How to Do a Holiday Detox Anytime

How to Do a Holiday Detox Anytime

How to do a holiday detox anytime

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year… or are they?

Sure, it’s when you get to spend time with family and friends, wear ugly sweaters ironically (or maybe unironically), and watch people’s faces light up when you hand them the perfect gift…

But the holidays can also be a real drain on your energy. 

Whether it’s from high-carb foods you’re not used to, overindulging at happy hour, dealing with cold and windy weather, or the increase of colds and flus going around, there are many reasons you might think “I could really use a holiday detox right about now.”

The funny thing is, as energy-zapping as the holiday season is, this is when you actually need more energy just to sustain all the mental, physical, and emotional rigors you go through. 

The primary reason you lack energy this time of year is mitochondrial depletion.

Mitochondria are the energy generators inside your cells and they’re responsible for creating over 90% of your energy. 

Yet, due to our modern day lifestyles, we’re experiencing a rapid surge in mitochondrial dysfunction, often caused by free radicals, oxidative stress, heavy metals, and harmful toxins — leading to increased inflammation and chronic poor energy. In fact, according to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), about 1 out of every 4,300 Americans has a mitochondria-related disease.

A holiday detox may be the right move for you if you are experiencing:

  • Low energy (even when you get 8 hours of sleep)
  • Brain fog, lack of creativity, or forgetfulness
  • Anxiety, stress, depression, or other mental health concerns
  • Digestive issues including bloating, irregular bowel movements, gassiness, or stomachaches
  • Skin-related issues such as rashes, dry or itchy skin, or unusual changes in texture, quality, and appearance

Many people look to a holiday detox so they can get ahead of the next year’s resolutions, but there’s a right and wrong way to do it.

How to Do a Holiday Detox

One thing to keep in mind is that a holiday detox is not about a quick fix or a fad diet. It’s about creating and/or a healthy lifestyle… one you can continue to employ well into the new year.

A holiday detox isn’t necessarily about cutting out carbs or sugar for vanity reasons. It’s about removing harmful toxins, heavy metals, and free radicals, as well as purifying your digestive system.  All of these help support your mitochondria to create the energy you need – without stimulants like caffeine or sugar.

Why Mitochondria Are Important for Energy Production 

If you’re ready to start a holiday detox because you’re exhausted and have zero energy, focusing on improving your mitochondrial function is a great place to start.

Oxidative stress, nutrient deficiencies, and environmental toxins often cause mitochondria impairment – all of which we inflict on ourselves simply by living in the world.

Consuming the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), which is high in processed carbs, sugars, and saturated fats, means we often don’t receive the nutrients our mitochondria need to thrive. 

You likely know our air, water, and soil are contaminated, and most of us increase our toxic load daily by surrounding ourselves with chemicals. From our household cleaning supplies to our skincare products to the soap we use to wash our hair, harmful toxins are ever-present in our lives.

So how do you help your mitochondria release toxicity so they can perform the way they’re supposed to?

You begin by draining waste. 

Our bodies have a built-in waste management system known as the “drainage funnel”

Similar to a sink with a clog, when there are blockages or build-up in the drainage funnel, everything upstream cannot flow properly, leading to the recirculation of toxins. 

Detoxing is the process of pulling out harmful toxins from the cells inside your body. So you can see why opening and clearing the drainage pathway must come first – otherwise, all those toxins you’re working to remove have nowhere to go… except swirling throughout your body once again.

While your body has several organs designed for detoxification, the three I’m highlighting today are your liver, intestines, and skin. When your drainage system is working properly, all toxins and waste get funneled out with your daily bowel movement. If the system gets clogged up, toxins will move through your skin, kidneys and lungs which causes symptoms like itching, wheezing and decreased kidney function on lab testing. 

Your Liver

The liver is your #1 detox organ. Its job is to protect you from harmful toxins by breaking them down into particles we can excrete in the drainage funnel process.

Early signs your liver is isn’t functioning well include dark urine color, itchy skin, tendency to bruise easily, pale stool color, chronic fatigue, and skin and eyes with a yellow tint. If you notice these kinds of symptoms, it’s a good idea to get ahead of it to avoid potential long-term liver damage.

Most people incorporate a liver detox into their holiday detox plan. So before you get started, it’s wise to ensure your liver pathway is open and ready to release those toxic waste products effectively.

A simple way to prime your liver pathway is via nutrition. Liver cells thrive on nutrients found in green vegetables, especially dark green ones, like arugula, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Add milk thistle and dandelion root supplements to your pre-detox routine to help optimize your liver’s natural detoxification pathways. 

High-quality fluids are also critical to ensure proper liver function, so increase your water intake and avoid alcohol prior to (and during) a holiday detox.

Have you ever tried using castor oil packs on your abdomen (over your liver)? This can be a soothing and nourishing experience. Be sure to use organic castor oil like this one

Your Intestines and Colon 

Your intestines help remove physical waste from your body. Your colon is the most distal (furthest) end of your 5 feet of intestines.  If you experience digestive disturbances, constipation, or lack of bowel movements, these might be signs of stagnation or blockage in your intestines.

To prime your body for a holiday detox, your goal is to have at least 2 bowel movements per day. These bowel movements should be at a level 4 on the Bristol Stool Chart, shown below.  

Here’s a fun fact: the ideal amount of poop coming out of your body every day should be equal to the distance from your wrist to your elbow (I’m referring to length, not width or thickness).

Getting your poop out means that the drainage funnel is working and that your digestive system is in a healthy position to support the rest of your organs while they do their thing.

