As winter turns into spring, our diets shift from slow cooked root vegetables and stews to fresh bitter greens such as dandelion greens and arugula. This natural shift in seasonal foods supports the removal of stagnation that accumulates over fall and winter. Our bodies crave the fresh start spring brings.
Spring is a fantastic time to detoxify. Detoxifying your body will give you more energy, better mental focus, more restful sleep, and much more. Depending on your health and toxic burden, you may need a simple detox plan or a much more in depth, long term plan. Regardless of which type of plan you need, to ensure a smooth detoxification, you must prepare your body. I tell my clients they have to earn the right to detox and I mean it. When it comes to detoxification, the phrase “no pain, no gain” is NOT true. In fact, if you’re experiencing discomfort such as flu like symptoms or headaches, you’re hurting your body more than helping it. Stop what you’re doing and get professional guidance.
There are several steps to implement in the preparation phase. First, as I mentioned in my last blog, you must eliminate to the best of your ability the toxins you’re exposed to. Check out my Clean Living is the New Sexy! Class for step by step instructions. In this pre-recorded 5 session class, you’ll learn what toxins we come into contact with on a daily basis and the harm they do. Then, you’ll develop a plan to eliminate them at a pace that works for you.
Second, you need to identify the nutrient “depleters” in your diet. “Depleters” is a term we use to describe foods that use up more nutrients in metabolism than they provide. These foods are taking more than they give. Your body needs extra nutrients to run the detoxification pathways so reducing the low nutrient foods and increasing the nutrient dense foods is key.
Top of the “depleter” list is sugar. Did you know that it takes several molecules of magnesium just to metabolize one molecule of sugar? And, most Americans are deficient in magnesium. I’m sure it’s largely because of our societal addiction to the sweet stuff. Other “depleters” to eliminate are alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, bad fats, and poor quality proteins.
When I talk about poor quality proteins, I’m talking about conventionally raised beef, chicken, pork, and fish. Animals feed a diet of soy pellets, GMO corn or worse, have unhealthy fat in their bodies. When you eat them, the unhealthy fat causes inflammation in your body. So, when you shop for meat, look for animals that were allowed to live in their natural habitats and eat their natural diet. Cows eat grass. Chickens eat bugs and corn. Pigs love to dig through the dirt eating acorns or root vegetables. Fish eat, well, smaller fish. When you go to the market, ask lots of questions. Marketers don’t want to tell you the cows were given corn for the last two months of their lives. I think they have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
For the next couple of days, start examining your diet for all the depleters we talked about. Keep a food diary for at least three days so you really know what you eat. You may be surprised.
In my next blog, I’ll be telling you what to plan on eating in your preparation for detoxification. See you in a couple of days!