Thursday, July 5, 2012

The writers guide to detoxing, cleanses and fasts

The diet is going pretty well. You’ve climbed over the stall, and have continued to lose weight at a reasonable rate, which is about 1-2lbs a week. RWA National is three weeks away, and things are looking pretty good. Exercise is a challenge with life, but it’s manageable. Now you’re considering a cleanse, detox or fast.
A detox and cleanse is a good old fashion fast with a modern twist to it. Every major religion in the world has fast and feasts days. It’s part of not only cleansing the body, but the soul. It’s a good time to reflect on life and faith. In modern times, fasting is still widely used for both the cleansing for those old reasons, but it’s also used to jump start a diet or help it over a hump.
My best advice is not to cleanse before you’ve settled into your diet routine. Cleanses are not for the faint of heart. There is some preparation that is needed both physically and mentally to succeed and go the distance. Think about this, detoxes, cleanses and fasting is not easy nor is it fun and they are not meant to be part of a diet routine. It's an occasional fix. 
Here are some suggestions:
  • Research the kind of cleanse that fits your taste. Know what you’re putting into your body for two or three days. If it sounds insane, most likely it’s not good for you and the results will be limited.
  • Be prepared to be hungry, at least a little.
  • Don’t exercise. There is a reason monks meditated during fasts. They didn’t have the energy to do much else.
  • Plan it out. Pick a weekend where you don’t have to be anywhere and you don't have to explain to Grandma why you can’t eat anything she’s prepared for the family gathering. It should be a quiet weekend at home.
  • Avoid stress. You’ll fail if you’re stressed out while trying to cleanse. If something stressful comes up, cancel your planed cleanse and do it another time.
  • Don’t do it if you’re working. Work can be stressful, and you don’t want to be cranky with co-workers.
Right now juice detoxes are popular. They are great for cleansing the body, but they are difficult. You need a juicer with lots of fresh produce and juicing recipes. A friend of mine, did a three day juice detox and lost six pounds. But-the first two days she felt like crap. It was her body detoxing. By the third day she could manage a lot better. She did this prior to her sister's wedding, so she'd look fabulous as the maid of honor. She came off the detox at least three days prior to the wedding, and instantly gained back 3lbs. But she had achieved a goal to lose a couple of extra stubborn pounds.
I just completed an detox using Dr. Oz’s recommended cleanse. I lost 2 ½ lbs in two days. I’ve kept off 1 ½ lbs. I gained back 1lb. That is typical. You will lose weight, and feel much lighter. But will gain back part of it.
When you’ve completed your cleanse, give yourself one full day of eating in your normal diet before returning to exercising. With ingested calories your body will respond much more favorably to a your exercise routine. 

Remember, detoxes aren't easy. If you decide to try one, whatever you're eating it should be clean, organic foods, absolutely nothing processed. Otherwise, why bother.  

Here is one of my favorite detox juice recipe: 

1 to 2 red beets, depending on size. 
2 lg carrots
2 stalks of celery

Clean the veggies thoroughly. Chop the beets into quarters, cutting off the crown end. Run the beets through the juicer, then the celery (whole) and the carrots. The juice will be a very intense reddish purple color. If you make a large amount and plan on storing it, only make enough for a couple of days. It is best if it's fresh as possible. This will clean out your system...

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