Detox InterviewPosted: February 15, 2011
I look forward to posting more details about the January detox diet, but until then, check out the interview I did for my friend’s blog.
Why did you do this cleanse?
My husband and I decided to start off 2011 with a month of clean eating in order to eliminate our bodies of the chemicals and toxins found in most food and drinks that we consume on a daily basis. We went without meat, dairy, sugar, coffee, alcohol, processed foods, or foods with preservatives, additives, and artificial ingredients. We had water, hot tea, homemade juice, homemade almond milk, fresh coconut water, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, legumes, lentils, organic whole grains, herbs and spices.
What was the hardest part?
There really isn’t one answer to this question. There were several aspects to this month of clean eating that were hard. The first week is definitely the hardest because that is when I experienced all of the symptoms of withdrawal. Intense cravings, headaches, moodiness, etc. The other hard part was figuring out what to eat considering so much of our normal eating habits involve foods with preservatives and additives that are not healthy for you. Another aspect that was a challenge, but very doable, was planning and preparation. I had to think about every meal and snack I would have for the week, plan a grocery list, and then prepare things in advance so that I always had things on hand to eat. When you limit your diet to such a strict one as I did, you no longer have the ability to just grab something while you are out, or give in to the temptation of the baked goods in the staff lounge when you want a snack. Another hard part to this is retraining your taste buds and overcoming addictions to food and drinks and learning to think differently about food.
Did it make you feel different? (emotionally and physically)
I felt more emotional and moody the first week but not so much the rest of the month. I went from drinking coffee everyday to no coffee at all so that was hard to do, but again, it got a lot better after the first week. I also slept really well and woke up rested each morning.
What was your best resource?
The best resources I used were different books I have on health and healthy eating. There is a list of resources on my blog. I also did a lot of Internet searches for recipes using the terms “vegan”, “raw”, “gluten-free”.
How did you come up with the recipes?
Eating a clean diet seems like there would be nothing to eat but salads, but that is completely not true. I did a lot of searching the Internet to find recipes that were either vegetarian or vegan and I also tweaked and substituted ingredients if I needed to. If something called for an egg, I used flax seed meal instead. Or I replaced sugar with dates or agave nectar. I also used cook books on clean eating, and these are listed on my blog.
Do you have to do it for a full month?
No. In fact, I recommend easing in to something like this if you are not used to eating clean. I already try to cook everything from scratch if I can and don’t buy prepared meals and packaged foods. So, going an entire month may be completely unrealistic for some. The most important thing is to set a goal that is attainable and commit fully to it. If you eat a lot of packaged or frozen meals, try to commit to just a few days of eating clean and making meals. This can be as easy as making a huge pot of ten bean and barley soup and fresh veggies and fruit. If you drink a lot of coffee or alcohol, try going a week with no alcohol and switching to tea instead of coffee. Start off slow and each month make a new goal until you feel that you can go at least 3-4 weeks eating a clean diet. The important part is to rid your body of the harmful chemicals and toxins in the food and drinks we consume each day.
How far in advance did you plan your meal and snacks?
Technically, I have been learning new ways to prepare healthy meals and snacks for over a year now. But, I didn’t start to plan a menu and prepare meals until a week before the cleanse. Each week I did research and found new recipes for the next week’s menu. I hope to post recipes and cooking tips each week to help others who don’t have the time to read through books and websites to find information.
Was it more or less expensive then your usual grocery cost?
I actually spent less money this month on groceries than a normal month for several reasons. Meats, dairy, eggs, and frozen foods cost the most money on my grocery bill each month and I was no longer buying these items on this diet. I mostly bought produce and bulk items like dried nuts, beans, barley, oats, etc. I didn’t eat fast food, stop at Starbucks for a coffee, order a pizza, or any of these small things that can add up over a month’s time. We also learned to be fulfilled on less food, so when you eat less, you can stretch your meals, which in turn stretches your dollar! Another point to make about cost is the health benefits. Eating clean may cost more at the grocery store, but it will cost you less in health care bills and medicine over the course of a lifetime.
Do you recommend this cleanse?
Absolutely! Once you are made aware of the harmful chemicals in our foods, the horrifying and disgusting ways our meat is treated, and the materials and resources it takes to get food from the farm to your table, I would hope everyone would want to change their eating habits. Not only for your health, but for the impact it will have on preserving our earth as well. I actually recommend eating more organically and clean as a life style versus a one month thing. It takes a lot of work, but definitely worth it!
Small changes can make a difference!
Kallie had some great questions and I would really love to hear from others. Is there a question you have about a month of clean eating that Kallie didn’t ask?