DETOX 2015

In 2011, and just before my 50th birthday, I publicly—on this Journal—declared a detox. I don’t really like to write much about my private life, as Alabama Chanin has grown into something so much bigger than me. And, truth-be-told, I am a rather shy and private person. However, I forged ahead and wrote in the second post:

“I felt reluctant to continue writing about my detox after the first post as I thought that it could be, frankly, a bit boring. Each of us has visited a site where the writer has a fondness to overshare about their eating habits and diet: each morsel eaten, photos of unmentionable detox attributes, things that we really don’t want to know—way too much information. I don’t want to be that person.”

But, the fact of the matter is that I completed the detox, lost 25 pounds, and felt better than I had in years. At the time, I vowed to stay “on the path.” I swore to be committed, stay focused, and to forge ahead. The best laid plans of mice and me…

2015 finds me grateful for a full year of goodness at Alabama Chanin. Our company has achieved so many accomplishments this last year and so many things have transpired since that 2011 detox. We’ve opened Building 14, opened a café and a store, a (then) new book, Alabama Studio Sewing + Design, was published, and. I’ve written a new book, and launched The School of Making.

At home, my daughter Maggie has survived to eight years old and managed to reach the middle of her Third Grade year with (mostly) straight A’s—an accomplishment that I rank at the top of my list (think nights of head-bashing homework). I became a grandmother, Maggie and I have raised a wriggling puppy to be a fine dog, we’ve added a horse to our family, planted a bevy of gardens, harvested them, put them up for winter fare, and taught granddaughter (and niece) Stella to make biscuits. All in all, life has been full—and fully appreciated. I’ve eaten delicious food, gone back for seconds, tasted our café’s wonderful cakes and plates of The Factory Benedict. I’ve enjoyed wines from around the world, drank my fair share of bubbly, danced on tables (well a chair); however, I’ve perhaps exercised a bit less than I should have and slept fewer hours than I would have liked. My clothes are a little tight, I find myself more tired than I used to be, and it’s time to do something about it.

So here I am publicly declaring my Detox 2015 (I am keenly aware that this reeks of a New Year’s Resolution—so, those of you who scoff at resolutions, please forgive me).

I’ve never been very good at following one set program, but here’s what I plan to start today. If you feel so inclined, follow along with me:

  • Begin the elimination program put together by Dr. Alejandro Junger to ease into the Clean Program. (However, I will continue with one cup of coffee each morning—there have to be some limits.)
  • Eliminate foods that aren’t great for my blood type. (I found that this works very well for me and follow these guidelines pretty regularly in life.)
  • Use the Long Life Cocktail from the Fat Flush Program—which consists of 1 Tablespoon of freshly ground flax seeds (I use an old coffee grinder that I cleaned out thoroughly) with Cranberry Water, taken in the morning and at night. I always feel so good when I do this and have been told that it is effective for cleaning out your liver.
  • Drink a cup of caffeine free tea with lemon at least once a day.
  • Drink more water.
  • Abstain from eating at least 12 hours each night and into the morning to allow the digestive system to rest.
  • Enjoy a freshly prepared juice (including greens) and one smoothie every day (I’ve stored lots of fruit in my freezer over the summer).
  • Stretch, play, and do some form of yoga for at least a little while each day.
  • Eat a hot meal for lunch each day that follows the Clean Cleanse program.

That’s it for 3 weeks.  After that I will see how I feel and decide if I’m prepared for the full-on 21-day detox.

I urge anyone to join along and let me know how you are doing in the comments below. Please remember that I AM NOT A DOCTOR and this is just what seemed to work for me before.  Visit a doctor for a full check-up before you begin any program and choose to follow only what works for you.

Happy Detox 2015,


Clean by Alejandro Junger

Clean: Cleanse Manual (online PDF)

Clean: Cleanse Recipes (online PDF)

Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr

Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr

The Fat Flush Plan by Ann Louise Gittleman

Eat Right for Your Type by Peter J. D’Adamo

Canyon Ranch: Nourish by by Scott Uehlein and Canyon Ranch

7 comments on “DETOX 2015

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  1. Eva

    Love you, Natalie. I wish I could squeeze you a big hug! Thanks for being such a real person with a big heart and loving soul.

  2. Alice

    Natalie, you are a beautiful person and the kind of person I like to be friends with. In the same boat with you, my husband retired this year and has taken up baking. My clothes seem to be getting tighter but I seem to be very happy. I do want to get the pounds off, exercise more and live a long and healthy life. Tai Chi tomorrow!

  3. Brooke Boardman

    You know… this is very familiar to me as I’m sure it is to many of us. I did the Clean cleanse once a year for the last two years and each time found it AMAZING! Lost good weight and more importantly felt Amazing and inspired by that great feeling! This year I have bought a juicer, now I’m on my second and much better and more effective juicer, and completed a two month “reboot” where all I was supposed to have was 4-5 fresh juices a day.. I lost 45lbs and feel so much better and my knees, which have been causing me some serious discomfort for a while now, feel so much improved! ( went to the dreaded gym at least 3 days a week to swim or exercise) I followed that very closely except that I had two Clean shakes a day and snacked on Kale chips… ooh lala! I actually felt amazing after the first three days of headaches.. and although I had a bit of a dip o’er the holidays I am determined to keep going with a much cleaner diet and fresh juices included every day.. good luck to you Natalie and really I think being conscious is such a good start and even if you side step a bit, as I’m sure we all will, just trying to get the good things in and mostly keep the decadent things as a treat. Well darn… I’m doing all that talking too much thing… apologies. Best wishes to all for a healthier and at least more mindful 2015.. it just can’t hurt 🙂


    Thank you for stepping up and taking as much care of yourself as you do others! We love you and need you around for a very long time. You will be just as successful at this as you have been with Alabama Chanin. We are on the sidelines cheering you on!


  5. carol

    Natalie thank you for sharing your health plan. I love hearing what other people are doing – it inspires me to pick & choose & find things that might work for me. Getting the menu updates will be very helpful.

  6. Patti Calande

    Natalie, thank you for sharing all the details of your clean eating plan. I have high cholesterol and am always on the lookout for new ways to get my numbers down. By listing your resources it makes it one step easier to do the research. Also, I get tired of my own cooking and really look forward to seeing your weekly menus for ideas in the kitchen (love the marked designations). Your story inspires us all to keep taking more steps for an even healthier 2015. Best of luck on your path; and let’s keep cheering each other on!

  7. Polly

    This is great! I did Junger’s Cleanse about 1.5 years ago after a devastating miscarriage, and it was so helpful for getting out the toxins both physically and spiritually (so was acupuncture). It is just in time, too–I am coming to the Factory from Far Away for the 2-hour workshop next week and will enjoy checking out the Detox selection of the day! I bet that is what I will choose to eat! I’d like to do another detox myself when summer comes, so this is an inspiring post to read to motivate me to really *do* it. Thank you!