As promised, here’s my tried and true detox regimen that I will be following like a basset hound in a children’s mystery novel until further notice.
- Sayonara Sugar: and I mean ALL sugar. That includes cane syrup, honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, the dreaded corn syrup… anything that’s a refined sugar product. Substitute: Stevia! It’s a zero calorie all natural sweetener. Use it in your tea and coffee…you won’t be able to tell the difference!
- Au Revoir to Oil: Even our precious Coconut oil is refined. Is it full of healthy fats? Yes. But can you get those same fats from whole foods like almonds and avocados? Yes. So everything from coconut to olive, and definitely canola. Shove it to the back of your cabinet out of sight and out of mind. Substitute: No Oil Vegetable Stock (Engine 2 Brand is great!). It works the exact same way as oil in terms of saving your dishes when you’re cooking, and you’ll be amazed at the flavor it brings out in your food.
- Wave Goodbye to Wheat: You’ll be shocked what happens when you put away the bread for a little bit. The results are quite magical. It’s like your digestive track is a network of pipes and wheat is the clog backing everything up. Substitute: Whole Grains. Craving a muffin? Try some Brown Rice instead. Whole grains are an incredible feat of nature and so healing…after a couple bowls of millet porridge in the morning you’ll forget why you ever thought you needed that bagel.
- Do Away with Dairy: Sure I’m biased as a vegan, but let me bring this factoid you already sub-consciously know into the light. Cow’s milk turns a baby calf into a 300 pound cow in just a couple of months. Just because we’re humans doesn’t mean we get to escape dairy’s effect. Sure you could go for skim milk…but take it from someone who tried the low fat life…your tummy will not thank you for it. Substitute: This is a great time to experiment with hemp milk and cashew cheese! Diaya has a great line of cheese alternative products.
- Love that Lean Protein: For my omnivore friends; embrace the chicken and salmon. For my fellow veggies; switch out your tofu for some edamame. Or up your broccoli and mushroom intake (they’re full of protein!) And hey, food for thought ommies…there’s enough edamame to go around 😉
- Handle your Healthy Fats with Care: As previously stated, nuts and seeds are full of healthy fats our body needs to be nourished and keep things moving. But if we over do them (like any food) they can quickly start to show up in unwanted weight gain. So no need to say goodbye to our favorite fats…just…put some distance between yourself for a little bit. Your relationship will come out stronger on the other side. Maybe a table spoon of cashews instead of a handful. Half an avocado instead of a whole. And just a sprinkle of chia seeds on your oatmeal this week.
- Calm Down on the Condiments: I love hummus as much as the next girl… but salad dressings, salsas, and other condiments can quickly add to your calorie count. Now this isn’t as dire to a detox as perhaps cutting out sugar…but I know it’s a lot easier to say no to pita bread when I don’t have my mango salsa calling its name. Substitute: If you’re craving that extra spice of life in your salad…try using actual spices! I love putting oregano on my romaine salads and garlic is a true friend to all foods.
- Arrivederci Alcohol: Two words. Empty. Calories. And Acid. And also, if too much of something is poisonous I have a feeling our tummy isn’t too thrilled with it. Even if that something is red wine (curses.)
- Welcome Water: And I’m not talking about coconut water. I mean the pure stuff. Drink it and watch how happy it makes your skin and digestive system as things seem to flow oh so naturally.
- Play with your Plate: Believe it or Not, Detoxing can be really fun!! It gives you the opportunity to try out some new foods that you may have not considered before. Because every body is different…every plate is going to look different during a detox. Some people may not be able to have 3 servings of whole grains in a day (I know I can’t). But I can eat giant plates of vegetables the size of my face every 2-3 hours. If it wasn’t for detoxing I would have never discovered how sweet raisins can make a broccoli slaw. Or that I actually like brussels sprouts!
My suggestion? Half a plate of veggies, a quarter protein, and a quarter grain. But ultimately…eat what makes you happy and feel good!
SUPER DETOX ULTIMATE CHAMPION EXTRAS
- It’s really tempting to go crazy with fruit because it’s a natural source of sugar that your body may crave during a detox. But that’s just it….fruit is full of sugar. Good beautiful natural sugar. But just like nuts and seeds have their healthy fat limits…so do fruits. Challenge yourself to replace your apple a day with a sweet vegetable like carrots or tomatoes!
- Get as close to natural as possible. Go organic and only eat whole foods. The point of a detox is to let your digestive system chill out so it can sort through the mess we made of it during the Holiday. If we stay away from refined processed foods and GMOS, that’s one less thing our tummy has to work around.
- Chew your food. Chew like a champion. Chew like your life depended on it. When we chew we release enzymes that actually help us digest our food. It’s the difference between eating a bowl of broccoli and feeling cleansed, or just feeling gassy. Try chewing each mouthful 30 times (WHAT!? OH MY GOD). No really. Try it. Chew 1/3rd of your food 30 times, and see the difference it makes. You’ll be AMAZED.
- Exercise! It keeps all your systems running in good condition. And don’t think you need to be doing the highest cardio workout that makes you scream in pain the next day. 30 minutes of brisk walking will be just fine (although, some days challenging yourself can be fun!)
The best thing about this detox is after a while you see how easy it is, and how good it makes you feel! It’s not about limiting calories. It’s not about starving. It’s about being kind to your tummy. By the time the next celebration comes around your little tum has had enough time to recoop so that it can process all the cookies you want! And who knows…after detoxing from all the sugar…maybe you won’t go for the whole plate this time around! (doubtful. Cookies rock). But after a night of celebrating you’ll know how to get back on track, because detoxing shouldn’t be the quick fix…it should be how we try to live our lives every day. Natural. Pure. And Beautiful.
Never do anything that you can’t imagine yourself committing to long term. Exercise because it makes you happy. Eat vegetables because they’re good for you. Be kind to your tummy. And most of all, be kind to yourself.