My plate of peas was finally empty and I was excused from the table. Then I hear it, “RACHEL ELIZABETH!!!” as my mother un-suctioned my plate from the table. There she found them, my smooshed peas. This was just one example of my unbalanced diet growing up. I was essentially a sugar eating, carb loving girl that only ate veggies under absolute necessity.
After realizing my sugar addition and reducing my intake, there was still a whole mess of healthy habits I’ve had to learn. The next step was yet another challenge, temporarily restricting my diet from alcohol, cheese, milk products, caffeine, gluten and even fruit. While I was doing this, I was also taking supplements to heal the gut and remove yeast. Finally, all the symptoms I had been struggling with vanished! My skin was clearing up, my stubborn fat was melting away, I finally was sleeping, had energy, remembering things better, and the list goes on. Call it a detox, call it a diet, but this was essential in getting things on track.
I don’t know about you, but detoxing is hard for me regardless of the amazing benefits. First, finding the motivation can be a challenge and secondly, going through the withdrawals both physically and mentally. Once I get going, it’s much easier to coast through.
10 Steps to Survive a Detox:
- Motivation. This is obvious and going to be different for everyone.
- Write down the reasons you started. When the motivation wears off, you will need those reasons as a constant reminder, and remember, it’s not for forever!
- Get rid of tempting foods. This doesn’t apply to just sugar, it’s any comfort food. Detoxing is uncomfortable and chances are your body will be screaming for something “comfortable”.
- Plan out your menu. Once you know what you’re going to eat, buy the food, chances are you’re not going to back out.
- Go Cold Turkey. If you let yourself have a little, chances are you’ll negotiate yourself into having all of it.
- Don’t Starve. I can’t emphasize this enough. It doesn’t have to be a “Hangry” detox, you can get the same benefits from detoxing just by eliminating “offender” foods.
- Take it one day at a time. So many times I feel like it’s too hard, but when I think of it in terms of today, suddenly I have a lot more willpower.
- Detox Symptoms Happens. There are so many that could occur, and if you have never detoxed before it’s easy to think something is wrong. To help these along, drink plenty of water, take Epsom salt baths, and sweat it out. My favorite place for this is hot yoga!
- Accountability. Some people have a lot of success when they do it with a friend. But I do great if someone is just there to keep me accountable and there’s a lot of personal satisfaction in completing something you started.
- Expect Results. Duh!!! It feels good when you reap what you sow, but this is also a crucial time to figure out what your body can tolerate as you add foods back into your diet.
I never had a real end date for my detox; it just naturally transitioned into a maintenance period. I suggest detoxing for at least 30 days, which will give your body enough time to acclimate to the changes and begin to heal.
I’ve cycled through this on and off through the last couple years. Anytime my symptoms begin to come back, I know I’ve been too slack and it’s time to get back on track. The only difference is, I know what to expect and what foods I tolerate.