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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Have You Ever Done a Cleanse or Detox?

Berry Smoothie

Hey y’all – I have two days full of intense client meetings, breakfast through dinner, so I’m turning the microphone over to you!!

  1. Have you ever done a cleanse or detox?
  2. If so, what was your experience?  Which one(s) did you try?  Any tips, advice, words of wisdom or warning?
  3. If not, are you thinking about it?  What questions do you have that I might answer?

Also please feel free to let me know if these posts are irritating the heck out of you, or they’re really hitting home, or anything in between.  I’d love to know what you’re thinking!!

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26 comments to Have You Ever Done a Cleanse or Detox?

  • andrea

    I for one am loving these posts! I’m not doing an official cleanse, but I’ve been refined-sugar free for about 10 days now and have drastically cut back on processed grains, dairy, and alcohol. I’ve been feeling great and even booked myself a massage based on your post! I’ve been interested in cleanses for some time, but don’t really want to do one right now. We have a 3 yo daughter and I like to keep us all eating the same thing. Our food is probably 80% locally grown and we eat healthy, home-cooked meals. Still, dropping the sugar has been great!

    I don’t really have chronic health issues nor am I taking any medications, but I do get frequent headaches and general muscle pain in my neck and shoulders (pretty sure it is not stress related). I would love to hear more about what you touched on regarding strengthening your neck and shoulders to improve your posture and open your chest.

    Keep up the good work. I’m so happy you are feeling so great!

    • Andrea, thank you – that’s wonderful to hear that you’re enjoying the posts, and that it’s having an effect! How was the massage??!

      I love the term “processed grains,” by the way – I’m going to use that. :)

      I will be working on my shoulders and neck over the next few months, so I’ll be sure to share more. I have another acupuncture appointment tomorrow – I was very impressed with the increase in range of motion of my neck last time.

  • I just discovered your posts and I love them. I was experiencing health problems about a year ago and the doctors couldn’t diagnose or treat me–maybe something autoimmune? Regardless, I was frustrated and took things into my own hands. I went on a vegan raw food detox diet. Wow, I loved it–I felt so much better. My husband did it too, to make my life easier. He loved it, too!

    After a month, we stopped doing the raw food because it was difficult to keep up. But we stayed vegan, and my health is better than it’s ever been. It’s amazing how much of our health is dependent on diet.

    I love your posts and learning more about detox–especially the non-food posts. We plan on doing another detox raw food diet in a month or two, and I think I want to incorporate some of the other aspects like the skin brushing (wow?) and massage.

    • Mrs. J – So great to hear how much your health has changed for the better! I must say I’m so much more intrigued with a raw food diet now. I didn’t really understand WHY it was better to eat raw, until recently. We’re planning to eat a substantial amount of raw foods when we’re finished with the cleanse.

      And great to know what posts hit home with you – thank you for sharing that!

  • Kate

    I have been wanting to do some sort of detox/cleanse for a while and you’ve inspired me to read the book, Clean! I plan on doing it in February and really enjoy reading your daily updates!

  • Deidre

    Keep your posts coming! I’d tried a couple of shorter cleanses a few years back and while they were decent, I knew there were better ones out there. I had started researching early this year thinking I wanted to start one soon, and poof! There was your first detox blog post! CLEAN makes a lot of sense, and I plan on starting February 1st! Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Lisa

    Love the posts. I have ordered the book, never done a detox before, so you have inspired me.

  • I guess I would classify what I am now almost 2 weeks into as Cleanse Lite. Although to keep it easy for most people I am describing it as Sweetener and grain free it’s actually more than that. It also includes things like dried fruit, some nuts and cheese all of which are problematic for me right now for their own reasons. Caffeine and alcohol aren’t part of my lifestyle, thus they are not a problem to avoid.

    The first week was a challenge.. lots of headaches due to what I am assuming is sugar withdrawal. At this point as long as I eat enough all is good, otherwise I am sugar crashing abruptly. The problem is when your quick go to meals and snacks are no longer an option it can be quite challenging at times.

