Diary of Detoxers-Day 1 & 2
Matt and I have decided to go on a 15 day detox to help us get our eating and relationship with food back on track (and yes, to lose some poundage in the process). I usually do some sort of cleanse twice a year, and this time I’m lucky enough to have Matt join me. The two of us had regressed to eating patterns that were just not serving our higher good. Translation: my struggle with cravings of sugar and “quickie” carbs has gotten out of hand, and Matt…well, Matt was eating too many of his favorite foods too often. So with that, we decided to trim down our diet for the next 2 weeks.
There are many types of detoxes out there, from the infamous master cleanse to a gentler allergy elimination diet. Ours is the latter. A juice cleanse has never appealed to me, and honestly, I love food WAY too much. I have much respect to those who can do a juice fast for a week, but it’s not for me. Plus, I kinda feel that after a week of only liquids, once you start eating food again you will gain back all the weight you lost.
Before moving on, let’s cover some basics, shall we? First, a detox (detoxification) is the body’s natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. During detoxification, these toxins are transformed to less harmful substances and excreted (lots of pooping and peeing in detoxing!)
Generally speaking, a detox diet can:
*minimize the amount of chemicals ingested (eating organics, not eating packaged foods, etc)
*Emphasize foods that provide vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that the body needs for detoxification
*Contain foods (high in fiber and LOTS of water) that draw out and eliminate toxins (again, by lots of pooping and peeing)
So, why do people choose to detox? Research suggests that many of the chemicals and pollutants we ingest daily can become deposited in fat cells in our bodies. This is thought to lead to illness and has been linked to hormonal imbalance, imparied immune function, nutritional deficiency, and inefficient metabolism. And the benefits? It feels awesome when you’re past the first few painful days. As someone who has experienced a detox, I can truly say you’ll notice improved energy, clearer skin, regular bowel movements, improved digestion, and increased clarity (I can see all my clinical nutritionist friends rolling their eyes here!)
People ask me if there are any side effects. One of the most common, which I am experiencing as I write this, is a headache and some irritability during the first days. Much of this is due to caffeine or sugar withdrawl. If you want to partake in a detox diet, I suggest tapering off your coffee/tea consumption over a few days or a week before you start the diet. Another side effect is constipation, since most people consume excess fiber from vegetables but are not drinking enough water. Make sure to drink lots of water and herbal tea, and try adding psyllium husks to a smoothie or Smooth Move tea to get things going! Lastly, you may experience some fatigue, tiredness, irritability, weightloss, acne, and hunger. This is all quite normal, so just take it easy, curtail your excercising, and get lots of sleep. If you experience any extreme symptoms (or worsening of symptoms) seek medical assistance immediately! If you’ve never done a detox diet, it might help to be guided by a professional.
So given that, what Matt and I are doing is what I call an “anti-inflammatory” detox diet, which is a hodgepodge of a bunch of cleanses I’ve done in the past. The goal: to get back on track, clean up our diet, feel better, and yes, lose weight. Here’s how it goes:
Morning: Warm water with lemon first thing upon waking. Fruit smoothie (no bananas) with flax, raw cacao, protein powder, almond milk (and/or coconut milk), and greens (today I put in swiss chard)
**Meal should be eaten 12 hours after dinner. So if I eat dinner at 8, I drink my smoothie at 8**
Lunch: Biggest meal of the day. Greens, quinoa or non-gluten grain, protein (chicken, fish, etc). I can see myself eating lots of sushi with brown rice. I’ve been adding some homemade walnut pesto to it, and also drizzling with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Snacks: Nuts, seeds, fruit (hello apple with almond butter!)
Dinner: a liquid meal of soup, smoothie, or green juice. I made a huge container of carrot ginger soup (see recipe below).
2 tablespoons of olive oil before bed to ease digestion and elimination.
What NOT to eat: sugar, sugar alternatives, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, red meat, dairy, citrus fruits, bananas, soy and soy products. What’s left? Wholesome, good, real food. LOTS of veggies. LOTS of water.
So, friends, we’ll see how this goes! Matt will be posting (see below for day 1) how he’s doing each day, as will I. Let me just say that today I’m feeling a bit lightheaded, but drinking herbal detox tea has been helping. I have plans to go to spin class tonight but will skip it if I’m not feeling up to it. The first few days are always the hardest!
Before we get to the recipe, here’s Matt’s take on day 1 of the detox:
Current weight: 173 pounds.
Current mind-frame: apprehensive, but with resolve to get through this.
Ok…today is the day we are starting. for the past month i’ve been indulging, and quite frankly, eating poorly. I’ve been very cavalier about my diet and the results have shown in a newly formed paunch belly. Now, to most people, I may seem like i’m still a prime example of health, and the extra weight that I feel may not be so visible. But it’s visible to me, and I just feel gross. And I think that’s why i wanted to give a ‘detox’ a chance. 1) Because I think it’s a quick way perhaps to drop some weight, but 2), I’d like to give my body a chance to cleanse itself and now’s as good a time as any. I’m a little freaked out because over the past few weeks i’ve let myself get completely addicted to sugar. And I KNOW that i’m going to go through withdrawal. Hopefully i’ll be able to distract myself.
The only thing that kind of stinks for me, is that they say it’s really great to exercise while you are doing this, as it helps to flush out all the toxins. I of course, hurt my knees on the Appalachian Trail a few weeks ago, so I can’t really get all that much in. It’s going to be an adventure to say the least.
What the hell is this sluggish feeling? (Sugar withdrawal?) I just walked by the freezer and saw a bag of chocolate chips. I want them. Just one, right?
Ok, i threw them out. I feel like just the fact that I can’t have sugar makes me want to have it. But it’s early in this thing and I need to just move on. Gave myself a handful of walnuts as a snack. Amanda and I had printed out the rules for the detox, listed below, and it makes it easier
2:30. Lunch time:
1/2 cup of quinoa (Amanda made a whole bunch of stuff in preperation)
chicken (that we made last night and almost burnt the apartment down doing)
1/2 TB of pesto
olive oil and balsamic
Dinner. 745 pm.
Butternut squash soup.
Ok, i’m still hungry, but it’s not too bad. I’ve been drinking this berry detox tea which is pretty good and hits the sweet spot for me which i’m clearly craving right now. Interestingly enough, I find that by not having any sugar, I’m actually paying attention to the taste of things which I haven’t in a long time.
And now here’s the carrot ginger soup recipe. It’s super easy to make, and it’s rich and filling. Enjoy!
Carrot, Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup
- 1 ½ cups of butternut squash peeled and diced
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Handful of fresh thyme.
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bay leaf
Sautee onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil for a few minutes. Add celery, carrots and butternut squash. Add broth and bay leaf and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes or until carrots and squash are tender. Add fresh thyme to broth and puree with hand held blender or in regular blender. Be careful of adding hot liquids to the blender.