Oh-em-gee, have you tried the latest detox?
People seem to really be into cleanses and detoxes these days, and honestly, those are really the two biggest buzzwords right now.
Every now and again I hear about a 30 day, or 14 day, and maybe now a 1 day detox (since apparently we are collectively quadrupling our ADD every year).
But what should you really be doing, and what should you really be eating if you want to feel better?
My Not-So-Secret (At Least) 24 Hour Detox
Avoid These 3 Things Religiously to Feel The Best
Detoxes are not supposed to be fun.
They are not supposed to be long term, and the body is in fact DOES NOT need detoxification. It has entire organ systems designed to help it detox constantly, 24 hours a day.
Having said that, if you do have low energy, if you want to jump start your results, or you want to try to bump up your energy, take note of these 3 things.
Here’s what I recommend religiously removing for a short period of time to see how you feel.
1. All Carbs – Except for Plants
Yes, that means removing all the breads, pastas, wraps, potatoes, sweet potatoes – everything.
That means focusing on plants, broccoli, salad, and lettuce which is typically some of the boring stuff.
Cook them in olive oil, butter, salt/pepper, whatever it takes to make them taste good. Trust me, there’s a very good reason that we’re going to be doing this.
Why we’re removing carbs:
- Constipation. A lot of people not only want more energy on a detox, but want to heal or stop G.I. issues. And anecdotally, I’ve seen many people improve their bowel movements when they replace their major carb sources with plants. Grains and white, refined flour are often constipating.
- Low FODMAP or SCD considerations here. Another thing is that we’re going to be on a low FODMAP diet (mixed with the “SCD” Specific Carbohydrate Diet). The low FODMAP diet is an awesome elemental diet designed to help people avoid most known food allergens in order to feel better. The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is specifically more of a long term plan: the theory here is that a major reason for Crohn’s and other gut issues is the overgrowth of bacteria in the intestinal tract, and that by avoiding all known carb sources it starves the major food source for these bad bacteria and will kill them off. Informally, SCD has helped me quite a lot to heal my own IBS, and if things get bad, the first thing I do is revert to an SCD-type plan.
2. “Intoxicants” – Alcohol and Stimulants
The next step here is to remove anything that really alters your physiology.
Usually, that just means two things: alcohol and stimulants like coffee.
I know, I know, no glass of red wine at dinner? Not for now – you can reintroduce it later. Just remember that we’re trying to go spartan just for a day or a few weeks so you can feel better quickly – and then you can get back to the red wine with dinner.
Why we’re removing these:
- They’re gut irritants. For many of us, caffeine (and sometimes alcohol) affect the gut negatively, in particular regarding acid reflux. Removing them is a safe bet if you’re looking to feel better. Also, if we use too many stimulants we can really mask why we have low energy – we don’t sleep enough. This’ll help you avoid the symptoms and figure out what your own unique cause is.
- They influence cortisol & stress hormones – stimulants. Another reason we’re avoiding stimulants is because they can alter the cortisol (stress) levels in your body – the more stimulants you consume, generally the higher your cortisol levels are.
- They influence estrogen, weight hormones and female hormones. Alcohol consumption is linked with higher levels of the female hormone estrogen – which is also not good in men. And generally speaking, if we’re already overweight, estrogen levels are already higher than they should be.
- Sleep. Both of these things alter sleep patterns too, and by far, one of the easiest wins to improve energy and feel better is just to sleep more.
The POINT is to be spartan and to go super strict for a while to see how it makes you feel before we go about reintroducing these things.
3. The White Poison – Sugar
Most of us already know we should be eating less sugar, we know it’s bad for us, blah blah blah.
But we’re going to avoid sugar religiously for this period for a few key reasons.
Why we’re avoiding sugar:
- It influences almost everything. Sugar affects a huge number of processes in the body, from fat storage to the immune functioning.
- Can impair the immune system. People that consume more sugar typically show a decrease in their immune system functioning – so if you’re looking to feel better, you need a functioning immune system obviously!
- Can feed harmful bacteria in gut. The “big thing” now is that gut bacteria are the origin of many diseases and even obesity, and that by changing bacteria, we can actually lose weight without changing anything else. Just to be safe – we want good bugs in there.
So – if you’re willing to try out a “24 hour” (hehe, can I trademark that for the ADD among us!?) cleanse (or ideally, a few week cleanse), try avoiding these three major things to see how you feel after.
Your “24 Hour Detox” Tiny Habit For Today
Here are the big three to avoid: all the carb sources mentioned, sugar, alcohol and stimulants.
Try it out for at least a few days and let me know how you’re feeling!
Have you tried a “detox” before? Which one? Share it below.