As I’ve mentioned before, I did my first detox when I was 21 because I was not feeling so hot, and I knew I needed some kind of nutritional help. I went to a naturopath, and she put me on a candida diet. This helped me a lot, but it wasn’t the be all end all for me, and there were still health issues that hadn’t cleared up, so I continued learning about and trying different detoxes.
Here’s what I’ve tried: multiple candida detoxes, multiple elimination detoxes (mainly removing sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol), detoxes based on allergy tests I’ve had done (side note, I’ve done 3 different allergy tests all with completely different results, so I personally don’t trust allergy testing, but that’s just me!), smoothie detoxes, single day water fasts (i.e. water only, no food), and most recently, a banana only cleanse. Juice cleansing is also a popular way to detox, but I haven’t tried it and don’t think I will.
All of them were interesting and some were harder than others, but my favourite so far, and the one that I recommend was the detox I did with Michelle MacLean last spring, where I ate only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans/legumes/herbal tea for three weeks.
I felt SO good during and after the cleanse.
Here’s why I recommend it:
- It’s simple
- The food is delicious and covers all of the tastes, so you don’t feel deprived (in contrast, something like a candida diet cuts out all sweet foods, so I feel like you have way more cravings because you are missing one of the six tastes, and I think having all six is important for feeling satiated).
- Cravings are minimized because you’re eating so many amazing, nutrient rich food- just flooding your body with goodness.
- It’s a good way to learn how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet in the future.
If you look at the food options, you may be thinking “that feels so limited! There’s no way I could do that for three weeks!” but you would be amazed at how many different meals you can make with these ingredients. It’s not all smoothies and salads- you can do grain free granolas, soups, chili, veggie wraps, dips, hummus, and more. Once we step out of our normal meal routines, it’s amazing to see how many healthy options are out there. When I was vegetarian, I’d hear all the time, “what do you eat??” as if it was inconceivable to think about how you would make a meal without meat. All it takes is a little opened mindedness and research.
I think what made this detox so enjoyable for me was the variety of recipes and meals that I could make. If you’re interested in doing this kind of detox, I recommend on of the following options:
- a) Do this with Michelle because then you’ll have access to all of her recipes
- b) Do it on your own, but do some research before hand (on pinterest, or recipe books from the library) so you find different and delicious meals that you can make with the allowed foods.
Basically, prepare yourself.
I absolutely loved Michelle’s approach, but the next time I do this detox, I’ll deviate slightly:
1.) I’ll add more fruit. After my success on Banana Island, I’ve fallen in love with fruit, especially the high GI fruit, which is often limited in most detox plans. Something like 5 frozen bananas, some greens, and water would be my go-to breakfast.
Michelle has very kindly agreed to share a day’s worth of her recipes! I really wanted to share these with you because a) they are delicious, and b) I wanted to show you how delicious eating this way can be! I shared the first recipe yesterday and the rest will be coming throughout the week. Here’s a look at the menu
Breakfast: Grain Free Porridge
Lunch: Red Lentil Chili
Snack: Berry-licious Smoothie*
Dinner: Spinach, Avocado, and Mandarin Salad
*Michelle doesn’t really recommend snacking, and I feel better when I don’t snack. You get used to it after awhile, but if you are in the habit of snacking, it’s fine to have them. You’ll likely find that as you majorly up your nutrition intake, you’re desire to snack will diminish.
Michelle will be running cleanses in the new year, so check out her site for all of the details! And leave a comment below if you have any questions for me
Oh! One important last note: changing your diet without looking at the emotional causes behind your eating habits is not likely to create long term change. The reason so many people struggle with weight loss and yo-yo dieting is that they are not addressing the underlying issues behind their poor food choices, overeating, undereating, etc. If you do choose to do a detox, Michelle and I both recommend that you take steps to work on your emotional health, not just your physical health (my suggestions include journaling, EFT, yoga, meditation, reading on the subject, prayer, etc).