29 days later and I can say quitting sugar and (albeit it somewhat intermittent) exclusion of alcohol, made a big difference in my overall well being.
February’s been a crazy month. I’ve been on the road to 4 different cities around North America which has certainly challenged my clean food decision making abilities. I have been super grateful for the launch of Vega One, which has literally saved me on numerous occasions from crappy airport food and hotel breakfasts.
I was able to avoid alcohol, one of the major focuses for the month, for all but a few days (I’ll admit I somewhat rationalized it as a form of networking with colleagues!), but was sure to never over-do it, and offset it with ample chlorella before and after.
The most inspired change I made, and the one I felt provided the greatest impact was quitting sugar. I noticed, very quickly, a tangible difference. I’ve experienced more energy, I seemed to require less sleep (and certainly have been rather sleep-shy lately), my moods are more balanced, and I generally feel less stressed and more relaxed despite how crazy my life has become in the past couple weeks.
I really, really encourage you to try it for at least 2-3 weeks. I think the results will speak for themselves, and I think anyone can try a new change for 2-3 weeks. It’s not easy, it requires conscious decision making, and at first requires you to be somewhat hyper-aware of reading nutritional labels. But again, the results are worth it once you break the addiction and your body detoxifies (you may get sick, headachy, grumpy, breakout etc…).
My favourite dietary habits which I also emphasized during this month of de-toxin included:
- Warm (pure) cranberry juice, aloe and lemon tonic. A diuretic which supports digestive health, and tones the liver and kidney’s, the organs responsible for excreting toxins.
- Dandelion tea. Boosts liver function through its bitter and astringent properties.
- Daily chlorella. Kept my energy high, supplied a broad spectrum of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, along with highly alkaline protein and chlorophyl.
- No sugar added smoothies and juices. I drank a fresh pressed green vegetable juice daily when traveling in the states, (thank goodness for visiting Whole Foods and natural health stores on a daily basis for work!), and started making fruit-free blended smoothies in the Vega Kitchen at work. Two of these creations will be appearing in upcoming Vega newsletters.
- “Chill Pills” by New Roots. Kept my stress levels low, my moods and emotions balanced, and contributed to a healthy metabolism through the B-Vitamin complex included.
- Greens, greens and more greens. Aside from the green juices, I made greens the emphasis of my diet (a move inspired by Kris Carr’s “Crazy Sexy Diet”). This included green vegan chilies (peas, edamame, green lentils etc), using frozen spinach and wheatgrass in shakes, homemade sprouts, adding more seaweeds into cooking, kale salads and loads of steamed-but still crunchy-greens with dinner.
- Eating a primarily plant based diet. I reduced animal proteins in favour of more alkaline forming (key: disease preventing) plant proteins (such as sprouted beans and legumes, nuts & seeds, combined with whole grains) and if I was opting for animal proteins, choosing natural yogurt, ocean wise fish, or the best quality eggs I could buy.
In these first few months of my 2012 Young Heart Challenge I have been using a few benchmarks to indicate health improvements. In Month 1 after running every day I improved not only my speed, but my cardiovascular endurance and recovery time. Combined with cleaning up my diet even more, and detoxifying through Month 2 my body has naturally been shedding excess. In Feb from my dietary clean up I lost another 5 lbs, and 13 cm’s off my measurements. This is a sustainable rate of loss for my body, and really encouraging for me to witness the impact of emphasizing whole, fresh, clean, real foods creating measurable differences in body composition.
I’m so intrigued by the body’s transformation through dietary and lifestyle changes I’m going to be having a body scan done tomorrow. This is compliments of Body Comp Imaging here in Vancouver. I’m going to re-evaluate in another 3 months time, after training once a week at Crossfit Vancouver for the Tough Mudder race in June, and 3-4 runs per week in prep for a few 10km & 1/2 Marathon races. Combined with upcoming challenges for Month’s 3-5 of the Young Heart Challenge, I am excited to get such an in depth record of body compositional changes. I’m going to be picking the brain of my imaging specialist tomorrow to see how body composition relates to disease prevention.
Have you tried any detoxification strategies lately that have made a positive impact on how you feel?