Detoxing is a load of crap, yes I said it CRAP!!!! The businesses that offer cleanses and juicing are just that, businesses. These cleanses tout that they will rid your body of toxins and impurities. They claim you will have a clearer mind, clearer face, feel healthier, drop dress sizes, avoid temptation and feel energized. What these detoxes don't mention is that they can also cause you to be light headed, almost immediate weight re-gain after you stop these so called detoxes, a feeling of failure and shame if you don't finish the detoxes, and complete nutrient depletion just to name a few.
Our bodies are great machines that do what needs to be done in order to clear out toxins. Our liver and kidneys do a great job of cleansing without depleting us of important nutrients. Many of these "cleanses" also have herbal caffeine in the name of guarana and laxatives, which can completely screw up your gut and natural flora forever.
If you want to lose weight, feel energized, avoid temptation, feel energized and feel healthier the best way to do it is by eating properly and moving. Seems simple doesn't it? So what does this mean??? First off make sure to have 3 square meals a day, especially breakfast and at least 2, 150 to 200 calorie snacks. You may think it's impossible to figure out what to eat. Not so!
Think of your plate as a clock. Half of it should be loaded with veggies, think green, orange, red, yellow, purple. A quarter of your plate should be protein, chicken, fish, beans, legumes, tofu, meat (yes a little bit won't hurt, try 4 ounces- the size of a deck of cards) and the other quarter should be starch - legumes, whole wheat pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa.
The veggies will fight off the bloat and the nutrients will give you energy for the day as well as regulate you. They will also help you combat heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in fiber so they will help you stay fuller longer. How's that for loading up on some green?
The protein will help build muscle which will help speed up your metabolism. It also aids in the repair of worn out tissue and create new blood cells. Every time you exercise little muscle fibers tear so that it can repair and grow bigger, protein will aid in the quick repairing of these torn tissues. If you choose fish, nuts and tofu they are also chalk full of omegas which can help with many mind fighting diseases such as depression.
Starchy foods , also known as complex carbohydrates, have been targeted as the enemy of all foods. In fact when I recently went on a school field trip to the grocery store with my son the store chef had whispered to me that starches were bad for you, where I (in my opinionated nature) counter-acted her attack on such foods. The problem is not with bread or potatoes or pasta or rice, it's the portion. We are so distorted on what a portion size is that we have labeled all foods as bad or good! But that's another blog. Complex carbohydrates will give you energy to get throughout the day enabling you to complete your tasks. They will also get your mind set off of the all or nothing approach.
What should your snacks be? Go for fresh 90% of the time. Fruits, yogurts, cottage cheese, nuts and veggies but be careful of calorie content especially in nuts, you don't want to have a whole meal in one sitting. Snacks are supposed to bridge the gap between meals, so do just that make it a bridge. Anything that is between 150 to 200 calories should mind your gap until you get to your next meal.
I am also a firm believer in treating yourself. I have spent many, many years with an all or nothing approach. Can't eat this and can't eat that but after having my third child, I have come to realize that the more you label foods as good or bad, the more you start to crave, want or think about these foods. The more variety you have, yes including treats (mine being a small piece of delicious cheesecake - with real sugar) the more you will be able to fight the bulge and keep it off long term.
Clear out the impurities by drinking lots of clear water. Aim to get in at least 8 cups of clean water a day. This, more than a detox or "cleansing" , will rid you of bad impurities in your body. It will also clear up your face, fight off belly bloat and give you a lighter feeling. Think about this, even mild dehydration can lead to excessive thirst, fatigue, headache, dry mouth, little or no urination, muscle weakness, dizziness and lightheadedness.
I urge you to try for 30 days to eat healthfully, include veggies, fruit and a variety of natural foods and even a couple of regular surgery cookies (2 not 20) in your diets and to move for at least 30 minutes a day and see what happens at the end of 30 days. Did you "crave" anything? Did you feel more energized? Did you learn anything about yourself? Let me know, I'd be interested to see if you had any revelations? No More X-Cuses! Let this be your month! :)