If you read health articles at all you’ve probably heard all about detoxes or elimination diets. If you’ve struggled with your own health problems and seen a naturopath or functional/integrative doctor they may have put you on an “elimination diet”; or maybe you’ve never heard of either and you think of detoxing as something a drug addict does. Maybe not that far from that. . .
Here’s a quick run down on some general options, tips and my thoughts from experience and education and research.
First, when my naturopath suggested to me years ago that I should do an elimination diet, I thought he was crazy and that was simply not something I was interested in. This is the same doctor who told me that he taught people how to take care of themselves, which didn’t lead to a lot of repeat business for him. I was already on my path to better eating and wellness by this time, so I researched this some more on my own and have now done two different detoxes, with great results.
I purchased both Dr. Tami Meraglia’s book, The Hormone Secret, as well as Dr. Sara Gottfried’s second book The Hormone Reset Diet. Dr. Sara and Dr. Tami are both medical, board certified physicians, but they are functional or integrative doctors who realized and learned that what is taught in typical medical school doesn’t really cover the nutrition and integrative wellness that they began to see was the healing happening. They both have similar, yet slightly different approaches to detoxing and balancing your hormones, and I have tried both of their detoxes now, with great results with each one.
I first followed Dr. Sara’s guided online detox that includes recipes, shopping lists, eat this, not that lists, and all kinds of advise as well as a Facebook group. I embarked on this detox to end my hot flashes and other menopause symptoms once and for all and lose those last stubborn 7-8 pounds. While it seemed like a challenge, I dove in and committed to doing the month-long program. I embarked on this journey with a open mind and a hopeful spirit to end my menopause symptoms. For the next 21 days I would eliminate one category of food from my diet every 3 days, including red meat and alcohol, sugar, fruit, caffeine, grains, dairy, toxins. By day 9 I was noticing a clearer head, cleared sinuses, and more energy. My day 18 I started to notice that my rash was gone, and I generally felt really great. By the end of this cleanse, my hot flashed ceased, I had more energy, no rash, no chronic nasal congestion, and a clear, fast acting brain. I felt GREAT!! I also knew that I could not eat such a restrictive diet full-time, as it was truly challenging, and in the end you are basically eating vegetables with a small amount of organic protein. It is not meant to be a full-time diet, so the re-entry of foods begins, by slowing adding one food category at a time back into your diet to see how you feel and if you react. I learned that my chronic nasal congestion was dairy products, my rash was caused by gluten, sugar was the cause of my inflammatory pain conditions, and most important of all, I learned how to feel really GREAT!!
Knowing what you react to lets you make decisions based on that knowledge. I know I don’t want to itch like I did, so I have ditched gluten completely. I can do without most dairy products, but I really love cheese, so I tolerate some chronic nasal congestion in exchange for cheese. Eliminating most of the refined sugars and alcohol I felt more relaxed and less inflamed, but I still drink some wine, but try to only use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Making informed choices allows me to work within my limitations, empowering me with knowledge I need to make those choices. Do you want to learn how to be empowered by your food choices, know the right choices for you, and free yourself from pain, inflammation, skin problems, and perhaps even autoimmune disease?
Remember, we are each unique and different and you need to experiment for learn what works for you. I can guide you through this process, or even design a specific detox just for you. I try to focus more on the what you CAN eat rather than what you cannot eat, as I found it much easier to crowd out processed, junk foods by pushing them out with lots of fresh, real, organic food. You can truly change your cravings and your eating habits by awareness and switching things up, rather than depriving yourself and beating yourself up for not sticking to it. Contact me today to learn how I might help you become more aware of how food is affecting you.