Health: Try a “30-day Reset” to detox and lose weight
INTEGRATE YOUR HEALTH
Each day we come into contact with environmental pollutants, chemicals, preservatives and heavy metals that can lead to disease, affect our metabolism, immune, hormone and neurological systems. These toxins are stored in tissues throughout the body and while we are equipped with detoxification systems they are constantly overloaded and bogged down. The “30-day Reset” is designed to detox the body and reset your system to run more efficiently.
The benefits of detoxing at least once a year are numerous, including weight loss, improving immune function, slowing premature aging, increasing energy and mental clarity, restoring balance to the body’s systems and lowering risk of chronic disease.
A cleansing diet doesn’t have to be about fasting and starving the body. It’s more important what we eat than how much. Certain foods are loved by different organ systems. This cleanse will feed those organs what they’ve been craving so that they can “whistle while they work.” By simply eating health promoting foods and avoiding health detractors you will decrease inflammation and change habits and cravings that have held you back from being the healthiest you.
Let’s get started
For 30 days, follow these simple dietary guidelines. You don’t need to weigh or measure your body, count calories or measure food. All I ask is that you give this diet your best effort with no “cheat days,” or stress-induced slip-ups. If you are fully committed, by the end of the month, you’ll be thanking me, and your body will be thanking you.
Eat three meals a day at roughly the same time. A consistent eating rhythm helps to regulate your metabolism. Relax at mealtime. This means eat at a table with no distractions, chew slowly and notice the food as you eat. Take 5-10 deep breaths before your meal to pull your body out of the sympathetic stress response. This will increase blood flow, oxygen and enzyme output to the digestive organs, while decreasing the fat storage hormones, insulin and cortisol.
Base your meals around 1-2 palm-sized servings of protein and fill the rest of the plate with vegetables. Occasionally add a serving of fruit. These are the foods that should get the most plate real estate. Make each meal large enough to satisfy you until the next. Avoid snacking between meals. Have dinner four hours before bedtime.
If I could change ONE thing about my patients’ diets, I would put everyone on the best quality food. That means organic, seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables. Look for “organic, pastured, grass fed, wild caught or sustainably grown” for lean meats, seafood, and eggs.
Fats get a bad wrap. That old mantra, “fat makes you fat,” just isn’t true. There are fats that will more readily raise cholesterol and clog arteries and there are fats that contribute to healthy cell and brain function. Get healthy fats from nuts and seeds, and oils such as coconut and olive.
As budget is an issue for most of us, consider that some foods are far more drenched in toxins than others. Pay more for organic with the foods known to contain the most toxins and the foods you eat the most. Each year Environmental Working Group publishes a list of “the dirty dozen” foods that are best as organic. There is also a “clean fifteen” list of foods where organic is not as critical.
Choose foods with few or no ingredients because they are natural and unprocessed. What are the ingredients in broccoli? Broccoli.
The Reset Diet eliminates:
Sugars: table sugar, maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut sugar
Grains: wheat, barley, rye, rice, corn, and even gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa, teff, and kaniwa
Legumes: beans of all kinds, including soy
Dairy: cow, goat, sheep
Carrageenan, MSG or Sulfites
Exceptions to this rule include clarified butter, or ghee, certain legumes such as green beans, sugar snap and snow peas, vinegar, and fruit juice as a sweetener.
Extra steps to detox
I recommend doing some form of exercise daily, especially during a detox. It doesn’t need to be punishing to be effective. In fact, it’s best for the body if you choose something you enjoy because it doesn’t add extra stress to your day. Movement is what gets the blood flowing and drives the lymphatic system to drain, which means eliminating toxins from the tissues. Sweating is one of our most potent means for detoxing. If you never exercise just try taking a 30-minute walk each day.
There are numerous supplements that can help “turbocharge” a detox. In general I suggest things that facilitate mobilizing and eliminating toxins. This means supporting gut and liver health as well as providing nutrients for fat metabolism, energy production, and toxin binding.
Look for something with significant quantities of detoxifying herbs, bentonite powder, fiber, vitamin C and probiotics for intestinal cleansing and overall gut health. As the body’s main detoxification organ, the liver is responsible for removing all potentially detrimental molecules from the bloodstream such as alcohol, drugs, toxins and air pollutants. Choline, betaine and methionine are involved in methyl group metabolism, which is essential for normal liver function. Dandelion, artichoke, curcumin, wasabia japonica and milk thistle all support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
The 30-day Reset is a great way to improve your health, feel better, and help with weight loss. It also smashes cravings for sugar and high-glycemic carbs while helping establish good eating and nutrition habits. Give it a try as it may turn out to be your 30-day journey toward great health.
Free Press health columnist Scott Rollins, M.D., is board certified with the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. He specializes in bioidentical hormone replacement, thyroid and adrenal disorders, fibromyalgia and other complex medical conditions. He is founder and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado (www.imcwc.com) and Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezzalaser.com). Call 970-245-6911 for appointments or more information.
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