Today I start a 7-day journey to help me get rid of the sugar and processed food cravings and get back on the track of basing my diet on the things that really work for me – fruits and vegetables primarily! I am beginning a cleanse that I’ve done a number of times before, and really felt great after. My friend Dr. Luke Fortney developed Detoxification to Promote Health: A 7-Day Program to help his patients detox in a healthy way that promotes our natural detoxification ability. I highly recommend devoting the time to do this a couple of times a year – and for me, after the holidays is the time where I need it most.
I love that Luke lists the five basic elements of detoxification as:
- Exercise: every day such as yoga or walking, especially in nature
- Regular sweating: a sauna, steam room, or hot yoga class
- Healthy nutrition: rich in organic fruits, vegetables, and water
- Self reflection: such as meditation and breathing-focused relaxation
- Body-work: such as massage or acupuncture
The approach is gentle and realistic. You can do this cleanse in the midst of your regular lifestyle, although if you can manage to take some time away from your daily grind, it’s beneficial. I bought my groceries yesterday, and since it’s going to be -20 degrees in Wisconsin for the next few days, it’s the perfect time for me to hunker down at home and focus on my health.
I am doing version #1 of the cleanse, so today I begin by eliminating meat, dairy, eggs, wheat, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, and sugar from my routine. I brought my juicer out of the basement, and am taking my inspiration from this Green Smoothie Plan. I’m doing mine a little differently – I’ll juice the kale, parsley, and apple together and add an orange, then I’ll freeze my juice in ice cube trays. This way, each morning I can throw a few juice cubes in the blender with a banana and some coconut milk. I’ve also prepared a meal that I’ll use throughout this week which is spaghetti squash with a home-made marinara sauce (I simmered 2 cans of crushed tomatoes, roasted red peppers and a chopped onion with a bunch of basil, Penzy’s Pasta Sprinkle and some sea salt and pepper). I’ll make this Winter Minestrone soup for dinner, and call it a day! I always drink a lot of tea, so that’s nothing new for me, and I’ll make some of the Vitalizing Beverage using lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and seltzer water if I feel hungry or have a craving.
And finally, as my self-reflection efforts, I’m working through Leone Dawson’s Create Your Amazing Year workbook. This project is helping me let go of 2013, envision 2014, and document how I’m going to live this year.
Stay tuned for the rest of the cleanse. I know what’s coming, and I may not be as chipper as I start to feel some of the detox effects, but I promise to be honest about how it’s going and hope that you’ll find this tool helpful in your life, too.