detox. And boy was it frickin eye-opening, enlightening, and a true experience that has taught me so much about myself. Before you ask me “how to detox,” let me define what a detox is AND what mine was all about.
What is a detox?
Simply put, detox (short for detoxification) is the process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. It DOES NOT MEAN juice cleanse, or starvation diet, or drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper (like we tend to think of). A detox is where YOU choose to go through a process to rid your body of TOXINS that are harmful to your bodily functions. When you think of a detox this way, you can really open up your mind to understand TOXINS in a whole, new light.
Why did I go on a detox?
I made a choice (recommended by my doctor – Dr. Thalia) to get my shit together. Here’s what it was all about:
I work lots and carry stress in my belly. While some people get tight shoulders, I get a blown-up “air baby” bloated stomach, that doesn’t feel so awesome. It impacts how I feel, my energy, productivity, and bottom line, EVERYTHING else. So, Dr. Thalia ran some blood work and stool samples on me (ew I know, but it was really insightful). Then she suggested a very clear elimination diet (similar to the foods you can eat during the Cleanse Week #2 in our Eat Real Essentials ebook). The goal was to remove foods that may possibly be irritating my digestive tract and slowly add certain foods back in to see how my body reacts.
What did my detox consist of?
Essentially, these were the food requirements:
|No Thank You||Yes Please|
|no dairy||yes to loads of veggies|
|no sugar||yes to leafy greens|
|no starchy veggies/wheat/grain||yes to fresh lemon juice|
|no mushrooms||yes to organic meat/poultry|
|no alcohol||yes to wild salmon|
|no caffeine||yes to EVOO and coconut oil|
|no chocolate||yes to wild/brown rice|
|no fruit (dried or fresh)||yes to herbal tea|
|no eggs||yes to pumpkin and sunflower seeds|
|no almonds||yes to flax and chia seeds|
|no processed meat||yes to seaweed|
|no tofu||yes to raw sauerkraut + kombucha|
But wait, there’s more to this detox
When I got home, I thought about stress and how there’s so much more that would actually make this DETOX worthwhile – and address the root of some things that impact my stress response. In 30 days, could I address the toxicity of things that drain my:
- TIME (to improve my productivity and effectiveness);
- SLEEP (to improve my energy and hormones); and
- ENVIRONMENT (to improve the space and people that surround me)?
Absolutely. So in addition to the food stuff, I chose to look at the WHOLE ME and see where else I can remove TOXINS from my world. Here’s what I did:
- limited social media time (and kept it under 5 min a day, if any at all)
- said yes to early morning risings and early sleep times
- spoke UP instead of holding back
- asked hard questions (no matter the outcome)
- said NO to projects that don’t align with my goals
- integrated some form of meditation daily
- said no to email checking in bed
- wrote weekly success lists
- created time to further define my purpose in career and life
- said yes to doing spontaneous fun things
- practiced 10-minute house clean up sessions throughout the week
- went on longer walks
- committed to a stronger yoga practice
- wrote in bullets (vs paragraphs ) to save time
So, what was my experience like?
Here are 20 thoughts I had during the detox:
- This is not going to be that bad.
- Crap. I want chocolate.
- I want an apple.
- I really want an apple.
- Don’t eat an apple. It’s for the best.
- We’re all really blessed to eat apples whenever we want.
- Shit. It’s a shame. We go and buy whatever we want from the stores (thinking we need it) and there are people that don’t have that luxury to just “get up” and buy whatever food they want.
- People are hungry in this world.
- You are not that hungry. Nor am I.
- Don’t you open Facebook right now. It’s a time suck.
- My stomach is really feeling so much better.
- Go to bed now, so that you can wake up early. SHUT DOWN NOW. Really!
- I could eat this over and over, it’s sooo good (sautéed kale, squeeze of lemon, olive oil, sprinkle of ground pumpkin seeds, kraut, sprouts, avocado, and wild rice).
- Let’s try brushing your teeth when you want an apple.
