With the holidays around the corner, I recently decided that now would be a good time to get myself back on track and start a detox. I have been in a mindset where I eat mostly healthy during the day but if there is a cupcake or pizza sitting out at work, I immediately eat it without thinking twice.
A few years ago, I probably would have never considered eating this (after already eating lunch) and need to get my mind back in that healthy place. My vegetable intake has been lacking, and processed foods have made their way back into my diet. A personal trainer friend of mine set up a meal plan for me to introduce vegetables back into my diet and to help reduce my sugar cravings.
The first day of the detox is now complete and was not as challenging as I had originally expected. Below shows the original plan and what I actually ended up eating.
Breakfast: Green smoothie. For the first day of the detox, I prepared a smoothie with two cups of spinach, one cup of strawberries, half a banana and water. When I read this meal plan, I immediately thought this would only fill me up for an hour but it actually kept me full all morning.
Lunch: Two cups of vegetables. This can be a salad but the vegetables must be raw or steamed with no dressing. I made a salad from my local deli with raw broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, asparagus and lemon juice. This kept me full until about 5 p.m., and I was headed to the gym after work so I ended up eating a second salad to last me another three hours.
Dinner: Two cups of vegetables. I had a protein smoothie from my gym (not on the plan) and a big plate of vegetables when I got home.
While I did not completely stick to the plan on the first day, I did eat much better than I usually do on a typical work day. I really felt as though I needed some protein since I am very active after work. I did not want to risk quitting this diet because of hunger on the first day so I felt that it was okay to modify it.
While the first three days of the plan is just vegetables, it does introduce more protein into the diet for the next few weeks such as hardboiled egg whites, grilled chicken, grilled fish, and protein smoothies. Eventually whole grains are slowly reintroduced, but I will try to avoid too many because I tend to become addicted to carbohydrates easily.
If I can stick to this, I do expect to be able to resist the sugary treats at work and get back into my healthy way of eating. It has been just one day and I already feel great about the healthy choices I have made.
If you have ever considered starting a detox, here are a few good reasons why you should go for it:
1. Get back on track. Many of us know how to eat healthy but choose not to do it. Freeing your body of sweets and chemicals and consuming mostly vegetables will help to get rid of sugar cravings and get in the habit of choosing greens and natural foods. Think about how much better you will feel if you are drinking a green smoothie instead of a bagel with cream cheese.
2. Remove toxins from the body. Many of us consume foods with harmful chemicals such as pesticides and preservatives every day. These toxins can affect mood, metabolism and can lead to disease. Freeing your body of these chemicals is necessary and will eventually help you to break the habit of consuming processed foods.
3. Increased energy. Increasing your vegetable intake and diminishing the toxins in your body will allow you to have more mental, physical, and emotional energy. Instead of eating a breakfast high in carbohydrates, spiking your blood sugar and crashing later in the day, you will have sustained energy from the greens. You may not even need your morning cup of coffee.
4. Improve skin condition. A healthy diet is the fastest way to improve your skin tone. The vitamins and minerals from vegetables can help to reduce acne, and give your skin a healthy and radiant glow.
5. Lose weight. Since toxins are known to slow down metabolism, a detox can help to rid the body of toxins and burn more fat. You will most likely drop a few founds during the start of the detox, and will keep the weight off once you train your mind to make healthier choices.