On Detox: 5 Common Mistakes

Who doesn’t feel like they need a diet reset once in a while?

Whether this feeling comes from a weekend of over-indulgence, or is due to a gradual diversion from your typically healthy way of eating, everyone needs a reset now and again.

With plenty of detox and cleanse kits on the market, I have clients come to me who have endured cycles of expensive juice cleanses or seasonal herbal formulas bought from grocery store shelves. While these products may produce the desired results, the most important aspect of any detoxification protocol is that it’s based on your individual lifestyle and tailored to your specific needs. 

In other words, it’s safe. 

Both the excess intake or exposure to toxins - as well as a reduction in the efficiency of the body’s elimination pathways - increases the accumulation of toxins in the tissues and can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Stagnated toxins in the body can present as conditions such as acne, depression, weight gain, chronic infections, as well as more serious degenerative diseases. No one wants any of that so they try to fix their symptoms with a detox or cleanse. However, many people go about cleansing and detoxifying without fully understanding what is actually happening in their body. 

Here are my Top 5 Most Common Detox Mistakes:

1.  Ignoring the body’s elimination pathways

The body detoxifies in two phases: In Phase 1, the liver’s enzymes break down toxins into highly reactive intermediates so that in Phase 2 they can be made water soluble and excreted from the body. While these phases happen simultaneously, the process may be more heavily balanced in the favour of one or the other. So, if Phase 1 is amplified and Phase 2 is down regulated in some way due to diet, lifestyle or otherwise, the free radicals produced in Phase 1 may damage the liver cells and cause side effects. Utilizing saunas, dry body brushing, encouraging regular bowel movements, and drinking plenty of water can enable the body to better expel toxins.

2.  Striving for FAST results

I get it: You feel gross and want to feel great. However, ramping up the detoxification pathways in your body too quickly can lead to a gambit of side effects including gas, bloating, constipation, headaches, dizziness, and several skin conditions. Starting slow allows your body to adapt and supports better detox in the long run.

3. Relying on supplements

Many people are too keen to purchase the “quick-fix” herbal remedy or a 3 day package of fresh juices delivered directly to your door for their once (or twice) yearly cleanse, only to return to poor eating habits almost immediately following. This practice doesn’t address the underlying toxic eating and lifestyle habits that have been established and sustains a cycle of re-toxification.

4.  Not fully committing

Just having one drink or one bite of a food that isn’t detox-friendly when a social engagement arises, sabotages the work you’ve done. This is particularly true if the detox is an elimination style diet and aiming to uncover food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances. That one bite puts you back at the start. It’s important to set aside the time to commit to your goal.

5.  Focussing solely on diet

We don’t just eat the toxins of our modern lifestyles. We are exposed to environmental chemicals and pollutants everywhere in our daily life. Some things to consider might be your exposure to plastic food containers, or the cleaning solutions used at your exercise facility, or any recent construction in your home or neighbourhood. Each of these situations can reveal previously unknown toxins in your life. Additionally, stress as well as our thoughts and emotions can be toxic to our health. It’s important to not look at the body as a series of compartmentalized segments or organ systems because they function as a whole. Negative thoughts or emotions are directly linked to inflammation and chronic disease in the body. If you're seeking to bring lightness and vitally to your body through a detox, you may also want to consider other aspects of your life - aside from food - are bringing toxicity to you.

If you’re not sure where to start with your efforts to detoxify your diet or lifestyle, try this this easy salad recipe or apply for an Ideal Body Breakthrough Session with Ashley.


Delicious Detox Salad

By: Ashley Freeman Nutrition

Vegan & Gluten Free


For the Salad:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 head of purple cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped into ribbons and lightly steamed
  • 1 head of broccoli, finely chopped 
  • 1 beet, grated
  • 2 to 3 carrots, grated
  • 1 avocado, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 raw nuts or seeds of your choice (chop if large)

For the Dressing: 

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 


  1. Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. 
  3. Dress salad to taste and serve with a protein source to further support detox. You may have left over dressing to use on other salads and dishes.

Want more?  

If you’re struggling with losing or maintaining weight despite your committed efforts, apply for a Complimentary Ideal Body Breakthrough Session and get Ashley’s insight on what could be halting your fat-loss progress.

You can also get your hands on my FREE Meal Prep Guide, "5 Tools to Master Meal Prep & FINALLY Lose Your Muffin Top," HERE.