Back to school is here and the Summer, as we know it, is officially over. Back to the rat race of homework, teacher meetings, and after school activities. Let's just admit that with the kids back to school it takes a lot of energy not to become overwhelmed and drained. So I wanted to prepare myself by having a good start. I wanted to get my mind, energy and peace centered and ready for what this school year brings. So when my friend offered accountability partners to join her with a 5-Day-Raw-Detox I was motivated to oblige.
What's A Raw Detox
How I define a raw detox or, as others may call it, a raw cleanse is eating or drinking raw fruits and vegetables with other natural raw foods such as grains and nuts. Some people may decide to detox by only juicing fruits and vegetables or some may actually add smoothie bowls, salads etc. Typically people raw detox for 3 to 7 days and it can go on to weeks and months if they choose. The most days I've done is a week.
The benefits of doing a raw detox is to rid the toxins out of your body. Due to the fact that a lot of our food is processed (and some have no choice but to go through a process in order for us to digest them) it's good to help assist the body to get rid of toxins too. When you eat your fruit and vegetables raw (especially your vegetables) you get all the enzymes and nutrients they offer versus when you cook them. When you cook your vegetables and fruits you can kill off a lot of those nutrients hence why you shouldn't over cook your vegetables. Your vegetables should still have a crunch when you eat them.
Personally for me I like the benefit of how it cleanses my palette. Which allows me to be mindful of how I season my food in regards to salts and sugars. It's like a reset for me to clean up my unhealthy eating habits. It also helps you to lose weight, gives you healthier looking skin, and a clearer head space.
How I prep for My Raw Detox
It's so many detoxes out here right now it would be hard to know which ones to choose. From Flat Tummy Tea (which there's a less expensive operative tea you can buy out the store that's comparable to it) the detox juices and pills, it can start adding up and become costly. But a raw detox is something you can prep and do yourself with the foods you have in your home; seeing as though you do make it a habit to buy fruits and vegetables.
The first thing I do to prep myself for my raw detox is mentally. I didn't say it was easy. It very much requires a level of self discipline. I get myself into the mindset or set my intentions with what kind of detox will this be for me. Maybe I will think about what type of meals I want to eat. Do I want smoothies, juices, salads, crunchy fresh snacks? Am I in the head space to do 14 days, 7 days or 3? Basically, I want to be practical within my abilities and intentions so I can see it through and not quit. I want to get the best out of my detox and not set myself up for disappointment.
Next I prepped what I was going to eat. Because this isn't my first detox, this time I didn't overly prepare. Typically, I make a list of the items I need in order to prepare what I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Listen, the last thing you want to do is get hungry and don't have the foods readily available. That's a setup for an easy setback. However, I wanted something easy and minimal so I made use of what I already had.."Like that, like so" in the words of Tabitha.
I decided I'd stick to green smoothies, herbal teas and snack all day on raw fruits and nuts. I know it doesn't sound enthusing but that's why it's important to cater your menu for you. My first detox I made salads, raw tacos, raw vegetable sushi etc. It gave me a lot of options, and it was fun but realistically it took a lot of prepping. Because this was last minute and only 5 days I kept it basic and simple and oddly enough it was by far my easiest detox.
What I Ate
In the mornings I tend to break my fast with a bitter herbal tea. So I drank Dandelion, Peppermint and ginger tea because it's great for your digestive system. This is a great time to drink whatever detox tea you may have to assist with your detox. In between having my tea and lunch I'll eat some fruit and have a bottle of water.
Around lunch time I'll have a smoothie. Now if you want something a little more hardy than make a smoothie bowl where you can add oats, nuts and seeds. The thing about eating raw food is that you can eat as much as you want and not worry about calories or fat. However, just be careful adding salts, sugars, honey etc because you want to use as minimal as possible.
Around dinner time, which is usually between 3 to 6 for me I had a salad accompanied with another smoothie. I typically like to use vinaigrettes or just oil and vinegar for my dressings. You want to refrain from using dressings with a diary base because it defeats the purpose of detox but if you can’t resist keep it lite.
I kept a banana, apple, grapes, raisin, Watermelon, and nuts in my mouth (no pun intended) at any opportunity I got a little snackish. You don't have to be miserable during this detox. Get your favorite fruits and vegetables that you like to eat. Have your favorite nuts to munch on when you're getting hungry or need some comfort.
One thing I realized in my detox is my association with food has more to do with comforting myself than it's about me being hungry. I also realized a lot of the time when I believe I'm hungry, I'm actually thirsty. With that being said, make sure you're constantly drinking water. Water soothes a lot of the hunger pain because it's really our body saying she's thirsty.
The Side Effects
Understand that your body is ridding toxins so it's going through the process. Hence why the longer you detox the more results you'll see. You might experience mood swings at first but that's natural. We don't understand how much food affects our energy and mood so it's like your body is going through withdrawals. Your body's gut is use to the process food that says "Feed me Seymour" and is looking at this raw fruit and vegetable like…"You got me all the way fd up".
You may also experience acne, hot sweats, strong body odors such as Musk but that's your body's process of eliminating waste. After a few days you might see a change. If you experience constipation at first that's normal too. Give your body time to process the food and do what it's supposed to do. Rome wasn't built in a day so if you know you haven't been eating the best it's going to take your body time to break down, process and rid the toxins.
Overall what helped me was journaling. Write about your experience and feelings as you go. Write about what you ate within the day. Writing is going to be your security blanket when you're being tested or just want to give up. But overall be in the moment so you can be aware and present of the changes in your body and mind. Compare how you felt before the detox and after. Is your mood lighter? Do you feel less bloated? Do you have more energy? Are you more patient?
If you'd like to write to me for any questions or just need inspiration or motivation please do so. If you've done a raw detox, how was it for you? What's your process? What advice would you add?