I've wanted to do a detox for quite a while since I've become plant-based. Starting a new job with a crazy work schedule, starting my college courses, dealing with failing health and the death of 2 cats and my mother, and planning a destination wedding got in the way, however! Now that I'm settled in to my job, have dealt with the affairs with my mother, have completed a successful (and very awesome) wedding and honeymoon, and don't start classes again until mid fall, I'm finally planning my detox!
This is part of my "road to nutrition" journey, which is why I'm posting it on here instead of my personal blog. It feels like a natural next step in my quest for natural health, both for myself as well as being able to share my experience with others. Some (especially non-veg people out there) may be wondering why I would need a detox, since I already have cut out animal products and rarely eat processed foods or fats. Well, being vegan does not mean instant perfect health! There are a lot of fake meats and cheeses, vegan cupcakes and cookies, etc. that are easy (and delicious!) to fall into. Sure, I eat better than the vast majority of Americans, and even healthier than many vegans. But it's not a perfectly clean diet. I also have to take a handful of medications for different health issues, one of the main ones being a muscle relaxer and a pain medicine for migraines. I'm also on a mild antibiotic for acne (which I was able to cut the dose in half after going vegan, but not able to stop it completely unfortunately), and my birth control pill. All these are not "natural" for your body. I'm also hoping by doing a natural detox I will help, or even better eliminate, the issues that make me have the need for these medications.
So, what does this detox involve? First of all it is not some crazy radical diet or a series of popping dozens of natural herbs daily, or some sort of juice/liquid fast or colon cleanse, or anything questionable like that. I am first and foremost eating whole foods that have detoxing properties, such as quinoa, rice,beans, lentils, kale and arugula, lemon, garlic, onion, beets, different berries, etc. (I will include my full food list below). I will be using all detox foods and/or superfoods, as well as fresh herbs. Absolutely no processed food of any kind, including store bought non dairy milks or tofu. We are going to make our own almond milk (yes, Tim is going to do part of the detox with me) and homemade hummus, using garlic, lemon, lime, fresh herbs, and multiple vinegar varieties for seasonings. I'm also going to make infused waters, which is water that has chilled with various fruits and such, such as watermelon and mint or cucumber and lime, to help increase water take and get the nutrient benefits from the fruits. These are very tasty and make increasing your water intake much easier and varied!
Other than what I eat I am doing a few other things as well to help detox the body from both the inside and out. First I'm going to do Dry Skin Brushing, which helps detox from the skin. I have actually started this week to get into the practice and see how I like it (and so my body isn't overwhelmed with all these new things at once). I am also going to practice Oil Pulling, which helps detox through your mouth/teeth (and has added benefits of healthier and whiter teeth as well!), as well as starting my day with warm lemon water, which helps hydrate the body and detox the digestive system. These last 2 I have tried in the past but only a handful of times. I will take some detox baths, which will include Epsom salt and fresh ginger. These can also include essential oils, but I have a sensitivity in baths and am unable to use them. I may sprinkle dried flowers in just to get the aromatherapy though. I also plan to practice yoga several times and get a couple of massages to help with the detox as well. I have a spiritual book I plan to read during the detox, and I'm going to limit my TV and Internet time as well.
The only supplement I will be taking during this will be a vegan probiotic. The reason being that my digestive system is super sensitive and I chronically have issues with it. Any change in behavior can get it out of whack, so I am taking them as a precaution. I really should take them daily anyway, but I get lazy and forget. My plan is to follow this for 7-10 days. After that time I will determine what I choose to continue as a regular routine. I plan to post regularly about my progress and how it is going, both for myself and for others who are interested. I have been getting things set up and prepared, and I'm hoping to start the week after the 4th of July holiday.
I also have been inspired by Ashley's Green Life, a blog I came across when I was searching for videos on the best way to do the Dry Skin Brushing technique. An hour (and a dozen of videos and blog posts) later I was not only better prepared but was also inspired to make my own personal care products, such as deodorant and toothpaste. Tim is trying the baking soda cleanser and apple cider vinegar conditioner hair regimen she posted, and so far he really likes it. These not only are natural and contain no questionable ingredients, but they are super cheap and easy to make! I will discuss our progress with that as well. For now I will leave you with my personal list of foods and herbs I will be using during this detox period. You'll see there are quite a few to choose from! I'll be back to post once I am ready to begin this process. :-)
- Rice (black and brown)
- Almond milk
- Rice (black and brown)
- Black beans
- White beans
- Sea Vegetables
- Dandelion Greens
- Broccoli Sprouts
- Green Tea
- Sweet Potatoes
- Gogi berries
- Vinegar (all varieties)