When A Cleanse Is Healthy & When it’s Not.

I’ve done a lot of juice fasting and cleansing.

Like, a whole heck of a lot.

Anyone who’s been around my work for any period of time may even be sick of hearing about the “90-day juice fast” but for the newbies, that’s where I’m coming from.

I’ve written about the pitfalls and all the ways I approached cleansing in an unhealthy way…

But what I’ve never done is talked about how it can be done in a way that’s truly supportive.

There’s a common misconception that “cleanses” or even just “healthy eating” is what causes craziness or disordered eating.

But…there are people eating all sorts of ways that are calm and vibrant and people eating all sorts of ways that are obsessive and disordered.

The craziness isn’t in the food.

((And by “cleanse” or “detox”, I just mean removing anything that’s in the way of you being fully “you”. It doesn’t have to be as intense as living on juice!))

When A Cleanse Is Healthy & When It's Not


– It feels exciting, right, and easy. It should not feel like the world’s biggest burden and if it does, it’s not the right step for you. A “cleanse” should be just enough of a stretch for you that it feels completely doable with just a touch of challenge.

– You’re focused more on how you want to FEEL than how you want to LOOK. A cleanse done purely to see the number on the scale go down is gonna make you crazy. A cleanse done to bring in LIGHTNESS, MAGIC, and CLARITY into your experience is the way to go.

– You feel completely “whole” and “enough” to begin with. You should never jump into a cleanse thinking that you’ll be “fixed” at the end. You don’t need fixing. Perhaps your experience of yourself simply needs a little upgrading.

– You’re listening to your body. There will likely be cravings and detox symptoms but you shouldn’t feel like you’re starving yourself or that you can’t show up for your life.

– You already have a lifestyle that supports feeling really good in your body. There should be no jumps from fast-food binges to white-knuckled fasts.

– You’re not struggling with disordered eating or you don’t like your body. Going to an extreme will only hold you in a place of struggle for longer. If this is you, know that cleansing can have a place in your life when you’re more grounded and have healed your relationship to food and your body.

– It comes naturally. In my experience, the desire to lighten up or cleanse sort of “calls” to me like an invitation. It can “call” in the form of simple curiosity or in an intense desire to feel less heaviness.

A teeny bit of life-affirming discipline can lead to a whole lotta’ freedom.

Not the “I’ll look great in a bikini and THEN I’ll feel free!” sort of way.


In the “waking-up-feeling-clear, connected-to-your-body, oh-THERE’S-all-that-vitality!!” sort of way.

Love your body first – THEN explore the world of cleansing if you feel it calling to you.

2 thoughts on “When A Cleanse Is Healthy & When it’s Not.

  1. Each to their own, but I’ve always believed that the best “cleanse” is a healthy, balanced diet and reasonable amounts of water and green tea. Things like juice cleanses throw your body into an extreme, which is not good in the long run. Great post, by the way.


    1. For the most part, I agree! For me, cleansing is intuitive and I’d never recommend it to anyone prone to disorder, extremes, or who struggles to eat in a way that’s healthy for them in the day-to-day. Thanks for your thoughts!


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