- God, I really sleep so much better on nights that I workout. Why do I keep putting work before this?
- Can I just have a bite of that cookie? Will that be ok? Probably not. I’m doing it anyway.
- I really love this book I’m reading. It’s all about purpose.
- I don’t need to eat as much as I think I do.
- I’m stressed and need something to eat, even though I’m not hungry. Hmmm. A sign.
- I think I’m so much stronger in yoga now.
Recapping full details of an intense 30-day detox in one blog post is not going to happen, however you should be able to get the gist that it’s an adventure, with waves of confronting thoughts to leave you empowered to make NEW choices. My one and only goal was to make an ACTIVE effort to clear my body of toxins (food and non-food related) in order to improve my quality of life and my output. As you can see, it opened many doors of opportunity and I can honestly say that I feel so much more in-tune with my body. In fact, I can see how repeating this at different times of the year can become immensely helpful.
What were the outcomes of my detox?
To sum it up, I’ll share a few outcomes that really capture the growth that I’ve experienced over the past 30 days. For some of you, it may mean nothing. For others, I’m sure you’ll be celebrating right along with me.
Here are 5 outcomes related to FOOD that I’m quite proud of:
- My stomach is not as annoyingly bloated after meals. (Not completely better yet, but getting there)
- I haven’t bought a bar of dark chocolate for 30 days, which was my “stress-food” of choice (and thus saved at least $15 dollars ).
- My energy is so much more consistent.
- I thoroughly enjoy breakfast without eggs.
- I don’t have sugar cravings like I used to (odd but true). I just don’t need it.
Here are 5 outcomes related to my WHOLE BODY that I’m quite proud of:
- I’ve saved HOURS removing social media checking during the day (3-5 minute increments do add up).
- I started and completed a whole book! (huge for me)
- I’m clearer about my FOCUS goals (weekly, monthly and beyond)
- I’ve chosen to surround myself with pretty amazing people and as a result have some exciting things in motion (no room for negative energy there)
- I feel the benefits of meditation (and miss it when I don’t)
How YOU can detox (the whole body)
So, are you ready for a detox? Remember, it just means YOU making a CHOICE to eliminate toxins to improve how your body functions (mind, body, and/or spirit). Here are some tips to get started:
Identify the toxins. Start by asking ask yourself, “what toxic things (food, habits, drugs, or even people) do you need to remove from your day-to-day, such that by removing them, your life will feel so much cleaner?”
If you want to focus on toxins related to food, start by eating real. Food is healing. Our Eat Real Essentials ebook will help you understand this in GREAT detail, inclusive of an elimination cleanse week (very similar to the foods I eliminated). You can easily repeat this for as long as you’d like.
Write down (in list form) what you want to remove. Is it dairy, sugar, wine, Facebook time, negative self criticism, candy, soda? Success starts with clarity – so write it down.
Get prepared. Whatever you need to do to successfully remove these toxins, be sure to prepare for that. It starts by throwing things out in the cupboard, stocking up on foods you can eat, telling your family/friends (especially those that live with you) so they can be supportive. The beginning of our 21-day Eat Real Challenge in the eBook gives you a very clear list to help you with this.
Pick a date. And just start (because you are worth it). If you have a “blooper” day, don’t stress it. Just keep plugging along.
And lastly, I’ll leave you with a secret. Two of my favorite morning pick-me-ups are a cleansing green smoothie (in our book) and a cozy mug of hot water with lemon:
1 ½ cups boiled water
Juice from ½ lemon
A mug that brings you joy
- Wake up and drink this before the house awakes, in peace and quiet.
- Be ready for an amazing day. The world needs you!
If you like this recipe, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our Eat Real Essentials eBook, enhanced and interactive for the iPad or in a digital-friendly PDF. It’s filled with inspirational stories, grocery shopping and pantry stocking tips, a 3-week meal plan with a whole foods detox, and over 100 RECIPES designed just for the busy person! Check it out here.