“A Detox Is Not a Diet” and Other Things I Tell the Woman in the Mirror

“A Detox Is Not a Diet” and Other Things I Tell the Woman in the Mirror

A detox is not a diet.

Getting comfortable in my own skin and with how I perceive my body image has been one of my challenges this lifetime. So every spring, as I come off the liquids-only day of my yearly, oh-so-gentle detox, I repeat the mantra “A detox is not a diet. A detox is not a diet.”

My inner teenager, who danced with bulimia and diet regimens enforced by both my mother and my doctor, can never be skinny enough. She looks at pictures of my raw-boned ancestors and cringes, wondering why she didn’t inherit my mother’s bird bones and Audrey Hepburn visage. (more…)

How to Detox Your Life without Making Yourself Crazy

How to Detox Your Life without Making Yourself Crazy

Every year about this time, as spring’s energy begins its upward spiral, folks come into Herbiary ready to cleanse.

“What’s your favorite detox?” they ask, imagining that how to detox involves scrubbing their colon, pumping their gallbladder like a piston, and removing every last toxin from their liver.

(My past-students are eye-rolling. They already know where I am going with this.) (more…)

Detox Diaries: #2

Detox Diaries: #2

Tuesday, March 3

Restless night with a detox headache.

Or a headache from eating steamed veggies with mung bean noodles, as my solid meal yesterday.

Why mung bean noodles? Because I’m not eating rice (it’s a grain) but I still wanted the the sensation of a starch. And mung beans are a bean, beans are not on the detox list, so it sort of made sense.

Until my stomach felt like it was full of buckshot and I got a side stitch behind my shoulder blade.

Clear, logical thinking goes out the window when I am cleansing. My brain focuses on food, on want, and blindsides me to the obvious. Like the (obvious) fact that mung bean noodles are a processed food and who the heck knows what’s in there.

I go through this every time I do a detox: I start eating weird things that I don’t normally eat in a attempt to replace the foods that I’m cutting out.

And it backfires. Every. Time.

There are some things I have down pat at this point, like:

  • Day #1 of a detox is always the hardest.
  • I’m a black tea junkie so, instead of cutting my black tea intake entirely, I reduce it by halves.
  • And, to get off to a good start, I have to trick my brain into liking a liquid breakfast on the first day.

This year’s super yummy first day smoothie flavor? Banana-chocolate.

That shut my brain right up!

Here’s the recipe:

  • Hemp milk (Tempt brand doesn’t have carrageenan, which is important for me)
  • a scoop of chocolate protein powder (I use a product called Alive! that has mixed greens and herbs as well as protein and, most importantly for me, it doesn’t have nightshades)
  • small handful of almonds*
  • banana
  • a spoonful of sunflower nut butter*

* Some people cut nuts while cleansing but my body does well with them, so I simply avoid the ones that can get funky (peanuts, cashews, and pistachios).

Blend and enjoy.

It’s ridiculously good: plenty of sweet, but no added sugar and no grains or dairy.

Notice that this is not a low-calorie breakfast: that’s because I am detoxing, not dieting.

The plan is simply to give my body a rest from a few tough-to-digest food groups. This isn’t how everyone detoxes but it is what works for me!

Andrew comes home this evening. By dinner time, it will be 24 hours of liquids only and I’m already looking forward to a light dinner. No weird foods and no mung beans.