Yesterday I started my first ever detox program. The pre-conceived notion is that "detox" directly relates to breaking a dangerous addiction to drugs or alcohol, even sex and gambling. While this may be true to an extent, for me, the purpose of detoxifying is to rid my body and mind of toxic build up and reset it's ability to fend for itself the way it was designed to do. I believe every single person can benefit from it. There is no question that the human body is an amazing, complex, 24 hour working machine but the truth is most of us abuse the hell out of it starting in childhood. We ignore it's call for maintenance until we reach the point of chronic pain and disease. The abuse is not always a conscience decision. In modern society we are bombarded by toxins from the soap used to clean (supposedly) ourselves, to the air that we breathe to the food we consume. Sometime we are even told that these toxins are there to help or cure the symptoms such as in the case of prescription drugs. Is exposure to toxins completely avoidable? Not so much and you shouldn't stress too much about doing so. Sometimes it's even welcome (a bowl of ice cream on a summer day, a glass of wine with girlfriends, etc). But is it possible for us to partner with this amazing mind/body machine to keep it working at optimal efficiency for the duration of our lives? Absolutely. I mean we have no problem giving our cars' oil changes, tire rotations, and details. Doesn't it just make sense to give our 24 hour machine a deep clean every now and than as well?
I am a very "healthy" eater and have been since high school (with a brief break during college). For the last 8 months, I have exercised, drank tons of water, juiced and eaten gluten-free on a regular basis. For the last 3 months I have been on a plant based diet with little to no meat. For the last month I have cut down on my dairy to the point of extinction (well almost). It wasn't until I got my school required reading which included a copy of "Clean" by Dr. Alejandro Junger that I realized all of these diet changes are helping in daily maintenance but just aren't enough to reset my body from all of the damage done by other unconscious toxins such as years of exposure to oral contraceptives, antibiotics, alcohol, chemical laden cleaners, mattresses, clothing, pesticides and just plain crappy foods. And while my problems may be minimal in comparison to others, they are chronic and that is reason enough to want to give detoxing a shot. I am also in the child-bearing stages of my life and while I am not pregnant now, what better way to prep my body for 9 months of care and nourishment of a growing baby than to rid myself of toxins that could and most likely would be passed on.
This detox program is not for those with little will power. It's no joke and it takes dedication. But if the end result is all it's cracked up to be, 21 days of no alcohol, dairy, or gluten and minimal sugar intake, is going to be well worth clear skin, whiter whites in my eyes, clearer focus, less tummy trouble, hormonal regulation, better sleep and boundless energy. I have read about many detox diets and some involve intense fasting or juice only. I wasn't into that. I have to chew at least some of my food. I have to feel satisfied. I refuse for people to hear a constant rumble of hunger in my tummy. I don't want to be mad and cranky all of the time. Weight-loss is not one of my goals so there will be no skimping on calories. This program focuses on fresh foods, smoothies, soups and juices. You have a liquid breakfast, a big fresh lunch, a liquid dinner and snack on tart fruits, raw nuts and raw veggies all day if you want. The goal is to leave 12 hours in between your last smoothie, juice or soup of the day and your first smoothie, juice or soup of the morning. Drink tons of water. Consume ZERO alcohol and little to no caffeine. Exercise, meditate, and skin brush every day. Journal everything. Get massages if you want. Use steam rooms and saunas to speed things along. Best of all...make it work for you and your schedule. It is also broken down into week by week. Dr. Junger's take is simple and guilt free. Do it for 7 days, if you feel good and want to continue, do it for 7 more and for the ultimate results do it for 21 days. His hope is that somewhere along the way you will feel your best and at the end of the 21 days you will not instantly return to a toxic daily existence (my words not his) but will have picked up good habits and have felt what it is like to feel good in all aspects of your being.
While intimidated that I may not make it 21 days without a glass of red wine, that my social life will go to crap, that my marriage will suffer and that I will lose my mind (not really), I am psyched to go through the process. While I am strongly focused on the end result, I realize that the process will be a very important part of the detox. My results may not be extreme but if it allows me to bring a little more conciseness to my life, body and mind, than I shall prevail in becoming "Clean." I am also a true proponent that sometimes people aren't into "fake it till you make it." I want to be able to coach future clients through their own detox. How can I do that if I do not know what it feels like? And so on day two I feel good, I feel hopeful and I can tell you that it's been over 24 hours and I have not felt hungry, mentally or physically, once. I plan to document every part of this program and am excited to share results with you. I am also fortunate to have a team to do this with. My Mom and Dad are both taking the "Clean" challenge. *My post is strictly an intro/outline of this program. If you are interested in doing it, purchase the book, read it and follow directions. It is important to note that there are people who may be at risk by doing this program depending on the situation. THANKS!