How and why you should detox before starting a Total Nutrition program

Today’s blog hits the bullseye. In discussing the often-debated detox, we will be striking at the core of what Total Nutrition & Therapeutics accomplishes on a daily basis. 

For those of you who have worked with Total Nutrition & Therapeutics, you know Lori Esarey by now. Lori is the founder of Total Nutrition & Therapeutics, one of the nation’s pioneers in health and nutrition. Today, we introduce one of Lori’s great friends, Kelly Engelmann, founder of Enhanced Wellness Living, with whom Lori started a venture called Synergee: a company geared toward helping functional health clinics get their feet on the ground and grow awareness. 

Through Synergee, Lori and Kelly have worked overtime to spread awareness about a controversial subject: detoxification. The detox is a polarizing subject. Regardless of opinion, however, Lori and Kelly firmly believe that the controversy is based almost entirely on improper detox methods. That’s why, today, we’re going to discuss in depth the appropriate time and method for a proper detox. 

Synergee’s Detox Origin Story

Roughly ten years ago, Kelly was in a cycle of constant detox and retox. Her detoxes were short and brutal. They included an almost immediate elimination of all but a select group of foods. They were far harder on the body than necessary. Furthermore, they were always followed by a re-toxification, practically undoing her detox efforts. 

From these experiences, Kelly knew that there was a lot of misinformation out there surrounding detoxification. 

21 Days

That’s how long it takes to build a habit. Three weeks. In general, if we stick to a behavior or routine for roughly 21 days, we will stick to it almost unconsciously—by habit. 

Throughout the process, Kelly realized that part of the purpose of detoxification was to retrain habits that would last beyond the acute period. 

10 Years

Kelly began to refine her detox over time. She began eliminating foods in phases. She studied and tested various supplements until getting a better idea of what worked and what didn’t. 

In partnership with Lori, they have whittled their detox down to a literal science over the past ten years. 

Who, What, When, How & Why?

These are the relevant questions when it comes to detoxing. There is quite a lot of bad information on the subject. 

Put simply, a detox is meant to reduce the incoming emotional and physical burdens (air, water, food and more) while improving the body’s capacity to clean up (excreting food and toxins). 

The body is already detoxing every day through defecation, urine, sweat, etc. Detoxing involves intensifying these elements for a period of time to help reset the body. In general, we encourage an anti-inflammatory diet for around 21 days and increase water intake to offload toxic waste. 

Yes, we are focused on bowel movements. We discuss them with our clients. The fact is, many of our health problems stem from literal putrefaction resulting from prolonged waste storage. But we also calm any fears that clients will be in the bathroom all day and night. On the contrary, many have a normal bowel movement for the first time in their lives. Nor will you be too tired to participate in daily functions and go to work. (On the contrary, this is happening anyway.) But it’s not just about your bowel movements. These are important, but perspiration, urination, and respiration also play a significant role. Different toxins are eliminated in different ways. 

Detoxing in the most effective manner has proven quite difficult. So let’s take a look at how Lori and Kelly managed to crack the case. 

Who Needs A Detox? And Why…

The short answer is everyone. Every single person should undergo a detox at some point or another, which we will address later. Either way, the who can’t without the why. 

In the simplest sense, there are a few indicators that someone needs a detox. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Living in America
  • Frequent traveling
  • Brain fog
  • Poor energy
  • In a ‘funk’
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Weight gain
  • Bloating
  • GI distress
  • Feeling older than you really are
  • Scoring high on the Medical Symptoms Qure (MSQ) symptom questionnaire

There’s a 100% chance that you experience at least a few symptoms on this list. It’s part of being an adult human in the United States—where high stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep are a rite of passage. 

Why do you need a detox? Because you are in the habit of bringing all of the above on yourself. When it comes to health and nutrition, our culture teaches us to eat the wrong way, sleep the wrong way, and, generally, be the wrong way. A proper detox will not only reboot your body, but also rid you of the bad habits that keep you feeling like you constantly need a detox. 

More acutely, however, one of the major reasons for undergoing detox is to rid the body of toxins. The vast majority of our toxins accumulate as our food is processed and sent for waste. The longer we hold our waste, the longer we are exposed to the toxins therein. 

Our detox program lends efficiency to the digestive system not only during its acute phases but also thereafter. 

So What’s The Right Way To Detox—And How?

Again, when it comes to our detox program, we can’t separate the what from the how. Exactly what it does ties directly into how it’s done. 

Lori’s and Kelly’s program is inspired by one Dr. Kharrazian. A Harvard associate and all-around all-star when it comes to functional medicine, Dr. Kharrazian focuses much of his research on detoxification. Lori studied directly under Dr. Kharrazian, reading all of his works on the subject. Along with further research on detox, nutritional science, and application, Lori and Kelly refined their work with clients. 

