We are flooded with information in the media about fad diets and extreme detox plans and the information can sometimes be misleading. In this entry I want to explain the importance of a proper lifestyle where you detox on a continual basis, as opposed to a strict diet or short-term detox. This approach is much more effective, and is sustainable for the long-term. Let’s talk Diets vs. Detox.
“Diet” technically means to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.
“Detoxify” is defined as changing eating habits in an attempt to remove toxic substances or qualities. The problem is that many of us think of “detox” as a noun, as in to do “a detox” for a few days here and there. I emphasize “detox” in the verb form, ie detoxing continually, as we also amass toxins constantly.
When you diet, you are literally limiting yourself certain types of foods in order to follow the diet’s guidelines, or meet a calorie restriction. However, depriving yourself of certain foods can result in a lack of satisfaction, which is definitely not sustainable. One of the main reasons why I don’t believe in diets is that most people end up cracking and going back to the same way they were eating. You may feel “skinnier” on a restrictive diet plan because it may result in losing a few pounds, but your energy may by down and your skin will look like crap. I see people all the time that lose some weight and look 10 years older than their real age, as their skin looks drawn and lined!
The focus should instead be on creating a proper nutrition plan that will satisfy all of your urges, while eating in such a way that we are continually cleansing the body of toxins, and reducing the amount of toxins we continue to amass in the body. If you incorporate antioxidant-rich, fibrous natural foods in your diet, you will detoxify the body by cleansing it from the inside out. While doing so, you will naturally lose weight, and most importantly, you will improve your health.
My program is about looking and feeling your best, and having an abundance of youthful energy. The easiest way to start your detox-lifestyle is to start drinking the Glowing Green Smoothie and start shifting your diet to include foods primarily from the Beauty Food Circle. The high concentration of greens and natural plant foods will flood your body with alkalinity and remove toxins. You will feel and look absolutely beautiful.
Here are some detox questions that you’ve asked me, word for word, on topics that come up frequently:
1. Do you suggest easing into your detox solution slowly, or starting full force?
My program is not “cleanse” or “diet” that we adopt for 21 days or a few months only to go back to our old ways. It truly is a long-term way of eating, and a shift in our lifestyle.
It also doesn’t mean we have to give up all our favorite foods immediately and never have them again, but rather to shift our whole way of thinking about what is truly healthy and nourishing for our bodies, so that we can make better choices for the future.
Since we are adopting a new lifestyle, I do suggest transitioning the diet. If we make changes and start to feel better, we strengthen our resolve to stay on the program and make additional changes.
2. I started the program and I don’t feel the energy everyone talks about, and I even gained a few pounds. Why is that?
To answer this question, I went back to the Beauty Detox and quoted myself, since I think this is a really important part of the book many people skip over:
Well consider that most of us have at least a few decades worth of eating acidic foods, the putrefying and fermenting residue of which is lodged as sludge in varying degrees in different parts of our body.
If we decide one day to make a radical shift to our diet to eating only or a high percentage alkaline foods, namely fruits and vegetables, we are also unleashing the strongest possible cleansers that we can put into our bodies.
What happens when we pour a dozen whole bottles of Liquid Drano down a clogged pipe? We will peel free a massive amount of matter from the sides of the pipe, and we better be sure that this clogged old matter leaves the pipe altogether. Otherwise it will get stuck right in the middle and we are worse off than if we just left it all encrusted to the sides!
This is exactly what can happen when we make drastic switches in our diet very quickly, even when they are with very good foods. We wake up sleeping demons that are in the form of toxic waste!
If we neglect to wake up a limited amount of toxins at a time that can then leave the body in a controlled way, we run the risk of awakening too many toxins at once. Awakening too many toxins can have very unpleasant side effects such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, breakouts and other skin eruptions, diarrhea, etc. and can actually make us quite sick.
In some cases, as lots of acidic waste is kicked up our body has to retain more water to neutralize it, and we might feel a couple pounds heavier right in the beginning. Don’t worry–This will go away!
