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It's that time of year again. The beginning.  What are you doing to celebrate? 

Well, for me, and everyone else on the planet, it's a time to reflect on the crappy habits we developed by the end of the calendar year and commit to new ones that make us healthy.  "Be healthy, eat this, don't eat that, go jogging, lift weights, get outside, don't eat processed food, be strong, don't be weak, breathe deeper, bla bla bla."  Aren't you tired of hearing and reading all that?  Me too, but too bad, I'm going to be that annoying "healthy cheerleader" anyway. Why you ask? Because I've been studying this stuff for a while and it turns out, all this stuff "they" say, is good for you, is ACTUALLY good for you.  If you care about yourself, want to live a long life, and want to be able to go up the stairs without panting heavily like a dog excited on Christmas morning, you should follow what I say.

I did, as mentioned above, commit to doing something to contrast what happened over the month of December. Since I literally could not stop eating chocolate over the holidays and ate everything in sight until 11:59, December 31st, I have decided to cleanse my body and detox so I can get back to optimal health.   I welcome you to join me on this venture.

As the title of this post suggests, everything is new in the New Year.  For me this is extremely true. I just went back to my office job in Human Resources on Monday, January 7th after being off for 13 months (maternity leave) (tear).  I also just started working at the Yorkville Health Clinic as a nutrition consultant.  I'm very excited to work down town in the nutrition field so, it's kind of like starting school again in the fall, NEW, different and refreshing.

As a nutritionist, although I fall off the wagon here and there, I think it's important to practice what I preach.  Do you want to get some practice with me?

Personally, I chose to do a two week wheat free detox with NO sweets. I'm going wheat free because I know I have a sensitivity to it and I've been feeling puffy, bloated and lethargic lately which is a very obvious reminder I need to stop eating it.  In general, it's good to avoid wheat as much as possible because it's over eaten, over processed and EVERYWHERE.  Great if you want to do that, but if you are the type who can only stick to one change at a time, I recommend getting rid of sugar for a while. Consuming too much sugar creates a spiraling effect because our body then starts to crave it.  Since it's post holiday season, many of us need to cut out the sugar so we can teach our bodies to stop the cravings.  

After removing wheat and sugar for two straight weeks, I will then continue my commitment to whole foods, allowing the occasional homemade sweet treat and itty bit of wheat to "pass the goalie" as the husband would say. I will also focus on the 80/20 rule where I aim for clean eating 80% of the time and don't stress about the other 20%. This is so I can actually enjoy my life by indulging on a glass of wine and perhaps a piece of birthday cake here and there.  Remember, the stress that can come from worrying about eating badly CAN be worse for you than the actual indulge.

For two weeks:

EAT MORE VEG (as many as you can - potatoes do not count here)
Fruit
100% Whole, wheat free grains only (no white, even if wheat-free)
Healthy proteins (know where you get your meat from, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, nuts/seeds)
Good, healthy fats (from avocados, good oils, nuts and seeds)
DRINK MORE WATER
No coffee
No cow's dairy
No treats/sugar (if needing sugar, 1 - 2 tbsps of maple syrup or honey would be okay once or twice a week).

Doing this for two weeks will clean your intestines of all the built up sugar and processed shinanigans from the holiday parties. If your digestion cleans up, your liver will detoxify because it won't be constantly bombarded with more toxins from crappy food, therefore leading to smoother functioning.  This will create a domino effect helping the rest of your organs detoxify and function optimally.  

Side note: If you decide to start your New Year with a similar detox, you may notice a few withdrawal like symptoms.  Headaches, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, skin blemishes and trouble sleeping can appear since the toxins are being excreted through your body and can cause disruption.  This is why you need to be patient and get through the first three days, sometimes longer, depending on how toxic your body is.

Continued commitment:
EAT MORE VEG (As many as you can - doesn't include potatoes)
Fruit
100% Whole grains only (no white stuff, does not have to be wheat-free (unless you are allergic or intolerant),
Healthy proteins (know where you get your meat from, eggs, fish, beans, lentils, nuts/seeds)
Good, healthy fats (from avocados, good oils, nuts and seeds)
DRINK MORE WATER
Keep cow's dairy to a minimum (cheese, milk, yogurt)
Keep caffeine to a minimum
Eat treats occasionally so you don't go crazy trying to stay away from them. (Avoid processed treats from a box or bag.  Indulge in treats that are homemade using natural sugars such as fruit, dried fruit, maple syrup or honey or dark chocolate)

Now, how do you commit to this without falling off the wagon? 
Here are a few tips to sticking to the game plan.

