It seems like everywhere I turned someone was hawking some sort of detox diet in January. They lasted anywhere from 2-30 days. Some only allowed fruit juice and lemon water while others were strictly raw. There were herbal supplements and smoothies and something called ‘green sludge’ and all promised to make you feel like a new person.
I am of the mind-set that if you lead a generally healthy lifestyle, then a cleanse or detox is optional. Eating a nutrient-rich diet with vitamin supplements should be all the cleansing your system needs. But in our world of on-the-go lifestyles, filled with convenient foods, it is likely that the average person is not eating the most nutritious food all the time. I know I struggle with this.
I cut out fast food long ago and I try to stay away from as much processed food as possible; however, convenience sometimes wins. This past weekend I was out running errands ALL day and was so hungry that I was irritable and whiny. I also like to call this “hangry,” that point beyond hunger when your blood sugar is so low that all social skills go out the window and you snap at anyone that dares talk to you. Yeah, not pretty. So in this state, I caved. It was Chinese food. Delightfully greasy (probably MSG filled), Chinese food. And I enjoyed every bite. Can’t say my intestines enjoyed it as much as my taste buds though.
So yeah, my diet isn’t perfect and I have had instances where I feel the need to do a short cleanse to get my digestion and my skin back to normal again. When it comes to detox diets I think it is best to approach them with a specific goal in mind. Mine is usually for an energy boost and to clear my skin. There is certainly weight-loss involved but I think, like with any diet, don’t expect permanent results unless you are changing your lifestyle after the cleanse.
When choosing a cleanse, it is important that you are still getting vital nutrients. Please be wary of diets that really limit the foods you can eat. A healthy detox will include tons of fresh veggies, whole grains, and lots of water. The meals should be sufficient enough to leave you feeling full, but it is normal to have intense sugar/carb cravings especially if they are a staple of your normal diet. These diets take quite a bit of planning and in order to succeed, it is a good idea to prep ingredients for easy to prepare snacks and meals.
If you need an easy to follow, not too restrictive plan to slim down a bit and boost your energy, then Lauren Conrad’s 7 Days to Skinny Jeans Plan might be the way to go. I know, I KNOW. She is a (former) reality television star. Don’t laugh. The plan is legit and has some very yummy but healthy food options.
For those of you who want to jump start your system and get down and dirty in a very clean way, Seattle’s Jennifer Jordan, founder of For the Glow, has your solution. Visit her wonderfully informative site that helps you determine whether you need to detox or not. If you decide you do, in fact, need an internal scrubbing, she has some phenomenal plans to follow. She gives you recipes, advice and continued support online. This girl knows her stuff!
As always, listen to your body and be sure you are not choosing a diet that will rob you of nutrients. A healthy plan will be well rounded and full of clean, whole foods. Cheers to an energy boost!