Updated: Feb 13
Our aim with this diet is to help you discover the right eating patterns and the right foods for you. With this in mind, we will do a "detox" the next week.
What exactly is "detox"?
I know it sounds a lot heavier than it is. It really means simplifying your food intake to allow your body to "reset". So the aim of the detox is to reduce the stress your body is undergoing. It will be only one week, but that one week will most likely shine the light on insufficiencies in your diet and some of the food dependencies you might have.
So what is our goal?
Eliminate gluten and other inflammation causing compounds from our diets
Add more water to get rid of water retention
Add a few of the metabolic triggers to your diet
Add foods that help clean the stomach and the intestine.
Put the body into a more alkaline state
For this reason, the detox will be somewhat strict. It's only a week, bite the bullet and swallow the pill - all puns intended.
The BIG WHY's
The most important question you can ask, and the most important answer, almost always, is why. So here goes:
Why eliminate gluten - simple, gluten is a class of proteins most often found in wheat. They typically lend the gooey texture to dough. When you gluten-intolerant, the body starts treating gluten as a toxin. This in turn leads to an inflammatory response. Think what happens when you have a cut on your skin and you don't apply the antibiotic treatment. The body mobilizes resources to fight the external infection. It is the same but on a smaller scale and internally. How would you know you are gluten-intolerant. Simple, eliminate it for a couple of weeks. Reintroduce slowly and see the difference.
More water - to flush out the body and get it out of the retention mode. To detox, the body needs to know all is well, and part of that is providing enough nutrients. Since we are almost 70% water, water is probably the most essential "nutrient". Having enough of it allows the body to rid of the excess.
Metabolic triggers - Green tea, turmeric, cinnamon, cleansing food items like wheat grass, triphala, garlic, etc. Items known to put the body into a more energetic state. You will see results without these as well, just adding these gives the system a kickstart and builds momentum.
Foods to clean the stomach and the intestine - the lining of the stomach and the intestine is where we absorb nutrients. And like all things, it needs the occasional cleaning. So we provide the right tools, think crunchy vegetables, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and the like.
Get into an alkaline state - To be honest, this is quite the misnomer. The body cannot be completely alkaline, as we need the acid in our stomach to absorb foods. Less concentration of that acid means you don't absorb nutrients. In reality, this is not really about getting into a more alkaline state, but finding the alkaline-acid balance that is right for you. It turns out there, there is a very narrow window which is just right, and it is quite personal. Every food requires a certain amount of acid to digest. In general, the more complex the food, the more the acid required. Meats require the most, and fruits and vegetables the least. Then there are anomalies, like maida and other processed foods, that require a lot of acid to completely break down, but don't give us nutrition commensurate with the amount of acid produced. So we give the body vegetables that are easy on the digestive system, high in micro-nutrients, and help us heal our gut.
After why, comes when.
There is no easy answer here. Here again, it is important to understand we are all different. Just the way some progress very quickly from one kettlebell to the next while for others it takes forever. And then at times you feel you are stuck on the same weight for a very long time, and then jump a couple very quickly. Nutrition is the same way.
Go easy. Minimal disruptions to your routine. Try one thing at a time for a few weeks, or all things in one week. See the difference. Keep a note of it. Understand it is a process, like learning to walk. We fell many times when learning to walk. But we never gave up. It's the same way with almost everything in life. Making mistakes, not beating yourself over it, trusting yourself, and getting back is what life is all about. Weight… is just a number :)
And then of course, the one question we can't wait to answer, the what?
What can I eat?
Here is a list to get you started:
Green List - Eat as much as you would like
Brinjal or egg plant
Cabbage red and green
Capsicum all colours
Beans and Legumes
Black tea, green tea, black coffee are all okay
Lime water with salt
Orange - eat in moderation
White or brown rice
Millets like ragi Fruits
Thin Skinned Fruits - Apples, Pears, Berries (fresh only), papaya, guavas, Musk melon, Orange
Avoid fruits that are very sweet like cheeku
Nuts and seeds
Almonds - Up to 10-12 a day are okay
Cashews - 5-8
Red List - Avoid completely
Processed "Healthy" Foods
Milk and Dairy - including yogurt, curd, butter-milk. Can slowly add the last 3 but be careful with pure milk
Soy products like Tofu,
Soy Nuggets, etc.
Other Processed foods
Industrial salt - The regular Tata salt variety
Starchy vegetables and fruits
Potato, Sweet potato Bananas
All fruit juices and sodas
Biscuits and other confectionery
Stuff out of packets
Green tea (personal favorite is tulsi green tea by Organic India)
Herbal teas like chamomile etc.
To Get Started
Start your day with a glass of water with lemon and salt. This will kickstart your metabolism. If you can, try and get a fasted workout in, and try and eliminate items from the red list as quickly as possible.
Track your energy levels as how you feel is a critical component of how the food you are eating is agreeing with you.. or not.