Spring Cleaning for Your Body – How to Do a 10-Day Detox
Spring has finally arrived, and with it comes the urge to do a little spring cleaning. During the winter months, we find ourselves almost hibernating. Days are spent indoors, cozy with our favorite comfort foods, and before we know it, we’ve packed on a few extra pounds. Spring is the perfect time to do away with those habits and welcome some new, energizing ones. A whole body cleanse is the perfect way to welcome the warmer weather and reveal a healthier, happier you.
What Can I Expect From a Detox?
A 10-day detox is great if you’re looking to “reset” everything internally. A detox will boost your metabolism, flush toxins from your body, and re-energize all of your major systems. After the 10 days are up, you’re likely to notice some weight loss, clearer skin, greater mental clarity, and more energy than you’ve felt in a while.
You don’t need to adhere to a strict juice cleanse to reap the benefits of a detox. In fact, depriving yourself and being overly restrictive is likely to create a rebound effect, leading to binging. A simple diet plan that focuses on wholesome, home-cooked meals is the best way to go. It will encourage you to maintain more healthy eating habits long after the cleanse is done.
So without further ado, let’s hit that reset button by reviewing a few key principles of the detox protocol.
The Naughty List
First up, here’s a list of the things you’ll want to avoid during your 10-day detox. Of course, all of these things can be enjoyed in moderation otherwise, but for these 10 days, we’re cutting them out completely. Be sure to avoid:
- Processed food (hot dogs, wheat meats, doughnuts, twinkies.. you get the idea)
- Refined carbohydrates
- Red meat
- Fried food
- Dairy products
So, What Can We Eat?
During this detox, vegetables (preferably organic) will be your best friends. While almost all vegetables are good for you, some contain a higher concentration of detox-friendly properties. Notable veggies to load up on include artichokes, asparagus, arugula, broccoli, beets, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, collard greens, green beans, kale, spinach, and wheatgrass.
Vegetables should make up around 60% of each meal. Adding these superfoods to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner will nourish your body, help stimulate your liver to drive toxins from the body, improve circulation, and boost your immune system responses. If you’re not too keen on eating this many leaves, you can juice them or throw them into a shake.
Aside from being packed with antioxidants, fruits are great as a snack on-the-go, or for satisfying a sweet tooth. Some of the most beneficial fruits include grapefruits, blueberries, raspberries, lemons, bananas, kiwis, limes, apples, pomegranates.
Around five servings of 80g per day is the recommended daily intake.
Many detoxes exclude meat?and going vegetarian is a great choice for both yourself and the environment?but if you’re okay with eating meat we’re okay with it during this detox. If you’re doing vigorous daily exercise, it’s a good idea to consume lean protein for optimal recovery. Chicken, turkey, and fish are great options to add to your meals (and again, organic is best, whenever possible). We’re avoiding red meat on this detox plan, but lean beef is also a great source of protein in your normal diet. Women need approximately 46 grams of protein per day, while men need approximately 56 grams to meet daily requirements.
Healthy fats are an absolutely essential part of our diet and can be found in nuts, avocado, fatty fish, and certain oils. Good fats will help you feel satiated, kick-start your metabolism, transport vitamins throughout your body, and improve cognition. It’s actually quite difficult to consume a sufficient amount of Omega-3s from diet alone, so a good Omega-3 supplement really goes a long way.
There’s a common misconception that cutting carbohydrates is healthy. While it’s true that pasta and bread are not the most nutrient-dense foods, consuming some carbs is vital to your health, and absolutely essential if you’re very active. Natural oatmeal, sweet potatoes, legumes, and quinoa are great alternatives to rice, bread, and pasta. Adding a small amount of healthy carbohydrates to each meal will help you feel fuller for longer, and you’ll get an energy boost.
Sufficient hydration is absolutely essential for proper physical and mental functions. Most of us fail to drink enough water on a day-to-day basis, opting instead for coffee or soft drinks. Water is one of the best things you can consume during your detox, to flush out all the nasties. Ideally, you should be drinking around 2-4 liters of water per day, depending on your activity level. Your body will thank you endlessly for doing so.
On top of a great diet, the right supplements can really aid in the detoxification process. Some supplements contain a concentrated blend of antioxidants, which have been shown to provide numerous health benefits. Others help us get enough of certain nutrients that are lacking in most diets?like vitamin D, which is important both for internal, cellular processes, as well as for protecting the body against acute diseases. When choosing detox supplements, look for those that contain ingredients harvested from natural ingredients, and avoid those that are synthetic.
What An Average Detox Day Looks Like
An average day spent “living the detox life” may look something like this:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal made with almond milk, blueberries, and bananas, with a side of green juice
- Snack: Apple slices with peanut butter
- Lunch: Grilled chicken or fish with a large serving of leafy greens, some sweet potato, and a green juice
- Snack: Celery or carrots with hummus
- Dinner: Turkey meatballs with leafy greens, as well as fruit for dessert
- Drinks: 2-4 liters of water throughout the day
The first few days of your detox will likely seem the toughest. As such, it’s wise to start your cleanse on a Friday, so you can have the weekend to relax and adjust. If boredom strikes midweek, try integrating different eating patterns, new recipes, supplements, and ingredients you’ve never tried. A natural diet is highly flexible, so there’s no need to be restrictive or deprive yourself of nature’s goodness!
Once you’ve made it through the 10-day period and figured out the best wellness strategy for you, you’ll be awaiting the next cleanse with open arms. Detox proponents recommend that you do a detox diet several times a year, to improve overall health and keep diseases at bay.
Please keep in mind that not all detox plans are appropriate for everyone. Do consult your health provider before radically altering your diet, especially if you have chronic health conditions like diabetes, kidney issues, or liver problems.