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.

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