The spring equinox marks the beginning of a detoxification period. Each year for a minimum of two weeks, and sometimes lasting until the summer solstice, I follow a strict regime to help rid my body of toxins as well as kick start weight loss. A detoxification diet generally consists of:
- No processed foods – Processed foods are defined by anything cooked, cured, fermented, etc. This includes pickled, preserved and canned goods. The only exception to this rule would be yogurt and/or sour cream (as I use sour cream as a yogurt substitute in smoothies – explained below)
- I set an alarm to remind me to eat something (even something small) every two hoursunless I’m sleeping. This is to allow the body to release fat being stored “in case” its needed due to lack of food. It also helps speed up your metabolism naturally by always giving it something to do.
- I also use this alarm to remind myself to drink water. Okay, in my case, I don’t need a reminder as I drink well over the recommended 8 glasses a day but its a good way to help you remember.
- Raw foods diet – This goes along with the “no processed foods” concept. Leave it as natural as you can! Raw veggies and fruits are perfect at this time.
- Yogurt/Sour Cream – One of the essential parts of a healthy diet is enzymes. Enzymes help you process foods, eliminate toxins and allows your body to process foods more efficiently. Foods like yogurt and sour cream have enzymes and are a great way to help your body stay healthy. If you are vegan, yogurt can be made from nut milks but you most likely would have to make it yourself.
- Raw Honey – Finding raw honey is sometimes difficult but if possible, see what local bee keepers you have in your area and give them a call. Many have road-side stands or allow you to come to them to pick up honey. Raw honey is directly from the hive and has never been heated. Its usually crystallized and has only been strained to remove any large particles. Raw honey is the healthiest honey available and is a great way to help minimize your reaction to allergens (as local bees collect from local plants). A vegan alternative is Stevia and Agave.
- Complete Green Food – I prefer Barley grass as my complete green food of choice and mix a tablespoon of it in powder form with a large glass of orange juice in the morning. A “complete green food” has all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to sustain a healthy diet. There are several natural varieties.
- Detox tea – Taken daily and usually in the late afternoon or evening, this tea helps flush the system and is slightly laxative.
- Teas – I drink only tea during this time as coffee is processed and tea is simply dried leaves/spices. Chai is a great alternative to coffee. I also drink herbal teas during this time to add variety.
An average day on a detoxification diet:
- Chai tea with almond milk and raw honey (coffee substitute)
- Fruit smoothie with raw honey and almond milk (breakfast)
- Orange juice with barely grass (two hours after smoothie)
- Yogurt smoothie (two hours after orange juice)
- Fresh, in season fruit (two hours after yogurt smoothie)
- Detox tea (two hours after fruit)
- Raw veggie platter with yogurt/sour cream dip (often nibbled on throughout the evening)
- Evening walk – Did you know that walking (not running or jogging) helps relax the muscles around your lower abdomen and makes it easier to process foods and have bowel movements? Yup, it does and its a great way to get some time away from the television too!
Things to keep in mind:
- Thinking you are depriving yourself of foods often makes you crave them more. If you want something, don’t drive yourself crazy with it, have a very small portion and go right back to your detox.
- Don’t set a time limit! If you can only do this for a few days, great! Any detox is good for the body. If you can last longer, wonderful!
- Don’t push it! The above is an example of what works for ME! Vary your own by listening to your body and learning to understand what it needs. If you start getting dizzy spells, unable to concentrate, are constantly tired or feel out of sorts, STOP! You are experiencing symptoms that can be detrimental to your health. Ease back into your normal diet and consult a nutritionist on how to detox in a manner that best suits you.
- Water, water and more water! Its essential and its super easy to dehydrate yourself during detoxifications.