Tag Archives: cleanse

Update: Detox

It has been almost one week since I stopped following the 21 day detox diet and I have to say that the cleanse was well worth it. Following the detox, I felt rejuvenated, balanced and less stressed. I feel like I decided to do it at the perfect time. With the “big move” imminent, work has been very stressful as I try to tie up any loose ends. The stress of the move itself was causing me to have migraines on a regular frequency and I just was not feeling all that centered. By diving into the detox the first half of the month, I was able to balance myself before the move and not have to worry about trying to follow the detox while I was transitioning from one house to the other. This round of detox was definitely my most successful, as I only veered off-track a total of two times.

So what were some of the positives and negatives of the 21 Day Detox?

– I lost 4 lbs and the dress that sparked this entire process now fits perfectly
– Not a single migraine the entire 21 days
– My stress level dropped drastically, I felt more relaxed (this occurred the last week of detox)
– It forced me to prepare food every day, no prepackaged foods from Locali
– I wasn’t nearly as tired throughout the day when I had a glass of goop in the middle of the day
– I was able to put my juicer to good use and I learned quite a few juice recipes
– It made me more conscious of what I was putting into my body

– I lost 4 lbs (even though I’m not suppose to lose anymore weight)
– The first week of the cleanse I was moody and emotional, I snapped at my assistant and friends several times
– There were some days where I really did not want to cook my own meals, but I did not have a choice
– The first week I had some serious caffeine withdrawals and wanted to suck down every cup of coffee/tea I saw
– Cooking/baking anything that deviated from the diet was excruciatingly painful
– I had to turn down several invitations to dinner with friends

By the end of the diet I was feeling pretty good. I had shaved a few seconds off my mile time, was able to wake up quickly and making decisions seemed to happen much quicker. I was able to get more done, even my PA noticed and complimented me, and focusing on work was easier.

The detox diet showed me that what I had been putting into my body, even though I had assumed it was good for me, was ultimately causing my body to function incorrectly. I felt like the diet really did cleanse my body and helped it regain a sense of balance. My body feels like it is finally functioning properly and that feels fantastic!


Journaling. A practice I took away from the detox diet

I have taken away quite a bit from the detox, aspects of the diet that I will try to practice on a daily basis. The journal they I kept during this entire process is still on my nightstand and I plan to continue using it focus my thoughts in the evenings/mornings. I have begun to practice meditation on a daily basis and have even set aside an area of the new house specifically for meditation. Since the detox, I have not had any caffeine and I am hoping that I will be able to stay that way for the foreseeable future.

I also cleaned out my refrigerator, not only in preparation for the move, but also to force me to eat fresh everyday. This means that I will be visiting the grocery store more and really paying attention to what goes into my basket.

I feel like the diet was an excellent way for me to regain control of my life and myself. As a physician, I have often placed detox diets and cleanses in the category of pseudoscience. After trying this detox, however, I can honestly say that I feel like this detox plan actually worked. It could be the placebo effect, but I don’t really care due, in large part, to how I feel.

So, will I do this detox diet again? Absolutely. Would I recommend this cleanse to others? Yes, with the correct medical supervision. Will this “cure you of all that ails you?” Absolutely not, but it will help you focus on what is important. Yourself.

Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?

Wasn’t me. Though I wanted to very badly. I made an amazing batch of homemade Samoa cookies for my cousin on Sunday. They were just sitting there. Calling to me. They said (in their most tantalizing voice), “Look at us dripping with caramel and coconut. You worked so hard on us and you ran 50 miles this week, please try us.” I wanted to try them, oh I did. It was hard not to lick the spoon when I was all done, but I did not! I didn’t! I held out and grabbed flax crackers and avocado. Covering the crackers in avocado I pretended they were matcha green tea cookies and I was happy for a few minutes.

Then I wasn’t and I wanted to eat the cookies, so I sealed them up in a box with some ridiculous bow (so I wouldn’t open it). I told my cousin to pick them up and went outside with a glass of goop. On the way I realized that I didn’t have a new book to read, so I went online to track where my Nook Color was and it isn’t scheduled to be delivered until Wednesday. Then I walked around the house looking for a book to read, one that I had not already read and that would keep my interest until A Clash of Kings arrived. I found Jean-Paul Sartre Essays in Existentialism and since I had not yet read further than page 222, I read pages 223-422.

As far as the detox has been going, I have not been sleeping as well which makes me feel like a zombie during the day. This is compounded by the fact that I can not have caffeine, so it is a never-ending loop of exhaustion. I keep willing myself to push through it and I try to imagine how amazing I will feel at the end of this whole cleanse, but even though I know I have completed this detox several times before it continues to be extremely difficult.

