Caroline Shannon-Karasik’s AfterGlo

Budget cleanse: 5 tips for an at-home detox

By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Pick up any magazine or scroll through your Facebook feed and you’re bound to spot a post, article or ad boasting a cleanse that promises to help you lose weight, discover a clearer complexion, rid your body of harmful chemicals, reset your life …  and end world hunger.

OK, so that last one was a bit of a stretch. Still, the truth is not only are a lot these programs a bust, but the ones that do offer health benefits often carry a price tag that’s heftier than last week’s paycheck.

But what if you could reap the benefits of a detox while staying at home and keeping your budget intact? Sounds like a deal, right? Read on for my top tips to holistically detox your life from head to toe!


Eliminate big offenders

Nix gluten, dairy, soy, caffeine and alcohol for one week to give your system a rest and help you suss out which foods lie at the root of other issues, like acne, decreased energy, digestive upset and even depression. Instead, stick to simple, whole ingredients at meal times and try to choose food items that include fewer than five ingredients. This means pairing fresh eggs and sautéed veggies for breakfast; a veggie-packed salad topped with grilled grass-fed chicken and sunflower seeds, and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar; and seared salmon with roasted potatoes and steamed veggies for dinner. Snacks might include apple slices with natural peanut butter or fresh-cut veggies with hummus. I promise you won’t go hungry!


Sip like you’re at the spa

Add a squeeze of fresh lemon to warm or cold water (although lukewarm is preferred for digestive benefits) for a hefty dose of nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to flush out toxins and promote healthy digestion. The regular consumption of lemon water has also proven to help reduce acidity, therefore decreasing inflammation and providing an overall energy boost. Other water additions that will encourage you to drink fluids – therefore keeping you hydrated and increasing detox benefits – include fresh cucumber slices and berries. A cup of herbal tea, like chamomile or peppermint, will also promote relaxation, especially before heading to bed.


Download a meditation app

Meditation has been shown to help decrease feelings of depression, increase concentration and boost creativity. There are several types of meditation, including guided meditation, mantra meditation and even some yoga practices that focus on meditative-like breathing exercises. Plus, research shows, contrary to popular belief, even just five minutes of mediation per day can help you establish a bit of zen in your life. Save money by skipping classes getting your “om” on at home with meditation apps, like Simply Being ($.99), The Mindfulness App ($1.99) or Get Some Head Space (FREE).


Light soothing scents

A successful detox requires the right frame of mind. Burn candles or essential oils featuring calming ingredients, like lavender, peppermint, bergamot and jasmine to create a peaceful at-home environment. My favorite? The Be Home Rosemary Lavender Soy Candle, made with essential oils and non-GMO soy wax ($12 at


Dry brush for healthier skin 

I know, you’re all like, “huh?” Dry brushing is a less common method of daily detoxing, but it’s also a super-effective way to eliminate toxins from the body. Think about it like this: The skin is our largest organ and that means that if it’s feeling “blah,” then we will be, too. Dry brushing helps increase circulation and improve lymphatic flow, while also working to slough off dead skin cells. All of these things stimulate the immune system, activate the removal of waste and toxins, and lead to healthier overall skin quality. Plus, dry brushing has even been shown to help decrease the appearance of cellulite. Score! Try Yerba Prima’s Tampico Skin Brush ($5.69 at


One of my favorite everyday detox tricks includes sipping on a smoothie stuffed with health ingredients, like baby kale, frozen berries and coconut milk. What about you? Share your ideas by sending me an email.

Orange Carrot Ginger
Sunrise Smoothie 

(gluten-free and vegan)

Makes 2 servings


Not only are carrots beneficial to eye and skin, they are also rich in calcium and beta-carotene, which are ideal for boosting the immune system and fighting cancer. Pair the root veggies with Vitamin C-rich oranges, spicy ginger, and a few other ingredients for this delightfully bright smoothie.



1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into

1/2-inch chunks 2 medium oranges, peeled
1/2- to 1-inch fresh ginger root, peeled
1 cup frozen mango chunks or peach slices

1 lemon, peeled
1-1/2 cups pure coconut water


Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!


Caroline Shannon-Karasik is the author of The Gluten-Free Revolution and a certified health coach. She is also the author of the popular gluten-free blog, Her writing and recipe development has been featured in several publications, including, VegNews, Kiwi and REDBOOK magazines. Caroline lives with her husband Dan and four adopted cats in Pittsburgh, Penn. Caroline can be reached at

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About Caroline Shannon-Karasik

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