A Wine-Drinking, Meat-Eating Yogi’s Guide to Detoxing

This post originated as an email in response to a Facebook question about detoxing (yay social media!)

An increasingly popular thing to do after the excesses of the holidays, detoxing or cleansing (as I see it) is a commitment to getting your eating habits back on track and making the conscious choices to eat good, clean, healthy foods for a set period of time.  It would be great if we could do this ALL the time, but as this coffee-loving, red meat eating, Miller High Life drinking yogi knows, it’s just not always possible.

The past few years I’ve taken time out just after the holidays and again in the spring (something about that seasonal change!) to detox my system.  It’s also a great time to restock the pantry with good stuff and weed out the crap that sneaks in there when schedules get too busy.

OK, so I’ve tried to pull together some of my thoughts, resources and recipes for detoxes.  Let me know if you have any questions!

#1 GOLDEN RULE OF DETOXING

You are the guardian of your health.  Be open and honest with yourself about what works best.  If you have any questions, ask your doctor or a registered dietitian or nutritionist.

Disclaimer: I am not a health care provider.  This blog post is to share what’s worked for me.  Not everything here will work for you, so do what’s best for yourself and your body.  YOU are the guardian of your health.

Other important things to consider

A) Do your homework
Know your medical issues, dietary restrictions, allergies, etc… You want to be as successful as possible, so cutting more things out of an already restricted diet might not be a great idea.  Also, so foods have counter-indications with medicine, i.e. high blood pressure meds and grapefruit.  Not trying to scare you, but an awareness of your personal health is a good idea. If you have questions, check in with a doctor.

B) Decide what it is that you need
What’s your goal with a detox?  Is it to reboot your system?  Eat healthier?  Retrain your appetite and cravings?   Spend some time thinking about what foods make you feel heavy/less energized.  A food diary is a great idea – and I’m not talking counting calories, but a chance to create an honest assessment of what you eat, what you crave and when.  Knowledge is power!
C) You don’t have go cold turkey
If this is your first time doing a detox, pick something simple like meatless breakfasts and lunches and trimming back on refined sugars.  And don’t beat yourself up if you slip in a cookie or a soda.  It’s not about jugement or blame.  It’s about feeling good, so give yourself that extra boost and think positively in addition to eating positively.
D) Learn to read nutrition labels
A basic skill that will serve you SO well now and in the future.  Take for example Trader Joe’s rice bowls.  One rice bowl is THREE servings, with each serving containing 30% or more of your daily value of salt.  If you eat the whole bowl, and seriously, no one’s going to eat just a third of it, you’ll consume more than 90% of your daily sodium intake in ONE meal.
We can do better than that.
Here are some suggestions and resources that I have found helpful in reading about healthy eating, healthy foods and planning a detox.
E) Most importantly — HAVE FUN
Enjoy this chance to try new things, taste new flavors and FEEL GOOD!

Resources

ONLINE (Blogs and websites)

COOKBOOKS

  • How to Cook Everything (Vegetarian) — Whether you get the regular or veg version, it’s a kitchen staple what to buy, what to do and how to do it.
  • Clean Food — Focusing on sustailable eating with healthy foods that are in season and readily available in your local food store.
  • Veganomicon — The BEST vegan cookbook I own.  I’ve made nearly every recipe and they’re all delicious and filling!
  • Everyday Raw — If yoou’re interested in getting more raw food in your diet, this is a great beginner’s guide.
  • Delicious.com/AbbyT — My collection of online recipes! Recipes are all tagged by “recipe” style/type and major ingredients.
OTHER RESOURCES
This is a good, short article from Yoga Journal on planning a detox and the accompanying recipes.
Check out the science of Ayurveda, take a quiz to find out your doshas and maybe cook a few healthy meals to support your body.
For anyone who’s done a detox before, what resources did you find helpful?

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One response to “A Wine-Drinking, Meat-Eating Yogi’s Guide to Detoxing

  1. I have never done this, but am trying South Beach diet. It’s not too hard (except skipping wine, where I must admit I cheated ONLY on the weekend!) but I am interested in weight loss as well as health benefits. I am not seeing a lot of progress 😦 I may try the Master Cleanse next; does anyone have thoughts on this cleanse? It seems pretty extreme!

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