Thinking of doing a cleanse, detox or major diet change? Hold your horses.
I get the enthusiasm and motivation. It's a fresh new year. We just got done over-indulging - probably consuming more sugar than normal - and we're feeling sluggish, groggy, yuk.
We want to feel better.
But here's the thing, if you jump into a detox or major diet change, you aren't going to feel better. In fact, you'll probably feel worse.
There are mega side effects - unpleasant ones - that happen when we do a major detox or major diet change following a season of indulgence.
Cravings - oh the cravings!
This my friends, will make you want to quit. Or make everyone around you, want you to quit.
Before you jump on the cleanse wagon, or the no-grain train, please, oh pretty pa-lease, do this for a few weeks first:
Crowd out the crap
Instead of focusing on all of the foods you need to stop eating (bad grains - pastries, processed breads, pastas, sugar, caffeine, etc.) focus on foods that would be wonderful to eat more of.
The junk will get crowded out and you will start to feel better without those nasty detox side effects.
And after a few weeks, your body will be able to handle a cleanse with less revolting, so you can still do that whole 30 diet all your internet friends will be coming off of only to return to their pervious way of eating. ;)
Or, you could do yourself one better and eat a veggie loaded, sensible, balanced diet.
4 Things to Add In that will Crowd Out the Crud
Dark Leafy Greens
This one is obvious but deserves extra attention - it's that impactful.
Start the day out by chugging water.
You don't have to get fancy with a lemon or apple cider vinegar blend (though you certainly can).
I fill up my 20 ounce water bottle and put it next to my bed at night. In the morning when I swing my legs out of bed, stretch, and guzzle that entire bottle of water before I even stand up.
Your job after the initial morning chug is to keep refilling that bottle, taking a few good chugs every hour.
What it will crowd out: excess coffee, caffeine, and other non-helpful beverages that are zapping your energy and messing with your gut health, as well as mindless snacking and cravings that happen when dehydrated.
What you will notice: more energy, better digestion, less hunger and overall better health vibes.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens are the number one missing food in the modern diet. They are also the most health enhancing foods you could eat.
Buy a big bin of mixed greens. I really like power green blends that contain a mixture of kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Make a simple vinaigrette dressing: 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/2 t. dijon mustard, 1 minced garlic clove.
With every meal, add a handful of greens drizzled with your homemade dressing.
What it will crowd out: processed junk food, afternoon snacking, sugar, processed grains
What you will notice: more energy, less cravings, stronger immune system, less congestion, clearer mind, better mood, clearer skin.
Other ways to add in more greens: lightly saute greens in olive oil with sea salt and black pepper, eat as a side with dinner. Add two handfuls of greens to a smoothie with a banana and hemp milk. Chop greens and throw them into your pasta, soup, stir fry, casseroles, etc.
I know this is so trendy right now, and slightly intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. And you don't have to make your probiotic rich foods at home (though you can!). Here are my favorite store bought, probiotic rich food:
- Bubbies sauerkraut. I add this to my salad bowl at lunch, or eat a spoonful or two right out of the jar in the afternoon. It's zesty, refreshing, and takes away cravings!
- Kombucha. This is my happy hour go-to. Pour it in a wine glass and enjoy the fizzy treat while you cook up dinner. My fav way to get my gut healthy and happy.
- Tempeh. Raw tempeh is fermented, but a little freaky if you're a newby. Cut it into chunks and let it marinate in something - your homemade vinaigrette for example, then add it to your dark leafy green salad.
- Miso. Miso is a paste made of fermented soybeans or chickpeas, and is loaded with powerful probiotics and enzymes. It's also simple to consume, just put a scoop of miso in your warm (not hot) soup!
What you will notice: less cravings, brain fog, anxiety, indigestion.
More benefits: strengthens blood quality, strengthens the immune system, lowers LDL cholesterol, protects against free radicals, restores probiotics to the intestines.
A simple way to kick the cravings, balance your energy, lift your mood, and get rid of belly fat is to eat more fat. Fat does not make you fat. Here are some great sources to eat more of:
Avocados, nuts/seeds (soaked), olives, coconut oil, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, fatty fish (sardines, salmon), organic eggs and ghee.
What it will crowd out: sugar, sweets, cravings, snacking, low energy, low mood, distraction.
What you will notice: less hunger, less cravings, more energy, healthier skin, better concentration and focus, lighter mood.
Ready to eat your way to a Nourished, Energized life? Download a FREE meal plan.