Happy, healthy new year!
For the record, I am not a dietitian and I can’t say that this detox plan is right for everyone. As with all “diets”, please don’t take my word for it, do your own research and make sure this is a good fit for you. We are all so different, and I don’t believe in one size fits all. This is what has worked for me- and I just wanted to share it.
A little back story: For several years, I have watched my own metabolism slow down and my weight slowly creep up. Growing up, I was naturally slim and it wasn’t really until my twenties that I noticed weight gain. But back then, loosing a few pounds used to be easy. Not anymore. Although I do not consider myself a heavy person, I gained pounds around the middle that made me feel sluggish and unhealthy. For several years I tried everything. Phases of no carbs, juicing, fasting, no gluten, going totally vegan, etc….nothing really worked or lasted too long if it did.
But this summer I tried something different. I stumbled on a book written by a cardiologist….and it completely changed the way I thought about food. It convinced me to cut back on fat. This went against everything I believed. Even though both my parents had heart disease, I was of the mindset that good fats, were “good”. But often I drowned my salads with “good” olive oil, and ate tons of “good” nuts, and cooked with lots of “good” coconut milk. I also had eggs ( my favorite) for breakfast on most days of the week, though I did eat them over a big green salad.
Well, even though I was eating a lot of fruits and veggies, I still couldn’t loose a single pound!! I still felt heavy around the middle. I felt tired. I realized how personally, even though I ate a diet full of fruits and veggies, I tended to reach for richer foods- cheeses, oils, nuts, eggs and chocolate. In the beginning, I just started paying attention to my choices. I noticed that instead of having lunch, some days I would have a bowlful of nuts (thinking they were good for me). Which they are, but like most things, in moderation.
I learned that our bodies, when we consume too much fat and toxins from overly processed foods, just can’t filter out them as efficiently as they used to. It is almost like our own, naturally built in, detoxing system gets overloaded and tired. They stop processing fat it as quickly as they used to. Cutting out fats/toxins for a period of time is like rebooting the system. It allows our bodies a break, letting them “catch up” with its inner cleaning. Eating clean foods for a period of time, allows our bodies a chance to do what they naturally want to do. Heal.
And while we cut back on fat and processed foods, our bodies become better able to absorb all the good clean foods we are putting into them. And I find that in the process, I start to actually crave these clean foods.
So, this is what I did and I felt so much better. I lost weight for the first time in years. I also had more energy and slept better. Gradually I started adding a little fat in, but not nearly as much as before, and the weight has actually stayed off. My body just seems to be working more efficiently. I’m not promising miracles here, but I think if you give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised- like I was.
For the next 2-4 weeks, starting as soon as you are “mentally” ready…begin the following:
- Drink 12 oz warm lemon water first thing in the morning ( you can also use fresh limes, grapefruit or oranges) . Alternately, drink warm water with a couple teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar (“with the mother in it”, Braggs Brand ) first thing in the morning ( I do every other day) .
- Have 1 C coffee if you are accustomed ( low or no sugar, very light on the cream)
- After a light breakfast ( see breakfast ideas) make the Ayurvedic Tea ( see recipe below) and drink it hot, everyday, throughout the whole day, refilling as necessary. Drink lots of this hot tea or hot clear fluids all day ( like yerba, or green tea, or hot natural herbal teas) This is key. It flushes everything out.
- Try to eat a wide array of fresh fruits and veggies. Branch out. Diversify.
- Take a short break from eggs for breakfast.
- Take a short break from nuts.
- Take a break from processed foods- eating whole fresh ingredients as much as possible.
- Take a break from sugar. ( A little honey or maple is totally OK)
- Take a break from white flour as much as possible.
- Go really light on all fats, even “good fats” like olive oil, nuts and avocados. A little is OK, as it really does make food palatable, but be mindful of how much you are using and try not to have more than 2 tsp oil in any one meal. Just try.
- Take a break from cheese, butter, yogurt and sour cream, all dairy, red meat and pork.
- Start Taking 1000 mg of vitamin C and a multi B complex vitamin every night.
- Fish, seafood and very lean meats are OK in moderation, although, if so inclined, take a break from them altogether, or try only having it once a day, with the vegetable being the focus of the meal.
- Weigh yourself once before you start, then then not again for 2-4 weeks.
- If for some reason you have a meal or a whole day where you totally splurge, no biggie, just start again the next meal or next day. Don’t let it stop you from continuing. Just let it go. Start again fresh. For example, I do go out to dinner at least once a week with my girlfriends, and honestly, I order whatever I want. The rest of the time I try to be fairly good though.
- Try to go on a walk, bike ride, hike (or something active) on most days. Breath.
- Consider your spiritual and emotional health. Are you making time to do the things that keep you connected, balanced and joyful? For example, for me this means spending time in the natural world, creating time for stillness first thing the morning …sometimes with a inspirational book, or a poem, and having a daily gratitude “practice”. This truly is something that must be cultivated. We are all different, and I think we intuitively know what we need. We so often forget how important it is.
- Detoxing and cleansing is not just for the physical body, it’ for all of us, for our emotional body, our mind and spirit as well.
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