For the last few years, every January, my wife and I do some kind of detoxification. It seems like a good time, after all of the excesses of the holiday season, to try and give the body a chance to re-generate and kick it back into shape. This year, I get to track the results!
There are many different types of detox diets, but they all have the same goal in mind – to cleanse the system of the unnecessary toxins and bad guys that bombard our systems on a regular basis. Most have the goal of ‘clearing out’ the liver and the colon by eating exclusively healthy foods for a short period of time. Flush out the system so to speak.
Detox diets come in all shapes and sizes. Most of them involve some kind of fasting, and some prohibit any solid food. The most famous is the Master Cleanse – which only allows a tonic of lemons, maple syrup and cayenne syrup for a whole week! That’s crizazlebeans, if you ask me.
The one we do is based on a book called the Fast Track Detox Diet. What I like about it is that it is not really a diet at all, you can eat as much as you want, but you just have to follow the rules. In fact, there are some foods you are required to eat every day. The rules are all made to load up on foods that support colon/liver health, and remove those foods that tend to ‘gum up the works’. Here they are:
Must have at least one of each of the following groups every day:
- Crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage)
- Green Leafys (Spinach, kale, parsely, cilantro, …)
- Citrus (but not grapefruit)
- Sulfurs (eggs, garlic, onion)
- Liver-healers (Artichoke, Asparagus, Beet, Celery)
- Colon-caring (flaxseed, carrot, apple, pear, berries)
- 1-2 Tbls of Olive Oil
- Lots and lots of water
- 2 servings of protein (lean meat, fish or beans)
Must avoid the following
- fried food
- added sugar or sweets
- gluten (at least avoid white flour and rice)
It’s actually a fun challenge to try and get all of the ‘good’ foods in daily, although a trip to a good salad bar can knock off most of this list for the day. Avoiding gluten and dairy is a real challenge. And caffeine….
We do a modified version of this. We do avoid dairy milk and cheese, but do allow yogurt. I indulge my sweet tooth with a small piece of dark chocolate after dinner. And the caffeine, well lets just say I try to cut back 🙂
The plan is to follow this diet for 7 days to clean out the system. Then do a one day liquid fast (more on this in my next post). Then three more days of the food plan while easing back into the real world. Tracking it all the way.
We definitely find that we feel great after doing the detox, and the fasting day is not a big deal. The goal of the detox is not weight loss, but undoubtedly I’ll drop 3-5 pounds during the process. Anyone else out there have any detox experience?