Increasing your water, fiber, and fermented food intake, as well as adding magnesium to your diet, can help kick-start drainage funnel function in your intestines. My favorite bowel support product is Bowel Mover because it’s gentle, non-habit forming and safe to use every day, even twice a day!

Exercising daily is also critical to stimulate movement of all the internal processes that support your digestive system, including ones involved in liver detox.

Your Skin

Did you know besides being a barrier to the outside world and a way to absorb healing sunlight, your skin is also a detox organ?

When you sweat, that’s a sign that your drainage pathways are working! It may be hard to imagine your skin being “blocked” but if you rarely sweat (or sweat less than you normally do), it may mean that part of the drainage funnel is affected.

Another sign you’re carrying too many harmful toxins are skin issues, including acne eczema, and psoriasis. It’s not normal to have these skin conditions. 

Interestingly, one reason people get rashes when they’re detoxing is because toxins get released through the skin. This is another sign your liver and intestinal drainage pathways may not be releasing waste effectively.

To help stimulate the drainage function of your skin, create healthy, mild stress (hormesis) to promote hyperthermia or hypothermia. 

Hyperthermia (or being exposed to heat for short periods of time) triggers your body’s natural response to return to balance (homeostasis). This means you increase sweat production to cool the body. Sauna bathing is a super simple way to invoke hyperthermia and help clear the skin’s drainage pathway.

Hypothermia is being exposed to cold for brief intervals. Ice baths, cold plunges, and other cryotherapy techniques have become popular in recent years due to its rejuvenating benefits, including reducing inflammation, relieving sore muscles, and supporting your immune system. When used as a therapeutic tool, mild hypothermia wakes up skin receptors, promotes mitochondria function, and enhances the antioxidant system.

Another skin-stimulating technique is dry brushing, which is not only wonderful for keeping the outside of your skin healthy, but it also helps stimulate lymphatic drainage. 

Is Your Drainage Funnel Working?

It can be hard to know if your drainage funnel is working well. Even if you’re aware you may be experiencing a blockage or slowdown, knowing which system to focus on is equally challenging.

That’s why working with a functional health expert can save you tons of time, money, and frustration. 

We have powerful diagnostic tools that can help identify exactly where to start. Then, you can get a personalized protocol plan to remediate the root cause, so you can clear those drainage pathways and actually see results from your holiday detox.

5 Simple Ways to Start Your Holiday Detox

Let’s say you complete your pre-detox drainage protocol and you’re ready to rock your holiday detox.

Where do you begin?

1.Party Smart.

If you decide to detox and don’t want to give up all the fun and festivities  throughout the year, you can simply start by making smarter choices at parties.

One of the best ways to ensure your holiday detox goes smoothly is being mindful of what you eat, how much you drink, and what you do at gatherings. This forward thinking can help prime your body for your full-fledged detox when you’re ready.

2. Detox Your Home.

Remove as many toxic sources from your home as possible. This could mean swapping chemical-laden cleaners and personal products for non-toxic, organic, and natural alternatives like Branch Basics or Wellnesse.

Or discarding old vitamins, dietary supplements, OTC medicines, and other pharmaceuticals past their expiration dates. (We all have them, no judgment). This is also a good idea if you’re doing a liver detox. Check with your doctor, pharmacist, or drug administration website for guidance on proper disposal.

It may also mean investing in a high-quality air purifier, water filtration system, or changing the air filters in your home regularly (not every 5 years like many people do!).

After all, if you don’t proactively remove your own toxic sources, you’re immediately going to re-tox yourself, undoing all the results your holiday detox offers.

Deep clean under furniture, windowsills and hidden places. Airborne toxins settle there, like mold spores for example!

3. Move More. 

Your body is a natural detox machine – and movement helps stimulate those systems into action. 

I’m not talking about intense 4-hour workouts each day (unless you’re The Rock).

Movement could mean parking farther away from the grocery store entrance, taking the stairs instead, or doing short 5-10 minute bursts of weight lifting, lunges, squats, or sit-ups between appointments.  

If you’re looking to increase your cardio, choosing a low-impact activity like bar, pilates, spin, or swimming is also a good idea to get your heart pumping… and your body flushing. Exercise is a critical aspect in liver detox, as it prevents fat buildup that causes liver disease.

4. Upgrade Your Breakfast.

Start your morning off with a low sugar detox smoothie. Smoothies are both light and filling, so starting your morning off with the right fuel can help you in your holiday detox journey.

Here’s a great-tasting smoothie loaded with antioxidants and toxin-flushing ingredients:


  • 1 cup dairy free milk or coconut water
  • 1⁄2 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
  • ⅔ teaspoon milk thistle powder
  • Stevia, monk fruit, 2 dates, or raw honey to sweeten (optional)

5. Love Your Gut.

Your microbiome serves as the engine for the rest of your body – so taking care of it is a must when going through a holiday detox.

Beyond reducing toxic sources and improving your nutrition, following chrononutrition best practices helps your mitochondria create high-quality energy that lasts all day.

Chrononutrition is the relationship between your eating patterns, circadian rhythm, and metabolic health, all of which work together to help your body detoxify efficiently. 

There’s no “one size fits all” approach to a holiday detox. What works for you may actually increase toxicity in someone else – and vice versa.

That’s why a personal approach is best – and I’d love to be your guide

Most of my clients sat on the fence for months (if not years!), knowing they should work with a professional… but talking themselves out of it. 

Whether it was because they assumed it would be too expensive or they believed putting themselves first was selfish…

Ultimately, they all landed at my door. 

And once they began seeing the results they were looking for by following their customized plan, my clients always say, “I should have done this sooner!”

So how about you skip all that and get started the right away. 


Take Good Care,

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