Eating to Win: Detox Series Part 3/6

Eating to Win: Detox Series Part 3/6

In my last blog I told you the depleting foods to avoid.  Today, we’re talking about the foods you want to eat to prepare your body for detoxification.

You may be wondering what on earth you CAN eat!  This is the third step of preparing for detoxification.

Grab yourself your last cup of coffee (for a while), and head to the produce department of your local grocery store.  Better yet, find a local farmer who’s offering a CSA, community supported agriculture.  The farmer will grow your food for a fee, and you get to pick up farm fresh produce, locally grown, in season and organic.  Food doesn’t get any better than that!  Be sure to ask the farmer if the food is organic or bio-dynamically grown.

Bio-dynamic farmers use companion planting and beneficial bugs to control weeds and pests.  They’re taking care of the land being sure to put nutrients back into the soil so the harvest is even more nutrient dense than conventionally grown foods.

When you pick up your weekly share of vegetables, you’ll have a nice assortment of seasonal vegetables.  We make a joke at my house that each week it’s like playing “Iron Chef,” the competitive cooking challenge.  You don’t know what’s in your bag until you get home, then you get to try to figure out how to cook it.  It may sound daunting, but we tried things we never would have picked up at the grocery store and loved them!

Basically, you want to eat foods as close to nature as possible.  Each step of processing reduces the nutrients your body needs to clear the toxins you’re exposed to.  Plant foods provide a variety of vitamins and phytonutrients to nourish your body.  Eating a combination of both raw and lightly cooked vegetables ensures you’re getting a nice variety of micro nutrients from your diet.

A word of caution, if you can’t digest raw vegetables, please work with a professional.  Now may not be the best time for a detoxification.  Digestion must be working well before undertaking a detoxification program.  A great way to get extra nutrients is by juicing or making smoothies with vegetables.  Be sure you have more vegetables than fruit to keep your body alkaline.

But, hey, don’t stop with just eating plants!

You can eat animal protein, too.  In fact, much of our detoxification depends on having a good protein status. You can get protein from vegetables, but when you’re detoxifying, you need to be sure you have enough for your body to conjugate the toxins.  So, either eat animal protein three times a day or drink whey or egg white protein shakes.

The fourth step in preparation for detoxification is hydration.  Drink, drink, drink!  I like water with a squeeze of lemon in it.

You can also make your own electrolyte beverage.  This step is very important.  Don’t skip it.  You can also enjoy a couple of cups of green tea, but not more than three cups per day.  Green tea has a compound in it called EGCG.  People know of it because it supports weig ht loss.  And, of course, we tend to think if a little is good, a lot must be better.  Not so with green tea.  The active compound can actually down regulate several enzymes throughout your body.  So, don’t overdo the green tea.  Have fun with the homemade electrolyte drink.

The fifth and final step for preparation is pooping.  If you aren’t pooping at least twice a day, you haven’t earned the right to detoxify.  If you’ve followed all these steps and things still aren’t moving quickly enough, call me for a problem solving session.  Our body moves a lot of toxins out through the bowels.  The last thing you want to do is have toxins sitting in your colon and getting reabsorbed because your transit time is too slow.

Follow these steps for preparation for a couple of weeks to give your body a chance to store up nutrients for the big job ahead.

In my next blog, I’ll be talking about the phases and pathways of detoxification and the specific nutrients each needs.