When considering a detox program, sometimes intimidating questions will arise. Will there be any eating allowed? Will I only be drinking my calories for the next X amount of days? Is this healthy? According to health and fitness expert, Nikki Sharp, a body can’t properly detox if it can’t properly digest, so she put together a cleanse that you chew, not drink. Her program includes foods that you can enjoy munching on, satisfying the urge to crunch without sacrificing the effective and healthy results of juice-cleanses and fasting programs. But before you jump into Nikki’s real food cleanse or any other cleansing program, here is what you need to know about preparing your body for a detox:
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Consider your daily habits. Do you drink more than one cup of coffee a day? Do you consume dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese? Are you a fast-food or packaged food lover? Do you dine out often, say three times a week? If your response is yes to any of these questions, then it may be smart to follow these next pre-detox steps, rather than jumping into a detox program cold turkey.
For the next five to seven days, (or longer if you think the time would benefit you) focus on this list of bad habits and start eliminating them from your life one by one.
- Cut down your coffee intake.
- Make a conscious effort to pack a healthy lunch and skip the fast food lines.
- Reduce the number of times you eat out in a week.
- Choose a non-dairy snack when possible.
Take your time, and don’t eliminate everything all at once. For example, if you frequently eat out, make it a point to reduce those meals to Friday and Saturday nights (the outings become more special that way). But above all, reduce eating out, so you become more conscientious of your food intake, considering all your other meals will be self-prepared in an environment you control.
Purge from your kitchen and pantry all the unhealthy and tempting foods that can derail you from the cleanse. Get rid of any alcohol, baked goods, candy and other sweets, chips, salty processed snacks, coffee, frozen foods, pre-packaged meals, sodas, ice cream, cheese, and milk. Will it be difficult? Of course! This list may leave you saying, “but what will I eat?” If you want to succeed, set yourself up for the best possible results by clearing away temptations. If you live with roommates or family members who eat these items and are not joining you on your detox adventure, it may help to remove their food from yours for a while, in separate cabinets perhaps, helping to draw a clear line for healthy eating with as little disturbance as possible.
By preparing thoughtfully in this way while leading up to the cleanse, you’re not only readying your mind, but you’re adjusting your body through a process-of-elimination diet change, and also simultaneously, adjusting your taste buds. Cravings for sweets, ice cream, sugary snacks, salty snacks and your urge for the second or third cup of coffee will subside, leading the way to a cleaner palate. Soon you’ll find that natural, delicious foods satisfy your hunger, and those unhealthy cravings will be a distant memory. Your body will actually start asking for healthy foods, making your cleanse substantially more effective. Once your body is used to the food, you’re much less susceptible to cravings and much more likely to not only complete a detox program but to continue eating and adapting to a clean lifestyle for the rest of your life. And that is the ultimate achievement.
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