I do know that as soon as I have completed the detox I will be making another batch of those delicious Samoas.

June does not need to be abbreviated.

I have seen “Jun 1, 2011” everywhere today and even though I know it is the proper abbreviation for June, it seems so wrong. Why can’t we just write out “June”? Jun feels like some sort of illiterate lolspeak or part of a thirteen year old’s text message to her best friend, “OMG, Jun iz my fav month, yo!”

On another note, I have purchased enough furniture to outfit my new master bedroom! That means I only have 5-6 more rooms to go and since the house has that ridiculous elevator, I have to figure out some way to utilize that. Why would anyone put an elevator in a 3 story house? It makes me feel lazy just thinking about it. I have yet to find the appropriate couch for the “great room,” which I am considering calling the “incredible room.” Every single couch I have looked at seems to have some glaring flaw (mostly that I don’t like them) and I’m becoming frustrated with my search. I haven’t lived in Los Angeles long enough to know where to go for custom furniture and I don’t have the time to really meet with designers to figure out what I want. Dilemma.

Monday was also the first day of my cleanse. I have been trying to stay away from this massive plate of cookies I baked for my cousin. I wish she would just come and pick them up so that the temptation would be out of the house. After going to Von’s, Whole Food’s and Oliovera I feel ready to begin what my body will ultimately decide is me punishing it for not properly fitting into an Alberta Ferretti dress a few weeks ago. I say this even though I wore the dress anyway. The slight bit of snugness around my middle caused me to panic and I immediately searched my computer for the detox rules.

Work was incredibly hectic today and I relished the 15 minutes I had to myself in my office. After P came back with my lunch I locked out the world and tried to focus on enjoying what little break I was given. It was definitely one of those days when I wondered why I decided not to pursue my passion and instead chose to appease everyone else. These days it seems like I have begun to question not only my commitment to the hospital, but also my commitment to medicine. Why did I spend so many years pouring over texts in medical school, only to be dissatisfied with the end result?

Finally, I am considering purchasing an eReader. I have been told to buy a Kindle, a Nook and an iPad which has left me all the more confused. I have ruled out the Kindle (I think) and it seems to be down to a Nook Color, a ‘Next Gen’ Nook or an iPad. I can not see myself using all of the features of an iPad and keep leaning towards the Nook Color, but I wonder if I wouldn’t use the iPad more once I discovered how useful it really is. This all came about after I finished A Game of Thrones and did not have A Clash of Kings on hand to read afterward. I have been forced to wait by the Hermosa Beach Public Library and so I am currently reading Embassytown and The Tragedy of Arthur, though they both seem to be fairly interesting.

Deep Cleansing Your Dirty Soul

So you have decided to that it is a good idea to partake in a full body cleanse even after reading about the goop you have to drink? I commend you, fellow detoxer! Allow me to take you further into the nether void that is a detox diet.

Now that you have (supposedly) pre-pre-prepared and had “the talk” with your body, it is time to start the actual process. For the next 21 days, you will reduce the amount of inflammation your body is currently experiencing and you will start to get your body’s pH balance back on track. Cast aside the unhealthy American diet and begin anew!

In order to balance your sexy body, you will need to eat more alkaline foods and less acidic foods. I have decided not to give you the list of acidic foods because I want you to just see the good stuff!

The “Food Heroes“:

Purified water, nuts (flax seeds, Brazil nuts, almonds, sesame seeds), avocados, cold-pressed oils (borage seed, flax-seed, hemp seed), gluten-free grains (wild rice, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, millet)
wheatgrass, green veggies (endives, collards, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, lettuces, mustard greens, spinach), lemons, limes, grapefruits, lentils, beans, miso, oil-cured olives, raw tomatoes, stevia, sprouts, seaweed, root veggies (sweet potatoes, jicama, potatoes, daikon)

Alright, so a typical day in meals is as follows*:


  • Large glass of purified (bold = important, so you better do it) water w/ lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper to wake up your groggy circulatory system.
  • Two (2) cups of herbal tea (white, green or yerba mate). I prefer to order my tea from Teavana. This is because I am a total tea snob and I hate you if you’re not. (I kid, I kid. I only hate you a little.)
  • When you start to get hungry (and you will), make yourself some of that green goop from the previous post and sip on that.

Yes, that is all you have for breakfast. You will be so starved by lunch, you won’t care what you eat. This is a very good thing!


