I wanted to give you this information so that when people inevitably ask you what you’re doing and why you are doing it throughout your detox, you can provide some level of explanation. I also want you to have a level of understanding as to why certain things are recommended as they are in the detox so that you’re not just blindly following instructions. Below I cover shake fasting, the foods we avoid, the vegetarian/vegan lunch, stopping eating 3 hours before bed, lemon/lime juice in the morning and daily gratitude.
How Toxins Make You Fat & How Detoxing Can Fix it
The Shake Fasting Days
At the start of each week, the detox recommends 2 days of shakes only. As much as food can be medicine, it can also be a major source of our toxicity. Non-organically grown food is most likely contaminated with toxic pesticides, plus any processed foods we are eating can come with a whole host of nasty, artificial ingredients that can act as toxicants in the body.
By removing this source of toxins for 2.5 days, and relying on an organic protein and greens powder, we give the body a break. Not only have we removed a source of incoming toxins, we’ve added in a lot of what the liver needs to be able to effectively clean up the blood. We halt the onslaught of toxins coming in, allowing the body to go to work cleaning up the back log and getting back to normal functioning.
We do the shake fasting for digestive reasons as well. Digestion can account for up to 30% of our daily energy expenditure. With food so available and at out fingertips all the time, most people are constantly grazing, never giving their digestive system a break. This means of course, that there is a constant energy expenditure. People with digestive issues or gut dysbiosis may also be adding food on top of food, which can cause fermentation and gas and bloating.
Liquids do not require the same energy intensive process that solid food does. These shakes can move easily and quickly through the digestive system which again, allows your body to focus on cleaning up other things, and saves you a lot of energy as well!
I mentioned our propensity to graze and snack throughout the day above and it’s potential effect on our digestion and energy. This behaviour can also lead to elevated blood sugar levels throughout the day, which halts your fat loss in it’s tracks, and contributes to insulin resistance, which is essentially Type 2 Diabetes.
As much as the Keto diet is a craze at the moment, most people are eating carbs with their meals and throughout the day. Each time we eat carbohydrates, the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood increases. Even if you’re not eating “sugar”, any carbohydrate you consume becomes glucose in the blood. Doesn’t matter if it’s a cookie or a sweet potato (in terms of becoming glucose… in terms of health it obviously matters).
Your body will go to work re-balancing your blood sugar and getting it back down to normal levels, but it needs time. Typically you want to give yourself 2-3 hours to get back down to baseline glucose levels, and be able to sit there for a while before the next wave of carbohydrates comes in. If you don’t give your body adequate time between meals or snacks, and you’re eating carbohydrates at each sitting, you can see how your blood sugar is going to remain elevated, or at the very least, go on a roller-coaster and elevate again just as it’s started to dip back down.
These shakes are low carb, and they’re not going to spike your blood sugar. Don’t think I have anything against carbs, I think they are a very important part of a balanced diet for a healthy person. However, most can benefit from periods of low carb intake in order to reset and normalise blood sugar levels.
No Dairy, Eggs, Grains, Nuts, Coffee, Alcohol, Soy
During this detox we are looking to make everything super easy on the body. Each of the above is omitted either because it is clinically proven to be a common food sensitivity (which causes inflammation), it can be hard to digest (nuts for e.g.), or it is a toxin (alcohol).
We’re simply minimising all the major things that can cause inflammation. You may think these foods don’t cause you any issues, but approximately 8/10 people have some level of intolerance to dairy. Plus, people just don’t link their symptoms to the food they’re eating. Headaches, brain fog, lethargy, congested sinuses, skin rashes, achey joints… none of these are normal, and all can be from food sensitivities.
Animal protein is typically harder to digest and during this detox we are giving our digestive system a break. A lot of the typical animal protein people buy is non-organic as well, and is therefore loaded with toxins we don't want in the body during this period of time.
Having a vegetarian lunch also allows you to get an extra serve of vegetables for your day.
Stopping Eating 3 Hours Before Bed
When we’re sleeping, our body should be in rest and recovery mode. If you still have undigested food in your stomach, your body is not going to be resting because it’s going to be busy digesting. Laying down on a full stomach is also not an ideal position for aiding digestion. The slower your digestion, the longer you’re not resting, the less energy you’re going to have. This also ties in to what I talked about with blood sugar above. We want that blood sugar level to be back at baseline when going to sleep because it is ESSENTIAL for tapping into body fat.
Fresh Lemon/Lime Juice in the Morning
Having some fresh lemon or lime juice in the morning is such a great way to start the day. Firstly, you’re going to have it with water, so right off the bat you’re getting some hydration.
Lemon/lime juice is high in potassium which is an important electrolyte in the body so we are immediately replenishing that first thing in the morning.
Citrus juice is acidic when entering the stomach, and so it aids in digestion. Early in the morning it wakes up our digestive system and prepares it for breakfast.
Liver and kidney (major detox organs) benefits - The flavonoids in citrus fruits are essential nutrients for phase 1 detoxification in the liver. Although the juice is acidic when entering the stomach, it has an alkaline effect further down the chain in the body and this helps soften bile from the liver (which aids digestion and elimination) and aids the flushing of the kidneys.
Mucous can accumulate in the digestive system overnight and the lemon/lime juice in the morning will help clear out this accumulated mucous.
I cannot begin to tell you how beneficial, and potentially life changing this is. My attitude and my perspective on life has changed immensely since beginning to practice daily gratitude and it’s something I recommend highly for everyone in the world. I know I know, it seems weird and out there and “how is it possibly going to change my life?”.
Simply put, gratitude turns what we have into enough. I could leave it at that and it would be enough to justify it, but here’s some more:
Gratitude makes you appreciate the value of something, and when you appreciate the value of something, you extract more benefits from it; you’re less likely to take it for granted.
Gratitude helps you recover more quickly from stress, adversity and trauma by helping you interpret negative events. It has been found to give you a perspective to help guard against post-traumatic stress and lasting anxiety.
People who are grateful tend to be more helpful and empathic, more spiritual and religious, more forgiving, and less materialistic than others who are less predisposed to gratefulness.
Gratitude increases your sense of self-worth.
People who are thankful demonstrate on tests huge increases in their happiness scores.
Gratitude can improve relationships. Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends, deepen our existing relationships, and improve our marriage.
People who practice gratitude consistently report benefits such as stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure; higher levels of positive emotions; more joy, optimism, and happiness; act with more generosity and compassion; and feel less lonely and isolated.
Keeping a gratitude journal resulted in several studies in more and better quality of sleep.