I just completed a four-week Detox Program with AADP Certified Health Coach and friend, Linda Coveney. I participated in a group with six other women, all whom had different motivations for doing this. My motivation was two-fold: 1) to better understand the value that Linda Coveney can bring to my clients so that I can refer her to people who are seeking improved health, energy and vitality; and 2) to reduce my morning headaches and sluggishness, and return to a state of positive anticipation and energy as I start each day.
My husband joined me in this adventure in food, as we came to call it. His partnership made it much easier and a lot more fun to stick to the program. We laughed a great deal during these three weeks of food modification and increased mindfulness. We also got closer and more aligned with our life values and goals for health and wellness.
- Read a related article inspired by Linda Coveney on the Food Mood Connection – http://networkingahead.com/networking-how-to-feed-a-better-mood/
What did I learn from this detox program?
For starters, I learned that this detox experience was not just about food; it was about my life and how I wanted to live it. As one of the other women in program so eloquently put it, “It’s not just what you are eating, but how you navigate your day.”
I also was reminded that I have choices. And so do you. We don’t have to comply mindlessly to what is advertised, branded and heavily promoted as “good for you.” We can stand up to our bad habits and addictions and make the changes necessary to free ourselves from our dietary addictions.
Net net: I learned to listen to what my body needed, not what my brain wanted, nor what outside influences were selling me.
How did it work exactly?
Linda’s 3-week detox program was conducted virtually, including group conference calls where we could share our most recent experiences and obtain new information and ideas from her. She added a private Facebook page for community support. She provided us great documents, including great recipes, substitutions, and ideas on how to make these three weeks of detox more enjoyable and manageable. Most importantly, Linda met each of us where we were. There was no pressure to be overly restrictive or “religious” about it.
In the first week we began to eliminate certain foods (e.g., processed sugar, dairy, coffee, alcohol, gluten based foods). In the second week, we added back foods that would support our livers (e.g., beets, cauliflower, cilantro, garlic, etc.). These first weeks helped to prepare our bodies for the 3-day cleanse, in which we ate a more prescribed meal plan designed to eliminate toxins from our bodies. Preparation included self-care activities to ensure that we were gentle to ourselves. When this was done (and I was counting the hours), we returned to the diet of the first week, which felt like a giant prize.
This detox program was not what I imagined (i.e., the stories of fasting on only water and clear broth). We actually ate quite well. There was great diversity in our meals and I felt satisfied most of time. I did feel an occasional hunger pain, which I was grateful for. It made me more aware of the mind-body-spirit connection, not just the mind-stomach connection. The food we purchased and ate was more expensive (organics mostly), but we saved a lot of money by not eating out, and by not buying junk food and packaged foods.
What were my results?
It was not my goal to lose weight on this 3 week program. And I didn’t. But I was surprised by the multitude of benefits that I experienced from this program, including:
- increased clarity of thinking
- increased productivity at work
- elimination of morning headaches
- greater happiness and improved attitude during the day
- more awareness of food and genuine interest in food preparation
- more creativity and color at meal times
- closer connection to myself, my body, and my husband
- lightness of being
- less constipation (okay – let’s talk turkey!)
- less puffiness in my face and body
- more energy
- more mindfulness and personal sense of peace
- de-cluttered pantry – as we throw out all the garbage disguised as packaged convenience foods
- I kicked my caffeine addiction!!!!!!
I’d like to hold on to some or all of these benefits in my life. That means, that some of my Detox program changes have to become habits. They have to be integrated into my regular lifestyle. So what I am ready to let go of? Are you ready…
That’s right, I’m giving up my morning ritual of a cup of coffee (well, actually it was more like 4 cups a day or more). I am swapping it out for herbal tea, hot water and lemon, and an herbal coffee called Teeccino. Dr. Oz endorses Teeccino as a great solution to kick the caffeinated coffee habit. Watch Dr. Oz’s TV show. It is filled with alternatives to help you curb your bad food habits.
p.s. Linda Coveney’s next virtual detox program is starting in mid February and for anyone who is interested to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Put these ideas into Action
Be more mindful about what you are eating and drinking this week. Track what you eat and drink in a daily food journal. Include comments about your physical and emotional feelings at different times of the day and evening. Record how well you sleep or don’t sleep.
Select a few items that you know are not good for you (e.g., soda pop, candy, alcohol, salty or sugary snacks, etc.) and eliminate them for one week. in fact, throw them out; remove them from your kitchen and replace them with healthier alternatives. Have these alternatives on hand so that it is convenient to switch them out. Make this conscience choice, just for a short time. Experiment a little.
Consider also the emotions or emotional behaviors that are not good for you (e.g., anger, jealousy, bitterness, regret, betrayal, shame, guilt, etc.). Do what you can to release these emotional toxins from your mind, body, and spirit. Ask yourself if there is someone you need to forgive. Then do it. Forgive and let go of your lingering emotional toxins.
Be aware of and record any changes that you experience in your body, mind, and spirit. Record them in your daily journal. See if you can connect the dots between what you consume and how you feel; what you think and how you feel; what you feel and how well you are. These are all connected on a cellular level. Sustained wellness is only possible when you can bring them into alignment in daily practice. I invite you to make it a priority in your life.