  • Fill your plate 70/30: Seventy percent of your plate should be “rainbow-colored salad, good fats and other raw delights (‘peanut’ noodles, raw veggie pasta, nut pate, jicama nori rolls. Other recipes can be found at AliveFoods.com.
  • The thirty percent of your plate that is left should be filled with whole cooked foods (by ‘whole cooked’ I mean slightly steamed or sautéed). Excellent choices for the remaining 30% include veggies, beans, tempeh, tofu, soup, baked sweet potato, or gluten-free pastas/grains


  • When you start to get hungry around 3 p.m., grab another glass of green goop. If you feel like you are already sick of drinking the stuff (don’t fret, it happens to the most willful of us), grab a handful of raw almonds and supplement your juice binge with some hummus/guacamole/tahini and flax crackers. I found it was helpful to always have some snacks with me.


  • Make sure you stick to the 70/30 plan. I would suggest loading up on salad and adding some oil-cured olives. Mix it up and don’t try to eat the same things in your salad that you had for lunch. Try GOOP’s ‘Carrot and Ginger Dressing.’
  • To round out your plate, fix some gluten-free pasta w/ snap peas, chickpeas, broccoli, kale, cayenne, garlic and pepper. Add in essential oils like flax to give your body some positive fat.


  • If you must have some dessert, have very little. The more sweets you eat, the longer the cleanse will actually take. Thus, you should try not to eat sweets everyday.
  • Foods that are alright to have in small quantities: dark chocolate (if it’s at least 70%), square of carob or cacao pudding.

Even though the menu is an extremely important part of the cleanse, you have to make sure that you are sweating out those toxins! Whether you dance, sauna, walk, run, or chase after your children/cat/dog it is important that you are doing something for at least 35-40 minutes. You should also try to lift some light/moderate weights for 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week. A typical week for me (during the detox process) would be:

  • Monday– Run 5-7 miles in the morning, 5-10 min break in the day to walk while I have my snack (just enough to get my blood pumping, nothing strenuous), light yoga before bed
  • Tuesday– Light weights paired with 45 min on the elliptical, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, take the dog for a quick jaunt around the block when I get home
  • Wednesday– Run 2-3 miles in the morning, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, dance (ballet) before I head home
  • Thursday– Light weights paired with 35 min on the elliptical, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, take the dog for a quick run around the block when I get home
  • Friday– Run 5-7 miles in the morning, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, light yoga before bed
  • Saturday– If I don’t have work I do 1 hour of Pilates or Ashtanga yoga, if I do have work I run 5-7 miles, 5-10 min break to walk and eat my snack, dance (ballet) after work/later in the afternoon
  • Sunday– 35 min swim in the morning, take the dog for a walk later in the afternoon, meditation before bed

Take this work-out routine with a grain of salt. I have been running since high school, participating in ballet since I was three (3) and I have been practicing yoga for ten (10) years now. A much simpler routine would be:

  • Monday– 40 min walk in the morning
  • Tuesday– 30 min weight lifting routine
  • Wednesday– 40 exercise routine
  • Thursday– 30 min weight lifting routine
  • Friday– 40 min walk in the morning
  • Saturday– 1 hour of park play with the kids/walk the dog around the block a few times/ride your bike to the local farmer’s market
  • Sunday– 30 min walk in the morning, light yoga in the afternoon

This routine isn’t as time-consuming, nor as strenuous and works very well. You just have to make sure that you are actually sweating by the end of it! Sweat out those vile little toxins that have been hogging your body for too long.

Other Important Detox Tips:

Sleep: Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. You need to aim for eight (8) hours of uninterrupted sleep, preferably between 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Try to finish your last meal at least three (3) hours before you sleep and if you miss a few hours due to obligations/pet/children, find some time during the day to take a quick nap.

Relax: Try meditating for five (5) minutes. Relax your body, relax your mind and free yourself from the stresses of living. Make sure you take at least five (5) minutes out of each day for yourself. This can include reading a few chapters in a book, listening to some relaxing music, flipping through a magazine or cuddling with a pet.

Supplement: Probiotics, omega-3’s, vitamin D, multivitamins, digestive enzymes should all be considered. Talk to your physician/nutritionist before you start adding any sort of supplement to your diet, you don’t want to take anything that will interact with medication you make be taking.

Journal: Give yourself a pat on the back. Write down a daily affirmation and really consider it. The detox can be difficult and you need to remain positive and focused throughout. If you start to feel a little listless, break out some music, dance around and scream the lyrics!

