Firstly, I want you to really shed all of your fears and expectations with respect to cleansing and detoxing. When we have certain expectations in mind and and they don’t occur exactly as planned, we tend to believe that the results were poor. An open mind is required when detoxing because it’s benefits vary greatly and some are more subtle than others. The following detox is meant to help support your body for 30 days with plant-based whole foods to help rid the body of imflammation and expose us to our bad habits and thought patterns around food. This is a teaching tool to help introduce you to preparing and cooking meals for yourself. This plan forces you to focus on your needs 24-7. So look, listen and feel your body and begin to understand the language it uses to communicate with you. I challenge you not only to follow this plan but to also journal everyday and choose a form of exercise that makes you happy and do it everyday. This could be a walk around the block, running the stairs in your apartment, attending a yoga class or simply just breathing for 15min. While sitting on your floor.
Foods to Avoid
Processed Food: Often processed foods contain harmful chemicals and preservatives that can back up the liver and kidneys. Any fast food and pre-made food that has ingredients that you don’t understand must be avoided.
Gluten: Gluten is very hard to digest and can slow down the GI tract which is counter productive during a detoxification. We want to eliminate all forms of gluten including baked goods, all pre-made sauces and salad dressings.
Dairy: Dairy is a mucous forming food which can affect the GI tract. Because we lack the enzyme to digest the sugar in dairy called lactose it can cause the body to use excess energy in hopes to rid the body of it. This can cause excessive diarrhea and bowel stress. Dairy is also highly acidic which can cause a negative impact on the system.
Corn: Corn is more often then not genetically modified and should be avoided unless it’s organic and young.
Soy: Soy is also one of the top GMO foods that can cause hormone disruption in the body. Soy should only be eaten if it’s from an organic source. Avoid tofu. Organic tempeh is ok.
Pork, Poultry & Red Meat: These meats are very hard on our digestive system as well as our liver. Often these animals are also fed GMO foods and antibiotics.
Caffeine: Caffeine is highly addictive and taxing on our body. If you are an avid coffee drinker I suggest replacing coffee with green tea for the 1st week. This will make the detox symptoms less intense. It’s normal to feel headaches, mood swings, and anxiety when detoxing from caffeine.
Processed Sugar: It’s highly addictive and taxing on the system. It can cause acidity in the body and feed harmfull bacteria in the body. Avoid vinegars, any granulated sugar, fruit concentrate.
Condiments: Home made is best. Most condiments contain sugars and preservatives that are harmfull to the body.
Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, squash): These vegetables cause inflammation in the body.
Alcohol: It burdens the liver and kidneys, stresses the immune system and creates acidosis in the body.
Foods to Eat
Filtered Water: Try to drink filtered water when possible. Or allow water to sit out for at least 30min so that the chlorine can evaporate. Chlorine backs up the liver and actually causes dehydration in the body.
Whole foods: All green veggies and fruits are allowed. Try to limit your fruit consumption to 2-3 servings a day. See examples at bottom.
Dried fruits: All dried fruits need to be unsulphured and unsweetened.
Nightshades (Yams, zucchini): These nightshades contain beneficial healing properties.
Grains: Quinoa, buckwheat/falsa, brown/wild rice
Flour: Any of the grain flowers mentioned above including coconut flour are encouraged.
Fermented Foods: Sourkraut (no vinegar), coconut yogurt, chickpea miso (www.organiclives.com)
Sugar: Raw organic honey, stevia (Make sure the stevia is green!)
Nuts and Seeds: All raw nuts and seeds and nut butters are great. Make sure it says “RAW” on the package. Some good examples are walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, cashews, hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds.
Meat: Free range organic eggs, organic turkey, wild game (bison/deer/elk) and wild fish
Oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sesame oil, coconut oil. Try to find oils that are Organic First Expeller Cold Pressed (it will say this right on the bottle).
Spices: Organic spices are best. Try cinnamon, curry, ginger, mustard seed, herbs, sea/himalayan salt, pepper.
Condiments: Apple cider vinegar, chickpea miso
Whole Foods: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, carrots, zuchinni, radishes, onion, garlic, ginger, lemon, lime, lettuce, kale, spinach, cucumber, cabbage, parsnips, sea veggies, algea’s, sprouts, asparagus, beets, celery, chard
You may choose to take the bare minimum or go all out depending on what kind of results you want and what you can afford.
- Good probiotics should be taken to rebuild the gut flooring and flush out any bad bacteria. This is really important to help maintain proper digestion and bowel movements. Look for one that’s sold in the fridge and has at least 1 billion live bacteria.
- Fibre – 2tbsp of ground flaxseeds/chia/salba in the morning will help cleanse and detoxify your GI tract. Mix in to smoothies or cereal.
- Hot Water w/ lemon before meals is a great way to detoxify, alkalize, remineralize and increase digestion. First thing in the morning is the most beneficial.
- Water is super hydrating and detoxifying. Tea does not count as drinking water so make sure to drink it throughout the day.
- Garlic has amazing anti-bacterial properties that help clean out the system. Try and eat at least 2-3 raw cloves daily. Add it in to salad dressings and dips or just eat it raw. The more your stomach reacts from the garlic the more bacteria you have in your gut that is fighting with the good from the garlic. These symptoms should dicipate after a couple of days. Sensitive stomachs should avoid for the first week or two and just experiment and see how you feel. You can always try capsules too!
The Full Regime (Be sure to include all of the above as well)
- Purchase a detox kit. If you have one that has been recommended feel free to try that. My favorite brands in Canada are Genestra, Heel, Renew Life and AOR.
- You could also try tea detox formula – loose leaf is best. Find your local apothecary or herbalogy store to purchase the one that’s right for you.
- L-glutamine helps to heal and increase your overall digestive strength and tissue.
- Algea is a great way to get all your nutrients from a natural plant source. It’s also alkalizing to the body, detoxifying and energizing. Spirulina, chlorella or E3Live blue green algea’s are all great. Add them to smoothies or your water and drink them down.
So try this on for size for 30 days and pay close attention to how you feel during your journey. And what about when those 30 days are over? Stay tuned here for a follow up blog coming soon about how to transition post cleanse back to your everyday life!
Melanie Emlyn is a holistic nutritionist who is passionate about educating people on eating healthy. She is also one of our dedicated fitness challengers this month (yay Mel!). For more information and great recipes check out her blog at www.freerunkitchen.com.
Interested in writing a guest blog for Gluten Free Calgary? Please contact us for information about this opportunity!