Tired of feeling bloating, fatigued, or experiencing unexplained headaches, sleep issues or achy joints? What about food cravings or the inability to lose those last few pounds? Maybe it's time for a detox. If that word strikes fear into your heart, fear not. I'm not talking about extreme practices, weird foods, or strange supplements. There is an easy and effective way to do a detox, and it's The Daniel Plan way. If your interested in living your healthiest year ever, maybe it's time for a detox.
How to Do a Detox
I teamed up with my dear friend Chef Mareya Ibrahim to do a video called the do's and don'ts of detox as part of The Daniel Plan 10th anniversary celebration. We dished about detoxing and had a ball. If you are interested, HERE IS THE VIDEO LINK and the recipe links are at the end. Grab yourself a copy of The Daniel Plan and read the detox chapter. It comes with a toxicity questionnaire so you can track your before and after progress.
Think of a detox as a time to restore, reboot, or recalibrate. The body's natural detox mechanisms, mainly your liver, kidneys, gut and skin, get overloaded and can't function at their best. There are pesticides, herbicides and additives, even heavy metals in the food you eat, the water you drink, pollutants in the air you breathe, and countless environmental toxins you can't see. Food sensitivities and intolerance are common but difficult problems to diagnose, but a detox like the Daniel Plan's (written by Dr. Mark Hyman) uncovers what's hampering your health. In fact Dr. Hyman says "the role of toxins and detoxification in health has been largely ignored by medicine."
What is The Daniel Plan Detox?
It's a temporary time span where you eliminate certain foods to give your body a break, then slowly add them back in to see how you feel and uncover any offending foods. You can detox for 10-14 days or longer. Some people feel so great they keep going for 30-40 days.
What you let go of:
- Foods with gluten
- All dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt)
- Stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, soda, and energy drinks)
- Foods with added sugar
- Junk food, fast food, and processed food
- Artificial anything
- White flour, white rice foods (pasta, bread, cookies)
What you eat:
- Whole, fresh foods
- Lots of fresh, mostly non-starchy vegetables
- Low sugar fruit
- Limited gluten-free grains (brown rice, quinoa, black rice)
- Quality protein
- A little healthy fat
- Nuts and seeds
Potential Benefits of a Detox
- Losing weight
- Increasing energy
- Discovering food sensitivities
- Feeling better
- Clearer thinking
- Improved mood
- Improved sleep
- Reduced joint pains and aches
- Better skin
- Better digestion and elimination
- Breaking bad habits and starting new good ones
Getting Ready for a Detox
Start with a pantry clean out by getting rid of foods that harm you, so you are not tempted, and then do the same with your fridge and freezer. Next, refill with the foods that heal like lots of fresh vegetables and low sugar fruit. Stock up on beverages like caffeine-free herbal teas and sparkling water. Another tasty option for cooler months is bone broth. Homemade bone broth is best as you control what's in it.
If you've never made homemade broth, try my recipes for chicken broth and vegetable broth.The chicken bone broth is long simmered and the vegetable broth is a quick recipe. A batch keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days and freezes in portions for quick thawing and sipping.
If homemade broth is more work than you're up for then buy a good ready made broth. Be sure to read the labels for additives, preservatives and high sodium. You'll find better options in the freezer section than on the shelf. Find the recipe link for Mareya's Real Vitality Tonic at the end.
The Do's and Don'ts of Detox
The "Do" List for a Detox
- Clean out your kitchen
- Buy a journal and note what you're eating and how you feel
- Plan on light exercise
- Plug into resources for support, like the Daniel Plan Facebook community or a detox buddy
- Stay hydrated to flush toxins (very important) aiming for half your weight in ounces per day
- Get enough fiber to support elimination
- Get enough quality sleep
- Incorporate lifestyle detox habits such as sweating in a sauna, an epsom salt bath, or get a massage
- Buy as much organic as possible (shop with the Dirty Dozen List)
- Focus on eating the best detoxifying foods and here is a list to help
The "Don't" List for a Detox
- Don't give up!
- Don't cheat, stay with it
- Don't freak out, you can do this!
Resources to Check Out
- Here are the two recipes we demonstrated: My Creamy Curry Cauliflower Soup and Mareya's Real Vitality Tonic.
- For a list of foods you can eat to support detoxing each day read Nine Tops to Detox Every Day.
- Check out Mareya's new book Eat Like You Give Fork: The Real Dish on Eating to Thrive and while you're there order some Eat Cleaner to wash all that fresh produce you'll be eating.
- Looking for more reading on detoxing from a trustworthy source? Here's a great post from Dr. Mark Hyman on the truth about detoxification.
- Here's another healthy practice idea for you, the basics of intermittent fasting.