Distraction: Throughout the detox process you will have cravings and you will begin to feel unfocused. How do you stop this? Shiny things. Not literally shiny things, but any sort of distraction will do. Remove yourself from the temptations by taking a walk outside, playing with your pet, reading on a park bench, calling a talkative friend or having sex!

Detoxing is tough, but I know you can do it! Just stick to your diet and tell yourself that every day is one day closer to you feeling so much healthier!

*This can be found in the March 2011 issue of Natural Health (naturalhealthmag.com)

Glorious Green Goop

Well it really isn’t so much “goop” and more juice, but to most people it will appear like I am drinking some sort of algal soup.

The recipe for this green liquid is*:

2 large, organic cucumbers
4 stalks kale
4 stalks romaine
1 large broccoli stem
1 1-inch piece of ginger root

I can hear what you’re saying, “Wow, what a vile concoction. Why on earth would you drink that?”

In response to that I say, “Well, I’m glad you asked! I am currently preparing to detox.” The reason for this detox is two-fold. The first, and most important reason, is that I want to cleanse my system of toxins that naturally build up over time. The second, vainer reason is that I tried on a dress a few days ago and it was a little tight.

Now, for those of you who are just reading this blog and know nothing about me outside of what you have learned in the first few posts I will tell you something. I can be vain. I’m not kidding; I have this strange obsession with the way I look, that I can only attribute to years of ballet. Constantly being judged based on my appearance (especially my weight) gave me not only an eating disorder, but also a complex that I have carried with me even throughout medical school. To this day I stare at the scale in disbelief if I jump above what I deem the “appropriate weight.”

So now that you understand why I am drinking myself to death on what appears to be TMNT slime/swamp water/contaminated sewer drain-off, I can tell you a little more about how I am about to wage war on my insides using juice, exercise and water.

One of the first steps you have to take before embarking on any sort of detox program, is a “pre-pre prepare.” This requires you to make an appointment with your doctor or a nutritionist/dietician before deciding on what detox diet you want to try. Once you have your physicians blessing, you will need to stock up on the items that the detox/cleanse requires. Let me explain the importance of this to you with personal story…

The very first time that I tried a detox/cleanse, I went out and bought a whole week’s worth of food! I assumed that I would just use that up and then go buy more; the only problem was that now I was hungry for the bad stuff. After a week detoxing, entering the grocery store was like diving straight into Dante’s inferno. Aisle after aisle of foods I couldn’t have, processed sugars hiding in every corner, waiting for me to slip up so that they could prey on that one moment of weakness. I tried to ignore it, but I left feeling miserable and the rest of the detox was a failure. I only ended up following the detox program for 10 days out of the “prescribed” 24.

This experience showed me that, even though I may think I have will power, the cravings were ultimately too much for me to handle. I failed in spectacular fashion and ended up going on a candy fueled sugar binge, which ended in me feeling so sick that I swore off LifeSavers gummies forever. The lesson that I took from this was to prepare myself beforehand, so that temptation was not constantly staring me in the face every time I ventured to look into the refrigerator.

Now that you have “pre-pre prepared” you will need to warm your body up to the idea that it is going to be tortured for the next several weeks.

  1. Slowly remove caffeine from your diet. This means that you will have to wake-up on your own for the next 21 days. I know this sounds scary, but I have faith in you!
  2. Make sure that you are really drinking those eight (8) glasses of water every day. You are going to need to flush all that build up out when it starts to churn (believe me, it will).
  3. Cut back on the alcohol, you lush. Your hard partying ways will need to take a backseat throughout this detox program!
  4. Eliminate processed sugars and refined carbs. This means that your normal noshing will have to learn to love herbal teas and seeds instead of Fritos and Dr. Pepper.
  5. Repent your carnivorous ways, the velocirapture** demands it. In order to properly maintain this detox diet, you will need to consume no more than 3-4 ounces twice a week.
  6. Double your intake of delicious greens. (see the juice recipe above)
  7. Drop dairy and kick gluten to the curb. No more than 2-3 servings PER WEEK!

After you have kick-started your detox diet, you will have to be very strict with yourself. This particular diet that I am going to try is a little more involved than a basic cleanse and it is very difficult to “get back to normal” after you have been eating like a gazelle for 21 days. I will write-up another post that will go into more depth after I have already started the detox/cleanse. I feel like this post will be a lot to take in if you are just getting started. Besides, you need to pre-pre prepare you slacker! Get to it!

*This recipe can be found in the March 2011 issue of Natural Health (naturalhealthmag.com)

**When this post was written, the “rapture was upon us” so any reference to the apocalypse was completely warranted at the time.