    Kind Regards
    Belinda

    • Belinda, yeah, we’ve had to change our quick go to meals. The good thing is it becomes the new normal, the new way of doing things – I think we’ll keep these meals long after the cleanse!

      And the headaches – yes, we started with the elimination diet before the cleanse, and it was a bit difficult. The headaches and fuzzy-headedness weren’t so fun. Alternatively, it’s kinda unnerving that my body was so addicted to these things, that I’m glad I got them out of my system!

  • I’m finding these posts very interesting. I’ve never done a cleanse, but I probably should to see if I have some food allergies. I generally work with a few children every year that do an elimination diet to see about this. Doing pretty good at cutting back on the sugar, but need to do better. That’s really what I want to work hard on this year.

    • Deb, you could definitely start with a week on the elimination diet, and see what you think. I felt better even after that. Then if you want, you can try the cleanse down the line.

      One nice thing about the cleanse is that you can just do it for a discrete amount of time – and the result is that it feels so good, it makes it easier to change your food lifestyle for good by the end. That whole redefining normal thing again. ;)

  • Stacy

    I have never been remotely interested in a cleanse before, but your first two posts inspired me to get the book! I’m in my mid-thirties, lots of little aches and pains that I assumed were part of “getting old”. So, when I hear you talk about feeling great, sleeping well, and being full of energy… sign me up!

  • Michelle Grandinetti

    I have been thinking of doing one but don’t know where to start. Looks like I will be ordering the book as well. I love all the blogs and comments that everyone gives all are so helpful. I have been trying to lower my consumption and living a greener life and your website has helped me tremendously. The recipes for detergent,shampoo and deodorant (even though I have modified them) they have helped me have a good starting point:) Keep up the good work!

  • I went vegan for 30 days as part of a food challenge this last year and it was definitely an unintended cleanse; I lost weight, felt better and had more energy than usual. Even though prior to this I had eaten vegetarian, didn’t drink soda, and limited refined sugars in my diet, this demonstrated how lazy i’d gotten with my diet and how much my laziness affected my health.
    I am currently doing a light detox with some dandelion tea and bikram yoga. I’d highly recommend a detox that works with people’s lifestyle and schedule (even if it’s just cutting out caffeine and alcohol for a month).

  • Christina

    My partner and I did several 7-10 day juice fasts during 2009. We had a cousin come stay with us, to be in charge of food preparation for the three kids, and we acquired a juicer from a friend who didn’t want it any more. We’d have a citrus juice blend in the morning (easy in CA) and a veggie juice blend in the evening, water whenever we wanted, and a cup of strong “get regular” tea to keep our intestines moving along (we weren’t having any fiber in our strained juices so the tea was an important component to the cleansing fast).

    This sort of thing is difficult to do in a busy life! But it was a priority for our health at the time… Having a helper in the kitchen was a key aspect of our success. Now we’re back to old habits and old busy-ness again; it’s been building up in me that it’s time for another commitment to our personal health and well-being!

  • Jen

    I’ve been loving your blog for awhile now. I started using baking soda and vinegar for my hair months ago (sometimes using a natural shampoo for convenience) and this cleanse has me so interested! I’m going to talk to my husband and see if he’ll do a cleanse with me of some sort. I’m a big fan of smoothies so that will be no problem. I just need to plan out everything.

    • Jen, thank you for commenting – I’m glad you’re enjoying my writing! It takes a bit of planning, but it gets easier as you become more used to it. Let me know how it goes! I took a peek at your blog, and your breakfast smoothie looks fabulous!

  • Jorie

    I’m wondering if anyone has ever tried a clay bath detox? A friend of a friend of mine swears by them, and she even gives her son the one for kids… She sent me this link… :) She also mentioned a metal toxicity test that you pee on. She said overtime she has seen her metal levels lower after doing the baths.

    http://www.evenbetternow.com/clay-baths.php

    • Jorie, I haven’t done one – I’m totally interested, though. The supplement woman at my health food store swears by clay as a great detoxifying element. I bought a facial scrub that is mainly clay, so that I could gently exfoliate my face during the cleanse. It is really nice.

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