Detox

It’s that time of year again, when everyone signs up at the gym and begins their detox programs. While I think any time is a great time to work towards a healthier you, it might be wise to consider trying a detox/cleanse in the spring, especially if you live in a colder climate. Winter is harsh, it’s cold, and there is little abundance of fresh foods to aid you through a cleanse. A holistic approach to cleansing will likely not be fasting, or any of the “lemonade” type detoxes you find out there. At least not long term, and especially not if you have other conditions or an unhealthy gut. There is one detox that uses lemon water, maple syrup and cayenne as a protocol…in theory these elements can work to help cleanse the body, however, you’re basically living off sugar (maple syrup) and little else. Be mindful that the “weight” you loose on these cleanses can be mostly water and muscle. Also detoxing releases a lot of toxins (hence the name…) and if our organs of elimination are not working properly, we may end up recycling these toxins in our body vs. actually ridding ourselves of them. Our bodies require nutrients to thrive and survive (and to loose weight). We need each of the macronutrients to be the best we can possibly be, so prolonged use of any type of starving detox I would not recommend. Depending on where you are nutritionally, any type of elimination of a food is considered a detox. For example, if you eat a lot of sugary treats, like chocolate bars and pop, just eliminating those alone is a detox. Getting off sugar is hard, but once you do, you can then move towards other cleanses. If you do feel you need to cleanse now, please consider incorporating lots of fresh vegetables, limiting tropical fruit (except lemons) because of their high sugar content, increase your water, limit dairy and gluten grains and meat. Guaranteed you will feel better if you follow a more simplified meal plan and stop with caffeine, smoking, sugar and any of the stimulants that create toxins in the body. You may also want to consider going all or at least half organic to reduce your exposure to pesticides. If you can’t afford 6 organic apples, buy 3 and eat them every other day. Another overlooked part of a holistic cleanse is to rid yourself of any chemical-laden beauty products, household cleansers – including those that make your house smell fresh, they are full of carcinogens, and limit exposure to microwaves, cell phones etc.

I am planning on cleansing in the spring, I’ll blog about it then and will include tips and maybe some recipes too!

To you health

Coconutlime

Happy 2013

Hi! I am back after a looong hiatus. I didn’t intend to not write for so long, but I was studying anatomy and physiology for most of November and December, so any free time I had was spent reviewing. Also, there was something else that got in the way…the holidays. I don’t know about you but I always feel that Christmas day is still around the corner even after it’s passed. It seems to come so fast and go by so fast, that I’m left feeling like it never happened.

The last post I wrote about Candida and how I was diagnosed with high levels of this bacteria in my gut, along with leaky gut syndrome. If you are at all familiar with the Candida Protocol you will know its a strict diet which is basically not fun at all. You need to starve the candida first, which entails not consuming any sugar or starches…so no bread, no honey, no pasta, no beans, rice is OK but in small quantities, no fruit! or at least limit to 1-2 apples a day (I say apples because they are low in sugar vs. tropical fruit). So I have been trying my hardest to follow this diet but it is hard, I will admit. I love eating, I love restaurants, I love food…so this kind of protocol is very hard to follow. Anyway, I have been trying, and have cut out a lot of stuff. I definitely do not eat anything “white” any more, and haven’t for a long time, even before the protocol. As you know, anything “white” is highly processed, energy dense but nutrient poor so basically useless for your body. I am trying hard to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. This isn’t easy. As a budding nutritionist I should be eating mostly veggies because I know first hand how good they are for you. But it’s kind of like a doctor who smokes…they know it’s really bad, but they just can’t help it! It’s the same with me and veggies, although I am definitely making an effort. I get organic vegetables delivered every other week, and each delivery is different which forces me to try new things. I bought a whole foods cookbook the other day and can’t wait to try the recipes – I didn’t even notice that the entire cookbook was vegan! Everything sounded so yummy and uses whole, clean ingredients (not MARGARINE!!! Margarine is NOT A [HEALTHY] FOOD). Sorry. But it’s not. I am also ensuring that I am at least taking my supplements every day – B complex, Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin D since it’s winter and probiotics. If I ate more veg and fruits I wouldn’t need the Vitamin C. But the Fish Oil and probiotics are necessary to supplement, and B vitamins are hard to get unless you eat whole grains (not whole wheat bread, but whole grain). And since I am off grains right now, I am not getting what I need.

Since I started this protocol I have definitely noticed a reduction in my symptoms. I no longer feel hung-over for no reason (candida bacteria produces alcohol in the body, hence the hung-over feeling), I get less headaches, I am no longer constantly bloated,  (I remember when I lived in England and my friends and I would go for a curry. Lots of white rice, and a creamy chicken curry equalled bellies so swollen we looked pregnant). I feel less tired and brain fogged and my moods have improved. We have a large amount of neurotransmitters in our gut, so when we experience low moods, guaranteed it’s food / gut related.

The more I learn about nutrition, the more obvious it seems to me that eating right is the only answer we need. We keep hearing about how people in X country have no chronic illnesses because they don’t eat Y and Z…there are so many reports it’s almost getting to the point that I’m sure people don’t hear it any more. But it’s true. I have never really followed the SAD diet (Standard American Diet = pop, fried foods, chips, packaged foods etc), but my diet definitely didn’t have enough of the good stuff in it, and even I notice a difference. It amazes me every time I do a bit of research online about stuff I find people who have completely cured themselves of one thing or another by just eating better. (I said better, not butter, although eating butter is perfectly fine in moderation.)

This has turned into a rambly post with no real point or direction, but I promise that will come in later posts. I mostly wanted to reconnect and get back into the habit again of writing to an unknown audience.

I do hope at least someone out there enjoys what I write about, and I hope that as the months go by I can help to educate folks on the importance of eating well.

To your health

Coconutlime