I’m going to start off with a disclaimer to this post’s title: This detox plan isn’t as easy as lounging on the sofa. Sorry. That being said, it IS a heck of a lot easier–and more sane–than subjecting yourself to juice-only cleanses, fasts, and extremely restrictive plans. This cleanse is easy because you’re eating real food. The trick is eliminating all toxins from your diet and your life. I recommend following the cleanse for at least a week…I’m committing to two weeks, starting tomorrow! So here are the basics of the cleanse, which Donna Sonkin (you should know her by now!) shared with me last year.
(View my article Why You Should Detoxify Your Body for more detailed information)
- To rid our bodies of toxins we ingest each and every day. Lots of them have taken up residence in our fat cells and it’s hard for our bodies to eliminate them without help
- To evaluate our lives and get rid of all toxic activities and people
- To get our bodies jiving with nature. It’s a big transition from winter to spring, both in the weather and in our bodies
What to avoid
- Sugar in any processed form–especially high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and artificial sweeteners
- Juice and soda–juice has too much sugar and soda either has HFCS or artificial sweeteners
- Wheat and processed grains (bread, pasta, couscous)
- High sugar fruits–tropical and dried fruit
- Crappy fats and oils–canola, vegetable, and sunflower oil for example, and any trans or processed fats
So what CAN I eat?
The list above may seem long, but there are SO many things you can eat! With some planning and effort, you can make endless nutritious and tasty combinations with these foods. Make sure you are eating organic food (for at least a week if you can). The cleanse will work exponentially better if you aren’t adding any more pesticides and chemicals into your body!
- Any greens! Eat plenty of kale, collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, bok choy , dandelion greens, watercress, baby greens, sprouts
- Veggies! And lots of them!
- Fresh, local, seasonal fruit
- Frozen berries
- Sweet potatoes–can make sweet potato fries (look under “Craving Chewy?” for the recipe)
- Whole grains–such as brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, oats (soak them first for better digestibility and nutrition!)
- Fresh herbs
- Lemons and limes–squeeze them til your heart’s content into your water
- Sea vegetables–great source of minerals
- Fermented, belly-loving products such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi
- Quality oils–olive, coconut, toasted sesame, and grass-fed butter (for cooking). Macadamia, flaxseed, almond, and walnut oil as finishing oils (ie, salad dressing)
- Nuts and seeds
- Beans (soak them first!)
- Light protein–wild salmon and small, white, flakey wild fish such as sardines, herring, and mackerel
- Organic chicken and vegetable broths (sea salt only!)
- Natural sweeteners (small quantities)
- Herbal teas (no caffeine)–check out licorice, dandelion, and burdock root teas, which are very cleansing.
- Green juices–either make your own or get them from a juice bar that uses organic vegetables. You can add some beets, carrots, and/or apple for sweetness. Ginger and lemon add a little zing. Juices are best consumed on an empty stomach, so it’s good idea for breakfast!
Other things to note
- Um, do I need to mention water? You should be sipping that good stuff all day long! A good rule of thumb is to consume half your weight in ounces of water.
- Use only natural/organic products on your body and in your house if possible. Our skin is our largest organ, treat it well!
- Be completely present and aware when eating. Do not watch TV or read. Chew slowly and thoroughly as this is the first and most important step in digestion and nutrition assimilation. A good phrase to remember is “drink what you eat and eat what you drink.” If you keep that in mind, you can’t do it wrong!
- Eliminate toxic and non-beneficial activities, people, and thoughts. Try to stay away from the news (not much positive stuff there!) and people who adversely affect your energy and mood.
- Get exercise! Not only is it good for releasing those feel-good endorphins, but sweating is your body’s way of kicking toxins to the curb!
Throughout the weeks ahead, I’ll post on topics such as recipes I’m using, lessons I’m learning, and any challenges I’m facing as a result of the cleanse. Feel free to do this whole body and mind cleanse along with me. Or if you’re the cautious type and would rather see what happens to me first–and learn from all my mistakes–so be it. Please post any questions, experiences, or other comments in the comments section below any of the posts. Are you ready to get fit and get gorgeous (or handsome)? I sure am! Here’s to our health!