What I Eat to Detox

Good Morning all of you lovely people! I hope this post finds you well and happy, but if it doesn't, then you're in the right place. Thanksgiving was just the other week and if you're anything like me, you enjoyed all of the food. Whether your food was shaped like a mountain on your plate, or you drank one too many glasses of wine (or mimosas or moscow mules or everything under the sun), you're probably feeling that post holiday bloat/sluggishness. Holidays can be tough because you want to experience all of the things- family, food, friends, fun, but once they're over, you're left feeling like you fell "off track." Your body might be achey or tired. Your liver might not be functioning at it's best. Your skin might feel tight or rough. Or you may even feel like you packed on a few pounds. Let me just say, you are not the only one, my friend! We've all been there and I know how uncomfortable that feeling is. But there is a way you can start feeling better and it's called detoxing. The few weeks following Thanksgiving break and the ones leading up to Christmas is when I like to practice this detox period. I just feel like my body needs the refresher from Thanksgiving and the preparation for Christmas indulgences. And I promise, it makes all the difference. November, December, and January are pretty much non-stop holiday months and giving your body that break for a few weeks is seriously such a good feeling.

Before I dive into this post, let me just preface it by saying there is no shame & nothing wrong in enjoying yourself, treating yourself, over indulging, having a good time with friends and family, & quite frankly, falling “off track.” It’s a part of all aspects of life. However, what does matter, is how you pick yourself back up. Obviously, dieting/detoxing isn’t sustainable, which is why we fall off track in the first place. So, I'm not recommending you apply this to your lifestyle 24/7. But I strongly believe that dieting/detoxing can 1) help you transition into a healthier lifestyle & 2) can be used as a tool for refueling and refreshing your body. 

On a regular day, my eating habits resemble something like an 80/20 lifestyle. I’ll most always go for the “healthy” meal option (honestly, because I crave it more), but sometimes if I️m feeling something a bit on the unhealthy side, I’ll eat I­t­. That’s what separates a lifestyle from a diet. So again, the meals I️'m about to share with you aren’t necessarily what I would eat on a normal day, but they’re what I eat if I️m detoxing and trying to reach a physical or mental goal.

Detox Format: Smoothie for breakfast, lunch made up of whole, natural foods, and a smoothie for dinner. You might be reading this and be thinking "a smoothie for dinner???" Yes, a smoothie for dinner. This detox format was adapted from something called the "clean gut diet" that I did with my parents over the summer and I swear by it. If you're trying to nourish your insides, fuel your body, heal your gut, and even shed some excess weight, practicing this on top of an active lifestyle will help you reach your goals. The idea of a smoothie in the morning and at night is to 1) ensure you're feeding your body all of the micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs and 2) to give your body a break from digesting. The second reason was the most life changing for me. If you think about it, it makes sense; blending your food and almost breaking it down for your body allows your digestive system to not work as hard at digesting. For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with poor digestion, bloating, and constipation. Having a smoothie in the morning and giving my body a break took away a lot of that morning bloat for me. Having one at night did the same. It allowed me to still nourish my body and feed my hunger, but it minimized a lot of the nightly bloat, fullness, and discomfort that I would normally feel from a big dinner.

LASTLY. While detoxing, cut out gluten, soy, and dairy. Even if you're not intolerant to them, these are hard on your body to digest and quite honestly, almost everyone has some extent of an intolerance to them (whether you know it or not). Cutting these things out while detoxing, in my opinion, is crucial. A few examples: sub almond milk for milk, coconut yogurt for dairy yogurt, brown rice pasta for wheat pasta, and brown rice bread or tortillas for wheat bread.

So, without further ado, let's dive into the detox:

Warm lemon water: Starting your day with warm lemon water is probably one of the oldest health tips out there, but it's so important. Lemon helps to keep your body alkaline and also works to detox waste from your body. One glass of warm lemon water when you wake up is highly recommended.

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Breakfast: Smoothie. So, basically pick 2 fruits, a protein powder, veggies, and a healthy fat. One of my go-to smoothie recipes is: blueberries, raspberries (fruits), chocolate vegan protein powder (protein), chopped spinach, riced cauliflower (veg), and almond butter (healthy fat). I usually tend to add in superfood powders like maca, collagen, or cacao, however it's not a must. Keep it simple at first. 

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Lunch: I eat meat, so I like to do a lean piece of meat paired with veggies and sometimes, I'll add a grain in there. If you don't eat meat though, you can just do veg and grains or even beans. Again, you want to make this a balanced meal, making sure it includes carbs, protein, and healthy fats. One of my favorite go-to lunches is grilled chicken or white fish, spring mix, peppers and zucchini noodles, 1/4 of an avocado, and either sunflower or hemp seeds with red wine vinegar and lemon. Sometimes, I like to add in a bit of quinoa or brown rice, too. 

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Dinner: Smoothie. This is going to be basically the same format as breakfast. One sneaky trick I discovered was that when having a smoothie at dinner, I can feed both my belly, and satisfy my sweet tooth with sweeter, chocolatey, more dessert-like ingredients. My favorite nighttime smoothie is 2 dates, half an apple, spinach, almond butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cacao powder (or chocolate protein powder). So, it's pretty much a chocolatey caramel cinnamon smoothie. And it's bomb, lol.

Now onto the topic I know you all are probably wondering about, does ya girl ever get to eat any damn snacks? Simple answer, yes. But personally, I try not to and here's why. If you bloat very easily like I do, snacking doesn't help. When you eat, your body begins the digestion process and when you're done eating, your body is still digesting your food. The average digestion time for men and women vary, however it usually takes around six to eight hours for food to actually pass through your stomach and into your small intestine for further digestion. Here's an awesome video that explains the digestion process and how snacking affects it, however I'll give you a brief conclusion. Basically, if you're constantly nibbling, you're interrupting the current digestion process going on from the food you previously ate, and now you're body is working extra hard to both digest the previous food and the food you just ate. We want to give our body's the time they need to break down our food. We also want to make sure we're eating enough at meals to keep us full because if you're needing a snack, chances are you didn't eat enough at a meal. That's why including both a protein and a healthy fat at every meal is essential. 

If you must snack though, which if you do don't feel bad because I do too sometimes, follow this format: a fruit or veggie and healthy fat. Don't just eat fruit, because that's not going to fill you up and you're going to end up overeating fruit. Eat an apple with almond butter to keep you full. Snack on some cashews and a nectarine. Make a plate of cucumbers or peppers and dip them into hummus or homemade guacamole. The key is to snack on things that'll keep you full, but also to snack on whole, real foods and avoid the processed, easy, go-to snacks. Remember, if you work out a lot, you're going to be hungrier than the average person. So again, don't feel bad about having to snack if you just ran 5 miles and finished a leg day at the gym; your body needs the extra fuel to build muscle, function properly, and stay energized. Just don't be bored snacking, be conscious about it!

Typically, practicing this detox for 21 days is ideal. However, if you only have two weeks or even just a week, it'll still be super beneficial. We all need a break from toxins, processed foods, dehydrators, and empty calories. But remember that it's a detox, not a lifestyle; it's okay to eat those foods in moderation. Because I know putting this into practice is difficult, I want to propose a challenge to you. Message me, email me, DM me, or however else you want to reach me if you're interested in starting the detox and have any questions. I can make you a grocery list, help with smoothie recipes, or give you any other advice and tips! My challenge to you is to try ONE WEEK of detox and see how you feel. I promise, you will be amazed at how light, nourished, energized, and healthy you feel! It's really not as hard as it may seem, I'm practicing it right now and I feel great! Leave a comment below if you enjoyed this post and want me to make one all about smoothie recipes!