"I feel so much healthier now!"
How I did it: - Started every day with a glass of warm water with 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, a little under 1 tbsp. honey, and the juice of a quarter of a lemon.
- Drank lots of water and tried to have a glass each of fruit juice and veggie juice daily (always fresh, never from concentrate).
- Cut out all caffeine, sugar, salt, meat, dairy, eggs, and glutens. Also avoided any preservatives, chemicals, and additives.
- Avoided taking headache medication, gave up alcohol and smoking.
- Had at least 3 servings each of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Ate at least one form of protein (such as tofu, nuts, seeds, pulses, or beans) daily.
- Used only expeller-pressed oils (like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil).
- Snacked on seaweed and dried fruit.
- Added sprouts to meals whenever possible.
- Seasoned food with detoxifying herbs and spices like cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, and mint.
- Ate a wide variety of foods and made sure I got fruits and veggies in every color so that I got lots of different nutrients.
Lessons & tips: If you're going to go on a detox as strict as this, you need to plan meals in advance. Make sure you have healthy snacks (like fruit, nuts, and seeds) with you when you go out. Take the time to pack healthy meals for work or if you're going out with friends. (I often had to eat my apples and tofu out of a tupperware container in a fast food joint where my friends were eating burgers and fries.)
For the first couple weeks, I stuck to a really simple and repetitive meal plan so that I wouldn't get overwhelmed. That really helped me to keep up with the detox plan (especially because I used to go out to lunch or pick up dinner most of the time before this). I would make a batch of brown rice with cinammon and raisins at the start of the week, then warm that up for breakfast and mix in some fruit every morning. I had a piece of fruit with some nuts for my morning snack, the same salad with balsamic vinegar every lunch, seaweed as my afternoon snack, and then tofu with steamed or stir-fried veggies for dinner. By my third week, I was better organized and used to the detox, so I was able to play around with my menu options a lot more.
Drink lots of water! A good trick I learned for staying hydrated is to drink another glass of water after every time you use the restroom.
Give yourself permission to rest when you need to. When you start an intense detox, your organs of elimination are working extra hard. Also, be prepared to feel grumpy and to endure some headaches during the first week or so.
Have fun experimenting with different foods and recipes. I had never tried split peas before this, but now they are one of my favorite foods! I never realized before how delicious dates are for dessert. And I am now an expert on seasoning vegetables without using salt. :)
Resources: - Teach Yourself Detox by Denise Whichello Brown
This book outlines a full detox plan that includes everything from diet to the use of self-massage and Bach flower remedies. I would love to try it fully sometime, but just the section on what to eat was what I basically followed. I customized her plan in little ways (for example, I don't eat fish).
- Whole Foods Market
Their selection of dried beans and pulses in bulk was great. Plus, the grocers there helped me with instructions on how to prepare things I had never cooked (like dried garbanzo beans).
- Local Farmers' Markets
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