A detox is not a diet.

Getting comfortable in my own skin and with how I perceive my body image has been one of my challenges this lifetime. So every spring, as I come off the liquids-only day of my yearly, oh-so-gentle detox, I repeat the mantra “A detox is not a diet. A detox is not a diet.”

My inner teenager, who danced with bulimia and diet regimens enforced by both my mother and my doctor, can never be skinny enough. She looks at pictures of my raw-boned ancestors and cringes, wondering why she didn’t inherit my mother’s bird bones and Audrey Hepburn visage.

A detox is not a diet, I repeat to myself on the day I had two solid meals and bone broth for only one.

A detox is not a diet, I say again on the first day of being back to three meals.

There’s a part of me that fights for a few more days of liquids only, even though I know, with my personal constitution and daily busyness, that a prolonged period with only bone broth is not, in fact, good for me.

This is how I come off every detox: reminding the wounded parts of my psyche that food is not the enemy. Click To Tweet

I’ve been reading Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton, chef and owner of the New York restaurant Prune:

I had no fewer than sixteen girls with “allergies” to dairy and wheat—cheese and bread basically—but also to to garlic, eggplant, corn, and nuts. They had cleverly developed allergies, I believe, to the foods they had seen their own mothers fearing and loathing as diet fads passed through their homes.

I breathe this in. Are my food intolerances—which lead to hives and migraines and horrible exhaustion—the energetic boomerang of my own mother’s yo-yo dieting?

Or is it bigger than that?

Has food and eating become so contorted that those of us who are “overly sensitive”—who taste the energy fields around us for breakfast and sip the resonance of our cultural zeitgeist at teatime—are now embodying the attitudes and confusion of an entire generation?



Is it as simple as stepping out of that energy or are we instead canaries in the coal mine, warning of rising smoke?

Is it a metaphor for a society that gives us too much to take in, to ingest, until we simply can’t digest it all?

Or perhaps we are simply adults who were kids with negative body image and low physical self-esteem?

I head over to the Medicine Keeper’s forum and join the struggles and triumphs being recorded there as we work through our annual cleansing of our spirits—as well as our bodies—for this journey into springtime.

I marvel at how many ways we can beat ourselves up with food, to the detriment of our body image and well being. At how this detox is as much emotional as it is physical.

And I make myself a vow:

One day, I will do a detox, and afterwards I will joyously add the meals back in, savoring the sensuality of food in my mouth.

And on that day, I will know that I have truly detoxed… and truly healed.

Grab your copy of A Witchy Woman’s Guide to Taming Your Sweet Tooth.


P.S. One of the sanest books I’ve ever read about dieting is Ending the Diet Mindset by Becca Clegg. You can get your copy here.