Green Living/ Motherhood/ Pregnancy & Birth

MBL Mind/Body/Spirit Spring Cleaning/Detox

I have been aching to do a detox pretty much since Penelope was 6 months old, but back then I didn’t think I had any options since I was breastfeeding.

Now, I am able to do a full detox, but I wanted everyone to be able to join in, so I am listing all sorts of ideas you can do whether your children are older, or if you are pregnant/nursing.

As you read through what I am doing, please pick and choose what works for you to join in. Don’t feel like you have to do exactly what I am doing to participate.

This cleanse, falls around the Spring Equinox on purpose. Most people are busy cleaning their houses, but this year I am in the mood to cleanse my mind, body and spirit.

In Ayurveda, a popular cleanse/detox is called panchakarma is the one like the best. Maybe I am partial to it, its the cleanse I did a few months before I conceived my daughter, Penelope.

I do not feel like I am at my full strength yet after my miscarriage so I don’t feel like doing a strong detox is a good idea for me right now.

So I have come up with a mild, combination one, that I think you will like too. I am also not going to do it very long. The fasting part will probably only be 3 days, 5 days, max. Usually a cleanse/detox runs at least 10 days.

Here is what I will be doing:

  • Every morning I will be doing dry brushing all over my body. Sluffing off dead skin cells and toxins.
  • I will take a shower every morning and visualize the water cleansing my energetic body of any lingering sadness/anger that is clinging to me.
  • I will also spend some time in my morning shower, and evening bath doing some breath awareness and/or meditation and prayer.
  • I will do 10 to 15 minutes of oil pulling after my shower. Be sure to follow the link and read the full post on how to do this, properly washing out your mouth when you are done and washing out the sink once you spit out the oil (or just spit out in the trash).
  • I will use my netti pot once or twice a day, in the morning and before bed. Snot and mucus is a way for toxins to get out of your body, so you may have much more than usual. You will not believe the amount of yeast, toxins and bacteria that are all up in your sinuses. This flushes them on out.
  • Then I will drink a glass of hot water with lemon before anything else. All my water consumption will be lemon water.
  • Throughout the day I will only drink raw milk, kombucha, herbal detox teas and maybe some homemade broth.
  • I will rest as much as I can, napping with my daughter instead of working, going to bed early, etc. I will have to get up earlier in the morning to do my morning detox routine before my daughter wakes up.
  • I hope to go to several hot yoga classes, I will take it easy and not push myself in class, but I want to be in a hot room, so I can sweat. If you have access to a sauna or sweat lodge that would be great.
  • Every night before bed, I am going to give myself a self massage. In a true panchakarma, you are supposed to use a specific oil based on  yourdosha, but I am just going to use what I have on hand (almond oil). This massage does not need to be perfect, just make sure that your strokes go towards your heart. Your groin and your armpits are where a lot of lymphatic glands are, and those glands do a lot of the heavy lifting of flushing out toxins in your body,  so also send strokes in the direction of your lymph nodes.
  • After the self massage, I am going to take an epsom salt bath. Epsom salt helps draw out toxins through your skin and helps you cope with any detox symptoms. I use about 4 to 5 cups per bath.
  • I plan on having a professional massage in the middle of my cleanse.
  • I am also going to do a foot soak detox with a local practitioner. If you don’t have access to someone who does this, you could also get some of those foot detox pads that stick to the bottom of your feet and draw out toxins.
  • I have an appointment scheduled with a local energy healer. I love going to her because she does the first half of the session as traditional talk therapy and the last half I get on the massage table for energy work. It is the best of both worlds, for true and lasting healing.
  • And for the grand finale, on the last day of my cleanse, I am going to get a colonic. Oh, yes. It will make a for a great post, I’m sure. All the toxins usually ends up in your colon, as the final way to get out of your body. Unless you have perfect digestion, parts of fecal matter get stuck in your in
    inal walls, harden and create blockages and also prevent nutrients from being absorbed. They also eventually start leaking out into your body (leaky gut syndrome) causing a whole host of auto immune responses like allergies. You could do a home enema if you don’t feel comfortable going somewhere to get a colonic.

If you are pregnant or nursing, this is what you can do:

  • Drink lemon water. This is a very, very mild detox. Toxins will be going into the blood stream, but you will pee them out just like normal from the work your liver does on a daily basis.
  • Dry brushing. This is a way for you to detox straight through your skin. Nothing is going into the blood stream or into your intestines to get out. It is leaving straight from your skin. This is the brush I use.
  • Oil pulling.  Same thing. The toxins are leaving straight out your gums, not into your blood stream. Be sure to follow the link and read the full post on how to do this, properly washing out your mouth when you are done and washing out the sink once you spit out the oil (or just spit out in the trash).
  • Netti Pot is just fine for everyone.
  • All the yoga, visualization, breath awareness or mediation you want!
  • Self massage. Massage is so wonderful anytime of your life, especially when you are pregnant. Again, remember to go towards your heart.
  • Epsom salt baths. This is super mild and a great way to relax. Use about two cups.
  • Eat as clean as possible. Avoid all processed foods, sugar and caffeine. Reduce your grain intake or go gluten free. Eat organic foods, with no chemicals for food dyes. Raw milk is so wonderful for everyone, especially pregnant and nursing moms, because your gut, is the gut you are giving your child. The more beneficial bacteria you have, the healthier you are and the healthier your baby is. I am not saying to do a raw milk fast, but to add it into your diet if you can. The food part, for you, is more about giving your digestion and body a rest, a chance to recuperate and heal, not to detox. So just do whatever you can to eat mild, easy to digest foods.
  • Yeast cleanse. You can take herbs that help you kill off yeast. If you or your baby has thrush, or you have had a yeast infection while pregnant, I highly recommend this.

