The word DETOX is possibly a little much - this was more of a 10 DAY DIETARY RESET. Yep - every now and then we all could do with one! After several weeks of house guests, birthdays, anniversaries and numerous other celebrations, the odd 'indulgences' had become more standard practice, i.e. too much booze, sugar, meat, dairy...did I say booze?
Well these 10 days were about getting my daily habits back on track, the cleanse being an added bonus. Unsurprisingly I hadn't exactly been feeling tip top on the health and vitality front; dry skin, bloated tummy, low energy, poor sleep, and let's just say things downstairs weren't moving as frequently as they should be. Sound familiar?? Granted these aren't dire symptoms by any stretch, but they are some of the parameters I like to gage my health by. The big thing for me is,
If I am not looking great, feeling great and functioning fabulously, then it's time to rethink something!
So just like anything in my life, once i've decided to do something, I can't wait (don't wait) to get started. I quickly set some boundaries, planned a few meals and kicked things off the following day. Yep I still had various foods in the fridge that needed to be eaten and a little more planning would have helped but hey ho - i'm very much a believer in seizing motivation when it strikes (before it fades)!
SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE PARAMETERS OF A DIETARY RESET? Well, these were mine...
NO refined sugars.
NO grains (pseudo-grains such as quinoa and amaranth permitted).
NO natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, dates, dried fruit etc).
NO more than 2 large pieces of low GI fruit /day (excluding lemons/lime).
NO more than a fist-size piece of animal produce (eggs, meat, fish) per day. Minimal red meat.
DO start every morning with warm lemon water.
DO drink at least one raw foods smoothie per day.
DO drink fresh, raw vegetable juice regularly.
DO eat LOTS and LOTS of vegetables.
DO drink detoxifying teas abundantly.
DO sweat for a minimum of 15 minutes per day.
DO stretch for a minimum of 10 minutes per day.
DO practice meditation/mindfulness/gratitude daily.
ALL food to be homemade (exceptions: oils, mustards and apple cider vinegar permitted.)
AND HERE'S HOW IT LOOKED.... (Click to enlarge images)
CONFESSION - yep I did fall at the last hurdle and indulge in a glass of red wine on DAY 10. Does this mean I failed? Of course not! Did this defeat the whole object? No! Since ending the 10 days, the lemon waters, herbal teas, chlorophyll pints, smoothies, juices and endless veggies and mindful practices have continued to fill my days. I continue to feel well as I feed myself an abundance of healthy, delicious food and drink - much of it now on autopilot again. Yay!
Whilst I agree that short term programmes like this can often encourage the deprivation-binge cycles so many chronic dieters are subject to, sometimes it's exactly what's needed. Slowly integrating healthier principles and patterns into your daily habits and lifestyle is of course far more conducive to long term success, HOWEVER, every now and then going cold turkey and having a structure that enforces healthy patterns can be the kick into action required to make changes. There's a very simple way to work out if it's right for you... GIVE IT A GO!
SOME TIPS TO GET STARTED:
- Set clear parameters.
- Be realistic with your parameters.
- Start with an empty fridge.
- Make a rough plan for all meals and beverages - with wiggle room.
- Make a shopping list for the 10 days and stick to it.
- Plan for use of left-overs - waste not want not! - see DAY 8
- Eat before social engagements or be prepared to make 'special orders' - see DAY 7 & 8
- Be armed with healthy snacks and healthy drink alternatives AT ALL TIMES! - see DAY 6
- Commit whole-heartedly to the 10 days.
- Pay attention to how your body responds.
- DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF! Eat abundantly, just healthy, whole food!
- Expect enthusiasm to wane a few days in - if you're prepared for these feelings, you're better armed to combat them. It's only 10 days!
- Forgive HONEST slip-ups - they happen! - see DAY 6
Is this a ground breaking DETOX that will revolutionise your gut, your health and your life? No, probably not, but following these guidelines set the perfect reboot I needed to my habits of hydration and food choices! After a few days of sugar cravings and energy yoyo's I started to feel myself again; better skin, better sleep, better mood and my cravings had gone from mammoth to minute. So all in all, a successful 10 days here in Louisiana! Now, where's that glass of wine? ;-)