Eat Happy Cleanse:: Week 1

Relax and reset week one

I am about to launch my Power Up Reset “Real food detox” shortly for clients who want some specific guidance on how to eat real food that will nourish the body and help the body learn to detox on its own again. I decided I wanted to gift both my clients and readers some incredibly valuable lifestyle adjustments in the form of 8 weeks of challenges focusing on confronting the relationship we have with food and eating.

In these next 8 weeks we will be excavating the caverns of the attitudes we have surrounding the types of food we eat, the labels we assign to those foods, the choices we make and lifestyles we lead that affect our entire way of eating, our digestion, our moods and, inevitably, our health.

Lifestyle and attitude changes towards how we nurture our bodies, and, indeed, our souls can decrease stress, increase metabolism, and balance the body with surprisingly little effort.

Week 1

These days the world in which we live seems to be speeding up at alarming rates. In order to feel like we participate (and, in most cases, compete) we tend to stay “plugged in” at all times.  Email, Blackberry, iPhones, 24/7 news, Facebook, Twitter, you name it, in order to stay in touch we tend to to “check out” of the real world and that means eating in a hurry in front of the TV or computer without so much as a nod to the quality or quantity of what we are eating.

In our quest to be successful,  we rush around, eating in our cars or on the run, at our desks fitting food into our schedules as a necessary evil instead of a chance to deeply nourish ourselves.  Because Americans view success as constant activity, having to slow down to eat is often viewed as a secondary need.  We reach for easily eaten fast food, chips, candy, and soda rather than healthy food because “junk food” tends to be easily accessible but designed to be eaten on the run.

Because the brain is responsible for 30-40% of digestion and digestion begins in the mind, gravitating towards the mouth and esophagus, when we are not mindful of what we eat or how we are eating our digestion is impaired.

Even if we eat a healthy diet full of fresh organic foods, eating in an anxious or mindless state means digestion is impaired straight out of the gate.  The mind doesn’t get to tell the mouth to release salivary enzymes that begin the breakdown of carbohydrates, fat and protein which reduces stomach acid and blood flow to the small intestines.  This means that the body can’t assimilate the vitamins and minerals it needs.  It also can damage the gut lining leading to intestinal permeability (leaky gut).  It also leads to a stress response releasing adrenaline and cortisol causing inflammation and a decreased ability to handle blood sugar and even cause the detoxification process in the liver to be diminished.

When the body is stressed it activates the sympathetic nervous system which is great when you need to run away from a hungry lion, fight a bear or deal with a stressful job.  When the sympathetic nervous system is activated its sole function is to keep you alive.  Healthy digestion, fat burning and sugar handling, detoxification, and even reproduction is secondary to survival.

When the body is in a state of relaxation, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated which means digestion and assimilation of nourishment is at its full digestive force.

Your challenge in week 1 is to gift yourself the time it takes to nourish your body. Instead of looking at eating as something that takes time out of your schedule, this week, treat eating as being important enough to carve out time in your schedule. (This week is NOT about focusing on WHAT you eat.  Eat the way you normally eat just eat it in a more relaxed way!)

If you never eat breakfast, get up 10 minutes earlier and toss together a smoothie or fry a few pastured eggs in butter with some freshly squeezed strained orange juice.  If you normally eat breakfast, increase your time by 10 minutes and really savor your breakfast.

Take at least half an hour for lunch and step away from your desk while you eat.  If you have the luxury, try to increase lunch time to an hour, maybe even enjoying some “outside” time during that hour.

Eat while sitting down.  Don’t eat over the counter or worse, the sink.  Unplug while eating.  Turn off the TV and put on some soothing music, step away from the computer, put your phone on silent.  Disengage for the time it takes to eat a meal.

Do your attitudes towards food or eating affect your digestion?  How so?  How will you incorporate this week’s challenge into your schedule?

 

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Comments

  1. Mina says

    AAh,what a topic.Its all about ME!while i was reading the article scenes of my eating used to come to my mind and it brought tear .I am the one who sits infront of TV and eats and most of the time ive cought myself i dont understand what im eating im just filling my mouth and munch or I eat when away from technology but im absent in my thousands of thoughts and see all of a sudden my plate is empty ..at times ive asked myself how did I get here? its been a time im catching myself an d really wanna do what it takes to eat mindfuly and first heal what should be healed emotionaly ..thankyou for this 8 weeks i think its all i was praying for and helps me alot in my journey.the best things are the food ideas u share!thank you again.

  2. jane says

    Great advice. I shall follow it. Did not know brain was soooo important! I have been following a detox based on your recommendations for 2 weeks and starting to feel results. I will be in touch more directly soon on Jan 16 but have one question: is it possible to go into detox from bone broth? I am getting a rash and slight swelling after 3 cups a day plus spoon of marrow.
    Jane.

    • thedetoxdiva says

      If you are healing your gut you could be experiencing detox symptoms however, make sure, please, that your bones are from pastured grass fed animals. If they are not, you could be reacting to the “rubbish” they feed feedlot cattle.

  3. nell says

    Hi detox diva,
    I have a Pilonidal Cyst for some years ,it infected so badly and was bleeding 1 year ago but now its just the pump and as far as ive heared and seen about its operation and the state after that I CAN NOT EVEN IMAGINE GOING THROUGH THAT!i wanna ask you if there is anything i can do or use to remove it naturaly ?plz help

    • thedetoxdiva says

      To my knowledge, surgery is the best option but it is a relatively simple surgery that requires only local anesthesia.

  4. steph says

    hi detox diva, my daughter has hashimoto’s and has been gluten free for a few weeks, but just discovered her thyroid tablets contain gluten so very soon she will start the pig thyroid tablets and begin the healing process. I just have a couple of questions. 1) raw milk isn’t available where we live, and nuts and seeds are off limits for now so is that nut milk too?
    2) i read that if you have hashimoto’s you should avoid mercury and that all fish contains mercury so need some advice here please.
    3) is sourdough rye bread including seeds, where everything is fermented for 24 hrs ok as the gluten is changed into amino acids?
    thankyou, steph

    • thedetoxdiva says

      Nut milk is essentially PUFA milk and dangerous for thyroid dysfunction anyway. Coconut milk is your option and it is a delicious one. Hashmito’s should avoid heavy mercury fish but line caught wild non-oily white fish is generally ok once or twice a week.
      Sourdough RYE bread (provided it is ONLY rye and not wheat) is fine but I would avoid the seeds because thyroid dysfunction is generally exacerbated by Polyunsaturated fats. Sourdough bread will be fermented for much longer than 24 hours, I assure you, and it isn’t the fermentation actually that makes it desirable, more than the process making the grain much more digestible and have relatively low antinutrient levels.

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