About 9 years ago I tried my first 10 day detox with my acupuncturist. It was hell. Really. I remember spending over $200 on supplements and a concoction that tasted like paste. The first few days were a fast, and I was starving! I got to add some broth near the end, but I was so weak and felt hungry all the time. Needless to say whenever someone mentioned detox, I ran for the hills. The words that came to mind were deprivation, starvation, and torture.
After experimenting with a few different food-based cleanses and researching detox programs during my nutrition certification program, I now think of detox as glowing, vibrant, energizing, and light.
So why the change? Once you experience a detox that incorporates whole foods and daily activities that support your body, there isn’t anything in the world that can compare to the feeling you get after a detox. You may feel increased bouts of energy, eliminate your cravings, lose weight, reduce bloating and get rid of belly fat. Your mind is clear and focused, and even your mood can improve. My hubby sure liked that one the best.
There are lots of “detox” regimens out there. Some are juice cleanses. Some require fasting or calorie counting. Some promise a flushed colon or invigorated spleen. While these types of detox programs (which mainly come in a box) seem safe, I do not recommend cleanses that eliminate whole foods. Many of us are so busy and active, and if you aren’t eating, you can set yourself up for illness, feeling weak and unproductive. As a mom and business owner, that would be recipe for disaster for me.
Here are my top 4 sure fire ways to keep your detox healthy and safe:
1. I suggest a gentle, clean food-based detox. The first step is to eliminate foods that have barcodes. Michael Pollen, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules, suggests that we avoid foods that come in a can or box. I usually remind myself of this rule when I shop. For your food-based cleanse stick to organic fruits and veggies plus lots of dark leafy greens like kale , Swiss chard , collards .
2. As you pump the green stuff, you also need to avoid the following: added sugar, dairy, alcohol, caffeine, wheat/gluten, eggs, corn, soy, and fruit juices since they are very high in sugar and calories.
3. Of course eating foods that nourish and detoxify are necessary for your cleanse, but the next step is to incorporate exercise. Try gentle yoga, walking in nature, stretching. You don’t want to run for 12 miles or bike for hours during your cleanse. You will be completely exhausted. Your body is working hard to get rid of toxins, and she needs to rest to restore during the detox period. Taking time to breathe and meditate. This time is for YOU.
4. Finally, determine the length of your detox. I recommend a program that is 10 days. Anything less than 10 days is not beneficial. It takes time to make changes, and your body needs time to adjust to eating differently, getting rid of toxins, and establishing habits. Usually my clients start to see changes around Day 8 and really feel the full effects by Day 10. If you are new to detoxing or want a power-boost to jump start healthy living, 10 days is a good start.
Are you ready to try a detox? Have you done a cleanse before? Fill me in with your comment below. I would love to know your thoughts or answer any questions for you.
Lisa Consiglio Ryan is a Certified Health and Nutrition Coach for busy, active women and their families. Areas of expertise include weight loss, stress management, detox programs, and special diets such as vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Services include private consulting and group seminars.
Contact Lisa at Whole Health Designs for more information: http://www.wholehealthdesigns.com.