Time to hit the health reset button. After all the treats, sugar, and alcohol that are inevitable over the holiday season, a detox is much needed.
We have had a great holiday season with friends and family and baking (and eating) our sugar cookies and cooking lots of wonderful things. It’s now time to get back to healthy eating and making better choices. For me this involves a sugar detox and adding back whole foods that are delicious and nutritious. This ten day detox will purge your body of all the toxins and allow you to cleanse your system!
Did you know that sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine? This might explain why it is so difficult to eliminate sugar from your diet. I know for me it is the hardest thing that I have to do. I quite smoking cold turkey and that didn’t bother me in the least. However, I find that I really struggle with not eating sugar. It’s my addiction.
It is the accumulation of sugary foods that becomes problematic. I can have one or two cookies as a treat, but over the holidays it seems like temptation is a daily occurrence. It's also been absurdly cold outside and staying active has been more difficult. The pounds creep up which is also an unwelcome side effect.
So it is one week after New Years and I am 7 days into my detox. My body won’t really be rid of all the sugar until day 10 but I am feeling better already. Why do I do a sugar detox? I have a mild form of MS and MS patients don’t do well with sugar as it inflames the joints and inhibits mobility. It actually does this to everyone, but it is particularly unpleasant for me and adds to the pain. In addition, sugar is horrific for your skin (as we have written previously) aging it prematurely. Sugar also fogs the brain, causes moods swings, and actually makes you hungry. It suppresses your immune system (sugar causes your body to have a very low PH and that is an environment ripe for cancer to grow) and it is completely void of any nutritional value. You can develop a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
What did I do to start the detox process and where do I go from there?
Here are some rules that I follow every time that I have to go down this rabbit hole
- I start my day with Bulletproof coffee – coffee with Ghee and brain oil. You can buy it on amazon for 23.45 CAD.
- I go on a minimal carbohydrate diet – definitely no simple carbs like rice, potatoes, pasta or bread or anything made with gluten or flour. Vegetables, which are complex carbs, are fine. Simple carbs spike blood sugar and complex carbs are slow release so there is no sugar spike.
- I drink at least a gallon of water with sliced lemon every day. This raises your PH balance and will boost your immune system. Also diseases find a high PH environment difficult to grow in.
- I avoid processed foods (canned goods and processed meats).
- I have a protein shake for breakfast. I use Slimquick (8 for 15.99 CAD on amazon) which is high in protein and low in carbs, made with unsweetened almond milk, Dutch processed cocoa powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper, flax seeds and frozen blueberries (low glycemic index)
- I eat healthy fats – such as avocados and olive oil (fats help you feel full).
- I eat lots of protein – lean protein. Either eggs, roasted chicken, tuna, or some form of meat.
- I eat the rainbow. Red cabbage, red onions, red peppers, yellow peppers, etc.
- I eat lots of salads with kale, arugula, radishes, cucumbers, and blanched green beans, tomatoes.
- I eliminate all dairy, which has hidden sugars and soy.
- I dry brush every day before I shower – this moves the toxins through your body faster
- Move more. Add at least 10 minutes to your regular routine. Instead of taking the elevator take the stairs.
- Cut out alcohol!
What will be one of the first things that you will notice when you have completed a ten-day detox? Your brain will function better, you will be less bloated, you will have eliminated sugar cravings, your skin will be brighter, clearer and less strained. You will sleep better.
In order to help you jumpstart your detox we think the following tricks will help you on your way
- Stock your fridge and pantry with essentials. Organic chicken and vegetable stock if you don’t make your own (chicken stock with collagen if you can find it – the collagen is good for your skin), salmon in individual portions wrapped and frozen, whole chickens (remember to save carcass for stock). Complete grains such as quinoa or brown rice, canned san marzono tomatoes, Konjac noodles (faux pasta that is high in fiber). Buy nuts in bulk and make a batch of spiced nuts to snack on (recipe to follow in recipe section)
- Buy fresh vegetables in bulk and portion and freeze them. We save all the scraps for stock as well. (onion skins, broccoli ends, cauliflower pieces etc)
- Keep low gylecemic fruits on hand (our favorite is frozen blueberries) for when you have a craving for something sweet.
- Eat lots of fiber – it will keep you full and stave off the sugar cravings.
Here are some simple recipes to get your started on your detox. We have provided links to previous recipes that we have posted. All these recipes have a high protein, low glycemic index which will help you stay on course
We hope that this helps you get your body back to neutral after the holidays. Everyone does some kind of detox at this time of year but the most important thing is to do it in a way that nourishes your body without depriving it.