Food Health

The 5 Day “Detox” Plan – The Kick-start to a Healthier Life!

The purpose of this detox is simple – the body has many methods of detoxifying itself, but in today’s environment, we are constantly giving our bodies a lot of toxins to handle.  This detox will give your body’s detoxification channels time to rest and properly remove toxins from your body without bombarding it with too many more. It also provides a good kick-start to a new, healthier way of life, or for those of you who’ve done a detox before or are already fairly healthy, it will give you a check to see how well you’re doing and if there are things you could change to make your lifestyle even better!

If you currently suffer from any digestion issues or skin problems, there is also a more regimented food elimination detox that temporarily removes foods that are common allergens then reintroduces them gradually to see if your problems stem from a food sensitivity.   If you find that you may be allergic to a certain food, please see your doctor so you can be properly tested. Please contact me at val@bethebestuwellness.com for more details.

This detox is also designed to help you kick any unhealthy food habits or addictions.  We will be reducing or eliminating sugar, chemicals and processed foods, deep fried and fast food, alcohol, caffeine, wheat, dairy and red meat. You may be asking yourself, “So what will I be eating?”  In fact, you’ll be eating many wonderful, delicious healthy foods! The emphasis will be on fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, whole unrefined grains and water! I will give you a list of the best foods in each category to eat and how often, I will also provide meal planning for those who find it necessary, especially those who are not only trying to kick-start a healthier way of life, but also want to lose weight in the process.

I also suggest that you do this cleanse 2 to four times a year, for at least 5 days at a time, but anywhere up to 21 days is optimal to truly reap the benefits of how good it can make you feel!  Try doing a cleanse in the fall after school starts back, and as a “spring cleaning” right before Easter. For most people, the summer and Christmas seasons are when they have paid the least attention to their eating habits and may need a kick-start to get back into the “healthy” swing of things.   It will also help to get sugar and alcohol cravings under control as during these periods we usually tend to over consume these foods. You could do a seasonal detox once in the Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring if you so desire, or you can develop one that works for your lifestyle.

Exercise during the detox is very important, but I don’t want you to overdo it.  Detoxing might make you feel a little tired at times so I wouldn’t recommend you do a lot more than your current exercise plan.  If you are not currently exercising, I would encourage you to move your body whatever way you like, but do something every day. Try walking, hiking, dancing, canoeing, snowshoeing, biking, even sex, anything active you enjoy, for at least 20 min. every day, preferably longer, but not too strenuous.  Yoga and Tai Chi are also very good during the detox, as they teach full breathing techniques. I would also incorporate abdominal exercises or Pilates at least 3 days a week so your body, especially your core, will be prepared for any type of activity you choose in the future, including the workouts on my site, as well as keeping your back healthy and pain-free!

