Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Cleaning is an Inside Job

After a long talk with Brian, I've decided to take the plunge and begin a 30-day detox/cleanse on Monday. After the series of incremental changes I've made since Jan. 1, it feels like the right thing to do at this time. I've already incorporated green smoothies and fresh juicing into my daily eating routine, and with the exception of this week, have been committed to a steady exercise routine.

Something I've learned this month, though, is that I have zero willpower in social situations. I can be on the top of game at home, but the moment temptation crosses my path at work, parties or in restaurants, I'm a goner. That's why I have had to ensure Brian is enrolled in my goal. He's not planning to detox with me, but I need him to know my goal so that he can support me at home and in public. Luckily, I married a pretty amazing man and he immediately jumped on board.


I hope stripping away all toxic foods and common allergens that I can reset my digestive system and palate in a way that enables me to pinpoint which, if any foods, cause me discomfort or general feelings of malaise. I'm also hoping to eliminate my wild cravings for sugar.


I like to keep things simple so my detox is based on plant-based whole foods with no synthetic supplements. I'll start each morning with lemon water, fresh juice and a green smoothie. Fruits, vegetables and some seeds will comprise by other meals and snacks. I'll increase my exercise to three intense sessions each week (Spin, interval training, Pilates) and two yoga classes. I believe this, in addition to drinking 90 ounces of water each day, will further help my body to release built-up toxins.

Foods to Eat

  • Whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables (fresh or frozen)
  • Seeds -- pumpkin, chia, sunflower, hemp, flax (raw, unsalted)
  • Fermented foods (to aid digestion)
  • Dried fruits/veggies (limited)
  • Water
  • Herbal tea
  • Cashews, walnuts, almonds, pistachios (raw, unsalted)
  • Apple cider vinegar

Foods to Avoid

  • Eggs, dairy (includes soy/casein)
  • Beef, pork, chicken, fish, seafood
  • Soy
  • Processed foods, dressings, sauces (anything in a box or can)
  • Sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, natural sugar, etc.)
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Natural sweeteners/syrups (maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, molasses, etc.) 
  • Coffee, soda, alcohol
  • Beans, legumes (exception: green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas)
  • Grains (wheat, corn, rice, millet, quinoa, oats)
  • Preservatives
  • Coloring agents
  • Oil
  • Peanuts

The lists above may seem exhaustive, but I prefer to think of them as very freeing. With a focus on whole, natural foods, meal preparation should be relatively easy with minimal cooking required. I'm excited to see what happens.

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