“Food isn’t just calories, it’s information. Every bite we take is telling our genes and cells how to express themselves. It is important for us to start making the connection between what we eat and how we feel” – Clean 21 Day Cleanse, Detox and Diet.
Over the years I have learnt that what we generally term as ”diets” tend not to work for me. When I am on a regime that sees me cutting calories it tends to have the opposite effect, in that, by depriving myself of chocolate I end up craving it to the point where a whole bar won’t satisfy me. I generally live my life with a ”everything in moderation” rule and counter my bad days with good days. However, there is one rule that does work for me, a couple of times a year, and that is the Clean 21 Day Detox.
You might have heard of Clean programme as it’s endorsed by Gwyneth Paltrow as a lifestyle and not just a detox. I follow it because even though I try to eat healthily every so often I just feel sluggish and no matter what I do I can’t shift the feeling. I was actually put on to it many years ago by my DR after I went to see him with recurring problems every-time I ate gluten. During 21 days I was to cut out foods which Drs and scientists agree are damaging to our bodies and listen to my body’s response to this.
Here is the list of foods that the detox advocates and those it recommends you avoid:
The book explains further but my understanding is dairy and gluten are hard for the body to break down and we have already discussed the damaging effects of sugar. Certain fruits and vegetables are restricted due to the high acidic content or the ability to clog our internal system. Soy is a big no due to it’s ability to effect hormones (woman in particular) and all processed, mood effecting, drinks are off the list.
The detox also stresses major importance on two out of three meals being liquid – ie in smoothie or soup form. This is to go gently on the gut and send it’s focus into breaking down your larger, solid meal (ie lunch). However, the detox is not calorie restrictive – you begin your day with a very large and satisfying smoothie and end with an equally substantial soup or smoothie (with a solid meal for lunch). The solid meals can be prepared from recipes in the book.
What is important is that you leave a 12 hour window between your dinner and your breakfast. Research shows that a ”deep cleanse” can only happen over 12hours so it’s important to leave your body with this window of opportunity (with the exception of drinks). And remember to drink water!!
“As I write this, I am finishing the amazing three-week long Clean detox program… I can report that it worked wonders” Gwyneth Paltrow
In reality the first time I did the detox the hardest part, for me, was the lack of sugar and caffeine. This triggered major headaches but was dealt during what the book terms ”the elimination diet” so I eliminated these from my diet at a time when I was still eating three solid meals a day. The fact that the detox lasted only 21 days was motivating, I kept reminding myself that I could eat what I wanted after that. However, the funny thing is I just didn’t want to. Within 14 days I began to feel so good, so full of energy that the thought of slowing my system down again with processed food just didn’t seem appealing. So I switched to the clean diet as a lifestyle, returning to solid meals a day but trying to keep to the ”Eat” and ”Don’t Eat” list. I was successful for months but I’m only human and started to wonder if Belgian chocolates tasted as good as I remember. . . the thing is they didn’t but they were somehow strangely addictive and crept back into my diet, along with tea and bread. This is why I promise myself I will do the detox two times a year and while most people are delaying it until ”The New Year” I try to remind myself what an indulgence Christmas always is and enter into it back in control of how I feel and feeling good.
For more information visit here. And wish me luck taking back control over my chocolate cravings.
Love Victoria X