Thursday, January 24, 2013

Getting it Together 2013: A Detox Review + Detoxing Tips

"Detoxing" sounds intimidating but the concept is simple, when you detox you eat easily digested whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts to give your body a "break". With less time devoted to digesting, your body can focus on cleaning out organs and cells, healing you from the inside out.

I'm a fan of Ani Phyo's simple and delicious recipes so I tried her raw vegan detox/weigh loss book's plan Ani's 15 Day Fat Blast last year. I decided to start the "year off right" and do it again from January 1 to the 22nd, adding another week to the 15 day plan.

The Good: The recipes are AMAZINGLY delicious and easy to make. Some of them have become favorites that I'm going to incorporate into regular cooking! I saw results quickly.

The Bad: Ingredients may be hard to find, it can be expensive, I hated some of the "dinner soup" recipes, and many recipes taste best prepared with a vitamix (I use and recommend the Vita-Mix 1300 TurboBlend 4500) or another high-speed blender. The first three days with no solid meals is hard, I ain't gonna lie!

I enjoyed what this plan taught me about balancing meals. I'm ready to bring it's teachings into my day-to-day eating. If you're looking to start a detox, I recommend this book!

Why should you detox? If you're broken out (Got a detox plan for that here), sluggish, and/or having trouble with digestion I highly recommend a detox. Even if you eat very healthfully, it's good to take time out to stuff your body with healing foods and give your body a break.

What are the results? I lost 7 lbs in 22 days, but more importantly, I see and feel visible increased in health. My skin is clearer are more evenly toned, my body actually feels and looks more toned, and I actually crave healthy food every day and plan  meals better.

What are the pitfalls? You have to be organized and prepare meals in advance if you expect to socialize or even leave the house! You may get food cravings, I know I did!

Our homes aren't the only things that need cleaning out this year. Don't neglect your body! Your detox can be as easy or as challenging as you want it to be. It can be as easy as replacing your normal breakfast with a smoothie and your normal lunch with a salad (I shared many options here). I enjoyed my detox journey and I'm going to continue experimenting with different ways to heal.

Have you tried any detoxes or similar "diets"? What results did you have? Any tips to share? And of course, if you have any questions at all I'll answer them in the comments. Let's discuss!

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  1. Essentially, I detox every day...365 days a year (since last February 6). Fast-5 is the name of the plan. I eat during a 5 hour window every day, leaving the other 19 hours for the body to focus on healing & regulating itself. I personally eat just about anything I want within the "window" - which makes it REALLY nice. Generally I focus on "healthy" foods - but if I want a hot fudge sundae, I enjoy it within the window! I've lost 45 pounds and my blood pressure has fallen into a healthy range. I'm guessing my other #s have too - just haven't had them checked. I feel great.

    1. I've never heard of that Rebecca, that's fascinating! I'll have to look it up and read about that. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. This is what i'm professionally trained to do (teach others how to detox and make general lifestyle changes in order to improve their health). The main key is to first test your ph levels and then eat a detox diet that helps balance it (most people are acidic therefore they need more alkaline based foods). Detox doesn't need to involve minimal calories or lemon drinks (bad for you) nor does it need to involve hard to find ingredients. It's a base of simple, clean foods and upping your water intake. I do not recommend going any days with out solids. Rapid weigh loss and/ or shocking your body in such a way will only lead to your metabolism eventually, for lack of a better description, crapping out. Not to mention it puts a strain on your muscle mass as well as other not so fun things like your hair falling out.

    I agree that you need to be organized, you also need to be strong willed because you're body will go through withdrawals (headaches, flu like symptoms, etc) for 4 days to a week. After that, like you said, you will feel amazing, your energy will boost and your skin will glow.

    I wrote about this a while back if you're interested in checking it out.

    I'm not putting down Ani's plan only sharing what I know to be effective and safe.

    1. Thanks for the tips Wendy. The first three days were nothing but smoothies but it was a lot of it so I never felt deprived or hungry, if anything it was hard to eat it all. To me a smoothie is pretty much a "solid" just pre-broken down for easier digestion. Is eating all smoothies or green drinks also bad for you according to your training? I used to be on the same boat in thinking that going without solids would make your metabolism slow down to a crawl but after talking with others and researching it seems like a couple of days on all smoothies or all green drinks (LOTS of it so you feel full, not small amounts) can fuel your body and heal you. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.

    2. I'm loving reading your post, I've heard of alkalizing our bodies but never heard of PH testing strips to test and see if what we're doing is working.

  3. I'm not saying a few days is going to hurt a person but what I want to stress is that unless it's a doctor prescribed medical meal replacement that caters to all of the nutrients/protein/ etc that one needs - you're defeating the purpose. Yes, you'll feel full, yes you'll get a zing of energy and yes you will lose water weight but no, you will not be fueling your body with everything that's needed for proper detoxification or balance.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of green drinks, especially fresh juiced but I feel it's best if they're added into ones daily dietary intake - not the only dietary intake. Remember, detoxing isn't a race and it's not about weight-loss (dropping pounds is one of the perks). It's about getting healthy.

    1. PS- please know that I mean you no disrespect. It's hard to tell how a person is trying to come across when it's in written form.

    2. Thanks for your input Wendy, I really appreciate it! I was considering doing an all green-drink cleanse for a couple of days, buuuut replacing a meal with one or adding a couple of them per day instead does sound like a more appealing alternative. You're right, weigh loss is just a number on a scale, the improvements in health are more important. I can always see and feel the difference when add a green drink to my day.

    3. Oh, and I know you mean no disrespect, I love your honest feedback!

    4. Oh yeh, and I did neglect to add that the smoothies had nuts, seeds, and flax seeds added to them. I feel like they covered the daily protein requirements.

  4. Kombucha. Love it. I drink a lot of it.

    1. I love it too and want to get into making it :)

  5. Great job Van and great post! I think I mentioned to you before that I've been on a 21-Day Daniel fast and I'm almost done! My fast has mainly been for spiritual purposes but I've noticed I've lost 10 pounds so I'm satisfied with the side results.

    I share your feelings that it is very satisfying to detox and I'll hopefully be doing this more often.

    I only did fruits, vegetables, and water. All my food has been in solid form. The hardest part has been the food preparation as you have to prepare all you're food in advance or you'll end up craving at the most inconvenient of times (in the grocery store ice cream aisle conspicuously placed next to the frozen veggies).

    Another side benefit, I improved my cooking skills and have enjoyed learning to make different types of vegetable soups!

    1. Prepping food in advance is time-sucking, especially when we're dealing with fruits and veggies, lots of chopping and prepping, but it's a must! I had the same side benefit, and improvement in cooking skills and increased desired to experiment with healthy recipes that I'll carry into the new year.

  6. Green drinks also acts as a gentle detox to the system, so when you start taking one, use under 1 teaspoon per serving! Work up the minerals gradually.

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  11. Thank you for the useful information! The vegan recipes are very popular now, and I wonder of this. The Ani Phyo's recipes are really simple and salutary. The one more popular thing is a juicer. The technology, like these juicerse give us more possibilities for interesting recipe with vegetables and fruits. With the book and the juicer, the summer vegan cooking should be delicious!

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