Detox? Cleanse? Fast?

Non for me, thanks. At least not for a little while.
Non for me, thanks. At least not for a little while.

To cleanse or not. How about a detox? Maybe a fast? I don’t know about you, but I am confused by all of the different terms, plans and approaches to what is basically the same intention: lose weight and (blah, blah, blah) get rid of toxins. 

I am no medical professional, but I can only guess that maintaining a healthy weight is a good idea. So, I have been trying to do just that. There are plenty of programs out there that don’t let you eat (a shake is NOT food), or load you up with supplements that may or may not do anything for you, but I am not interested in those. I am interested in sustainability. Recently I read a book (the 10 Day Blood Sugar Detox, by Dr. Mark Hyman) and decided I would give it a go. It sounded like a reasonably sane approach, but I have had to modify the plan a little. The premise is this: eat healthy, real food, cut out the processed junk and you will feel so good you won’t possibly want to go back to eating badly. Oh, and you should probably relax, too.

I must be slightly ahead of the curve as I have cut out sodas, most juices and anything with high fructose corn syrup years ago. Plus a recent accidental discovery of my poor reaction to MSG has led me to cut that out, too. So what is the plan? For 10 days eat nothing but plants and animal protein, with a few healthy fats, like nuts, thrown in for good measure.

I am not making myself a smoothie every day with ten ingredients. Instead I will eat regular, good-for-you food, minus dairy (cheese, ice cream, milk in my coffee), caffeine (so I don’t really have to worry about that milk after all), alcohol (no wine for me!), legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and anything processed.

That leaves me with broccoli, steak, more grilled chicken than a human should have to endure, cauliflower, fish, salad (no bottled dressings) and more broccoli. It actually seems pretty easy. Last night we went out for dinner. I passed on the fabulous wine (2009 Pintia. I smelled it. I admit I was a tad jealous.) Instead I had sauteed mushrooms, salad and shrimp with garlic.

This is forcing me to cook more, which is a good thing. I am paying more attention to how much water I drink, and since I already drink plenty, it is now absurd. Instead of taking a zillion supplements, I am simply taking a fiber supplement, which my doctor has assured me I don’t need if I am eating plenty of vegetables. (He also assured me that it was OK to take them, even if they were a bit unnecessary.)

What do I hope to gain from this experiment? Weight loss, for sure, but really a jump start to losing the lingering 8 – 12 pounds that need to go. Also just a swift kick in the butt to pay more attention to what I am eating on a regular basis. Sure, I will go back to morning coffee and evening wine, but if I can limit the amount of other junk I eat, all the better.

Stay tuned for an update, and in the meantime, please share a comment about how you eliminated junk food from your diet, or didn’t, and are happy (or not) about it. Meanwhile, I will go take a nap and dream about ice cream. And cheese. With a nice glass of wine…