I opted not to fast for the first two days. My wife and my office manager Tracy have made it very clear that I am not allowed to fast. When you eat every few hours as I do, I guess I get a little ornery when I have to skip a meal or two or three. I did however, as the program recommends, reduce my typical calorie amount during the week which allows the digestive system much needed rest and allows more energy to be devoted to the detox process. This includes resting the pancreas, liver, gall bladder, and intestines, all of which play important roles in our digestive systems and in our health.
The other important aspect of this program is avoiding foods which can cause inflammation in the intestines such as gluten, dairy and corn. Many people suffer from mild food allergies to these foods in the form of bloating after eating, gas, heart burn and cramping. Although I did not have to alter my diet much during the week, coming off of dairy and gluten proved to be more difficult than I expected. It is simply not easy to avoid gluten as it is in almost everything that we eat. I also learned that I eat a lot more dairy than I realized.
The other difficult part for me was detoxing from caffeine. I experienced a mild headache most of the week which is probably mostly from avoiding that strong cup of fresh ground coffee every morning. I did drink green tea during the week which probably helped me to avoid full blown DTs. I also really wanted to open that ice cold Newcastle that was calling my name on day 4 when I opened the fridge in the garage but I resisted and held off until day 6.
As advertised in the detox manual, my bowels did move more frequently when I started the phase II supplements on day 3, and I experienced a burning sensation in my stomach and some flushing on days 3 though 5. I could tell something was at work in my gut but these symptoms were mild and the burning was more along the lines of what you feel after eating something with jalapeno peppers in it rather than pain. I felt like I had more energy during the week which occurs for a couple reasons. The main one being that digestion of the food we eat is a large part of our daily energy expenditure so eating less equals more energy for other functions. The other is that when you are eating a lower carb diet, your insulin levels and therefore blood sugar leaves stay more stable which usually clears the mind and energizes the body. I did feel weak when trying to work out out during the week. The instructions recommended exercising less than you normally do but I tried to maintain my normal routine which was difficult when trying to follow a lower calorie diet.
Aside from the actual detox itself, I think the main benefit will be for most people will be that the program gives you structure, if only for a week, to completely remove the junk from your diet and focus on eating only pure, organic foods. In other words, how we were meant to eat. I really noticed the number of times during the day that I have the opportunity to put junk into my body and the strict diet made me realize how much of a conscious effort it was to resist eating mindlessly. Although I have not stayed as strict since ending the week, yes I succumbed to the calling from the garage and have resumed my morning coffee ritual, I find myself thinking more before I grab that snack that I would not have thought twice about a few weeks ago. I do find myself more sensitive to caffeine so I tend to drink less now and I managed to lose a few pounds during the week, mostly around my midsection. I don’t typically feel bloated but since completing the program, I feel like I am less bloated if that makes sense. My gut just feels less inflamed and I feel thinner although I did not have dramatic weight loss. I think the feeling you get from eating a pure diet for a week is something that will motivate most of us to make better choices going forward.
It is very easy to go through life without putting much thought into what we are putting into our bodies, eating what is convenient rather than what is healthy, always eating for taste rather than eating for what we need to fuel health and wellness. It is also easy to tell ourselves, one day I will make healthy changes to my diet, just not this week because there is that big football game, or party, or work project. There is never going to be a convenient time to change bad habits. Change comes mostly because we simply make a decision to do so. I encourage you to think about taking one week of your life and focus on your health. We are here to help you with that process when you are ready.
Until next time, Stay Healthy and Live Well… Dr. Mike