A Little Detox
Ever just feel like you need to COMPLETELY detox your body? Feeling sluggish? Tired? Lookin' a little puffy from all of the bloat? Maybe gained 5lbs? Or just feel gross? Well that's been me for the past few weeks. I just needed to do something to give my body a full, mid-summer reset.
I've never tried the Whole30 diet, and honestly, I don't like diets. I don't agree with doing them because they're temporary. Healthy eating is about a lifestyle. Most people that go on diets are yo-yo dieters. They commit, lose a couple of pounds, and then quit a month or two later. Then, they start again on another diet in a few months only to repeat the cycle. Also, it teaches your mind to view food with restriction. You look at foods and label them as what you can and cannot have. That's so unhealthy! If you want something, you CAN have it! That brownie is okay! I go by the 80/20 rule: 80% of my diet is healthy and the remaining 20% leaves room to eat a cookie or have a caramel latte with extra caramel and whip cream. Diets are cycles of starting something, failing something, and looking at food with the wrong mindset. Eating should be thought of as a way to fuel your body and give it the things it needs, not how many calories you can't exceed. With that being said, I was extremely hesitant to try Whole30 simply because of its label as a diet.
After being in Peru for 10 days, not eating as well as normal, and not being able to workout at all, I felt awful. I was consistently bloated, my stomach was hurting all the time, and I felt like I gained 10 lbs. Also, we ate something weird the last day we were there and 7 out of 11 of us got extremely sick. I just wanted to come home and do a hard detox to get rid of the bloat and get my stomach back to feeling good. Whole30 is basically all meats, fruits, and veggies with no sweeteners (artifical or real), no dairy, no soy, no legumes, and no grains. What I don't like is that I can't eat grains, which are good carbs and natural sources of energy. This includes rice and oatmeal that are a regular part of my diet. Therefore, there are NO complex carbs on this diet. I completely disagree with that. They're necessary to fuel your body. So why do it if you don't agree with it, you ask? Good question. I refuse to go no-carb, so I'm eating tons of potatoes to make up for the lower carb count. I am only doing this for a few weeks and because I am gluten intolerant, I figured that cutting out grains for a few weeks might allow my stomach to ease itself back to its normal, un-irritated state. Many people do Whole30 as a diet. The actual purpose of it is to rid your body of the toxins and things that can be hard for it to process. If you want to read more about it, you can click here! But I'm not doing it for a diet. I'm doing it to get rid of all of the yucky stuff in my system and make me feel better. Did you know that foods can stay in your system for up to two weeks? If I eat a piece of bread, the gluten that I'm intolerant to can stay in my body and make me sick for a longggg time after I eat it. That's why if you're going to try to detoxify, you have to do so for at least two weeks. SO, I'm doing Whole30 for a couple weeks just long enough to give my body a breather of all of the things that can be hard on it and let the junk I've been eating run its coarse. After it's over, I'll go back to eating like normal.
So what exactly are the benefits of this lil detox? The bad stuff that we eat can actually have a negative effect on your health. Eating poorly can cause inflammation in your joints, bloating, skin rashes, stomach aches, allergies, sleepiness, poor sleep quality, chronic pain, headaches, etc. Often times, we don't even know that the foods we eat every day are harming us in such big ways! I've found myself having several of these symptoms lately and I know they're food related. After these next 3-4 weeks of eating only whole, unprocessed foods that are easy for my body to digest, my symptoms should subside and give my metabolism a little boost in the process.
A detox will normally help eliminate all of the symptoms I listed, but the key word is normally. As you read this, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. All of our bodies are different. The way that MY body responds to foods and detoxification is going to be different than the way that YOUR body responds. None of my words are letter of the law. In no way am I saying that you should do Whole30, because it may not be a good option for you. It most definitely is not sustainable for me because my body needs the complex carbohydrates long term. I'm just doing what makes my body feel better right now, which means cutting out all of the foods that take my body a while to process. Just tryin' new things to see what makes me feel my best!