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The ONE Thing The Healthiest People We Know Do To Detox In January

Liz Moody
January 8, 2019
Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor
By Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor
Liz Moody is a food editor, recipe developer and green smoothie enthusiast. She received her creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody is the author of two cookbooks: Healthier Together and Glow Pops and the host of the Healthier Together podcast.
collage illustration about detox advice
Image by Megan Doty / mbg Creative
January 8, 2019
This January, we at mbg are all about cleaning up your diet, just a little bit. Instead of restricting your food to a narrow window, we're encouraging you to eat more—more plants, more fiber, more protein. We're encouraging you to sharpen your knives and dust off your pots and cook at home. We want you to reconnect with just how good healthy food makes you feel—and how fun it can be to eat. Join us for the next few weeks as we solve every problem that's getting in the way of you cooking and eating in a way that's truly nourishing for your body and your soul. You'll find recipes, tips, and tricks; advice from the world's best doctors; and more (check out the easy-to-follow rules of the plan here). So, what are you waiting for? Pull up a chair—we're so happy to have you at the table.

January can often be overwhelming, with new wellness advice being offered from every direction. While it's well-meaning, it can be hard to cut through the clutter, so we asked top wellness pros from across the country what the single most important thing they do to detox in January. Read what they had to say, and experiment with what resonates with you—you might find yourself feeling better sooner than you think!

Drink a protein-packed smoothie.

I commit to drinking a fruit free #fab4smoothie every morning to lower holiday-induced sugar cravings and practice "dryuary," where I take a month off of any alcohol.

Kelly LeVeque, celebrity nutritionist, mbg Collective member, and author of Body Love

Do a Whole30.

January is a great time for a Whole30 or other real-food reset that focuses on food quality. Cut out the sugar and processed foods, and instead look at focusing on nutrient-dense foods like well-raised meats and organic vegetables and fruits. Switch to water or herbal tea instead of soft drinks.

Eat easier-to-digest food.

I try to do a gentle cleanse for three days, with smoothies and juice during the day and then a soup-based dinner, which is what I create for a lot of my clients.

Reflect on the past and future.

After a hectic holiday season (characterized by a lot of socialization), I love treating January like a blank slate to set intentions for the year ahead, create space, and go inward. My mornings are filled with reading, reflection, and yoga; I prioritize sleep (which isn't so hard during one of the darkest months of the year); and I nourish my body with warming, grounding foods, while forgoing the alcohol and sugar as much as possible.

Sara McGlothlin, holistic nutritionist

Intermittent fast.

I love doing different intermittent fasting or time-restricted feeding protocols to enhance my detoxification pathways. If I need a deeper reset, I will do an OMAD, or one meal a day. By doing a 23:1 fasting:eating window, I am allowing my body to upregulate liver detox pathways as well as enhancing my body's autophagy, or cellular cleansing pathways. I take the autophagy to the next level by sipping on some Earl Grey tea during the fast. the bergamot oil and the black tea of Earl Grey are the secret ingredients to amplify autophagy. Even more, all of this enhances nutritional ketosis, my body's fat-burning, brain-boosting metabolic state.

Will Cole, D.C., mbg Collective member and author of Ketotarian

Try a kitchari cleanse.

A kitchari cleanse is the world's oldest cleanse and a staple in ayurveda. For three days, I eat kitchari with mung beans, quinoa, and specific spices that aid digestion, stimulate metabolism, and cleanse toxins. It's satisfying and warm while gently detoxifying your body and enhancing your digestive fire for lasting benefits.

Do a digital detox.

Throw my phone out the window from a great height. OK, that's just a fantasy, and that could hurt pedestrians below, so don't do that. But effectively do that. There's no better detox these days than a digital detox, so the more space you can give yourself from all technology over the holidays, the more genuinely rested and refreshed you will feel upon re-entry into "real life" in 2019.

Ellen Vora, M.D., mbg Collective member and founder of

Eat consciously.

I don't really cleanse or reset in January except to throw out all the sugary stuff I have lying around from the holidays! I make a conscious decision to really make two of the three meals daily mostly plants (protein of course too) and really solidly thought out. I like to have my clients put a lot of conscious thought into their meals, really taking the time to eat and enjoy them.

Make an action plan.

I draw up a list of the four most prominent areas in my life—self, profession, love, family—then write one word for each, followed by an action plan. For example, self might be "balance hormones" with an action plan to meditate and stop traveling so much! Using one word to describe your goals makes the plan less overwhelming, and the action plan is your strategy to achieve it!

Dana James, M.S., CNS, CDN, mbg Collective member and author of The Archetype Diet

Restock a healthy fridge and pantry.

I take everything out of my fridge, freezer, and cabinets and toss what's expired or just not going to get used. Then I restock with my favorite healthy staples. Also, this isn't a food thing, but I burn a lot of palo santo and take steps to cleanse the energy in my space. It helps me feel more clear, mentally.

Prioritize sleep.

December tends to be such a busy month with social gatherings that my goal to recharge this January is to set a bedtime and stick to it. Sleep is so important to manage stress levels and even regulate appetite. I look forward to lots of good sleep in the new year!

Remember that cleansing isn't just about food.

After over a decade of doing food-based cleanses full of beautiful, wholesome ingredients, I've made cleansing a regular part of my life. They're not just a fad, they're not only for pre-festival preparation or post-holiday bloat relief—cleanses are here to stay. I've come to hold a deep respect for these magical detox periods that are best practiced with the change of the seasons.

Cleanses aren't only about what you're putting into your body; they're also a time to come back to a ritual of meditation, a spiritual yoga practice, hiking, or being in nature. From a bath at the end of a long day to keeping your phone on airplane mode for several hours while you restore your heart and mind, cleansing comes in all forms. When you spend time away from situations that drain you, even for a little bit, you'll feel radiant, energetic, and have an easy time finding gratitude for all of the little beautiful things in your life and on your path.

Sophie Jaffe, mbg Collective member and founder of Philosophie Superfoods

Maximize joy.

The only cleanse I'll do or recommend is one for the mind and mental health. Get rid of anything that no longer serves you, set boundaries with your precious time, explore ways to bring more love and joy into your life, and limit behaviors that aren't taking you closer to health and happiness. You can skip all the detoxes and cleanses out there—find something that supports your body at doing what it does really well, already!

McKel Hill, R.D. and founder of Nutrition Stripped


Keeping a healthy diet has just become part of my life at this point, but as an entrepreneur I find myself needing to reset the work-life balance. In the new year, I get myself a brand-new journal and map out my year as best as I can. I use the journal daily to create balance and accomplish a lot in a little bit of time. 

Want to turn your passion for wellbeing into a fulfilling career? Become a Certified Health Coach! Learn more here.
Liz Moody author page.
Liz Moody
Contributing Food Editor

Liz Moody is an author, blogger and recipe developer living in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated with a creative writing and psychology degree from The University of California, Berkeley. Moody has written two cookbooks: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships and Glow Pops: Super-Easy Superfood Recipes to Help You Look and Feel Your Best. She also hosts the Healthier Together Podcast, where she chats with notable chefs, nutritionists, and best-selling authors about their paths to success. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Food & Wine & Women’s Health.