Speaking of abstaining… I have decided to start the BIG HEAL 21-day detox program this week (with a group organized by Bianca - find her on Instagram here)! Going through a “detox” may sound intimidating, but it is an opportunity to give the body a break from toxic/contaminating foods so that it can reset and run more effectively. Once it does, you start noticing positive changes in the body, like feeling more energized, focused, sleeping better, your skin clears up, inflammation goes down... en fin, you feel amazing. The main rules of this program are: only eat 1 solid meal and 2 liquid meals (soup or smoothie) a day, avoid certain foods, and drink lots of water. It also requires a 12-hour fast between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the following day. This frees up your body's energy budget from having to focus on digestion to instead focus on eliminating toxins from your body, which have accumulated over time.
A few sacrifices that this detox involves on a personal level: (1) no coffee, (2) no gluten, and (3) no snacking in between meals. This detox also calls for no sugar and no dairy products, which are things that I try to avoid most of the time but don’t have much discipline around (read: I still give in to Oreo or pizza cravings).
I decided to start this program because I’m interested in being more aware of my eating habits. I cherish my morning coffee routine (and I’m so dependent on it that I feel tired in the afternoons without it) and I love bread, but I realized that I need to pause and really think about what I'm choosing to eat on a daily basis. Am I eating to nourish my body, or out of habit/anxiety/stress?
In addition, although this program doesn't require it, I am taking this opportunity to follow a strictly vegan diet. Since I stopped eating meat in 2018 I’ve gone through different phases – vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian. I want to form a more consistent set of habits to avoid foods that don’t make me feel at my best. I’ve noticed eating animal products lowers my energy levels, and more disturbingly it supports the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals.
I am determined to be more disciplined around the foods I consume (including reading labels carefully when shopping and planning my meals ahead of time) and I am excited for this journey on the BIG HEAL detox program! More importantly, I don't have to go through it alone! Bianca connects like-minded people participating in the program, which can provide extra support. Some of us already gave up coffee and experienced headache and lethargy... but I know it will get better when the body starts to respond to the detox!
Stay tuned for more updates... And feel free to share your detox experiences in the comments!