Update June 2010 on How This Blog Became Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Mostly Vegan – I had originally named this series the Detox Diet Diaries, but my experience with these changes in my diet, while incredibly positive, has made me decide I really do not like the concept of a detox diet. It is ironic in that the diet my naturopath put me on was incredibly helpful, and a year later, it has become clear I have non-Celiac gluten intolerance, as well as a strong dairy intolerance. I continue to avoid all dairy and gluten, as well as other problematic foods such as corn, but have grown to really dislike the concept of “detox” – the term promotes the concept of a quick fix, which is just nonsensical. I firmly believe that the vast improvements in my heath are based on the long-term changes I made, and want my posts on the experience to convey this.
Yesterday I posted the background on the health reasons behind my decision to do a detox diet, under doctor’s supervision. Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about the diet itself and what it entails.
But before we get to that, I am going to post this disclaimer – and you will see it at the end of every post in this series:
Disclaimer: I am just a regular person posting about my experience doing a detox diet for health reasons and, ultimately, to isolate food allergies that may be the underlying cause of said health problems. I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. Please do not use information from these posts to do your own detox diet. Rather, seek advice from a doctor, naturopath or nutritionist to determine what the correct course of action for your health is.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the detox diet itself. I started the detox diet back at the end of May, so it’s been over 6 weeks now. Like I said yesterday, it’s all real food. And yes, this detox diet is really long (several months ultimately)because of my specific health issues – after the first month, though, I was able to add certain food groups back in a limited fashion (like meat). My understanding is that most detox diets are about 2-3 weeks, but I don’t actually know because my own experience is specific to my health.
As for the diet – the goal is to remove all foods that may be potentially causing me various problems. Now remember, I have always been big on eating everything in moderation (good old 80/20), so eliminating certain food groups completely seemed extreme. But I told myself many of these things would likely eventually be back in my diet at the 20 percent level.
And honestly, I had been sick and/or fatigued for so long, it seemed worth a shot.
So, here are the eliminated foods when I began this detox diet:
*no caffeine – so no coffee, no black tea and no green tea (I was especially upset about the last one)
*no refined sugar (agave nectar and stevia are allowed)
*no artificial colorings, flavorings and sweeteners
*no fried foods
Because of my specific health issues, there were a couple more very specific eliminated foods, including cabbage and because I had recently had bad reactions to orange juice, I chose to eliminate that.
On soy – some of my older health issues from a couple of years ago could have some link with soy consumption, so with my doctor’s support I don’t eat a lot of soy (i.e. I will eat wheat-free soy sauce, but not huge amounts of tofu or edamame).
And yes, after about a month, I did get to add a limited amount of meat back in.
As for what I could eat, it boiled down to the following:
2. vegetables, with a couple of exceptions
3. whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat
5. wild-caught fish
6. nuts and seeds
As you can see it’s a rather large number of food groups and subgroups.
Next weekend I will start posting more about how the first few days of the detox went and some initial thoughts. As I noted, I started this detox diet over 6 weeks ago, but I took a fair amount of notes I can draw from to give more of a sense of those first few days.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers