I used to be really into detoxes.
I’ve done it all: juice cleanses, spurts of raw veganism and vegetarianism, colonics, infrared saunas...
There were benefits and downfalls for every attempt to detoxify my body.
The benefits were often improved digestion, skin and sleep.
Meanwhile I’m well aware that the body detoxes itself naturally and if you put yourself on any kind of restricted diet you are bound to rebel (I ended most detoxes with plenty of Champagne.)
These days I prefer to follow flexible dieting and keep an eye on my digestion. Occasionally I overdo protein supplements or drink one too many glasses of wine with friends. But for the most part I’ve found a balanced sweet spot in my life where I enjoy everything in moderation.
Unfortunately my body is struggling right now.
Ever since being prescribed prednisone in Hawaii my immune system has suffered. I had a violent cold and flu for two weeks which is still dwindling and recently had to go on antibiotics for a really severe ear infection (likely a result of my persistent cough and nose blowing.)
I am missing my usual energy, challenging workouts and overall health. Hell, I just miss having all of my senses. I’m basically deaf in one ear right now.
I’ve had to put my winter bulking on hold (I have been increasing my calories above maintenance and increasing the intensity and weights on my workout) while I heal.
Since I literally can’t afford to keep getting sick (American healthcare is mucho dinero) I need to do everything I can to care for my gut and my immune system.
So I’m digging into my old love of holistic health for answers.
I've just ordered his other book, Clean Gut, online, but was able to find some guidelines in the meantime online.
GUT DIET FROM CLEAN GUT by Dr.Alejandro Junger
Foods to include and exclude during your program
The Gut Diet is the foundation of Clean Gut. It’s a set dietary list designed to avoid the major foods that cause digestive problems and gut dysfunction. Some foods, like beans and certain fruits, have been excluded from the Gut Diet because they are difficult to digest or high in sugar, even though they are often a staple of a healthy diet.
greens and fresh vegetables fresh and frozen berries
organic or pasture-raised eggs lentils, quinoa*
fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut) nuts, seeds, and nut butters** coconut oil, olive oil
*Go easy on these, only a side serving a day.
caffeine (coffee, soda, black tea) beans, rice
almost all fruits aside from berries
**Go easy on nuts, only a handful a day.
I’ve used this as a guideline to create my own plan with some of my favorite supplements. My days will look a little something like this for the remainder of February:
Lemon water and probiotic
Light stretching and yoga
Protein shake using two scoops of an easy to digest non-dairy protein (I will be using Spirutein or Thorne Mediclear) with unsweetened nut milk, greens, berries, a fibre blend and avocado or nut butter.
Supplements: Digestive enzyme, possible addition of spirulina and maca for energy and hormones.
*Light strength training some days*
Salad, soup or stir fry full of nutrients, healthy fats and protein including dark leafy greens (cooked or raw), healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil, and a good portion of a quality protein like fish, chicken, or turkey.
Supplements: Digestive enzyme
Leftover vegetables/quality protein only if needed.
An entree-sized salad or stir fry with healthy fats and quality protein that is largely vegetable-focused (still make sure to include healthy fats and proteins).
After dinner take a ten minute walk. A short walk helps aid digestion and bowel movements, reduces stress, and allows reflection on the day.
Supplements: Digestive enzyme
Twelve-Hour Window: After your evening meal, leave a twelve-hour window before your morning shake. Do your best not to eat anything 2 hours before bed.
Macros: I will loosely track my intake and macros during this time to make sure I am getting enough protein to maintain muscle, as well as a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and fat.
Aim to add: Fermented foods, oregano oil, liver detox supplement
Aim to do: Sauna, yoga
Drink: Lots of water, green tea, matcha, kombucha
Workouts: Light weight sessions, walking and yoga
Sleep: A minimum of 8 hours a night. Nap when needed if possible
Flexibility: Being overly restricted never works for me, so I will permit flexibility for social occasions - a glass of wine, cup of coffee or a home cooked meal.
Afterwards: In March I will slowly re-introduce everything I cut out and see how it affects me, still aiming to keep alcohol to a minimum and sticking more to whole foods. Then I will make a point to gain muscle and strength again while increasing calories and macros as needed.
I will update you on how everything goes and share any exciting progress or recipes. If you are looking for a little restore this month you are welcome to join me!
With love and whole body health,