You clean your house every Springtime, why not give your body the same treatment?
How To Detox/Cleanse: An Overview.
Done in a healthy (read: sane) way, detoxing “can feel like an intervention, a fresh beginning,” Hellerstein says. “Most people eat way more food than necessary, which taxes the liver and kidneys,” says Ronald Stram, M.D., director of the Center for Integrative Health and Healing in New York. Not only does a healthy detox give your digestive system a break, but by eliminating added sugar, saturated fats, and alcohol, it also rids your diet of things that can exacerbate health issues.
That said there are a lot of quack ones out there so you have to be careful about which “cleanse” you follow. The best way to do it is through Ayurvedic methods and relying upon a nutritionist or other trained professional for the dietary aspects.
Think of a cleanse as a fresh start to your day or week.
What is a Detox Diet?
A detox diet is a short-term diet, often 3- to 21 days, focused on removing toxins from the body. Although detoxification is ongoing in the body, toxins and stress prevent us from doing it optimally, which can eventually affect other systems in the body. A detox diet allows our bodies to focus on self-healing, with the goal being to raise energy levels, stimulate digestive health, clear headaches, remove bloating, improve concentration and mood, avoid getting allergies, regain our natural ability to ward off colds and flu, and prevent premature aging and disease.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Quick Reality Check- Let’s Be Realistic.
You can decide to do a detox or cleanse but it does take a serious commitment of time and energy. You will be cranky as hell the 2-7 days depending on how long you are doing it for, and how much you’ve been taxing your system up to this point by eating less than optimal foods. You will be very low energy. It’s a thoughtful process, this means thinking about what changes in your life will support the effort you are putting into your detox. You are going for sustainable change here not short-term shifts. Trying to do a detox while you have many other things going on, or a particularly stressful week or two at work is asking for trouble.
Here’s the good news, you can do a modification and move into a healthier way of eating, while detoxing at a slower rate and also making it more reasonable to do if you have many things you are juggling in life. This will also be a longer term effort, and can be the way towards a healthy lifestyle and longer, happier life.
The simplest changes to make will also help improve your mood, help rev up your metabolism and help you stay healthier- fewer colds/flu,etc…They also will help even out moods and keep you feeling happier and more positive. with lots more energy for all sorts of things.
I can help you with the life-habit changes that will help your effort stay sustainable and enduring. Contact me about coaching for support with your detox or cleanse program.
The following is a rough outline and not any hard and fast rules.
Essentially what you need to do is the following:
–Cut out ALL (And I do mean all). Sugar, caffeine, Wheat, alcohol, and Dairy, for 4 weeks. Not a whit, not a smidgeon should pass your lips. And yes, you will be cranky for the first two weeks. Warn your friends!
This means everything with added sugar has to go (your fab-u-lous peanut butter for example). Make a point of eating organic and fresh fruits and veggies.
Spread your hands out wide- that = 1 measure of veggie. Make a fist- that = 1 measure of meat/chicken/fish
Each meal should have 2 measures of veg and 1 of protein. ( or if you really are working out a lot then go to 3 veg :2 protein. You can have honey or maple syrup for sweeteners but nothing artificial and no STEVIA!!! (Stevia is related to Goldenrod and can bring on more problems than sugar).
–After 1 month start to add in dairy again slowly. Check to see how your body feels. Are you feeling sluggish, moody, down, if so you have a dairy sensitivity and you need to get back off and stay off dairy.
–After 1 month you can add back in caffeine but NOT COFFEE! No more than 2-3 cups of caffeinated tea a day. Coffee is a whole other ball-o-wax since there are chemicals in it that are good for you and others that inhibit the chemicals we produce that allow us to feel joy.
–In month 3 start to add in low-gluten wheat (like Spelt). Stick to hand-made breads instead of mass-market ones. Look for organic and roughly shaped, fresh loaves. Nothing with sugar in the first 5 ingredients and nothing you buy that you can squeeze into a ball. Again, Check to see how your body feels. Are you feeling sluggish, moody, down, if so you have a wheat sensitivity and you need to get back off and stay off wheat.
–Stay off sugar. PERIOD. No added sugar in anything as much as you can help it. If it has sugar in the first 5 ingredients- don’t buy it. Look at labels for cereals, breads, drinks, etc….
When Can I Drink (alcohol) Again?
There are lots of thinking about when to add alcohol back in. If you are not a heavy drinker than I think after a month or two- but be very aware of how you feel. You may not want or crave it any longer so be certain you are not drinking out of social habit. Check how you feel the morning after you have had a drink or glass of vino- follow what your body feels like.
All this is supported by a regular (like 2-3 times a week) yoga practice. That means going to class, using a DVD or doing a self-directed practice if you are more advanced.
There are plenty of places around The U.S. that offer retreats for cleansing (often called Panchakarma).
Here are a few:
The Art of Living Retreat Center
639 Whispering Hills Rd.
Boone, NC 28607
Phone: (800) 392-6870
Ayurveda Integrative Wellness Institute
5827 Stuebenville Pike
Robinson Township, PA, 15136
Phone: (412) 809-0999
Authentic Ayurveda of Sedona
10 Navajo Road,Sedona,
Village of Oak Creek
Phone: (928) 284-1114
1 West 34 Street
Suite 702, NY, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 473-1127
It only takes a few days to feel the difference.