A few more notes:

If you are trying to do this cleanse without sugar or caffeine for the first time, I highly recommend taking some amino acids to help you with the cravings. Start taking them a few days before the cleanse, and try to gradually decrease your intake of caffeine and sugar (ie. resist the urge to go out big and binge the night before the cleanse starts). L-Glutamine is what you need to help with sugar/carb cravings and L-Tyrosine is what you need to help with caffeine cravings.

Be very gentle with yourself and do whatever you can do. If you have a cookie one day, oh well, just stay calm and carry on. Any little thing you do to cleanse will be beneficial to your overall health. Take baby steps and be proud of yourself, for whatever you accomplish.If you want to do a stronger detox/cleanse, you can increase the amount of detox teas you drink. Or take some herbal supplement pills from Renew Life, they have several different detox options; yeast, first cleanse, metal, and parasites.

Lastly, consider yourself warned about detox symptoms. They are different for everyone but this is not the fun part of a cleanse. This is the part, where you have to solider on and walk through the pain to get to the good stuff.

I tend to feel achy, get a headache, my lymph nodes swell, and I get very tired. Sometimes my nose runs or I sneeze. There are a ton of different reactions your body can have. Your body is trying to get everything out. Through whatever means possible. So just be very self and body aware and notice any small changes. Doing a milder detox should give you milder symptoms. If you eat pretty clean normally, you may not have many symptoms. If you eat horrible, you many have more. Take additional epsom salt baths to help you cope. Also, if you are doing energy healing for the first time, you may have physical detox symptoms solely from that.

I think that is everything! Who’s in?

I am going to start on Friday and go till about Tuesday  the following week (the actual day of Spring Equinox). I am just gonna play it by ear and see how I feel.

If you have any questions at all, please let me know in the comment section. As you go through your detox, please come back here and share your experiences, so others can learn and benefit.

Here’s to a healing and transformative Mind/Body/Spirit Spring Cleaning Detox!

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  • sarah
    March 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Thanks, this is great info! I plan to try a few of the milder detox activities and see how it goes!

    • Stephanie
      March 15, 2012 at 2:27 PM


  • Kendra
    March 15, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    This is great info! It has been years since I’ve done a cleanse and I was just thinking about doing one the other day. I’m a bit hesitant because I do work full-time and I think I could only do a 3 day fast/cleanse where I only have to be at work for Friday and then complete the rest on Saturday and Sunday. Then I start to think how it will affect my energy. Do you find you are more energized during your cleanse or does it “break you down” in a sense? Lastly, I would LOVE to find the time to take that relaxing shower and bath you mentioned along with the oiling, netti pot, etc… I just don’t have the time. Do you find a cleanse to still be successful without doing all of the step you listed? (sigh) The work/life balance is a hard one for me…

    • Stephanie
      March 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      I think anything you could do, for any amount of time would be beneficial. For me to be able to fit everything in and find the time, I am going to have to make this cleanse my priority for a couple of days, so no organizing, cleaning, laundry, working, crafting, tv watching, etc. All the extra things that consume my non-play/taking care of Penelope time. I find that I am weaker and more tired during a cleanse, but then feel great afterwards or towards the end.

      • Kendra
        March 15, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        I like that idea! Do think my boss would understand if I told him, “I’m going to have to make my cleanse a priority for the next few days. This “work stuff” is going to have to wait!” I would love to try it just to see the look on his face! You are right, the feeling afterward is totally worth it. Thanks for the encouragement.

        • Stephanie
          March 15, 2012 at 6:14 PM

          Well, the not working part doesn’t work for you, but you could not do the house stuff and maybe ask your husband to pick up the extra slack for a couple of days.

  • Tara
    March 15, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    As a certified personal trainer and nursing mother, I would absolutely not recommend the above. To anyone. At least when it comes to the diet portion. Your body is built to cleanse itself naturally. You deprive it of key nutrients by drinking lemon water and chicken broth. This is particularly true for nursing mothers who need at least 500 extra calories a day to feed her child.

    • Stephanie
      March 15, 2012 at 6:17 PM

      Hi Tara, if you read the entire post, you will see that I will also be drinking raw milk. If you read the entire post that I linked to about raw milk fasts, you will see that it is a complete food and that people doing a raw milk diet, consume about 2000 to 3000k calories a day, I will not be deprived of any nutrients, whatsoever. I also did not recommend the diet part that I am doing to pregnant or nursing mothers, again please read the full post and all links before you comment that you disagree.

