My whirlwind week full of relative’s visits, a court case, a day trip to rural Virginia, and a trip to the airport is over. My detox isn’t.
I started a week long detox last Tuesday. Then came an onrush of nausea and cramps—which I believe were unrelated to the detox. I didn’t want to put off my plans, but I had to take those painkillers and eat those saltines if I wanted to get on with my life.
So the detox was put on hold. I still drank vegetable/fruit juice and smoothies for several meals and mostly avoided sugar.
Even my diet-doubting boyfriend admitted that my skin looked years younger. Conversely, when I cheated a couple cookies, the skin on my hands cracked almost instantly.
Life is back to normal now that my mother’s visit is over, and on day two of drinking only fresh vegetable and fruit juices. I haven’t experienced any of detoxing’s dreaded side-effects—bad breath, nausea—but do feel a little bit more tired than usual.
No cheating has occurred on my second try, but at the end of Day 1 I was ready to justify rice and beans, or even a salad. But, I knew I was one-third of the way through the juicing stage of my seven-day detox goal, and focused on taste instead. I made a mango, orange and kale juice that satisfied my sweet tooth enough to help me forget about my need to chew on something.
I hope to feel lighter, have glowing skin and the desire to go 100 percent raw by the end of the detox. But if those things don’t occur immediately, I do have a plan to keep me moving in the right direction.
I just finished reading “The Raw Food Detox Diet” by nutritionist Natalia Rose, which outlines a plan that really clicked with how I want to proceed. I’m sure I’ll keep reading other books about the raw food lifestyle and incorporate the parts that work for me, but her plan is going to be my primary guide after my detox ends.
Rose breaks the shift to a raw food diet into five stages. I took the test and scored into Level three, which Rose describes thusly:
“There’s a range of typical Level threes just coming into this lifestyle, but they all attempt to follow a healthful (and usually weight-loss specific) diet…They may have started and stopped innumerable trend diets in attempts to get or stay at their desired weight. Many Level threes are busy business-people or multitasking moms who try to make good choices but wind up giving in to convenience and temptation. Level threes are usually under 40 years old and do not have any major health issues.”
I think it’ll be easier to keep working towards my goal of a 75 percent raw/100 percent vegan lifestyle if I have a set plan with set meals. The diet is strict, but still allows me to eat chocolate and a few cooked foods such as sweet potatoes and whole-wheat pasta—which I think will help me stick to it longer.
A typical day in level three consists of a “Green lemonade” (see below), then fruit for breakfast; a raw vegetable salad, a raw desert or nuts and dried fruit for lunch; a snack of a green lemonade, baby carrots, or any other raw vegetables; a dinner with a vegetable salad, a starch or flesh/protein food; and another healthy snack.
After my body adjusts, I’ll try to move up to the next level, and then to Level one—which is close to 100 percent raw. But for now, it’s a relief to know how I’m going to get there.
From “Raw Food Detox” by Natalia Rose
Makes 1 serving
1 head romaine lettuce or celery
5 to 6 stalks kale (any type)
1 to 2 apples (as needed for sweetness; Rose recommends Fuji)
1 whole organic lemon (you don’t have to peel it)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (optional)
Process the vegetables through the juicer by admitting one vegetable at a time through the mouth of the juicer.