Finding the time to slow down and disconnect these days is getting harder than ever. You want to do a detox, reboot and recharge so you can feel better, right? But when you look at your calendar, you’ve got work commitments, social evenings planned, and holidays, birthdays, anniversaries coming up all the time. There is always a reason why it’s not a good time to start a cleanse. How is it even possible to fit it in? I’ve been doing juice fasting, water fasting and various types of cleanses successfully for over 20 years. In this article, I share my top tips for knowing and planning the best time to start your detox…and even better, how you can stay committed to actually following through and doing it!
When is the WORST time to start a detox
If you start your detox at the wrong time, chances are you will not succeed with it. Don’t make the mistake of convincing or forcing yourself to make a radical all-or-nothing approach in this. If you don’t have a plan going into your fast then you will not have a plan in breaking your fast and you will end up exactly where you started – feeling bloated, miserable, with bad food cravings and possibly bingeing – on food, alcohol, refined sugar, carbs or even recreational drugs. Trust me, I’ve seen and heard every version of these stories having worked with fasters for over 20 years. Learn from the mistakes of others and YOU can be a REAL success story!
Do NOT start a detox or juice fast if you are:
- Working on your master’s dissertation and/or working on a huge school or work project. You may think that fasting will clear your mind and help your creativity, but you are just putting more pressure on an already high pressure situation. Focus on eating a healthy clean food diet, avoid refined sugar (that alone can help to clear brain fog) and boost your mineral reserve instead.
- In the middle of selling your house, planning a wedding, getting ready to move to a new country or starting a new job. I get it – you’re human and want to look your very best for a new chapter in life. You want to lose weight and have clear skin for that new job. No one wants rashes or pimples on their face for their wedding! It’s totally normal. However, all of these situations are already high stress moments in life. Give yourself some room to breathe by not adding more stress. Limit your food intake, go on a gluten-free and sugar-free diet but do not start fasting.
- Going through a break-up, divorce, death of a loved one or other emotional trauma. Positively this is not the time to add more to your emotional plate. Fasting can be intensely emotional as you stir up old molecules of emotion when toxins are being released. Have a good cry, seek support from friends and loved ones, and heck, allow yourself to do some emotional eating if you want….but do not start a detox now. Be your own best friend, not your worst enemy. Give yourself time and space to heal. After you are feeling better, you can think about doing a cleanse as part of a spiritual and emotional reboot.
When is the BEST time to start a detox
Starting a detox when you are energetically grounded ensures a much higher chance of success and allows you to focus on your long-term goals in making positive changes to your diet and lifestyle. Ultimately, good health is a journey… not a sprint to the finish line. Fasting is a wonderful element to add to an already healthful lifestyle. A detox can be an opportunity to raise your spiritual awareness, to center your energy on a particular creative goal, to allow the body extra energy for healing and to engage in preventative maintenance, ie give your body an “oil change.” When you see and feel the results – better digestion, higher energy levels, more emotionally centered and that amazing feeling of being “healthy” – you will know it was worth it to wait for the right time.
Long-term, you achieve good health in the day-to-day healthy habits that you commit to over the course of years. That can include meditation, yoga, exercise, making fresh food at home, eating more raw organic fruits and vegetables, having regular steams or far infrared saunas to promote detoxification through the skin, supporting your body nutritionally with variety and a rainbow of colors in your diet, having an Iridology analysis to determine the supplements your body needs (a-hem), getting alkaline, taking nutritional supplements to get all the minerals your body needs, doing other forms of detox such as parasite cleansing, heavy metal chelation or a liver/gallstone flush, getting regular and restful sleep and engaging in positive and loving relationships. It takes time to implement a lifestyle of healthy habits… you can’t do all of that in just one fast!
Be realistic about your goals for what your detox may bring and also be ready and prepared to step back in the “real world” with a good solid plan. Breaking a fast correctly is just as important (if not more important) than the fast itself. Having a health coach can definitely help you transition at the right pace and continue from strength to strength.
DO start a detox if you:
- Are feeling emotionally, mentally and/or spiritually grounded, stable and ready to make a positive change in your life. Walking barefoot on the earth and wearing the color red helps to ground your base chakra more quickly. Good crystals for grounding energy include hematite, tiger eye, garnet, obsidian, and black tourmaline – so if you need help in getting grounded, these crystals can help.
- Have time, space and energy to work on your healing. Especially in the first few days or week, you’ll most likely need more time to slow down (I know it seems strange but it’s true!) . It’s best to schedule less and have no commitments to any major projects, deadlines, decisions, travel, or other activities that require a lot of emotional or physical energy. I once had someone email me saying she planned to start a 40-day water fast while selling and moving her house and also planning her daughter’s wedding. Oh, and she was going to start a blog to document the whole experience too. Talk about pressure! Needless to say, she didn’t last more than 2 days before quitting her fast. Put an autoresponder on your email, create a comfortable space for yourself and prepare to go within. Amethyst is a wonderful crystal for slowing down the “monkey mind.” If you feel your mind spinning while trying to slow down, try putting an amethyst cluster near your bed or in the bedroom to promote more relaxation and a restful sleep.
- Seeking positive emotional support and are able to avoid negativity. Some people are actually addicted to negativity and that in itself is a problem that should be addressed before starting a detox. External negativity can also be a real problem. You’d be surprised how quickly a little spat in the parking lot or someone making a snide remark on your social media can completely throw you off-track emotionally and actually be a trigger to breaking your fast. As much as possible, avoid stressful encounters or situations before you start your detox and have a support system in place for you to seek help if you need it during your cleanse. Here is another case where you can really benefit from having a health coach to be a non-biased emotional support guide. If you’re feeling the need for some unconditional love to help boost your heart chakra, try using kunzite or pink tourmaline crystals during meditation. Kunzite helps to release anger, resentment and hurt while boosting the heart with love, acceptance and pure joy. You can also lay a kunzite crystal on your heart chakra (center of chest) when lying down to go to sleep.
Remember: Any detox is better than no detox!
As you start to navigate the world of cleansing, you may make the mistake of starting a fast at the wrong time in life. And that is OK! Having the courage to start a fast is a big thing and not to be underestimated. Even ONE day of fasting is better than none. Don’t beat yourself up if you quit early or if you didn’t realize how hard the detox would be and picked the wrong time to start. You can always try again at another time, a better time. The most important thing is to NEVER GIVE UP.
Eventually you will get there, but not if you stop trying. In a future post, I will discuss how to know when to break your fast since that’s another essential element to success. Meanwhile mark your calendar for your next cleanse, start clearing your schedule and remember: ENJOY THE HEALING JOURNEY!
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