Have you noticed that with the start of the New Year, goals to slim down, get in shape, and eat healthier are top of mind?
And what better way to kick that off but with a juice fast, Master Cleanse, or some other deprivation detox?
Though I advocate eating a real food-based diet, rich in nutrient-dense foods cooked at home (which themselves support natural detox mechanisms), this time of year, even the healthiest of eaters are drawn to some kind of diet “reset.”
There are lot of cleanses / detox programs out there and some are better than others.
Ditch the Deprivation Detox
Here’s my 2¢ on them, very briefly… Stay away from pure juice fasts, which will send blood sugar on a roller coaster and NOT provide the nutrients necessary to actually help the kidneys and liver do their job better. And which frankly don’t have enough fiber to clear out stagnant wastes. A water fast is a better option (fewer blood sugar issues), but keep it under 24-36 hours if this is your first time. Be careful of many commercial “detox” drinks and powders, which are oftentimes just cheap laxatives, that very quickly become habit-forming (yeah, I’m looking at you teatoxes).
Instead, I prefer one of the 3 below options. Which one works for you depends on your current health, eating habits, and lifestyle.
- Daily Detox
- Nutrient Dense Diet Reset
- Weekly Intermittent Fast with Tea
Eat a whole food diet, filled with organic vegetables, healthy sources of protein, and complemented by nutrient-rich teas, bone broth, or other supplements, then your body has everything it needs to complete the detox process on it’s own. Minimizing consumption of alcohol, sugar, and processed or refined foods further eases the burden on the detox systems.
This is the best way to start, and it’s really the path to a healthy body and overall life of vitality. What you eat everyday can be the most powerful detoxification aid.
If you need help getting started with a nutrient dense diet tailored for your specific circumstances, check out BeNourished.
Nutrient Dense Diet “Reset”
Even if you’re accustomed to eating a diet that naturally supports the body’s own detox process, with the holidays, things can go awry. Baked goods. Alcohol. More processed food and fewer vegetables. Resulting in added pounds, bloating, inflammation, skin flare ups, constipation, etc. And worst of all, cravings. Despite knowing you should eat more vegetables and less sweets, sometimes the cravings feel like they’re in control.
This is where you can think about a diet “reset.” A period of between 5 to 40 days, where you focus on vegetables, lean protein, even greens-based supplements rich in fiber and other nutrients that help re-energize the liver, clear out stagnant wastes, and reset your taste buds. Yes, during this time, it is possible to again start craving salads, broccoli, and asparagus rather than cookies and pastries. (Examples of programs include 14-Four and Whole 30)
If you’re interested in this, please contacts us. If there’s enough interest, we will offer our own 10-day or 40-day “reset” program focused on greens, fiber, liver-nourishing herbs, and community support.
Weekly Intermittent Fast with Tea
This one is actually my personal favorite. Every week I can find at least one day where I don’t have commitments involving food or drinks, and this becomes my fasting day. Contrary to popular belief, the research has shown that avoiding food and calories for up to 48 hours doesn’t negatively impact metabolism. In fact, increasing research is endorsing the idea of a fasting day, as it resets hormones associated with hunger and satiety, re-balances blood sugar, rejuvenates cells, reinvigorates both the liver and immune system, and the highlight for many, allows the pounds to come off easier.
As you know, I love tea. For how it tastes. For how it makes me feel, keeping me energized, and curbing cravings. And for the healthy compounds contained in those leaves. That’s why I created a program in which detoxing with tea is overlaid on a fasting day (of 500-600 calories), based on the protocol outlined The Fast Diet by Dr. Mosley. Thus, providing the brain, liver, kidneys, lymph and immune systems with adequate nutrition for an intense day of repairing and healing.
You can learn more about the benefits of intermittent fasting with tea, or sign up for the BeRenewed program by clicking here.
Yes, I personally do this at least 1-2 (full or half) days per week.
(This program is not recommended if you have severe adrenal issues or hypoglycemia. Try the Daily Detox or even Diet Reset listed above.)
Our wellness teas for your daily health boost, as well as our nutrition and lifestyle programs are all available on our store. Check them out to get your New Year started with a healthy bounce in your step.
Whatever approach you decide, I encourage you to make 2016 your healthiest, happiest, best year yet!