"Food: Science, Art, Passion, Pleasure, Adventure & Exploration"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Detox Journey - Clean Eating

Today is my first day of detox eating or clean eating. I've been stewing over doing this for quite a while and finally took the plunge.

Why did I decide to put myself on a detox eating plan?

Well, I've been enjoying so many decadent and rich foods, lately, and I'd like to flush my body out by eating holistically. I'd simply like to become healthier inside and out.. I've been doing some research for the last several weeks to make sure that I know what I'm doing and what I'd like to do, specifically.

Although "diet" would be an appropriate word to use here, I hate using it because society has bastardized and corrupted the word. When most people think of the word "diet," they immediately start to think about weight-loss obsession, competitive social vanity, keeping up with the Joneses, constantly weighing on scales, starving oneself, madly counting calories, and the like - basically a series and complex of unhealthy and counter-intuitive behavior.

That's not what I want to do embark upon or nurture, at all. I simply need to restart my system and get back into a healthy way of eating with regular activity, so I can establish balance. Desserts and my usual fare of savory treats and delights certainly will not be permanently abandoned, but for the time being I am putting those indulges on hold.
Inside Info: I have a backlog of dessert recipes (as well as savory) I'll be posting, however. So look for those.

Now about a detox diet; when people think of detox, they normally associate that word with alcohol and drug addiction recovery, but detox can also refer to the way one approaches their diet in hopes of maximizing their health and well-being. A detox diet (or eating plan) cleanses and revitalizes the body...and mind.

There are all sorts of detox eating plans out there (Master Cleanse, raw food, Clean Diet, Diuretic Diet, Eat Stop Eat, Quantum Wellness and the list goes on), but I wanted to construct my own. I also didn't want to do anything gimmicky. I wanted it to be something I could follow organically through knowledge-seeking and a drive to simply take care of myself.

My detox eating plan looks pretty vegan, for the most part.

 My rules are as follows:
  1. No dairy (eggs, butter, milk, cream, and the like)
  2. No meat
  3. No caffeine and alcohol (although red wine-based vinaigrette salad dressings are allowed)
  4. No refined sugars, no added sugars or refined foods
  5. No wheat/gluten
  6. No preservatives (if I can help it)
  • Lots of organic fruits and vegetables prepared in a number of creative and tasty ways (pressed juices, salads, hearty soups, stir-frys, steamed dishes, raw, and so on)
  • Organic legumes cooked in different ways (beans of various kinds, lentils, peas, etc.)
  • Whole grain rices (black, brown, etc.)
  • Nut and drupe milks (coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, etc.)
  • Lots of water (as usual) and naturally decaffeinated herbal teas 
  • Frequent meals and snacking (3-4 a day)
  • Healthy and safe supplements ("Green" blends and cleansing, antioxidants nutrients)
  • Organic nuts and seeds (unsalted, but can be toasted beforehand or through my own effort)
I will also plan each day's eating in advance, not anally, but loosely. With this way of eating, I have to plan so that getting in 3-4 meals a day is easier and convenient.

This first week I'll spend concentrating on establishing this rhythm and the second week is when I bring back regular physical activity. I don't plan to do really hardcore or excessively strenuous exercise at this stage, but I do plan to get adequate sessions of physical activity in (at least 30-40 minutes). Again, I am trying to be as organic as I can. But I aim to get in 3-4 days of good physical activity a week (or more if I simply and organically feel up to it).

I have also banished scale-weighing and measurement-taking. I find these activities make me neurotic, and in this society, we've come to define ourselves by numbers far too much (age, weight, income, etc.). We've abandoned intuition and instinct. This is why the scale can decide what kind of day we'll be having as soon as we step onto it. That should never be the case. It's just a number (save for situations where people with serious or debilitating illnesses, that cause weight loss, need to have their weight monitored).

What we should pay attention to is how we feel and how we look with the aid of our own eyes and natural assessment.

I spent about two and a half hours at Whole Foods Market, today. Maybe more time than that as I kind of lost track but realized it was night once I stepped outside with my grocery bags. LOL Yes, that was a long while to stay in there, not only did I need to look around and carefully select, but I've always loved their stores and it's a pleasure to look around and figure out what I'll place in my shopping cart. It was even more intriguing to shop with this eating plan in mind. I made sure that nearly all of my items were organic and I had to become even more acquainted with label-reading than I usually am. Whole Foods' produce inventory is at least 65% organic and I think nearly everything else is at least locally grown and cultivated. I find that impressive.

I also find it strange and illogical...

Produce (and other items) should be organic by default. It shouldn't be this special category that we seek out. In fact, I'll even say that organic production should be mandatory law.

Anyway, as a result of shopping heavily organic, I spent quite the penny in there.

I also picked up some great supplements. I purchased:

ChlorOxygen Chlorophyll Concentrate

Vibrant Health: Green Vibrance

No placebo here, that's for sure. I felt a surge of energy not long after I took these supplements with plain water and/or with coconut water. It was that kind of energy surge that you get once a workout starts or the energetic sensation you might feel right after vigorous exercise. You sweat a bit more, feel slightly more hyper and refreshed, your pores feel more open, and you have a desire to move. I felt that about 15-20 minutes after taking both of these. So, although this is the first day, I do recommend trying these out and seeing for yourself. I made some pretty good choices, here.

I will share some recipes with you guys as I journey through this detox path. It is temporary, but I'm off to a very productive and exciting start and felt like my food blog was a great place to share my experiences since it's still all about the exploration of food!

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