I was 25 and was working my first 8am-5pm desk job. It was a big change from my post-graduate days of studying abroad when I had the freedom to workout at the University facility and run along the Auckland coast. Luckily, my sweet aunt graciously opened her home to me while I settled into the OC life and found a place of my own. Each night I would come home to freshly-baked Ghirardelli brownies. Unfortunately, my change of pace was accompanied by a slower metabolism and I quickly put on the “Freshman 10.” Except, it was really the “Freshman 20” and I wasn’t in college anymore.
To help lose the weight, I decide to start running again. After several weeks with little progress, I knew I needed to also eat a more balanced diet. In order to re-establish some healthy eating habits, I bought a book that recommended a 15-day detox. I liked this book in particular because the detox focused on eating real food, did not sell you any pills or powders, and provided simple guidelines. It’s been over 5 years and, although I’ve long since lost the book, I still remember the basic outline.
Every Fall and Summer, I restock on the necessary supplies (at Trader Joe’s and While Foods) and give my body an opportunity to rest and recover. Over time, I’ve also added my own twist to the original program.
First, I extended the program to 21 days. My sister was a Psych major in undergrad and told me that, according to research, it takes 21 days to form a new habit. For more information about this and how to replace bad habits, look up books by and about Dr. Maxwell Martz.
Foods to Avoid
White Flour (All baked goods, if you are hard-core.)
I don’t know about you, but the minute I tell myself I can’t have cookies, I have to have ten of them! Okay, 11. So, my rule of thumb is that if I REALLY can’t live without one of the following foods, I can have it. However, I will try to have a smaller portion. So, for example, I might have half a cup of organic coffee.
Add 1-2 Tbsp. of ground flax-seed, 1-2 tsp. of psyllium seed husk (found at Whole Foods or Sprouts), and a pinch of ginger to a full glass of water. Mix it up and drink quickly.
I like the ground up blueberry flax-seed from Trader Joe’s. If you can’t stand the texture, add this mixture to a breakfast fruit smoothie!
Drink 1-2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar. You can take the apple cider vinegar instead since it helps with digestion.
Alternate each tea for the duration of the detox. Try to drink up to 32oz. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s really a healthy amount of water to consume. Plus, they are tasty and will help you avoid your morning coffee (Obviously, this is my weakness). I started out by brewing my own tea and then realized the following two teas have all of the herbs I need:
Make a large pot of tea in the morning and fill a 32oz. water bottle. You can reheat it by the cup or just drink it at room temperature.
Take 15-45 minute morning and evening walks.
If you enjoy working out, keep at it! If you have yet to establish a workout routine, enjoy walks or try a beginner’s Yoga class. Above all else, do not start something crazy like Insanity! This is a time of rejuvenation and recovery.
Brush your skin gently with a vegetable brush. Work from your heart to your limbs. End your shower with cool water. Honestly, this part always seems a bit “earthy” for me, but I tend to just go for it!
Take a quick shower to rinse off the day.
Turn off work and social media.
Do some yoga stretches before you go to bed. I’m a runner, so I enjoy these stretches:
Write in a journal to clear your mind.
Close your eyes by 10p.m.
Spa Treatments and Mental Health
A detox plan that includes spa treatments? Yes, please! Try a do-it-yourself face mask, get a manicure, or make an appointment for a massage. In fact, the 15th day calls for a Full Day Spa at home. I don’t always indulge in this last prescription; but, I think it would be a great way to enjoy time with a best friend at a local spa. (I’m guessing the author didn’t have kids. There’s just no way to relax all day, or half a day, with little ones around!)
Try to eat organic food.
Fill 3/4 of your plate with vegetables.
Try fruit smoothies for breakfast or some fruit and protein.
If you have a social event, do your best to choose a healthy food option and drink some Perrier.
Look on Groupon for deal on yoga classes. Your first class is often times free!
If you have small children, try Baby Steps. Chad teaches wonderful Baby Steps Stroller X classes.
Rules are meant to be broken. So, you had a cup of coffee or cookie…so what?! Try to end the day with your nighttime routine and start the next day fresh!
As always, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your physician before you take part in any exercise or eating program. I mean, love on your baby and new mommy body first, girls!
Wow, that was a lot! Any questions or suggestions? Bring ’em!