Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: Three Reasons to Detox with a Group

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Detoxing is the new black. Well, in the wellness world, anyway. It’s not uncommon these days to meet your girlfriend for a green juice instead of a glass of wine, travel to the bakery on the other side of town because they have the best gluten-free/sugar-free/dairy-free muffins, or find entire offices banding together for a three-day juice cleanse.

Cleansing and detoxing may be having its moment in the spotlight, but it’s well deserved and for good reason.  Our liver is great at what it does—neutralizing, transforming and eliminating toxins—but giving it a little reprieve every once in awhile is necessary. Intentionally removing some of the toxins that build up in our bodies over time can go a long way in improving the liver’s efficiency moving forward.

Done safely, detoxing is one of the best ways to clear out the clutter and press the reset button so that you and your body can be at your best. As a health coach and lover of all things delicious, I’m an advocate for cleansing with whole foods over fasting or juicing. For more on that, click here. Going hungry (or feeling deprived of nourishment) doesn’t need to come part and parcel. Benefits of detoxing include increased energy, balanced hormones, diminished cravings and weight loss. Best of all, in my opinion, is that engaging in a detox can set you up with healthier habits that continue long after the program is over, affording it the potential to be a turning point on your path to overall health.

All this said, detoxing is not a walk in the park. It takes commitment. Willpower. Careful planning. It will probably affect your social calendar. It can be uncomfortable, and even downright unpleasant at times. As you eliminate foods from your diet, you might feel worse before you start to feel better.  

So, once you’ve decided to make the commitment, it’s super important to do everything you can to set yourself up for success. Get organized. Eliminate treats and temptations from your fridge and pantry. Plan your meals. Write and stick to detailed shopping lists. Stock your cupboards full of detox-friendly goodies so you won’t slip in a pinch. Schedule your social time and outings strategically. Tell your friends, your colleagues, your partner what you’re doing and ask for their support. Even better, ask them to do it right along with you.

In order to make the detox experience a bit easier and more enjoyable, I often recommend to my clients that they join a group detox program and recruit a friend or partner to join them. Detoxing with a partner or as part of a team can help mitigate some of the challenges and temptations that might threaten to throw you off course. Here are three important reasons why...


If you’ve made a commitment to do a detox, you’re already showing up for yourself in a big way. You’ve made your health a priority. That’s the first step, and it’s a very important one. But, let’s face it, when it comes to following through, we often flake on ourselves. How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to go to the gym first thing in the morning/make it to yoga after work/give up dessert/cook at home more/choose water over wine, and totally bailed? And yet, how often do you flake on your friends, colleagues or teammates? When someone else is counting on you to show up, chances are much higher that you will.  

The same holds true here - if you’re part of a group detox program, especially if it’s an intimate one where you’ll have the opportunity to personally check in with a coach and/or a group of fellow detoxers, you’re less likely to falter. Your coach will help you work through challenges and you’ll be expected to report back the next time you meet. You’ll be more likely to stay on the straight and narrow if you know that someone else is invested in your success. And similarly, you can help keep others in your group accountable and inspired during their detox. It’s amazing how when we dish out advice and motivate others, we end up following suit ourselves.

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As I mentioned, one of the best parts about a detox is that it really can be a turning point in the way that a person approaches his or her diet and overall health moving forward. This is especially true if you’ve experienced the detox with a friend, partner or a group. Throughout the detox you’ll go through highs and lows together. You’ll commiserate about the challenges, and celebrate each other’s successes. You’ll create bonds and strengthen friendships with like-minded people. All of these things will set you up to be able to sustain a healthier lifestyle once you’ve phased out of detox-mode. You’ll have a network to turn to when you need support, advice, or a new healthy recipe. And if you joined the detox with a friend or partner, sustaining the healthy habits that you put in place will be even easier because you’ll have a partner in crime in your inner circle.

More knowledge + more fun = better results

Knowledge is power, and two (or more) heads are better than one. Agreed? Well, the same principles apply here. When you’re detoxing, you’re taking in a lot of new information, learning about new foods, how they affect you, and paying closer attention to how your body functions. You’ll have questions. You’ll run out of dairy-free recipe ideas. You’ll wonder why buckwheat, contrary to its name, is actually a gluten-free grain. You’ll notice some amazing things happening to your energy/mood/digestion and be curious if others are experiencing the same thing. You’ll discover a new sugar-free dessert and just HAVE to share it with someone. As part of a group detox program, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and experiences of others, and be able to share your own insights too. As a result, you’ll have more fun along the way. And more knowledge (plus more fun) will inevitably lead to better results. It’s a win-win.

Retreat location in Costa Rica - Isn't it a beauty?
Detoxing can provide an amazing exploration, evaluation and transformation of the self, and all of this is enhanced by sharing that experience with others. As a Health Coach and yoga instructor, I love guiding my clients through safe and healthy detox programs, designed to bring mind, body and soul into alignment. My next exclusive group detox program, Purify and Restore: 28 days of clean living, is a full detox experience, carefully designed to cleanse your body, optimize digestion, and allow you press the reset button on many different levels. And because I believe in pampering mind, body and soul, the program includes a luxury health and yoga retreat in the lush tropics of Costa Rica. I’d absolutely love to have you on this journey with me, Strictly Nutritious readers. For more information on the detox and retreat, click here or email We’re offering a deeply discounted early bird special until the end of October.

Julie Weber is a certified yoga instructor and holistic health coach. As founder of The Samana Project, she inspires busy professionals to make healthy diet and lifestyle choices so they can find and sustain balance and live their lives freely, fully, and joyfully without sacrificing the things they love. Julie is also the co-founder of Samana Health Retreats, offering luxury and custom programs and retreats that focus on holistic health, yoga and detoxification. Find out about her upcoming luxury detox retreat in Costa Rica here. Connect with Julie on email [], Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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