped salad, chew slowly, and enjoy.
Mid-afternoon I have a snack such as a handful of nuts, an apple with almond butter, or even a green smoothie.
My final meal of the day consists of more protein and more veggies. Prepping meals in advance makes things super easy. On Sundays I prepare a ton of roasted veggies, proteins, and even cut up lettuce so that I can just grab them from the fridge and quickly put together a healthy meal.
Try this Sweet Pea Hemp Seed Pesto recipe, too!
START EACH DAY WITH A MENTAL CLEANSE
The morning is when you can set yourself up to win for the day. I make sure to meditate each morning. I go up to my office, get comfortable on my sofa and practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) for 20 minutes.
There are countless studies on the benefits of meditating. Meditation calms your nervous system, helps you manage stress, increases self-awareness, and even boosts creativity, patience and focus. A recent study from Georgetown University Department of Psychiatry found meditation is a proven method to help people with anxiety. The study found people who meditate daily had lower blood levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol (the stress hormone!). Meditation also lowers the respiration and heart rate—so you’re able to focus and feel less stressed.
One of my favorite meditations is my positive affirmation meditation. Try it out tomorrow morning!
TAKE TIME TO SWEAT
Sweating is one of the best ways to cleanse and the body’s healthiest and most effective way to eliminate toxins. It’s a crucial part of detoxification. In the afternoon (around 4 PM) I take an hour to exercise in a way that makes me feel good. I mix it up—yoga, pilates, sculpting, a long walk. I just make sure to move in some way each day.
Want a little motivation and inspiration? Take me with you on a walk and listen to an episode of my podcast Dear Gabby. Here’s one to get you started.
I also love a sauna. Studies have shown that saunas remove solvents, organic chemicals, PCBs (a chlorine compound), pharmaceuticals and heavy metal toxins from our bodies. When I’m in the sauna I’m sure to make hydration a high priority (more on that below, with a special offer, too!).
I recognize that getting into a sauna isn’t something that most people can do regularly, especially during the pandemic, But you can still get the toxins out through movement, and taking a steam shower or a hot bath (which I’ll get to later!). You can also check out my blog about sauna therapy and ways you can affordably sweat at home.
REPLENISH YOUR BODY
When embarking on a cleanse or diet of any kind, you may experience fatigue, crankiness or even brain fog. No one wants that! So every day I have a ritual of drinking half my body weight in ounces of water with electrolytes, because I need to replenish after I sweat.
Staying hydrated is essential for many reasons. It helps prevent infections, keeps your joints lubricated, regulates your body temperature, improves sleep and even boosts your mood.
As you know, I quit sugar years ago and a lot of the electrolyte drinks are loaded with it (like more than 36 grams of sugar!). If you’re looking for a clean (sugar-free) product, I’m a big fan of LMNT. They’ve done their research and just made a clean, sugar-free way to help you stay hydrated.
Because I really do love it, we are working with LMNT to bring you a killer deal. You can purchase an LMNT sample pack for just the cost of shipping! So that’s only $5 and you get to try all the flavors (citrus, raspberry, orange and unflavored). Click here to try it out.
TAKE A DETOXIFYING BATH
I’m a bath junkie! Especially when I’m detoxing. I like to make the water really hot and add in a ton of Epsom salt. I actually sweat in the bath—a great way to detox.
The salt bath is great for detoxifying because Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate, which is a combination of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. When you combine the two minerals, they help remove harmful toxins, help with sore muscles, soften skin and of course, help you relax.
(If you have any underlying conditions, please consult with your physician before detoxing.)
Every night after my bath I dry brush. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: You take a body brush—something with firm natural bristles—and use it to gently massage your body.
Doing this will help your body release toxins. Studies have shown that dry brushing boosts blood circulation, unclogs pores and also can stimulate your nervous system. So it’s like a jolt of energy … and who doesn’t want that?
If you’re new to this, just make sure your body is completely dry when you do it. Start at your ankles and brush in circular motions toward your heart. Then, work your way up. Dermatologists recommend doing this once or twice a week. (Sensitive skin? Once every couple of weeks.) Finish with your favorite moisturizer.
FUN FACT: The reason you want to do those long strokes in the direction of the heart is because you’re working with your lymphatic system (which removes waste from the body, aka detoxifies) and trying to push up lymph fluid.
Cleansing and detoxing can be hard, and it requires commitment. But if you think of it as a chore then it’s only going to be harder. Instead, focus on the fun—the delicious recipes you’re whipping up, the fun workouts, the energized way your body is responding, the inspiration you feel after your morning meditation.
When you make fun your priority, you attract what you want into your life. But most importantly, the fun you have along the way puts you into an energy inspiration. When you’re inspired, it brings you closer to achieving your goal and attracts support from the Universe!
Remember, detoxing and cleansing isn’t for everyone, so make sure to talk to your doctor first, before starting any new health regime.
And don’t forget to hydrate! When I told LMNT that I was doing this blog they wanted to hook you up with a special offer to get a LMNT Sample Pack for the cost of shipping ($5 for US orders)!
Stay hydrated with your special offer from LMNT electrolytes here.
Want even more info about intermittent cleansing? Check out my interview with Dave Asprey!
Note: I’ve partnered with LMNT because I truly use their products every day and also because hydration is really important to my exercise routine (and life!).