summer seasonal detox girl out on water stretching

Getting Your Gut Back on Track: Gut Reset and Seasonal Detox

Discover the benefits of seasonal detoxing and learn how to cleanse your body. This guide offers practical tips and insights for achieving a healthier, more vibrant you.

Written by Dr. Alejandro Junger, Clean Program Founder

We all want to feel well, be healthy and for longer. Especially if you don't feel well or have specific health problems. But even if you already feel well, maintaining that healthy state takes work. And also, it gets harder at times, and with time.

Even if you already eat healthy, exercise, meditate, and drink plenty of water, you cannot escape the effects of modern life on your body. Especially in your gut and in your liver, where most of the toxic molecules entering your bloodstream are neutralized and made water soluble so you can pee and sweat them out. Plus, the stress of modern life is also inevitable. 

Even if it's 'normal' stress, like when you are late to drop the kids to school. We have normalized living like that, but it turns on the same fight or flight reaction in your body as when you might feel that a tiger is about to eat you would do, just at a lower intensity, day in and day out. Stress is the number one factor that damages our intestinal health.

Suboptimal detoxification and gut dysfunction at the root of chronic illness & symptoms

In my experience and opinion, two main issues contribute to illness. First, we are overloaded with toxic chemicals that even healthy livers cannot deal with in real-time. Second, we are all walking with some degree of gut injury and dysfunction. And this accumulates over time.

"Doc, I did everything well and I still got cancer" (or any chronic disease you can imagine). I hear this from so many people around the world. Modern life catches up with so many of us.

When I help people with symptoms, illnesses, and diseases heal themselves, the first thing I do most times is put them on a program that addresses the two main issues that are making us sick:

1) Our detoxification system is not fulfilling its function optimally leading to toxic overload and its consequences.

2) Our gut gets injured, at many levels:

  1. Our microbiome (bacteria), mycobiome (fungus) and many other types of bugs that normally live there get altered (dysbiosis).
  2. Our gut wall becomes hyperpermeable (leaky gut).
  3. Our immune system activates adaptation and survival mechanisms (inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases).
  4. Your nervous system within the gut goes haywire (depression, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, mental fog, insomnia, and more).
seasonal detoxing water

Your body is designed to heal itself and rejuvenate

In Functional Medicine, as in most ancient healing modalities, there is an overarching guiding principle. The understanding that the body is designed by nature to continuously function optimally and repair itself. Even rejuvenate itself. However, it cannot heal when there are obstacles and there are things that are lacking. When you remove the obstacles and provide whatever is lacking, everything corrects by itself. Your body heals.

When the body has toxic overload and gut injury beyond what it can repair itself, it is not enough to eat well. First, because everyone's idea of what eating well means is very different. And more so because most people never create the conditions (inner and outer) for their own healing processes and mechanisms to complete all the molecular shuffling around needed.

The gut, like a broken bone, needs rest to heal.

What does a reset program seek to achieve?

A well-designed reset program addresses both issues. Boosts the detoxification system and helps achieve more order in the gut. The result is a more balanced microbiome, a less permeable gut wall, systemic inflammation stops getting activated, and the nervous system stops reacting and starts doing what it should have been doing. This is the kind of program I recommend to do at any stage in your health journey.

For maintenance, doing it seasonally is great for many reasons. It aligns with nature, which works in seasons. It solidifies your schedule and you give it as much priority as you do to other types of vacations, or work commitments. To yourself. To your cells. Eventually, you will know exactly when to do it and how long to do it for.

Once a year for 21 days, or every change of season for 7 days, or a combination of both can be beneficial. You will find your personal blueprint as you learn and feel the benefits in your life long term.

If you can do it with someone, or in a group, having support is a great way to stick with it. But alone works well, and I see people doing it successfully from all walks of life.

Signs that you need a detox or reset

Our body expresses imbalance in many different ways. When our detoxification processes are not working properly and we have gut dysfunction, our nervous system and immune system can begin to overreact, causing a wide range of issues all over the body. 

Some of these signs may include:

  • Low energy or persistent fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping or not enough deep sleep
  • Frequent headaches
  • Digestive issues and bloating
  • Dull skin or puffy eyes
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Getting sick frequently
  • Difficulty concentrating or mental fog
  • Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight

How to do a seasonal detox

The main principles are easy to follow. Eliminate all sources of gut-disruptive foods, such as processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol and coffee. If you want to go even deeper, eliminate grains as well. This will immediately calm most immune system reactions and energy and resources can be redirected.

We reduce the workload of the digestive system by replacing meals with liquid meals. And we respect a minimum time of not eating anything. From 3 hours to 24 hours is what I use in the Clean 21 day program I designed, as well as the Clean 7 program.

We provide what is needed either with real, whole, chemical free foods during our liquid and solid meals. And we provide certain special nutrients and other molecules with supplements. Common ones I use are digestive enzymes, probiotics, adaptogens, and L-Glutamine.

Transform your health to the next level

Working on other areas of your life concomitantly potentiates healing as well. Dancing, yoga, meditation, play, tribe, saunas, massage, cold plunges and so many other modalities take things to the next level.

Incorporating a well-designed reset program seasonally–one that boosts both detox and gut repair–into your long-term wellness plan is in my opinion one of the things that can transform your life. It is the mother of maintaining health and vibrancy. It is also important to approach it with long-term vision, otherwise, you go into cycles of complete disorder doing reset programs all the time. 

It is my hope that after every reset program, you go back less and less to what doesn’t love you back. 

If you have any questions about our programs or would like to find out more about how they can fit into your lifestyle and goals, reach out to our Clean Wellness Coaches for a 20-min complimentary session.