A couple of months ago I embarked on a pretty comprehensive detox. I was stuck in a bad food pattern that I couldn’t seem to shake myself out of, and I wasn’t making the right food decisions for my body. I was eating far too much sugar and processed food, I wasn’t paying attention to portion sizes, I was drinking too much coffee, too much wine, and not nearly enough water. I even came down with a head cold – my first of the season – which was a clear indication that my body needed a boost.
So I decided to have a go at one of the detox programs I lead my clients through. I prepped myself appropriately and launched into several days of juices, green smoothies, loads of water, lots of yoga and daily movement. My detox symptoms were scarce and short-lived – it didn’t take long to start feeling awesome with tons of energy. In short, the detox was exactly what I needed. I even dropped a couple pounds. Not bad!
And then I did the exact thing I tell my clients not to do. I rebounded off my detox.
Friday marked the end of my detox program, and also the end of a very long work week for my husband. He was ready for a glass of wine when he arrived home – and naturally, I couldn’t let him drink alone. We went on to meet friends out at a local sushi joint where I dove headfirst into 2 saketinis and 2 maki rolls. The night ended with a trip to our favorite martini bar where I rounded things out with 2 espresso martinis. Suffice it to say the evening’s fare was a far cry from the cucumber juice and kale smoothies I had been guzzling the days prior. And I most certainly felt the effects of this the morning after. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
During a cleanse, you typically eliminate certain foods in order to clean out your system. My first meal “back” from my detox involved fish, rice, booze, sugar, dairy & caffeine – all foods I had cut out the week prior. I dumped all the junk back in that my body had just worked to clear out. System overload. I woke up the next morning feeling like I needed another cleanse. Just like that old make-up-to-break-up song and dance – I detoxed to retox.
Transitioning onto and off of a cleanse or detox program is almost as important as the cleanse itself. There’s a tendency to want to go full force back into your old habits as your cleanse draws to a close. But when you crash-land rather than gracefully transition, you can wind up feeling worse than when you started. Adding the “forbidden” foods back into your diet immediately and all at once creates a shock to the system, or a retox.
So what should you do to avoid this? A little patience and poise goes a long way! Add foods back in gradually, noting the effects on the body as you do. Chances are you learn some things about yourself and your eating patterns throughout the course of a cleanse program. So continue this exploration as you come off. Notice how your body responds when you reintroduce foods back in. In this way, the cleanse becomes a big time learning tool.