We previously talked, in Phase One, about how to start your Restart Series: Detox Program. Starting any detox program is about setting an intention: What do you want to accomplish and how do you get through the difficulty of a detox program. Goal setting is the key to keeping on track.
Part II is not really a “step” but a lifestyle habit that you may already practice, or it can be something that you start doing today.
Journal.Write down everything you experience during a detox program:
How are you feeling? Does anything hurt or feel better?
What foods did you eat and what kinds of reactions did you have?
What is your mood like? Are you crankier or lighter?
How are you sleeping? Is it easier to fall asleep? Are you waking up more?
What foods do you crave? Salt, sweet, starchy, meat?
What is your energy level like? Are you craving caffeine or sugar?
What you might not realize that any symptom you have after eating, even up to two days later, is your body’s way of telling you that food isn’t right for you. This is not considered to be a full-blown food allergy, but even more dangerous: a food sensitivity. A food allergy is an immune response, called an IgE response and will show up immediately. While this appears most often when you are young, it can develop in adulthood as well.
Another response can take several hours, up to days to appear, and that is the IgG response. It may happen with foods you’ve been eating your whole life without knowing you have a sensitivity, or can come about after a compromise in your immune system. Now when you eat that food, you may get fatigue, mood swings, brain fog, indigestion, bloating, gas, phlegm throat, sinus drip, hives, headaches, pimples, joint pain, swelling, constipation or diarrhea.
I mentioned that it may be more dangerous than a known allergy, and I’m not comparing it to serious anaphylactic allergy response, but typically people avoid their known allergens.
When you have a food sensitivity, you might think the above symptoms are “normal” experiences, and you wouldn’t think to correlate it to one of the things you may have eaten recently. If you don’t know you are sensitive, you probably won’t take steps to avoid those foods that are causing the inflammation. Every one of those symptoms is related to inflammation. By now you may have heard: inflammation is linked to many diseases. Including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hormone imbalances, Alzheimer’s, GI diseases, and most chronic problems.
Here is a great sample journal entry during detox:
“Today, Day Five, I had a Detox shake this morning with almond milk, almond butter and a banana. Yum. Ate a grapefruit for breakfast. Not hungry until 10:30am, had walnuts and an apple for a snack. Good energy today, not as sluggish as yesterday. 4 glasses of water before lunch. 2 full BMs by 1pm. Lunch was grilled cod with asparagus and a green salad with homemade vinaigrette. Not tired after lunch, went to the gym for a 30 minute cycle. Had an orange and a coconut Detox shake before dinner. Not very hungry, had a small bowl of chicken, kale and white bean soup. Kinda bland, miss the hot sauce. Not hungry before bed. Stretched and had an epsom salt bath. Note to self: take more baths. Went to bed at 10, journal for 10 minutes. Tired but not exhausted. Did not crave that hamburger that I wanted yesterday. 8 glasses water today.”
After the Detox, we encourage you to keep writing in your journal as you reintroduce the foods you avoided eating during your cleanse. So, your journal may look like this:
“Dairy: Day One Reintroduction Cheese
Phlegm in throat for 10 minutes and eating, stomach ache for another 10 minutes.
Day Two: Cheese, slower BM than before. Not craving dairy or cheese.
Day Three: Okay
Conclusion: Stay off dairy, or find a goat dairy substitute and try that”
Keep track of your symptoms and how you feel is a key step in claiming your health.
The Body Keeps the Score is a must read for anyone who has been through trauma or wants to understand the origins and manifestations of trauma. In a well-researched and accessible way, Dr. van der Kolk has created a foundation of breaking down what happens in the brain and the body due to traumatic events and how to heel those wounds. By ackowledging PTSD can happen in childhood or adulthood, he gives a voice to those who may feel that they are stuck in their healing because traditional psychology cannot help them.