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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Detox

Feeling Worse Before You Feel Better
Sometimes when you start making changes or taking supplements that you need, you feel worse before you feel better.  This is because your body starts to release toxins it has held for years.  I started taking MSM in June and felt some detox happening in my body.  I also had some detox reactions to some essential oils I was using (more information on that later.)  I will do a later post on the benefits of MSM, but for now, here is a little information.  MSM is organic sulfur.  It is a vital mineral.  It is in every cell of your body, but we are not getting enough of it in our diets.  When you take higher doses of MSM, it flushes out toxins from every cell in your body.  It is recommended that you start out with a low dose of MSM and work up to a higher, therapeutic dose.  Some say to start at 500mg a day and then increase by 500mg each week.  Some go faster.  When you start to feel yuck (that's the detox talking), you can back off the dose, or tough through it, and drink lots and lots of water.

Well, I'm the tough-through-it type.  So, I started feeling pretty yuck.  Each yuck would last a couple days and then clear up, but then another type of yuck would start.  At first I felt dizzy and had low blood sugar spells, and felt mildly headachey.  Then came a massive allergy attack.  Then came a really bad UTI.  Along with these items, I started getting a hive-like rash (very mildly) after my evening walks.  I did some searching and that can be a sign that your lymph system isn't flushing out toxins fast enough.  The toxins try to escape through your skin.  I don't doubt that was the case.  The MSM was flushing toxins out of my cells, but the systems for flushing those toxins out of my body couldn't quite keep up.

So, I decided to get radical and put myself on a 5-day detox diet.  I've never done this before.  I never thought I could, with 3 other people in my house that I have to cook 3 meals a day for.  I thought it would be too hard to eat super-well if I was surrounded with "normal" food.  But I felt like it was time to try it.

My Plan
My purpose was to eat clean, whole, mostly raw food so that 1) my body could flush toxins more easily, and 2) I wasn't adding any further toxins to slow down the detox process.  Part of my criteria was to eat yogurt (for probiotics), chia (for fiber), and coconut oil (to fight bad bacteria in the gut) every day.  I'm the type that needs protein and/or fat to balance my carbs, so a pure juicing option didn't appeal to me, but I did want this diet to be alkalizing, so I included fresh fruit and veggies.  I did not care about calories or weight loss for this week, that was not the purpose.  But guess what?  I lost 5 pounds anyway.  That being said, if I got hungry, I ate a snack.  I don't normally snack, but since this way of eating is lighter than the typical meat and starch dinners I usually have, I snacked in the evening, if I felt like it.


On a side note, check this graphic out.  Perhaps our focus shouldn't be weight loss, but toxin loss, and then the weight comes off.


Perhaps that is why it's harder to lose weight as you get older.

So, back to the detox diet--it went well.  Dinnertime is where the temptation could get to me, because for the most part I ate the same foods I normally eat for breakfast and lunches.  It was interesting how the temptation was easy to beat the first couple days, and so I thought the 5 days would be easy, but it was not so.  The longer I was on it, the harder it was to resist temptations.  I could not see eating like this all the time.  Also, I specifically chose to do this plan on weekdays, since weekends tend to offer more chances for cheating.  I think that holds true for any diet.  I wasn't sure I could stand strong.  I found that proper planning was the key to success.  If you feel like doing this, stock your house with lots of healthy options, and plan your meals and snacks.

Detox Journal
Day 1 – 
Breakfast:  1 egg, fried in butter, over easy, 1 banana
Lunch:  blackberry smoothie w/chia and coconut oil (recipe coming soon)
Dinner:  green salad w/tomatoes, red peppers, avocados and homemade vinaigrette.  (My family had Chicken Parmesan and salad, so with the salad I still felt like I was participating in the meal.)
Snack:  It’s 8:30 and I’m hungry.  I think I’ll snack on some almonds.

Day 2 – 
Breakfast:  Breakfast in a jar
Lunch:  peaches, cheese, and almonds
Dinner:  whole tomato, sliced, topped with shredded cheese, guacamole, salsa (My family was having tacos, so with this concoction I felt, again, like I was halfway participating in the meal.)
Snack:  watermelon snack @ 8pm—VERY alkalizing!

Day 3 –
Breakfast:  egg and banana, same as Day 1
Lunch:  mango (VERY alkalizing!), cheese, almonds
Dinner:  blackberry smoothie
Snack:  almonds at 9:30—was very hungry!

Day 4 – 
Breakfast:  Breakfast in a jar
Lunch:  planned to have a blackberry smoothie (minus the chia since it’s was in the breakfast), but then it just didn’t interest me, so I got out a red bell pepper and my sugar snap peas and was going to have them with some cheese, but it still didn’t strike my fancy, so I decided on dates and cheese—ooh, hit the spot, probably the sweetness I’ve been missing these last few days.  Well after lunch I felt a bit out of sorts, was wondering if the dates were a bit too much sugar, so had a glass of water with ACV, seemed to fix the situation.  Guess what? Dates are sweet, but on the acid/alkaline chart, they are fairly alkalizing!  Yeah!  Stay tuned for a great recipe using dates.
Dinner:  same salad as Day 1, also with sugar snap peas—yum!
Snack:  No need for snack tonight, apparently the avocado in my salad and olive oil in the dressing helps the meal stick with my longer.

Day 5 – 
Breakfast:  another egg and banana day, same as Day 1--I do love eggs.  :)
Lunch:  blueberry smoothie (no coconut oil, since sharing with Lydia--she doesn't like it)—yum!
Snack:  cherries for snack @ 4:30
Dinner:  poor planning for dinner, so caved and shared with the family—but had a small portion—teriyaki beef and fried rice (homemade, so not as bad as you think).  Watermelon for dessert!

Conclusion
All in all, I would call it a success.  As you can see, I got a bit bored with my food choices on day 4 and then poor planning on day 5 caused a slight failure, but overall it went well.  I felt great while I was on it, and that annoying hive-like rash ceased and hasn't returned.  Yeah!  And I don't think I'm experiencing any detox effects of MSM or essential oils anymore.  (I did this detox diet in mid-August.)  I am currently up to 6,000mg MSM per day.

I do believe we need animal protein and animal fat, so I would not recommend eating this way all the time, but I could see doing this 5-day plan quarterly.

Have you ever done a detox diet?  What was your regimen and experiences?

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