Cleanse with the Goddess of Raw and Guru of Detox

I feel amazing.

I just completed Karyn Calabrese’s renowned 28-day cleanse/detox, and it has been cathartic for my body, mind and soul. This cleanse truly is like peeling away onion layers or metamorphosing from a caterpillar into a butterfly. My energy levels are through the roof, and my body is leaner, meaner and noticeably more flexible (as is my mind).

Calabrese, known as the Goddess of Raw and Guru of Detox, has built a holistic health and raw/vegan empire, including acclaimed restaurants; the Inner Beauty Spa, a store with high-quality organic food, nutritional supplements and personal care and household cleaning products; educational classes; and a bestselling book, Soak Your Nuts: Cleansing with Karyn: Secrets for Inner Healing and Outer Beauty.

Doing a 28-day cleanse during a Chicago winter seemed daunting at first. Calabrese’s cleanse involves eating an organic raw/vegan diet for three weeks and fasting for one week, with the intensive use of targeted nutritional supplements and colon therapy (enemas/colonics). During her 35 years in the healing arts, Calabrese has developed what she calls Nature’s Healing System to relieve everything from obesity to hormonal disorders. At its heart, Calabrese’s carefully calibrated cleansing program combines a raw/vegan diet, fasting, supplementation and—importantly—contemplation to rebalance the body, remove years of accumulated toxins and restore flagging life-force energy.

Through a course at Inner Beauty in Chicago, I met with Calabrese for two hour sessions over a four-week period. (If you can’t attend one of her four yearly on-site programs, Soak Your Nuts outlines the protocol in detail or you can find Calabrese’s teachings on YouTube.) About a third of the class were alumni, and many shared stories about healing chronic and acute disease through cleansing.

“You’re going to redesign your inner being,” Calabrese told us. She emphasized that the body can react to cleansing with pain, headaches, fatigue, chills, nausea, runny nose, diarrhea, fever and more. She encouraged everyone to partner with someone in the class for support and to prep juices, foods and supplements a day ahead so we would have plenty of raw/vegan snacks to nosh on. She helped us with affirmations and intentions.

“I don’t miss a day without my meditation and prayer–listening and talking to God,” Calabrese told us. In addition to helping us understand what the cleanse was doing to our bodies, she shared how meditation and journaling could help us through the mental and spiritual catharsis and open us up to infinite possibility.

On a typical day, I would wake up and take probiotics, fenugreek capsules and digestive enzymes with my green food smoothie and chlorella before I meditated, walked the dogs, practiced yoga and did a bit of journaling. Then I would be out the door for the day with my bag of supplements, kamut and other green juices, oxygenated drink and raw food snacks. (Calabrese’s granola bar, carrot muffin and kale chips are delicious!)

We become the food we eat. As Dr. Ann Wigmore, one of Calabrese’s primary mentors, has said, “The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” Calabrese’s 28-day cleanse is a great way to reboot your food habits to improve your health and quality of life. Once you experience this vitalized well-being, there’s no turning back. I’ll continue to take many of the vital foodstuffs and supplements that I discovered during my cleanse until I can participate again.

Calabrese is fond of saying, “If you don’t take good care of your body, where will you live?” So true.

Green food smoothies and juices are important in Karyn Calabrese’s 28-day cleanse.

Mary Beth Janssen

Mary Beth Janssen

Author, Mind-Body Health Educator at Chopra Center for Wellbeing
Mary Beth Janssen is a certified mind-body health educator for the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and author of five books. Send questions to
Mary Beth Janssen

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