It is essential to transition our diets properly. If the toxins don’t leave the body quickly, and don’t all leave, all we’ve done is re-awakened poison, and now it has been brought to the surface where it will be reabsorbed by the tissues.
I’ve seen it way too many times with overly enthusiastic clients and readers on my blog! Oftentimes when people make a transition to more alkaline foods and become a vegetarian they feel weak. Their friends and family say, “See? You can’t eat that way, it doesn’t suit your body and you are deficient in protein and nutrients!”
Have you ever met someone that tried to become a vegetarian and started to feel awful after a few weeks or months? That person goes back to eating meat and how they were eating before and immediately starts feeling better. Why?
What is actually happening is not a lack of nutrition in the body or a lack of some key nutrient like protein (assuming they are eating the Beauty Detox way with a variety of whole plant foods).
Rather, it is because they are getting poisoned from the inside out by their own toxins which the newly integrated, powerfully cleansing foods have shaken loose.
Those very poisons are the acidic, toxic residue which keep us from efficiently absorbing nutrition into our bodies. That is why transitioning and cleansing along the way are so crucial to break through into new levels of health, healing and beauty.
3. What are other detox symptoms? How soon will I start looking and feeling better?
Some typical, temporary cleansing symptoms include: Headaches, sore throat, exhaustion, skin rashes or eruptions, aches and pains, soreness, moodiness, dizziness, and feeling lightheaded.
These symptoms are usually the strongest in the first few weeks as you shift your diet to the Beauty Detox Solution – if you actually experience them at all. If you continue to stick to the main principals, a large amount of toxins will be flushed out of the body. By the end, you will feel and look incredible and your body will be so much cleaner.
The exact timing for major, noticeable improvements depends on your individual body and the condition it was in when you started the program. It can be as short as one or a few days, or for some a few weeks.
The main thing is to stick with it because every day you make better dietary choices you are making huge improvements not only for your physical health, but for your energy and your mental well-being, which will affect all aspects of your life. Stay on the path- or get back on when you wander!
4. Do you suggest keeping up a regular exercise routine when starting the Beauty Detox Solution if you are making significant dietary changes?
Again, this program is a lifestyle, so be patient and listen to your own body, since you know it best. I have had clients that started the program and needed to take a break from intense workouts and let their body focus its energy on adjusting and cleansing.
I’ve also had many, many clients that actually increased their workouts due to a surge in energy and motivation very early on in adopting the program. Most of these clients have kept up their increased exercise routine, since energy is in abundance on the program!
5. What foods do you suggest for people who have a big sweet tooth. Sometimes fruits don’t fully satisfy my sweet cravings!
If you get a sweet craving for desert, especially while transitioning, herbal tea or unsweetened almond milk that has been warmed with stevia might satisfy you. 1-2 ounces of an organic, 72%+ cacao, dairy-free dark chocolate bar is another choice, though we do not want to consume chocolate every day.
Also, try some of my healthy dessert recipes here on the blog and in the Beauty Detox Solution. On a personal note, I’ve been obsessed with chia seeds of late, and have been having them vanilla-flavored almost daily as a treat!
Chia seeds are very filling and full of essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Take the Chia Seed Delight recipe and just swap the raw cacao for ½ tsp or so of vanilla flavoring (not vanilla extract). See what you think!
6. What do you do if there aren’t many healthy options when at social gatherings or eating out?
Prepare by eating well the day of a big party or when you know you’re going out to dinner. If you’ve been eating well all day, you’ll be in a stronger mental position when you arrive for the event or dinner.
Come to the event fully hydrated, and if you don’t think you’ll find raw veggies or salads to star the meal with I would have some before you leave, or even on the way there! (Note: I stuffed a container of cucumber slices into my purse to eat first at the backstage party at the Kenny Chesney concert a few weeks ago! )
Take digestive enzymes, do your best to stick to your Beauty Food Pairings, and chew well! Don’t overindulge… but do enjoy yourself! If you are happy and grateful for what you’re eating and not feeling guilty while you eat that will help your food digest better also.