How to Detox the Smart Way

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

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Toxic: Detox 101

We live in a toxic world.

Since World War II, over 85,000 fake chemicals, additives and toxins have been added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with about 2,000 more being approved every year.

However, just like McDonald’s cheeseburgers, cigarettes and Coca Cola are technically deemed “legally safe” by our government…does it mean they are good for us?

(I think you know the answer).

Check out this questionnaire and see where you fall on the spectrum of being affected by toxic exposure and the world around you.

If you answer “yes” to more than 5 of these markers, toxic exposure could be something to dig deeper into and the role that toxins may play in your health (or any health issues you have).

And it can be from the simplest of things:

  • The beauty products we use every morning (our skin eats what we put on it!)
  • The additives in your Diet Coke or artificially-sweetened protein powders and bars
  • Shellac nail polish at the salon
  • The salmon you cooked last night, or tuna fish you ate at lunch
  • Alcohol in our skin toner
  • An overcooked burger at the 4th of July cookout
  • Sunscreens
  • The water you drank in the water fountain at the YMCA
  • The hand-sanitizer you keep in your purse
  • The toothpaste you’ve used since you were a kid
  • GMOs (like Roundup) in our fruits and veggies
  • Antibiotics and hormones in our conventional meats at the restaurant
  • Plastic water bottles and Tupperware…

Our health is a byproduct of, not only our food, lifestyle and genetics, but also our environment.

I’ve seen toxic exposure linked to a host of ailments in my clients: from allergies to headaches, breakouts, inflammation, cancer, UTI’s, hormonal imbalances, infertility, thyroid disorders, diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, mood imbalances, and beyond—(even those who sleep 7-9 hours per night, “eat clean” and exercise).  

And although we don’t live in bubbles (toxins will most definitely be part of our lives)…there are some simple things you can do if you find you ranked higher on the toxicity questionnaire than you would like.

The answer?


That word gets tossed around like “Groovy” (in the 70’s)—it’s a buzz. Consequently it also gets a “diet mentality” rep.

However, “detox” does not necessarily mean starving, fasting, sweat lodges or juicing.

Quite the opposite: A detox is simply all about eliminating your bod of inflammation.

Here are 10 Simple Ways to Detox Your Body in your every day life (Plus ONE crucial thing you should know BEFORE embarking on a detox of any sort):

Detox 101

Food-Salad-Healthy-Vegetables (1)

First Things First

Cleanses and detox programs are a dime a dozen nowadays, but many of them fail to educate you on how to have a POSITIVE detox from the get go. The FIRST thing to do before commencing any detox? HEAL your gut. Without a HEALTHY gut flora, clean diet, and improved digestion, all the detoxing you are going to do is going to end up…staying stuck in your body. When or if your digestive system is not on par, then your body is unable to properly eliminate all those toxins in the first place. You see this all the time with people who are frequently jumping from diet to diet, cleanse to cleanse—they do a juice fast, then a “strict elimination diet” or 21-day sugar detox…

And while the diet is over half the battle, if they are NOT supporting their gut flora, they still are not digesting their food (and excreting toxins) fully. In addition to your new healthy eating plan, do your gut a favor with a few of these gut-healing techniques:

  1. Eat fermented foods (daily) or take a probiotic supplement
  2. Chew your food (really, really well)
  3. Eat in a parasympathetic (relaxed) state (slow down!)
  4. Start each day off with at least 16 oz. of water (before drinking anything else)—and drink ½ your bodyweight in ounces of water the rest of the day
  5. Consider taking 1-2 digestive enzymes with your meals (to better digest food if gas, bloating, constipation or stomach pain is a frequent occurrence)
  6. Consult with a nutritional therapist, or other functional or holistic professional who can guide you in improving digestive and bowel health

Improved gut health? Check.

Without further ado, here are 10 Simple Tips for Detoxing:

  • Switch from tap water or grocery-store brand bottled water to filtered, purified or “spring” water
  • Invest your grocery dollars in buying organic produce, wild-caught seafood, pasture-raised eggs and organic meats as much as possible (Yes, I know it stings at first, but it NOT ONLY is better for you, but legitimately tastes better. If anything: Buy the “dirty dozen” fruits and veggies, all versions of beef, eggs, and fattier cuts of poultry in the organic versions
  • Use glass-ware Tupperware (instead of plastic) and ceramic/steel waterbottles
  • Gradually replace your hygiene products and cosmetics with organic and natural care products (i.e. you don’t have to break the bank and overhaul all at once, but as you run out of your toothpaste, facewash, shampoo and makeup, look to more natural options like The Dirt, Fat Face, Primal Life Organics and Josie Maran Cosmetics). Or better yet, MAKE YOUR OWN (I love all the tips The Wellness Mama provides)
  • Throw out the Windex, Bleach and 409 now. Replace with natural cleaners (or good ol’ soap and water).
  • Sweat it out. Exercise regularly (most days for at least 30-60 minutes) of movement. And bonus: If you have access, hit up an Infra-red Sauna for 20-minutes.
  • Replace your crappy quality “healthy” foods with non-additive alternatives (artificially sweetened protein powders to additive-free protein, like pureWOD—only three ingredients; Quest Bars with a handful of nuts and apple, or handful of pulled chicken with a touch of Primal Mayo or avocado; moldy, toxic coffee beans to fair-trade, organic coffee)
  • Add rosemary, turmeric (curcumin), anti-inflammatory foods you’re your greens on!, add fresh garlic) and flavonoids (berries, cherries, beets, dark green tea) to your diet.
  • Ensure you are eating protein with each meal (crucial for enzyme production to assist with detoxification—and breakdown of both foods and toxins you ingest and come in contact with)
  • YOU Time. Set aside an hour a day for Y-O-U time…Sometimes stress and the go-go-go pace we keep impedes the detoxification process (since stress causes an inflammatory response). Whether it’s a walk after dinner, reading after a hot shower at night, an early morning quiet time and meditation, a fun activity you love to do…you decide.



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