After ten years of research, trials, and refinement, Lori and Kelly have created a renowned detox program that focuses on lasting results for both the mind and body. This is the system that clients of both Total Nutrition & Therapeutics and Enhanced Wellness Living swear by. 

  1. Deloading (5-6 days): The goals are to…
    1. experience at least one bowel movement per day
    2. decrease toxic burden via metabolic processes
    3. and decrease water retention while increasing water ingestion. 

These goals are achieved by replacing the toxic American diet with vegetables and roughage, fruits, and some lean meats. Additionally, Lori’s and Kelly’s plan calls for supplement devoid of any laxatives, which are an artificial, impermanent, and dangerous means of increasing metabolism.


Meanwhile, clients reduce intake of inflammatory foods—e.g., sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, canned foods, soy, corn, and peanuts. Anything processed is out, while most foods that grow from the ground and lean animal protein are in. 

  1. Detoxification (6-14): During detox, we increase nutrients that help convert fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins. To do so, we eat foods and take supplements that help the liver emulsify fats, allowing water-soluble elements to separate from the rest of the nutrients passing through our system. In essence, we are helping our bodies eliminate toxins at a more efficient rate. 

The supplements to support this phase include a variation on the formulas selected by by Lori and Kelly over their ten years of work on this detox program. Clients will continue animal protein until day eight. From then until day fourteen, animal products are cut out. 

  1. Discovery (15-21): Finally, we can add all our foods back into the mix—except for foods that don’t sustain the positive impact that the detox had on your body. Still, vegetables, fruits, and a few complex carbs make up the vast majority of the continuing diet. We also return lean animal protein to your diet, paying attention to how the body did without it during the detox phase. By comparing the periods, we get a better sense of exactly how certain meats affect the body. We also continue with the same supplements as with Phase 2, but with different dosages. 

By the end of Phase 3, we’re now setting in stone the habits formed throughout the duration of the detox. These 21 days, while cleansing the body of a great deal of toxins, have also prepared clients for ongoing success with their nutritional choices and habits. 

Our clients simply can’t do the detox out of order. In fact, the order of operations is one of the separating features of Lori’s and Kelly’s detox. Many generic detox kits found in stores are not equipped with instructions or even aware that there should be an order of operations. Following the steps above make all the difference. 

As a quick note, many clients ask about exercise. We encourage you to maintain an exercise program, at least throughout the detox, to set a baseline. However, exercise should be lighter than normal, settling upon more forgiving movements such as yoga, stretching, or light jogging. Our detox is not meant to be brutal or punishing. (Nor should it.) In fact, we have worked with bodybuilders who maintained their program throughout the detox. 

When Should One Detox?

The answer to this question, though nuanced, is quite simple: when one needs to. 

We already listed several indicators above. These are all telltale signs of a poorly functioning metabolism, which affects all aspects of the mind and body, from cognitive functioning to the most basic hormones. 

But we also suggest that individuals maintain a routine of three to four detoxes per annum. The primary reason is maintenance. We want clients to keep their metabolism and functioning at high levels, while also reinforcing the habits taught along the way. 

The bottom line: client outcomes are astounding. Those who have worked with Lori here at Total Nutrition & Therapeutics experience the following results:

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced blood sugar levels 
  • Reduced hypertension 
  • Reduced need for medications treating diabetes, pain, and sleep
  • Reduced gas and bloating 
  • Reduced of visceral fat and body fat 
  • MSQs decrease by 50-75%
  • Increased vitality and energy

Clients describe their post-detox feelings as akin to taking their car for a tune-up; It’s not that something was broken, but that the entire system was simply out of balance. 

For decades, dozens upon hundreds of detox programs claim to have found the secret. The vast majority of these programs are damaging, artificial methods of eliminating waste. Here at Total Nutrition & Therapeutics, we make it clear on your first visit that our work is steeped in research, evidence, and decades of experience. Our detox program, refined over the past ten-plus years, is no different. Give us a call today! 


Contact Total Nutrition and Therapeutics for more about detoxification! 

There is a lot of controversy, misinformation, and confusion surrounding detoxification. Following crash diets laden with laxatives can be even more dangerous than ignoring the benefits of a detox altogether. Total Nutrition & Therapeutics’ founder, Lori Esarey, and her longtime colleague, Kelly Engelmann, have spent the past decade refining an empirically based detox program that realigns your eating habits, water retention, and metabolism. Visit our website to find out more about how Total Nutrition & Therapeutics can walk you through a proper detox.