Last year, around this time, I decided to give the Wild Rose D-Tox a try for the first time. Tired of feeling lethargic, bloated and generally “blah”, I thought this would be a good way to kick start the year and cleanse my system. I like to think of it as resetting the insides of my body. After spending some time at the health food store, I decided that this cleanse would be the best one for me because it’s not nearly as restrictive as the other ones I read about, it’s only 12 days, and aside from avoiding certain foods, you can eat to your heart’s content while on the cleanse.
But, what the %#&$ can you eat?
I felt compelled to share my experience on the detox because usually the minute someone mentions a detox or cleanse, the assumption seems to be a sad person moping in the corner with juice, water, and hardly any food – and that doesn’t have to be the case!
Well, my friends, there is no such thing as calorie counting and portion control on this cleanse. I personally hate doing either of those things. In a nutshell, you can eat almost everything that’s a whole food and not processed. All beans, legumes, and even lean meats are a-okay. Dairy, sugar, fermented foods (like vinegar and soy sauce), and flour of any kind are out. Almost all vegetables and most fruits are also okay – all you have to do is stay away from the ones that are really high in sugar like pineapple and bananas. There’s a more comprehensive list here (ignore the typos and scroll down to the last page for the full list of acceptable food).
Okay, okay, that’s all well and good, but what the %#&$ can you eat?
Every morning (whether I’m on the cleanse or not), I start with a big mug of warm water and fresh lemon slices. I have been doing this almost every day since Jan 2010 and it’s made a huge difference. I really notice it on the days I don’t start with this combo.
In lieu of bananas, I made overnight oats in a pot (soak steel cut oats in boiling water overnight, add your mix-ins in the morning and bring to a boil for about 5 min!) with roasted butternut squash for sweetness and your favourite mix-ins. I’ve been adding berries, chopped pecans, almond butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Delicious!
A huge pot of Soul Soothing Split Pea Soup.
Homemade hummus with lemon juice, lemon zest, paprika, and cayenne pepper for a kick. (I was sorely missing the vinegar in this and think I may roast my garlic first to see if that adds an extra layer of flavour that will make me forget about vinegar…). A sprinkle of cinnamon helps.
Massaged kale salads with celery, blackberries, and chopped pecans using lemon juice, olive/flaxseed oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Grilled fish with warmed kale, celery, garlic, ginger, and blackberries. Note to self: warmed blackberries are AMAZING! Must remember to do this again.
And so, my friends, eating well while cleansing is pretty easy, as long as you choose a detox program with a liberal food list. In terms of energy levels, I remember feeling run down for the first couple of days last year, but it’s already day 2 and I managed to get through a level three Athlete Flow yoga class with nothing more than a few headaches here and there (likely from the sugar withdrawal). The truth? I feel great and I don’t even feel like I’m on a detox. I’m not sure whether it’s because I’ve already done one before, or if I’ve been eating pretty clean as it is (let’s pretend it’s the latter), but I’m not complaining. 🙂
A few final thoughts…
- If you’re looking to lose weight, I’m not sure of the detox will deliver. That wasn’t really the point of why I was interested in trying it out in the first place, so I didn’t pay attention last time as to whether it made a difference or not. I never felt deprived or hungry during the cleanse so I doubt I lost anything. I am sure if you have less than stellar eating habits and are looking to make a positive change though, this is one way to kickstart it.
- I was really worried that I wouldn’t have the energy to exercise but last year, I managed to continue training for a half-marathon, during the cleanse with minimal difficulty. The hardest thing was completing the long run without sugar, but luckily I timed the cleanse so that only one long run fell in that time period. As I mentioned earlier, I made it through a really tough yoga class and felt great during and after it.
- How do you feel after the cleanse is over? Lighter, clearer, better overall. Although I could never give up bananas, vinegar, oranges, and baked goodies, there are a lot of great things that I picked up during the cleanse that I continue throughout. For one thing, it forced me to come up with creative salad combinations and I certainly upped my vegetable intake during the cleanse. Like I said before, I began my day with lemon water during the cleanse and liked it so much that I continued this throughout the entire year.
Have you ever tried a detox? Which one was it and what did you think?