The Reboot Diet and the Detox Effect

Just drink vegetable and fruit juice on the Reboot Diet plan?  No eating?  Yes, and you may be able to tolerate that because you do get ample nutrition.  But what about the headaches, and foggy brain – the detox effect?  Here, courageous one, are three remedies!

EVERY ONCE in awhile – so I don’t get out of practice – I do something decadent and unhealthy, but just one thing at a time… mostly.

So when my ole college buddy, Mitch, and I decided to walk from his home to be among the small fishes and egrets in a nearby estuary, I chose a honey-tipped cigar to commemorate the occasion, but left the beer behind.  Pellegrino was the substitute.

All the effervescence without the alcohol or the calories.

As we’re wont to do on such occasions, Mitch and I recounted some of our history together since the wondrous days at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and reconfirmed that although both our lives have turned out to be unconventional, they fit us well enough, are decidedly ours, and must be treasured.

If we don’t, who will?

But all this is not the kernel of this post.  The main point is about the detox effect that will occur to most of us when we embark upon a cleaner diet.

By “cleaner diet” I mean one dominated with fruits and vegetables.  Or, to take it to the squeaky clean level, I’m talking about a detox cleanse, one whereby you ingest only freshly made vegetable and fruit juice.  This is the subject of Joe Cross’s documentary, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and the resulting “Reboot” juice cleanse diet.

This topic popped up in that estuary with Mitch.  He said,

“Hey, been meaning to ask you something.  Sometimes I feel sluggish, that I should be xxxx [means “eliminating”] more.  I could use a cleanse. [Who couldn’t?]  What do you suggest, Garm?”

I told him about the Reboot diet, mainly a vegetable and fruit juice cleanse, and about the so-called Chinese Detox Cleanse (I write about it at It’s Detox Time).  Then I cautioned Mitch to ease into it in order to minimize the uncomfortable detox effect.

If you’ve watched the Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead documentary (watch the trailer here), you may remember some mention of detoxing.  I know that one of the protagonists, “Phil” – who lost over 200 pounds on the Reboot diet – said not to worry if you get sluggish or headaches from detoxing because they would soon recede and be replaced with lots of energy.

This is true, but my concern for first-time detoxers is that they hide tail and scamper off immediately after feeling awful, never to return to the righteous alter.

“Hell no, cleansing is not for me!”

And that’s the kernel of this post, for what I want to tell you is that there are remedies to the detox effect.

Now, to be clear; by “detox effect” I’m referring to certain physical and/or emotional ailments that might arise after beginning your cleanse that you can pinpoint to the cleanse itself. Such ailments could be sluggishness, tiredness, headaches, nervousness, strong hunger or a skin rash.

If you’re a coffee power drinker, perhaps even constipation could occur because coffee helps with elimination, and if you stop drinking it, initially your toilet may get as lonely as your head hurts from the headaches, but neither will last beyond a few days. (Drink the Shake, #2 below.)

There are three simple things you can do to minimize or eliminate the detox effect when cleansing:

1. Transition Slowly. Before you begin the juice fast, take some time to ease into the new cleansing program.  How much time depends on where you’re starting from. If the thought of eliminating coffee, diary and meat during your cleanse makes you shiver, well you may need a couple of weeks to prepare.  Start reducing everything but fruits and vegetables, and then begin to eliminate, say, meat one week, followed by diary and then coffee.

2. Hydrate and Consume the “Shake”. During the cleanse, drink more water than you can stand, and a couple times of day, drink a “Shake” consisting of water, psyllium husk powder (fiber), bentonite (a liquid clay) and lemon juice.  (The psyllium and bentonite are widely available at health food stores or online.) This absorbs toxins and helps with elimination.  Drink it no sooner than one hour before or after your juice so the juice’s nutrition gets time to be digested.

3. Take Detox Baths. This is very powerful.  You need hot water in a tub, drinking water with lemon, baking soda, ginger powder, sea salt and a loofah.  The instructions are at the bottom of this post called, Detoxifying Your Way to Nirvana.

These three things should work for most of you. For the rest, just persevere!

If you’d like to learn more about the Reboot Diet, start with my post, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead — The Reboot Plan which has links to some good stuff to help make you healthier.

Know that I’ve done many detox cleanses, all varieties, and have sometimes gone through some discomfort.  But mark my words, it’s worth it — or perhaps I should say, it was for me!


Last Updated on December 5, 2014 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 8 comments
Vjam2002 - November 24, 2011

I love your movie. I am 40 and I weigh 189lbs. I am active but not nearly enough. I am tired of being fat and no energy. I have a juicer,but I have always started and stopped. During that time my clothes keep getting a little tighter. Now as it is a moring for Thanksgiving and I have a raging headache, from all the pre Thanksgiving nibbling. I just don’t want to do this any more. I don’t want to end up on all those pills and things I have got to get serious about my health. My biggest obstacles are gonna be my husband and my best friend. Who of course wears a smaller size now than we did in high school.(no pressure there) my wonderful husband who cooks incrediably rich and yummy foods. (yeah no pressure at all there) be that as it may they just excuses to fail that is something I don’t want to do. Today I am going to make me some green juice and eat less of the Thanksgiving naughties like the jelly cake and pie, Mac and cheese. Thanks for having this site it has reminded me of what I need to do. Thanks and God Bless.

    Joseph Garma - November 25, 2011

    I can relate to the Thanksgiving excess and why I posted about my experience. Search for “Cleanse the Bloat Away”.
    Yes, juicing is great. Find a way to make it easy to do so it gets done.

    Ivory Bainter - November 10, 2015

    Heya, The best fat loss that I have ever had was with Carls magic plan (i found it on google) Without a doubt the most useful diet that I have ever tried.

Jack Alan - June 7, 2012

Fruits or vegetables juices are the best source of getting nutrition and essential ingredients of vitamins and minerals. Because fruits are rich in terms of vitamins and green arteries for minerals. And both are the key to stay healthy.

Lisa Kphotoalbums - June 29, 2012

I wonder why juicing and not using the whole fruit and vegetable where you get the fiber etc.? I would think using the whole fruit and vegetable would be healthier, more nutritious for you.

    Joseph Garma - August 8, 2012

    The fiber would help slow down the blood sugar reaction to the juice’s carbohydrates (less insulin secreted by the pancreas), be more filling and could be useful in combating constipation.  But by separating the fiber from the juice, more juice can be consumed and if the ingredients have been selected to maximize nutrition, you get this benefit. 

Julie Daniluk R.H.N - August 8, 2012

Thanks for this info Joe. Great article. Good point about transitioning slowly. It can make all the difference in a person willing to stick with a detox program.

Cheers, Julie

    Joseph Garma - August 8, 2012

     Thanks for stopping by, Julie!


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