The “Detox” Plan

  1. Eat at least 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, preferably organic.  A serving is about 1 cup leafy greens, ½ raw or cooked, ½ cup juice, and ¼ cup dried (no more than 2 servings of juice or dried fruit per day)
  2. Drink at least 8 to 12 cups of water per day.  This can include up to one cup of a caffeinated beverage, one cup of milk alternative and one cup of green juice, the rest must be water or herbal caffeine free tea. If you really aren’t drinking much water right now start with 8 cups, and every day over the next 5 days up it by one cup until you’re up to 12 cups.
  3. Eat 1 to 2 servings of meat and alternatives a day.  A serving is 3 to 4 oz. of fish, poultry or wild game, ½ cup beans and legumes or tofu, ¼ cup nuts and seeds, 2 eggs or 6 egg whites, or 2 tbsp. of nut butter.  You should eat beans at least once per day and fish at least twice per week if possible, once being an omega-3 fatty fish like salmon or trout. Limit the amount of mercury laden fish like tuna and swordfish.  Eat organic, free range and omega-3 when possible. Try to avoid a lot of animal products unless you feel you are suffering from a lack of energy or anemia, eat more beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Also try to only eat organic tofu and try to choose sprouted most often.
  4. Eat 2 tbsp. of healthy fats per day, like olive, avocado, canola, coconut, sunflower, sesame, flax or hemp oil and butter or ¼ of an avocado. And no more than 2 tbsp. of added sugar like maple syrup, agave nectar, honey, molasses, turbinado or demerara sugar, or if you like, stevia.  Limit the amount of salt you add to your food, and make sure it’s natural mineral salt. Avoid high fructose corn syrup, white or brown sugar and white or iodized salt.
  5. Avoid most dairy unless it has probiotics (like yogurt, kefir or some cottage cheeses). Some non dairy alternatives like coconut or almond milk is fine to use as a substitute. Eat organic, lower fat dairy unless the fat is replaced with artificial fillers or sugar.
  6. Eat ½ cup of probiotic rich foods daily, like the above mentioned dairy products and preferably plain, which you can sweeten yourself with 1 tbsp. of the above mentioned sugars or organic, mainly fruit jam, low fat organic granola or fruit.  You can also substitute the dairy probiotics for a ½ cup of sauerkraut, kimchi or kombucha instead, or take a high quality probiotic supplement.
  7. Eat 1 to 3 servings of grains.  This is an area of debate among most “diet” programs and food guide recommendations, but I think it optimally comes down to the individual as to how much they need to feel satisfied and get the recommended 25 to 35 grams of fibre daily.  I think the best place to start is 2 servings a day, and see if this is enough for you. All servings need to be whole grain and high in fibre, and for the course of the detox I want you to avoid wheat and highly processed carbs like pasta or bread even if it’s made with rice or quinoa. Choose carbs that are as close to their natural state as possible, like steel cut oats, brown rice, potatoes with the skin on, quinoa etc..  One serving equals 1 medium size potato or sweet potato, or ½ cup cooked brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal, or other whole grain.
  8. Avoid all alcohol during the detox, afterwards it can be reintroduced in moderation.
  9. Avoid caffeinated beverages all together if you can, or at least limit them to 1 cup per day of coffee or black tea.  Green and white tea is allowed, but no more than two cups per day.
  10. Eat whole food most often, raw or lightly cooked, to maintain the vitamin and mineral content.  Also avoid cooking with the microwave, charring or boiling your food.
  11. Avoid restaurants and fast food while on the detox. If this isn’t an option for you, please choose what you eat very carefully as restaurant food has much more salt, fat and sugar than food you prepare yourself.  Ask for all sauces and dressings on the side and don’t add extra salt!
  12. Avoid over-the-counter medications unless prescribed by your doctor.
  13. Avoid smoking or being around second hand smoke.
  14. Exercise for at least 20 min. per day and as often as you can in the outdoors.  Break a sweat as sweat is detoxifying, as is breathing deeply, especially clean, fresh air!
  15. Take a steam bath or sauna if possible, if not try a hot mineral or Epsom salt bath or a hot shower at least once a day for 20 min.  Use a loofah to exfoliate skin and stimulate the lymphatic system. Afterwards, use all natural lotions and creams to moisturize, or make them yourself!
  16. Go for a massage once a week if possible, especially a lymphatic drainage massage. Or you can try an at-home massage on yourself with a tennis ball or foam roller, or with a partner.

A Sample Detox Day

Breakfast:

2 cups water with lemon

1 cup berries

1 cup cooked steel cut oats with 1 tbsp. nuts and seeds and 1 tsp. maple syrup

1 cup coffee or tea (optional)

Snack:

1 cup fresh green juice, made with juicer or Flat Belly Juice (recipe at the bottom)

Lunch:

2 cups mixed organic greens with 1 cup chopped vegetables, 1/2 cup beans, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1 tbsp. nuts and seeds, and 1 tbsp. oil and vinegar dressing

Snack:

1 piece of fruit

Dinner:

Stir Fry with Organic Tofu, Shrimp or Chicken

Juice Recipes

Flat Belly Juice

1/2 cup Pineapple Juice

1/2 cup Tart Cherry Juice (or if you can’t find it, 100% Cranberry will do)

1/4 lemon, squeezed

1 tsp. maple syrup (or a little more or less to taste)

Green Juice (makes 2 servings in a juicer)

3 large Kale Leaves (can substitute collards, Swiss chard or a handful of spinach)

2 Apples

1 spear of Pineapple

2 large Carrots

2 Celery stalks

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