Last Fall, I completed a 30-day detox. And boy was it frickin eye-opening, enlightening, and a true experience that has taught me so much about myself. Before you ask me “how to detox,” let me define what a detox is AND what mine was all about.
What is a detox?
Simply put, detox (short for detoxification) is the process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. It DOES NOT MEAN juice cleanse, or starvation diet, or drinking lemon water with cayenne pepper (like we tend to think of). A detox is where YOU choose to go through a process to rid your body of TOXINS that are harmful to your bodily functions. When you think of a detox this way, you can really open up your mind to understand TOXINS in a whole, new light.
Why did I go on a cleanse?
I made a choice (recommended by my doctor – Dr. Thalia) to get my shit together. Here’s what it was all about:
I work lots and carry stress in my belly. While some people get tight shoulders, I get a blown-up “air baby” bloated stomach, that doesn’t feel so awesome. It impacts how I feel, my energy, productivity, and bottom line, EVERYTHING else. So, Dr. Thalia ran some blood work and stool samples on me (ew I know, but it was really insightful). Then she suggested a very clear elimination diet (similar to the foods you can eat during our upcoming food challenge — launching in 2016). (BTW – if you are NOT on our email list, be sure to sign up here, so you can get the upcoming details). The goal for my detox was to remove foods that may possibly be irritating my digestive tract and slowly add certain foods back in to see how my body reacts.
What did I do during my cleanse?
Essentially, these were the food requirements:
No Thank You
yes to loads of veggies
yes to leafy greens
no starchy veggies/wheat/grain
yes to fresh lemon juice
yes to organic meat/poultry
yes to wild salmon
yes to EVOO and coconut oil
yes to wild/brown rice
no fruit (dried or fresh)
yes to herbal tea
yes to pumpkin and sunflower seeds
yes to flax and chia seeds
no processed meat
yes to seaweed
yes to raw sauerkraut + kombucha
But wait, there is more to this cleanse.
When I got home, I thought about how much more I could do to address the root of my stress response, and how this DETOX would be worthwhile. Could I address the toxicity of things that drain my time in 30 days?
- TIME (to improve my productivity and effectiveness);
- SLEEP (to improve my energy and hormones); and
- ENVIRONMENT (to improve the space and people that surround me)?
It is absolutely correct. I decided to look at the whole me and see if I can remove TOXINS from my world. I did what I was told to do.
- It was limited to under five minutes a day, if any at all.
- Yes, early morning risings and early sleep times.
- UP spoke, instead of holding back.
- Ask hard questions, no matter what the outcome is.
- Projects that don’t align with my goals were not allowed.
- Every day there is some form of meditation integrated.
- It was not possible to email checking in bed.
- Weekly success lists were written by the writer.
- It was created to further define my purpose in life and career.
- Yes, to doing things that are fun.
- The house clean up sessions were practiced throughout the week.
- went on longer walks
- A stronger yoga practice is something that I am committed to doing.
- To save time, I wrote in bullets.
So, what was my experience like?
Here are 20 thoughts I had during the detox:
- This isn’t going to be that bad.
- It was rape. I would love to have chocolate.
- I want an apple.
- I would really like to have an apple.
- Do not eat an apple. It is for the very best.
- We are blessed to eat apples whenever we want.
- It’s not really a big deal. It was a shame. We go and buy whatever we want from the stores and there are people that don’t have that luxury to just “get up” and buy whatever they want.
- People are hungry in this world.
- You don’t have to be hungry. I am not.
- You should not open Facebook right now. It is a time that is not enjoyable.
- My stomach feels better than ever.
- You should go to bed now so you can wake up early. Shut down immediately. Really, really!
- This is so good, I could eat it over and over again, it is so good with a squeeze of lemon, olive oil, and ground pumpkin seeds.
- When you want an apple, try brushing your teeth.
- I sleep better on nights that I work out. Why don’t I finish the work before this?
- Is it possible to have a bite of that cookie? Will that work out? It’s probably not. I am doing it anyways.
- I am reading a book and I love it. It is all about purpose.
- I don’t think I need to eat as much as I think.
- Even though I am not hungry, I need something to eat. That’s interesting. There is a sign.
- I think I am stronger in yoga now.
It is not going to be possible to recap full details of an intense 30-day cleanse in a single post, however you should be able to get the idea that it is an adventure, with waves of confronting thoughts that will leave you free to make new choices. My only goal was to make an active effort to clear my body of toxins in order to improve my quality of life and my output. It opened many doors of opportunity, and I can honestly say that I feel more in tune with my body now. I can see how repeating this at different times of the year can be very helpful.
What happened to my body after my cleanse?
Over the past 30 days, I have experienced a lot of growth, so I will share a few outcomes that capture that growth. For some of you, it may not mean anything. I am sure that you will be celebrating with me.
I am quite proud of the outcomes related to food.
- After meals, my stomach is not as bloated as before. It is not completely better yet, but it is getting there.
- I didn’t buy a bar of dark chocolate for 30 days because it was my “stress-food” of choice, and thus saved at least $15 dollars.
- My energy is always consistent.
- Breakfast without eggs is something I enjoy very much.
- I don’t have the same sugar cravings that I used to. I don’t need it at all.
I am quite proud of the outcomes related to my whole body.
- I have saved hours by removing social media checking during the day.
- I started and finished the book.
- I know what my goals are for weekly, monthly and beyond.
- I surround myself with pretty amazing people and have some exciting things in motion, so there is no room for negative energy there.
- I enjoy the benefits of meditation, but miss it when I don’t.
How you can get rid of toxins from the whole body.
So, are you ready for a cleanse? It just means that you are making a choice to eliminate toxins to improve how your body functions. There are some things you can do to get started.
Identify the toxins. Start by asking ask yourself, “what toxic things (food, habits, drugs, or even people) do you need to remove from your day-to-day, such that by removing them, your life will feel so much cleaner?”
If you want to focus on toxins related to food, start by eating real. Food is healing. Our upcoming detox food challenge (get on our newsletter list here) will help you understand this in GREAT detail, inclusive of an elimination cleanse week (very similar to the foods I eliminated). You can easily repeat this for as long as you’d like.
Write down (in list form) what you want to remove. Is it dairy, sugar, wine, Facebook time, negative self criticism, candy, soda? Success starts with clarity – so write it down.
Get prepared. Whatever you need to do to successfully remove these toxins, be sure to prepare for that. It starts by throwing things out in the cupboard, stocking up on foods you can eat, telling your family/friends (especially those that live with you) so they can be supportive. The beginning of our upcoming detox food challenge (launching in 2015) will give you a very clear list to help you with this.
Pick a date. And just start (because you are worth it). If you have a “blooper” day, don’t stress it. Just keep plugging along.
And lastly, I’ll leave you with a secret. Two of my favorite morning pick-me-ups are a cleansing green smoothie (in our currently FREE book) and a cozy mug of hot water with lemon:
1 ½ cups boiled water
Juice from ½ lemon
A mug that brings you joy
- Wake up and drink this before the house starts to snore.
- Be prepared for an amazing day. The world is in need of you!
There is a flower called a Kale. It was all day. It was a bad day.
If you like this post, checkout more nutritious and healthy living tips in our latest interactive book, Kale. All Day. Err Day. It’s enhanced and interactive for a super fun, learning experience. It’s filled with a great story all about kale, how-to videos, and recipes for the busy and the hungry. Did we mention, it’s FREE…for a limited time. Hurry – check it out here. (New book coming late 2016…)