1. What is your goal? If you don't have a goal, you need one, otherwise you are aiming for nothing which makes it easier to cheat. Signing up for a physical activity event such as a 5 or 10k helps get the ball rolling. If that doesn't float your boat, sign up for a class of something you've always wanted to try. i.e. belly dancing, fencing or the common "learn how to be a clown" class.  When you exercise, you feel better and want to eat healthier.  Another good goal could be to fit into a certain pair of jeans by a certain date. Putting a picture of your former, slimmer or more muscular self on the fridge might also kick start your new lifestyle.  

2. Pick a date to start the detox and write down that you are committing to two weeks.  When you accomplish something like this, you feel empowered to do more. 

3. Shop and chop. Pick a day of the week (Sundays for most), to spend time shopping and chopping. Chop VEG, cook the starch (brown rice, quinoa, and other grains) and proteins for your meals (chicken, bean salads). Also, leafy greens should be a staple every day.   One meal should be a big salad with as many fun VEG as you want.  To make this a reality, while you are chopping the other VEG, chop those leafy greens, put them in a bag or big tupperware container in the fridge. When it's prepped, you are more inclined to eat it.  

4. On the go snack. Put those veggies, nuts or fresh or dried fruit in some containers so you can grab them on your way out the door.  Great for snacks and they don't cause your blood sugar to plummet causing you to drop too (like processed sugary treats).

5. Water baby water. Carry a water bottle around with you so you can fill it up every time you pee. Did I really have to say that?  Yes. Yes I did.  Water is important in flushing out the crap and the extra toxins that will be floating around your body while you detox. Drink the water and then pee and poop them out!

6. Keep calm and carry on.  I love this saying.  If you screw up, don't agonize over it because the stress caused by can be worse for you (as previously mentioned).  Acknowledge the screw up and move on.  It is important to stay grounded and keep your shoulders low.  When you are stressed about anything, your shoulders can suddenly end up right beside your ears. What??  That's not right, so take deep breaths whenever you feel like your upper body is higher than your head.  My favorite is this:

Breathe in for 4 seconds.
Hold the breath in for 4 seconds.
Exhale for 6 seconds. 
Hold 2 more seconds at the end. 
Repeat for 3 - 5 minutes or until your shoulders have relaxed back to normal position. 
Then, grab and eat a carrot for good measure. 

I've laid out some options, now it's up to you to decide if you are going to commit to it. 

If you need more specific information regarding the detox, portion sizes and meal plans, please contact me anytime to book an appointment. 

I've been doing the detox since January 2nd and I had a headache for 3 days.  I know it's because of how much sugar I had over the holidays.  If you feel like you went overboard, do your body the favour by getting rid of the sugary build up in your intestines. It's not easy, it's not a quick fix, but you definitely come out of it feeling energized, motivated, more confident, healthier and ready for more challenges.  Bring on 2013, bring on your life. Don't waste anymore time and energy on what happened in 2012.  It's a New Year, why not make it a NEW Everything. Don't forget... you are in charge of the choices you make which means You decide your health. Be that annoying "healthy cheerleader, you deserve it. 

 

 


Comments

01/08/2013 8:43am

Great post Michelle! I'm wondering if I'm feeling withdrawl from my holiday indulgence now that I've gone back to work. I was drinking pop every day (2 cans), and yesterday was the first non-pop day since I went on my Christmas break, and lo and behold, I had a horrible migraine! Makes sense now that you've explained this possible withdrawl.

I'm not doing a cleanse of sugar, although I probably should, but I've been eating vegetarian since Thursday of last week. We ate so much meat over our holiday, every meal was meat, potatoes and brussels sprouts, and my bowels suffered. The self-imposed vegetarian diet has also helped make my insides feel better.

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Jacquelynn
01/09/2013 6:33am

Great blog Michelle, I have basically started a small detox too, I was pretty good over the holidays barely any alcohol and the occasional sweet, but I'm with you on this 2 week detox. Plus my retest is on Jan. 21st!! eek! I have been feeling like my stomach is swollen and puffy as you said in the blog so I will commit to this to prevent the swelling! Thanks Michelle!

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MarieM
01/15/2013 10:23am

Great blog Michelle! My 17 year old daughter decided to 'go' Vegan this year so we are all benefiting from eating more Veg, especially her! We have found frozen kale for sale at Fiesta Farms and I wonder if you have insights into the merits of frozen veg vs. fresh I(but not local and not necessarily organic). Lastly, I discovered Meyer Lemons in December which are to die for. Expensive relative to your usual lemons but way sweeter and less acidic. Wikipedia says Meyer lemon, is a citrus fruit native to China thought to be a cross between a true lemon and either a mandarin or common orange. It was introduced to the United States in 1908 as S.P.I. #23028[1] by the agricultural explorer Frank Nicholas Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China. Good luck to all of us with our respective post holiday cleanses.

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