I love the holiday season, but I don’t love how I feel after it’s over. I tried to stick to healthy food choices and I managed to squeeze in a workout here and there, but I definitely had my fair share of drinks, sweets and food. I realized that from December 16th – January 2nd I have had at least one alcoholic beverage everyday. And on most days I had some sort of chocolate or baked goodie, and of course there’s the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and delicious but fatty appetizers like brie, cashews, crab cakes, and the list goes on and on. So, as you can see it’s time for a bit of a detox.
Right before Christmas I finished my first book “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” with the last chapter: Detoxification and Fasting, and I learned about why we tend to feel sluggish and gross after overindulging. There are certain foods that are more congesting and toxic in your body, which happens to be the majority of foods that I ate over the holidays. These types of foods create a more acid vs. alkaline environment in your body, which can cause your body to react as it’s trying to eliminate the excess acid. You may experience more mucous (sinus congestion), sweating, gas, bloating and an overall sluggish feeling.
The author of my book, Dr. Elson Haas made a list of the most congesting & toxic foods vs. the least congesting & toxic foods, which I’m using as a guideline for my detox diet.
Most Congesting (more potentially toxic):
Drugs, Organ meats, Hydrogenated fats, Fats, Fried foods, Refined flours, Meats, Sweets, Milk, Baked Goods
Least Congesting (more detoxifying): Nuts, Seeds, Oats, Wheat, Rice, Millet, Pasta, Potatoes, Roots Veg, Squashes, Vegetables, Fruits, Greens, Water
Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are also toxic to your body because they are chemicals.
I officially started my detox today (we were travelling back to Toronto from Ottawa on Monday and I couldn’t say no to the delicious chicken sandwich & crumb cake packed lovingly by my mother and sister-in-law) and I plan to stick with this until Friday.
Basically I’m going to avoid caffeine (herbal teas are ok), alcohol, sweets, milk, dairy (yogurt & cheese) and meat. I don’t eat organ meats, fried food or refined flours on a regular basis so that won’t be a problem to cut out. In general though, I don’t believe in “dieting”, I believe in a well-balanced diet and everything in moderation. I usually only have one cup of coffee a day, and I try to consume alcohol, fatty foods, meat and sweets in moderation, but for the purpose of detoxing I’m going to cut these out entirely for a few days.
Sound doable? If you’re also feeling sluggish and gross from your holiday diet I encourage you to join me, and share your comments & questions. I think this detox will make you feel better and provide some motivation to stay on the healthy track for 2011.
I woke up early and went to a spinning class (sweating is a great way to get rid of built-up toxins) and I had ½ cup of All-Bran cereal with Light Vanilla soy milk.
Breakfast: Green tea (out of habit I added some milk, but I’ll go with no milk tomorrow) 1 clementine, and 1 pack of Natural Instant Oatmeal, and I added some wheat germ and honey (this is a natural sugar, but I only included 1 tsp)
So far, no coffee is the hardest part. I have a headache and I find myself quite irritable, but the green tea was ok, and I’m hoping as the week goes on the headache will go away. I didn’t realize how addicted I was…yikes!
Lots of water, about 6-8 glasses a day. I’ve also been putting a lemon slice in my water when I get home from work. It helps with detox, digestion and acts as a mild appetite suppressant.
Snack: 1 large pink grapefruit and 1 Clementine
Lunch: 1 cup of Moroccan Stew with 1 Ryvita Sesame Rye cracker and about 6 carrot sticks
Mid-afternoon snack: 1 apple with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter
After work snack: 6 rice crackers, a few baby carrots with 1 tbsp of hummus and a few almonds
Dinner: 1 Tilapia filet with cooked spinach & Moroccan stew as a side (I made a big pot Monday night)
Dessert: Clementine (Again, I know…I just love these little oranges and the season’s almost over!)
Stayed tuned for Detox – Day 2 tomorrow. Happy detoxing!