Tag Archives: diet

Time to Detox

The time has come for me to detox again. I feel like this has actually become something I really look forward to. The ritual of the detox is something I enjoy, plus I always feel amazing afterward. Work has been insanely stressful and I’m beginning to agree with the people who tell me I’m crazy for deciding to stick with neuroendocrinological surgery. Regardless, the detox always helps me focus a bit. I planned to start after the holidays and February gave me an entire month to prepare.

I have decided to mix the detox process up a bit and follow a different plan. The entire process will take 21 days, so I am planning on starting March 4. This gives me one more weekend to beginning cooking some of the food I will need for the next 21 days. My friends will probably start to notice how moody I’m becoming around March 10-12. A week or so into each detox, my body starts to rebel and I get cranky. Hopefully by preparing all of what I need in advance, I can stave off the crankiness for awhile.

Plan Basics:

– Lots of fluids: at least 64-oz a day
– Base diet: lentils, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, oils and seasonings
– Glass of warm water with lemon each morning
– Prep each meal well before
– Stretching routine each morning
– Continue to run my 50+ miles a week
– Add in 30 min of yoga/pilates a day
– No fish or gluten-free grains until week two
– No eggs or non-GMO soy until week three
– 21 day food journal

I will be using Whole Living’s recipes for the duration of the detox process.

Week 1: Breakfast
Week 1: Lunch
Week 1: Dinner

Week 2: Breakfast
Week 2: Lunch
Week 2: Dinner

Week 3: Breakfast
Week 3: Lunch
Week 3: Dinner

Snacks

I will keep you updated on my progress as often as I can spare some time to make a post. At the moment I am currently fighting a nasty upper respiratory infection, but this too shall pass.

Let me know what you think about this detox plan! I’m curious to see if this one is better than the last one I did. It doesn’t seem to be near as strict, so I hope it still works just as well.

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?

Positives:
– 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

Negatives:
– 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

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.

A Conversation with my Mother

On a break from work today I called my mother to see how she was doing. Normally I wouldn’t post something like this, but this conversation was a gold mine of hilarity.

Regarding my brother watching the house for a week….

Me: Hey Mom, how are you? I heard you were going on a week-long retreat with dad on Friday.
Mom: I am, but your brother is watching the house so I will be a nervous wreck all weekend.
Me: Why? He’s 23 now. I think he can take care of the house for a week.
Mom: The last time he was left by himself he caused a flue fire, flooded the laundry room and got into a car accident.
Me: He was also still in high school.
Mom: Mentally he still is in high school

On how California has “changed” me…

Mom: Your cousin said you were in a detox program?! Are you doing drugs?
Me: It’s a cleanse, just something to help purify your body. I’m not doing drugs, though some times I wish I was.
Mom: Well I think moving to California has really changed you. Since you’ve been living out there you don’t come home as often, you have a blog or whatever and you are going to detox. I just don’t want you to become some New Age freegan*.
Me: I’m not going to detox, mother. It’s not like I’m visiting a center, it is just something I’m doing to feel better.
Mom: What about this blog?
Me: What about it? It’s nice for me to have an outlet to write about my life since it can be rather stressful.
Mom: I see. You better not put anything about our family on this blog of yours, I don’t want to end up all over the internet.

My mothers thoughts on my new house…

Me: I’m still planning on moving in the first week of July.
Mom: I still can’t believe you bought a house because it has an elevator.
Me: No, I didn’t want the elevator. I loved everything about the house except the elevator.
Mom: You should just take the elevator out..
Me: That would be really expensive and I don’t think I want to go through that with the construction crews either.
Mom: Well, don’t let the elevator make you lazy.

Her thoughts on my diet…

Me: It was nice to see my cousin, we had fun while she was here. I was able to talk to her about some of the issues she has been dealing with as well.
Mom: She told me that while she was there you didn’t bake any cookies, buy ice cream, cook any meals with meat and you didn’t prepare any pierogi!
Me: Well I was on my detox diet mom, plus I try not to eat like that.
Mom: You don’t want to be too skinny, Polish boys don’t like skinny girls. They are used to hearty Slavic girls!

I love my mother. She is endlessly entertaining and I wish I got to visit her more often.

*I have no idea where my mother learned about freeganism, but I find it hilarious that she believes California might turn me into one.

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*:

Breakfast-

  • 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!

Lunch-

  • 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

Snack-

  • 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.

Dinner-

  • 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.

Dessert-

  • 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.