This is personal. Very personal. It’s about organs and bodily functions (ugh). But this is also a success story, so it has to be told!
We’ve all heard or read about Cleansing or Detoxing, and it usually involves things like “purging,” “elimination,” and “discomfort.” But I recently challenged myself to complete what turned out to be a totally different type of Detox. There was no nasty purging or starving: it was eminently do-able and only occasionally annoying, and the medical results were frankly impressive. Here’s how it went.
The Metagenics Clear Change 10 Day Program is a food-based detox. Instead of taking dozens of mysterious herbal concoctions every day and existing on lemon water and lettuce, my husband and I ate all we wanted, when we wanted.
But we didn’t eat WHAT we wanted. Instead, we eliminated lots of “bad” stuff right off the bat (which are, of course, the foods we consider to be the yummy stuff) and then knocked off even more marginal foods until we were down to the truly detoxifying “core” foods.
So for 10 days it was bye bye to caffeine, alcohol, dairy, sugar, flour, sodas, and all processed foods. And hello to cruciferous vegetables.
On Days 1 and 2 we could eat grains (except wheat), protein (except beef, pork and shellfish), legumes, nuts and seeds, and all the fruits and vegetables we could stuff in our faces. What’s wrong with that?
On Days 3 and 4 the screws were tightened. No grains or starches, nuts or seeds, and only fish for protein. Still do-able, right?
But Days 5 through 7 separated the food warriors from the wimps. Fruits were limited to apples and pears, and vegetables to just greens and
cruciferous veggies. Not clear on what they are? Think cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These are not at the top of many folks’ hit parade, but I did my best to enjoy them. I read that roasting Brussels sprouts brings out the “sweetness.” It does not. And adding olive oil and garlic doesn’t disguise the flavor either.
But surprise! Who knew how good cauliflower can be? In fact, it’s my new best friend. When I was forced to snack on Cauliflower Popcorn (really), I found I actually enjoyed it. Or maybe I was delirious from carb deprivation.
On Days 6 through 9 it was all down hill. We gradually added back the taboo foods, and I felt positively glutinous while enjoying eggplant and lentils!
Day 10 was like your favorite-ever graduation, when you were freed to do whatever your heart desired. And what was the first thing my heart desired? It wasn’t a glass of wine, as I’d expected: it was a cup of steaming hot caffeine. I had gone into a kitchen store to buy a garlic crusher and came out with an Espresso machine. That’s how desperate I was for the taste, smell, and sensation of coffee.
But overall, this detox was not a terrible, or terribly difficult experience. There was no dreadful “elimination,” or gnawing hunger (there was a supplement powder that substituted for “real” food).
The challenge was actually in shopping for and preparing the allowed foods. It’s time-consuming to buy and cook a diet totally based on fresh, organic, made-from-scratch food. But what a great way to eat! And in fact, all the good eating habits we started, and all the bad habits we broke, have stayed with us weeks after we “graduated.” (Well, mostly…)
So what did I get out of my Detox? Besides a feeling of accomplishment, I felt energized and refreshed. But more important, my liver enzyme numbers, which had been high before the detox (remember, I said this would get personal) dropped by more than half! This is a real, quantifiable result.
And what is my advice to you folks? Just do it. But make it a team sport — bring everyone in your household into the program, so you’re all supporting and encouraging each other. And with a will to succeed, and lots of veggie recipes, you will not only survive your Detox, but maybe even enjoy it!