Before the holidays arrive with its parties, celebrations, toxins and stresses, I thought would be great to present the power of a good detox.
Why Detox? There are at least a few times a year where our bodies could benefit from some type of detoxification. Some find its usefulness after a period of abuse from food, alcohol and stress…. but it has so much more value! Its true detoxes can help clean up the body when in states of complete chaos. Weight concerns, stomach pains, mood swings, gases, lack of energy, bad complexion, hair and nails can all present as symptoms of improper digestion and nutrition. It is in these moments, a strict diet plan, led by your trusted medical professional or nutritionist, is needed. These medical detoxes are many times accompanied by supplements and herbs and require you to be monitored on a regular basis. It is for this reason it is recommended to remain conscious of your bodily state and self-prescribe a mild detox from time to time to prevent ever getting to the point where you might need professional intervention. By eliminating certain foods that have low nutritional value and avoiding chemicals and toxins, we can reboot our bodies to utilize the food we eat better. The more efficiently our body can breakdown foods, the more nutrition we can get out of it and the faster our metabolism overall. This translates not only into a healthier digestion and overall health, but more energy, a positive mood, clear skin, shiny hair, strong nails and even weight loss. Who wouldn’t want that? We just need to sacrifice 2 weeks and we are on our way! In fact these mini-detoxes are an excellent anti-aging method to keep the body in-check and you in tune with your body’s needs.
The Plan Whenever I need a healthy detox my go-to trusted source is, my dear friend, Jelena Savic. Not only is she one of Chicago’s best macrobiotic and private chefs, but also, specializes in detox regimes. She prides herself in bringing people to healthier nutritional states so they could look better, feel better, and more importantly, enable them to fight illness and even cancer. She has come up with a simple two week detox to help anyone get on the road to new beginnings. Jelena’s guidelines are simple: start eliminating foods slowly and incorporating more and more nutritional foods. The key is moderation and variety of the list of nutritional foods below and the inclusions of super foods such as cacao, acai, sprouts and gogiberries. Also, alternate cooking methods between blending, steaming, stir-fry, baking, sauté, soups and stews. Spices, herbs, mustards, tahini, hummus, and vinegars are allowed and can help liven up your meals! Below, you have a day-to-day breakdown of the 2 weeks.
Day 1-3 Cut out alcohol, soda, coffee, canned food, lunchmeat, fried foods, white flour, refined sugars, white rice, white potatoes and all bread.
Day 3-7 Cut out all red meats, hydronated oils, wheat, dairy, and all caffeine.
Day 7-10 Cut out all meat.
Day10-13 Cut out all fish and eggs. The remainder of the detox will be vegetarian and should generally look something like this:
Breakfast– May consist of unlimited fruit and herbal tea, a nutritional shake, bowl of oats of puffed rice cereal with soy, rice or almond milk
Mid-morning/late afternoon snack– a soy yogurt, a handful of nuts or brown rice cake with peanut butter or hummus.
Lunch and Dinner– May consist of a vegetarian plate prepared in any of the methods explained above including a soup, a stew, salad or wok sauté. Remember you can add tofu, nuts, fruits, and cup of Wild or brown rice/quinoa/ beans/legumes/millet/ buckwheat or a sweet potato. Cooking preparation should contain no more than 1 tsp. of olive, coconut, flaxseed, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, walnut, almond or grape seed oil.
Day 14 This last day is to include EXCLUSIVELY of fruits and vegetables in unlimited quantities. Try to eat them raw, juiced, steamed or prepared as soups, with little or NO oils. This will be a difficult day and it is recommended you take it easy, limiting stress and activity. Walks, funny movies and supportive friends can help you get through without too much anxiety. I personally, like to go shopping!! Nothing else takes away hunger like searching for some amazing shoes! The entire 2 weeks to be supported by lots of water, herbal teas and moderate amounts of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices (no sugar added).
Some Useful Insight Remember, this is a great time to listen to our bodies and get our mind to recognize what seems to make it feel better. Jelena suggests to her clients to take long walks during their detox periods to appreciate how your body has been feeling and listen to what it may be trying to communicate (examples may include ” I feel so much more energized after eating _____” or “that vegetable really makes me bloated”). These mini epiphanies may help you when back to your normal eating habits.
Another important consideration is to add eliminated foods back into your diet SLOWLY, as your body may be overburdened if you jump right back in to your pre-detox routine.
These are moderate guidelines to follow to help get your body functioning optimally! Although some may not agree with starting such a diet right before the holidays, I feel there is no better time! There is nothing like getting healthy in the time of the year, which you are most likely to pack on the pounds! Also, by the time the real festivities arrive you look amazing, are energized, and have most possibly lost some weight! All these, while most around you are barely squeezing in holiday attire! Why not give yourself one more reason to celebrate? So get started!…..3,2,1 GO!!!
For some recipe ideas click on the following site WholeBodyDetoxDiet. Also, if anyone has any recommendations of recipes or sites please share!!