I've written before of reasons why you might want to do a detox, but I'm going to focus on my own reasons right now. Last year, I just felt better. I had more energy. I didn't need a cup of tea after lunch to get my energy back up. I woke up feeling clear-headed. I slept more soundly. My joints felt more lubricated. I farted less. I hurt less. I lost some body fat.
Over the year, some of the new habits stuck. I've really reduced the amount of sugar I eat. That has been the biggest one. I don't like milk in my tea anymore. I eat less bread. But I have a pretty healthy diet, overall. I still love cheese though and am very resistant to that ever leaving my plate. I kept the weight off until the winter, when I put a bit back on... as is my natural cycle. But I don't think I should be losing any weight right now.
This year, I want to sleep. I want to feel good. It's been an enormously difficult year for me because last summer, I lost the ability to sleep. I didn't think that was possible, because I've always been a really good sleeper. But here I am 6 months later and I still cannot sleep. I have to take pills to do it, and I'm not a pill-taker. I've done all the things you're supposed to do to improve sleep, including some on-going personal work. But nothing budges. The lack of sleep is making my mind go bezerk. Seriously bezerk. Like many people, I'm approaching this diet as a 'maybe THIS will fix me!' People have had more remarkable recoveries from eliminating gluten and dairy from their diet. I've seen it. But I have a feeling this will just be one small piece of my healing journey.
So that tells you why this is not going to be a Perfect Detox. Much as I think I should make every effort to get the most out of these 3 weeks, I think part of what is out of balance with me is that I make every effort with everything. I'm passionate about too many things. Too many things are too important not to do well. I have hit a wall and I need to just do enough for a while. So I'm going to make this 21 days enough. I aim to be disciplined only to the point that it is loving and accepting. And I'm using facebook and my blog to reach out to other people who need to do an imperfect detox and want a little virtual support. I am not going to be the standing on the throne of perfect diets here. I'll tell you my guidelines. They might not be the ones important for you, but I'm sharing them in case they can inspire and support you.
Things to NOT eat (for me): Gluten, dairy (I'm really loose on that. I eat butter and homemade yogurt and organic cream and cultured cream in moderation. Dairy fat seems to not be an issue. I'm avoiding milk and cheese. I love cheese.) No sugar or any sweeteners at all. No chocolate. No snacking on dried fruit, but I'll put some in dishes in moderation. No alcohol. No caffeine except when a cup of green tea is needed to lift me out of total darkness. Because a mom of little homeschoolers rarely has a chance to be properly depressed. No processed foods, but I don't eat them anyway. Also, I'm going to keep oatmeal in there for mornings. Last year, I took it out for the first half and I just couldn't poop properly. When I put it back in, and everything just worked better. I know oats have a tiny bit of gluten, but it didn't seem to be an issue for me. It's something I had to work out. I might phase it out after a week or so.
Things I want to eat every day: Cultured veg (sauerkraut and kim chi), a dark leafy green (kale, chard, spinach), cruciferous vegetables and sea weed. Or at least a few of them each day. Eating the usual frequent bone broths and avocados. Our liver needs a whole bunch of nutrients to efficiently transform and eliminate toxins and wastes from our body. These foods are important. Lots of water and herbal infusions.
Supplements: I'm not usually a supplement person so much, but I'm using them for this. The second 2 weeks, I use some products from Designs for Health that we use at the office. You don't need to, but I do it because it makes it easier for me and it just works for me. I already talked about important detox things in last years posts part 1, 2 and 3. If you want to pay for this program, I can help you sort it out, but this isn't about me pushing product and services. I don't like to recommend individual supplements for people I don't know, so I'll just move past this for now.
My top tips for today: 1) Write down what you eat and drink for the next 2 days, I call it a 'Food, Mood and Poop Journal'. Don't judge it. Just write it down, be accurate. At the end, give it a compassionate once-over. What are some habits you would like to change that would help you feel better? What times of the day do you binge eat? What are your triggers? 2) Find your program, give yourself this week to rev up by planning it, shopping and preparing some things in advance for busy days. Your program could be as simple as not eating junk food and soda and trying to eat one vegetable every day. If that's a big improvement for your diet, then it's going to be enough. 3) If you do nothing else, drink 4 ounces of water every hour that you can remember. Set a timer. Put 8 ounces (at least) by your bed at night and don't get out of bed until you drink it all. I'll post some guidelines of a plan tomorrow, and some resources where you can find yours. Feel free to share your favorite site/book/program that has worked for you. I can share that with other people.
Good luck!! We can do anything for 2-3 weeks!