How to Truly Detox, From Mandy Ingber

Mandy's 18 years of experience have attracted clients like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Brooke Shields and Helen Hunt.
Mandy’s 18 years of experience have attracted clients like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Brooke Shields and Helen Hunt.

This post by Mandy Ingber on how to detox is a part of our fourth-annual Guest Bloggers’ Week. (Check out all of the inspiring, informative, entertaining and life-changing posts here!) Mandy is a celebrity fitness expert and New York Times best-selling author of Yogalosophy: 28-days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover (Seal Press), which is available online. She is a keynote speaker, spokesperson and wellness blogger for People.com and E! Visit Mandy on her website mandyingber.com or follow her on Twitter @msmandyingber or Facebook Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy

Having grown up in body-obsessed Los Angeles, raised on a vegan macrobiotic diet, Iyengar Yoga and all forms of exercise, I often wondered if I’d ever really be able to relax into myself. It seemed, no matter where I turned, there was reason to be alarmed at the food I was eating. Despite how hard I worked, there just weren’t enough hours in the day to care for my body. I felt I had two choices: All or nothing.

I spent decades living in the pendulum swing of being “good,” eating pristinely, or barely eating at all. After hours of workouts and eliminating toxins, or whatever else I could squeeze out of my 5-foot-4-inch frame, I would feel “good” when I hit a certain number on the scale or size of jeans. “Bad” was pretty much everything else. I knew this punishment/reward cycle had to come to an end. I decided consciously to love my body AS IS, no matter what. And I haven’t looked back since.

I started to speak positively about myself regardless of the shape or size. This helped me to act as, and truly become, the self-loving person I wanted to be, and so I decided to share this beauty secret with everyone. And guess what? Nobody thought I was crazy or conceited. In fact, it became contagious. The results have been phenomenal, and I think you can do it, too!

In my book Yogalosophy: 28 Days to the Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover, each day marks a new way to motivate yourself positively. Each chapter focuses on a theme and contains a playlist, yoga pose, cardio activity, journal question and recipe, plus extra credit activities to reframe your mind and reshape your ass. Here’s a sample!

Day 11: Detoxify

Let’s get one thing straight: you are NOT toxic. Your body’s job is to eliminate whatever it doesn’t need. Your body is a miracle and it knows just what to do. So the number one thing to eliminate is TOXIC THINKING. When you notice yourself being harsh and critical, take a deep breath in and wash it away with an exhale. A short 15-minute meditation will allow you to be still enough to recognize the thoughts that you may want to release. EMOTIONAL DEBRIS is also something we want to let go. The breath is the bridge from the mind to the body. Your body is like an archived library of all the events in your lifetime, both positive and negative. Even your ancestors’ struggles and triumphs lay dormant in your bones. When you breathe deeply, emotions will arise. Let them. Feel them and move through it. SWEAT IT OUT. Move your body to the point of sweating, or walk and then sweat in a sauna. I like to think of sweating as taking a shower from the inside out.

Here are some actions you can take:

1. YOGA POSE: Twists. The Detox Routine incorporates many twists, which wring out the organs and improve digestion.

Twisting Chair: With your feet together, bend both knees and sit your hips back into an imaginary chair. Extend your arms up and peel your torso off of your thighs. Then bring your palms to a prayer position and hook the left elbow on the right knee. Press your palms together and twist. As you inhale, lengthen your sternum, and as you exhale, twist a little deeper. After holding for five breaths, unwind your body and repeat on side two.

2. CARDIO ACTIVITY: 20 minutes of Sun Salutes or the cardio activity of your choice. My favorite? Jump on a mini trampoline to help drain the lymphatic system.

3. PLAYLIST: “Just Another Day.”  This is one of my favorite mixes from my days as a Spinning instructor. Working up a daily sweat has always been a part of my routine. I am sharing these optional playlists with you because these musical routines set the tone for the day.

  1. “Woody and Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking,” Ricki Lee Jones
  2. “Magalenha,” Sergio Mendes
  3. “Spill the Wine,” War
  4. “Lonesome Day,” Bruce Springsteen
  5. “Grandma’s Hands,” Bill Withers
  6. “Someday,” The Strokes
  7. “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” Stevie Wonder
  8. “Peace Train,” Cat Stevens
  9. “In My Place,” Coldplay
  10. “Sleepy Maggie,” Ashley MacIsaac
  11. “Semi-Charmed Life,” Third Eye Blind
  12. “Distractions,” Zero 7

4. JOURNAL QUESTION: What old thoughts or habits are you detoxing? Free write about this for 15 minutes.

5. GRATITUDE LIST: Write a list of 5 things about your body that you are grateful for. This will help transform negative thinking into positive thoughts! Today, replace one vice for something healthy. Example: Eat no sugars or processed foods for the day. Replace one meal with a green smoothie: 5 kale leaves,
 1 cup spinach,
 2 stalks celery, 1/2 apple,
 1/2 lemon,
 1/2 cup cilantro, 1 piece ginger.

Thanks for letting me share a day in the life of a girl who had learned to love herself into shape. I hope you can join me! —Mandy Ingber

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  1. I love yoga! One of the best ways I have found to detox is to incorporate using a sauna immediately after my workout. This really allows my body to sweat on a level it can not reach by just working out. Thank you for the post!