First of all, let me just say that I’ve given up on the idea that there is ONE right way to eat. The fact is, each of us is dealing with an entire history of experiences, most of which we’re not even conscious of, that continually affect our cells and their ability to operate efficiently and optimally.
I knew a woman who ate buckets of peanut butter for about a year and a half and SWEARS to this day it brought her tremendous relief from depression. I also know another woman, who if you breathe peanut on her, will collapse in a state of epileptic shock. This example is extreme, but the point is obvious: two people can have very different reactions to the same food.
This is why when the question about how to approach a raw food diet, or a detox diet comes up, the first thing you’re going to need to do is BE YOUR OWN JUDGE.
Observe the Obvious
You don’t need to drown yourself in piles of articles and nutritional debates. If your gums are sore, if your hair is falling out, if your energy is low, then you have indicators and can use these to measure and observe your process.
As you prepare and proceed with a detox, use your body’s clues to observe your reactions. Just observe what is happening for what it is. Dramatic changes in diet can trigger all kinds of reactions. Be patient. Simply observe the process and see what happens. There are certain laws of nature to which we are all subject. Yet, we all have very different histories, environments and emotional states that will also have an enormous influence on our overall ability to absorb, assimilate and digest foods.
Keep your own counsel. You know your body better than anyone, but still allow yourself to push your limits and fall outside of the comfort boundaries. This is especially true as you progress with a detox. What at first is uncomfortable, may quickly turn and become a new state of calm, control and clarity unlike anything you’ve experienced before in your relationship with food.
Avoid the Pre-Detox binge.
The classic pre-detox move of: ‘Well, since I’m detoxing next week, I should just eat as much spaghetti and ice cream as I can this week’ is destined for disaster. Why double the workload?
The point of a detox is to give your body the opportunity to cleanse and release some of the junk it has been storing up. Don’t double the workload for yourself by eating poorly leading up to the detox. Take the time to start being conscious and preparing your mind and your body for what is to come.
Here are some suggestions of things that will help:
1- Drink. Drink. Drink.
As soon as you take your first bite of food in the morning, you get the appetite wheels turning, and the party started. Hold off. Hydrate first.
Hydrate in the mornings and then really WAIT to eat until you’re hungry. Don’t just eat because it’s ‘time’ to eat, or because that’s just what you ‘do.’ Observe your body’s reactions. Are you REALLY hungry? If you’re not sure if you’re REALLY hungry, then you’re not hungry. Waiting for real hunger is one of the most satisfying things you can do. Otherwise, if you’ve got to hit the road in the morning, pack a snack, hydrate some more, and get on with the production of the day until you truly feel hungry.
Just getting busy and being productive can help to take your mind off of food. When true hunger kicks in, the message will come in loud and clear.
2 – Start Simplifying Your Foods
The idea of ‘meal preparation’ has gotten out of control. I mean, just pull out a plate, pile it high with sunflower seed sprouts, baby tomatoes, and cucumber slices, and you’re set.
When you’re truly hungry, you’ll eat it and it will be delicious.
As you’re approaching a detox, start making efforts to simplify your foods. Limit the number of ingredients you use in each meal. During the detox, have several mono-meals that will be completely satisfying in the integrity of their perfect simplicity.
3 – Avoid Eating Late at Night
As you’re leading up to a detox program, start to give your body the rest it needs and avoid eating late at night. Sometimes we mistake fatigue for hunger. If you just hit the sack instead of the fridge, you’ll wake up feeling much more refreshed. As you prepare for a detox, this will be a wonderful habit that will support you when the real thing comes.
Take the time to start putting the habits and tools that will support you throughout your detox in place before you even begin. By simplifying your foods, hydrating first thing in the morning, and avoiding eating late at night, you’re already going to be well on your way to experiencing huge energy improvements.