      • Tara
        March 15, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        I actually did read the entire post and as many of the links that I had time for, particularly those pertaining to your diet recommendations. I remain unconvinced that a cleanse based on raw milk, chicken broth and lemon water is better than a well-balanced diet to foster a healthy being. Then again, I have always been taught that cleanses aren’t necessary, and aren’t necessarily good for you. I would never recommend one to any of my clients. I wish you the best of luck with yours, though.

        • Stephanie
          March 15, 2012 at 10:35 PM

          You must look more into it, read all of the posts about it on The Healthy Home Economist. She even has a post that breaks down all the nutrition and percentage of everything if you are doing a raw milk only cleanse. It really is the perfect food. That is why we give it to babies! You don’t need anything extra! But you are certainly entitled to your beliefs. And homemade broth, from a pastured chicken, head and feet included when making it is amazingly nutritious, between the two you couldn’t ask for a more complete nutrition for a couple of days.

    • Carrie
      March 15, 2012 at 8:07 PM

      I really don’t know much about the lemon water and why it is bad for pregnancy. I do know that I lost 20 pounds in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy due to morning sickness. I absolutely HAD to drink lemon water to keep myself somewhat less nauseated. From 20-40 weeks it was what helped me to gain back the 20 pounds and then some. So, maybe it is bad but not a single other remedy (other than going in for infusions) helped even a tiny bit with my morning sickness.

      • Stephanie
        March 15, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        Oh Carrie, it is perfectly fine! There is absolutely nothing bad about drinking lemon water when you are pregnant. This woman was saying it’s bad to fast and only drink lemon water (which I agree). Which I am not doing, and certainly not recommending a pregnant woman or nursing mother to do. As a pregnant/nursing mama, all you do is switch out your normal water intake with lemon water. And I agree, it made me feel so much better when I was pregnant, best nausea remedy around.

      • Cassandra
        March 16, 2012 at 4:46 AM

        I’ve found this suggestion for morning sickness I’ve never heard before and not completely sure what to think of it. However, it couldn’t hurt and is at least worth a try when dealing with that awful time during pregnancy.

  • Cassandra
    March 15, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Another safe detox method for pregnant/nursing women is eating clay. It’s safe to consume every single day – do your own research about aluminum toxicity, but not all clay has aluminum in it anyway. I got a 5lb bag of clay I’m waiting to come in so I can do my first spring detox! Hoping it will satisfy my pica at the same time, oi.

    • Stephanie
      March 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      That is so interesting!! I have never heard of that before. Let me know all about it.

  • Whitney
    March 16, 2012 at 3:29 AM

    I am definitely ready to do this too! I was wondering, what is the best way to cleanse anxiety? Thanks

    • Stephanie
      March 16, 2012 at 3:46 AM

      I think the best is doing a combination talk therapy and energy healing session. I do know of a technique that helps me let things go that is bothering me, whether it is anger or anxiety, but I need to ask the person who taught me if I can publish it here on the blog, stay tuned!

  • Elizabeth
    March 19, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    Have you ever done oil pulling before this? I first heard about it a few months ago, and am doing it for the first time right now 😉 I’ve been using the oil cleansing method to wash my face the past few months, so why not try this! How’s the cleanse going for you so far?

    • Stephanie
      March 19, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      I had never heard of it or tried it before, and honestly it is not going well for me. I can not stand the taste of olive oil in my mouth. I almost threw up the first time I tried it. I am bummed, I was really looking forward to trying it out. Please tell me how it goes for you. 🙂

      • Elizabeth
        March 20, 2012 at 2:06 AM

        Today was so far so good. I’m using org sesame oil b/c I read that was the most beneficial. I thought it was pretty gross too, but I didn’t gag or anything. It was pretty cool the way it turned white (after 10 minutes-ugh.) I’ll let you know if I have any amazing results 😉

        • Stephanie
          March 20, 2012 at 3:13 AM

          So glad to hear that, yes, please keep me posted!

      • Cassandra
        March 20, 2012 at 2:10 AM

        Coconut oil is better.

        • Stephanie
          March 20, 2012 at 3:18 AM

          As in tastes better? Or better to pull out toxins?

          • Cassandra
            March 20, 2012 at 6:09 AM

            It tastes better. I had unrefined, it wasn’t wonderful, but worked. Or you can get virgin, which has almost no taste/smell. Generally speaking, straight oil in the mouth is gross. I don’t know anyone who enjoys it, so at best it’s tolerable. You can also try brushing with it.

  • shannon
    April 1, 2013 at 6:28 AM

    I’m so excited to try this this year. I was pregnant last year, very pregnant, and pinned it in the hopes that I could get to it this year, and I have. Thanks so much for putting it all together. I will let you know how it goes. Are you doing this again this year?

    • Stephanie
      April 1, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      Cool! I did a 7 day cleanse a couple of weeks ago and incorporated a lot of the same techniques. Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions!