Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mi Detox

My previous post introduced SIP Organic Juice Bar and my desire to experience a three-day detoxification.

I asked the owner, Jennifer Pohlman, how much of my detox would be Michigan food. She said that the overall store average is about 25% Michigan produce, depending on the season.  My detox was estimated as 40 – 50% Michigan based food. There were several types of greens, tomatoes, basil, parsley, cucumbers, and apples. She enjoys supporting local food producers and mentioned that it does take more work than it does with a typical distributor – but it is worth it. There is time involved meeting with small vendors and farmers. Sometimes they don’t have delivery services. The greenhouse organics movement is helping.

Before I started, Jennifer told me that hydration is a key element. She said that everyone has symptoms during their detox. Even people with clean diets have bodies that will detox even further. Often there are headaches (from lack of caffeine) and back aches (kidneys), and I could feel tired if I was not hydrated enough. I drank lots of water and made my own tea with mint, catnip, lemon verbena, strawberry leaves, and nettles that I had collected and dried.  I felt lucky that I work from home and am not distracted by others eating and can use the restroom easily as I drink beverages all day.

There are also psychological elements to detoxifying. One of the objectives is to create awareness about what I consume, how much, and why. Americans consume a lot more food than citizens in many other countries. Each day’s food provided 800 calories; the meals were small and delicious. I have had low blood sugar my entire life, but as I have cleaned up my diet, I have fewer issues with it. Although I was hungry all three days, I would remind myself that some people in this world are born hungry, live hungry, and die hungry, so why would I complain about a little bit of hunger for three days?

My breakfast and lunch meals were smoothies that are similar to other menu items except they are blended with more detoxifying ingredients to help with the overall detoxification process and are  more calorie and protein dense. A daily variation of the Breakfast in America smoothie was how I started my day. For lunch I had the following smoothies: Is This Love, Super Bass, and Superstitions. The three dinner soups were eaten with raw flaxseed crackers; they were Thai Curry, Cream (almond) of Celery, and Tomato Basil. I ate my ‘emergency’ Jenergy bar on Tuesday before yoga class, and I purchased a couple of wheat grass shots and one serving of Rocket Man.

I started the week in a good frame of mind after stopping by a meditation center at 7:00 am on Monday morning. Each day I drove to SIP Organic Juice Bar to pick up my three meals. I did run into some blood sugar issues during the detox due to the amount fruit in the breakfast and lunch smoothies; I was a bit light headed struggling to focus at times. (It did not help that I was having computer problems this week.)  Otherwise, my symptoms were quite mild, since I have cleaned up my diet over the years and was used to eating simple meals. I had some mild gastro and sinus issues, occasional very brief joint pain, and one headache for less than an hour. I was also hungry most of the time!

On Thursday I woke up at 4:00 am and started thinking about food. When I did get up I transitioned slowly back to my normal diet by eating all vegan and a third or more raw foods for the day. And the results? I feel great that I have accomplished it and that my body did not have a lot of toxins. My skin, hair, and nails are noticeably improved; my teeth even look whiter – probably due to less food and tea stains. I learned more about my low blood sugar. And, I lost the two pounds that I gained on vacation.

This blog post is about my experience. It is between you and your health practitioner whether a raw food detoxification is right for you. Advice: If you drink coffee, I suggest that you get yourself through coffee withdrawal before you detoxify. That is one less symptom you will have. Also, it seems like it would be helpful to clean up your diet a few weeks prior to the detox. If you eat a lot of processed or fast food, start replacing them early.


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