Alternatives to Doing a Food Detox in January

Dec 29, 2022

Coming up on my 12 year anniversary at Energy Matters, I know for a fact that there is a significant increase in 21 Day Program registrations after the new year. And while the business certainly appreciates the support that shows, I would like to propose serving that core motive - a need to reset and refresh - with a different type of cleanse. In general, the 21 Day Program serves participants better when it’s less brisk outside. January and February in the East Bay sees the lowest average temperatures our very temperate climate offers. This is why we hold our first 21 Day Group in the spring, usually around March or April.

Following are a list of alternative “detoxes” that you may want to consider. I plan to do a few of these myself and when choosing, I think about the phrase, “rise upon the ground I stumble.” Keep in mind, that similar to our 21 Day Program, if you are under any sort of therapeutic care, you should discuss applying any of these ideas with your doctor, therapist or counselor.

  1. Digital Detox: For those whose job duties include massive amounts of screen exposure, having time to live IRL (in real life) is a must. Even if we don’t work in front of our computers, the lure of the quick dopamine hit, and a subsequent potential for addiction to that quick hit, may make us seek out that powerful, pocket-sized, magic-machine a little too often. This article on How to Do a Digital Detox Without Unplugging Completely offered me some excellent ideas to help craft my personal digital detox.

  2. Skincare Detox: I’m a big lover of skincare routines and am always mixing up a brew of serums, creams, and masks. Familiarity breeds contempt, they say. And while that may be too dramatic in terms of skincare, it can sometimes cause a decrease in effectiveness and/or create a buildup that, for me, has caused reactions when there weren’t any previously. Hmm, maybe there was some contempt? I will often take a break from my everyday skincare products, or switch up to new ones that are more seasonally appropriate for what my skin is personally asking for at the moment. Like all detoxes, eliminating something for a minute may help uncover something important as this writer discovered in this humorous article on skincare fasting.

  3. Shopping Detox: We might know that the over-consumption of “fast-fashion” is an environmental nightmare but did we know that “slow-fashion” can be problematic as well? Post winter-holidays can be a good time to give your wallet and capitalism a rest. It’s pretty easy - don’t buy anything new for a prescribed period of time and utilize only the items that you already own. Clothing is certainly the focus of many of the no-buy detoxes but we can just as easily apply these principles to all sorts of consumer goods from housewares to electronics, etc.

  4. Focusing on ME Detox: Whether it’s exercise, self-improvement, or even “healthy” eating - balance is key to success. Taking a breather from our self-imposed “better, stronger, healthier me” routines can again, increase effectiveness, uncover underlying issues, or even just relieve any sense of boredom or obligation. Food can be trickier given allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or serious illness. Have a conversation with your healthcare practitioner about what a break could look like.

For those interested in astrology, Mars is retrograde in Gemini from October through mid-January. If you’re interested, you can read Chani Nicholas’ thoughts about this thought-provoking period. My interpretation is that this astrological configuration is a really good time to polish and maintain the tools in our toolbox. A well applied detox can help us do that. 

What about you? Do any of these ideas spark an interest? Will you be trying any of them out?

Please note: We highly recommend talking to your 21 Day practitioner or our Intake Coordinator to determine what is the best time for you to embark on the 21 Day Program.

Post by: Jagadamba Macaraeg


Water, Jamie. "Constant craving: how digital media turned us all into dopamine addicts." The Guardian, 22 Aug 2021,

Lawler, Moira. “How to Do a Digital Detox Without Unplugging Completely.” Everyday Health, 30 Dec 2021, Emotional Health.

Siemens, Rachel. “Skin Fasting: An Outrageous Trend I Just Might Love.” Repeller, 12 Feb 2019, Archive

Le, Ngan. “The Impact of Fast Fashion on the Environment.” Princeton Student Climate Initiative, 20 July 2020,

Pucker, Kenneth P. “The Myth of Sustainable Fashion.” The Harvard Business Review, 13 Jan 2022,

Doyle, Megan. “Can a shopping detox reset your relationship with fashion?” Harper’s Bazaar, 21 Sept 2022, Fashion/Sustainability

Wang, David. “Why You Need a Break From Self-Improvement Content — A Detox Challenge!” Better Humans, 7 July 2022,

Nicholas, Chani, “Mars Retrograde in Gemini, 2022.”,shield%20or%20our%20stumbling%20block

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