Happy New Year and all that good stuff readers.
As I start 2014 off, I wanted to blog thoughts out loud about my 21 detox and health cleanse. This is my third year doing a healthy detox cleanse and each year since the first time, I learn more about myself. Much like yoga, without all the stretching, it involves self discipline and conscious eating.
Thinking back on 2013, I actually went on a reboot cleanse for 10 days that included 5 days of juicing. The reboot is a good way to rid the body of toxins and a great energizer, however can also be a challenge if you don’t keep up with the healthy eating habits.
Now I won’t lie to readers and make this sound easy. It’s really not, especially if you drink coffee everyday or any kind of caffeinated drink. In addition, eating processed sugar, white flour products, salt, dairy, butter, fatty oils, you know, pretty much all the stuff everyday food is made of requires a disciplined mind to overcome, been there done that.
I’ve learned that reducing my dietary intake of processed foods in the last two years (since I started this detox cleanse) has helped make the detox and reboot not as challenging. For the first timers or newbys, a detox cleanse is NOT easy nor is it meant to be if we’re eating tortillas or frybread made with Blue Bird flour on the regular.
As a way to help keep myself focused and on this level of self love and awareness, I remind myself of why I have committed myself to this healthy way of living and loving myself. Eating raw, organic, healthy foods is a conscious choice and decision, and one that has become a practice.
Because I love to cook AND eat, I enjoy trying out new recipes and tasting foods but also mixing things up. I have mixed up a great commodity food recipe using fresh, whole, raw vegetables versus the processed and canned versions of “vegetables” the USDA rations out to our tribal programs. If their intent is to slowly kill us off using commodity foods, that is most definitely how they’re doing it. No longer poisoned as our ancestors who endured the forced assimilation in the reservation era, but poisoned with preservatives that our bodies can not break down fast enough and end up consuming producing extreme glycemic rates resulting in high blood pressure and diabetes.
Looking back in 2013, when I rebooted I found that it was toughest when I was sleep deprived and had anxiety. While being in a doctoral program, sleep deprivation and anxieties are not uncommon at all. With anxieties its a cognitive sleep deprivation that occurs and the results can have negative affects on eating habits. As an emotional person, I found myself eating when I really needed to be sleeping or eating food I didn’t need to be eating. I drank my fave caramel machiatos or Americano with caramel sauce. Coffee did not actually help, but I drank it like it would be the death of me if I didn’t have any.
Today, I’m aware that coffee isn’t a good thing when taken in excess. In moderation, it’s not bad. However, during a detox cleanse it’s about training the mind and body to not need coffee and more importantly finding healthy alternatives.
While I pride myself in being physically fit, I run when I make time and also practice yoga. In October 2013, I ran my first half marathon and accomplished a goal that I actually had set for myself back in 2012. My goal of running a half-marathon was on my bucket list and I was going to run one rain or shine. Although it took a year, I made it. I experienced that when I ate good carbs I felt confident in my running abilities, however, when I ate crap, my long days were tougher. Looking back, I’m very aware that what I consume for exercise influences my body’s ability to perform.
As I kick 2014 off with a healthy detox, I want to share that this isn’t just some diet, but a healthy conscious living choice that also supports long term health. One thing I think that’s important to share about a healthy detox cleanse is that when you learn and know exactly what to eat and what not to eat, this becomes a practice and is not just another “diet” or fad that everyone makes some resolution to commit to at the start of the year. It does indeed become a healthy practice and life way.
I wanted to blog thoughts out loud, not about any program related schtuff, but about how making this healthy conscious decision helps to get me realigned. Now the first few days of detox cleanse are probably the toughest for me. I crave sugar, caffeine, and sugar products. I have learned since my first detox that sugar is mostly genetics. Pretty much, whatever our parents ate and consumed is also passed down to us as well and it’s in our DNA. This is why I have come to learn eating health conscious foods while pregnant and throughout a child’s early and developing years is important.
Essentially, it’s not easy to detox from sugar when you eat sugar regularly, because we basically train our bodies to think that it “needs” sugar. I have found alternatives to sugar such as cinnamon with raw honey, which are both naturally sweet and can help balance blood sugar. Another alternative I have found helpful to replacing sugar during a detox is vanilla which boosts serotonin and is ultimately a chemical in our brains that makes us crave sugar when its low.
For those readers who are unfortunately familiar with sugar due to diabetes related illnesses, you are aware that sugar raises insulin. Equally important in understanding our food intake is cortisol. When managing our health its important to be aware that cortisol stores fat. When our bodies process sugar it is known as glycation. Sugar over all is just not healthy when consumed in excess and also leads to accelerated aging. Pretty much, all sugar is problematic.
Since my first detox cleanse in 2012, I have learned that fructose is thee worst kind of sugar and as much as I thought or believed agave was a healthy alternative, it is actually higher in fructose. I learned that the sugar processed and produced from this process goes straight to the liver where lipogenesis occurs, which is when the body is literally making fat from it. As I have come to learn, it can cause more fat and despite promotions of artificial sweetener, they too can cause weight gain with unhealthy side effects.
Over all, this health detox is a great practice to get into. If any readers want to try a couple of my favorite smoothie recipes, they’re pretty easy to make. You will need a blender and if you don’t have a one, you can find an inexpensive one at a second hand store.
Now I don’t have names for my favorite smoothies and I’m sure you can find others, but I use: 1 avocado, half a cup of strawberries, 1 tablespoon of black chia seeds, 1 scoop of flax seed or wheat germ, and a cup of aloe vera juice or coconut water.
My second favorite smoothie includes: 1 tablespoon of black chia seeds, 1 scoop of flax seed or wheat germ, 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut, a bunch of spinach, honey and cinnamon, 1 banana, and coconut water or aloe Vera juice.
As I close out this blog thoughts out loud, I wanted to share this 21 day detox cleanse involves a lot of raw foods, fresh fruits, nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, kale, spinach, yams, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, garlic, bananas, legumes, split pea, beans, and into the third week, salmon and/or white fish to name a few foods. I typically start my days with a smoothie and during this detox cleanse will Tweet some foods and RT healthy food conscious Twitter accounts.
Wishing you all good health and eating habits as we start 2014… remember, we are what we eat from our head down to our feet.