East Vancouver Farmers Market, Vancouver, Canada – Photo Courtesy: Roland Tanglao
Don’t Expect Immediate Change
Deciding to make drastic lifestyle and diet changes can be extremely overwhelming. If you choose to begin by eating organic and whole foods, as I did, you may soon realize that there is a much bigger picture. As I mentioned in part 1 of this series, detoxing from the supermarket way of life literally opens your mind to a world of conscious decision making.
The detoxing process involves a broader outlook for your body’s health than just aiming to lose a few extra pounds, and then going back to the same old ways. It should address the removal of toxins and harmful chemical build-up in your body that might have been occurring for a long time. Of course, the best way to start is by focusing on all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables; if you’re able to get organic or home grown produce, it’ll be a bonus.
Other simple additions to make at the outset are incorporating olive oil, green tea and nuts in your diet. It is good to cultivate the habit of keeping yourself hydrated with, preferably, water at frequent intervals and to avoid alcohol and coffee. Sugar and its alternatives should be cut down drastically, or given up altogether, too.
Take Baby Steps
Consider that by merely resolving to eat organic or shun the sugar and preservatives, you may need to seek out new markets for shopping, rethink your budget, and set aside extra time for shopping and cooking.
Our bodies may be designed to eat pure, but that does not mean that they are used to it. Years of consuming our favorite foods condition our minds and taste buds to go back to them again and again. Doing so keeps us in a comfort zone and we fail to realize that we’re actually hooked on these foods even if they are not good for us. It becomes second nature to us to drop into our favorite coffee shop, on the way to work or on a break, to indulge ourselves with a caffeine shot or a sugary treat. They all ‘taste’ great, no doubt, but most of us agree that they don’t provide any nutritional value to us at all.
Remember that you may not like your veggies at first. Toxin die-off may cause sugar cravings and/or flu symptoms. So be kind to yourself. Introduce new foods gradually and subtract old enemies gradually. Diet change is just as much about mindset as it is about physical experience. Keep your body well hydrated, as mentioned earlier, during these cleansing times and make sure to get plenty of rest.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Contrary to popular claims, we all do not have the same dietary needs. You need to know your blood type and health concerns (i.e. congested liver or colon, cholesterol, depression); and have a clear sense of any underlying medical conditions. Each concern or symptom that you have should be treated individually. And, doing so can make detoxing so much more comfortable.
Your best bet is to slowly create your own diet/lifestyle plan that will work for you throughout your life.
In Part 3: Look for specific advice related to blood type needs and various detoxing options that are fairly easy to personalize.
Gina Laverde is a Chicago-based writer and researcher whose expertise in natural health stems from her experiences with Body Ecology Diet, Blood Type Diet and homeopathic remedies. Gina believes that we’re in the midst of a serious world health crisis, and that the key to survival lies within our guts.