As Gaiam’s editorial team began working on our new detox guide, the thought hit us. We were already absorbed in the research — digging up the top detox tools, methods, tips and more. But what better way to fully immerse ourselves into the project than to actually do a cleanse? After all, we’d all felt we had been indulging a little too much in sugary and greasy foods. And what better time than summer to flush out the toxins from our bodies and feel lighter, cleaner and more radiant? We were inspired and opted to give it a go — a three-day cleanse of just raw fruits and veggies.
Curbing the cravings
Controlling our cravings during the detox was definitely a challenge. As a mother, athlete and vegetarian, we all battled slightly different cravings.
The Gaiam Mama
“As a mother of a 4-year-old, I knew it’d be difficult to detox while still cooking my son’s favorite treats. But planning the detox with my Gaiam girlfriends gave me the incentive I needed to take the plunge. Well, of course on the hardest day of the detox, my 4-year-old wanted my famous mac and cheese. I usually enjoy preparing meals, but this was painful. I left the kitchen often for ‘breaks’ away from the cheesy aroma and literally hid in the bedroom while my son ate and shouted how this was the most delicious mac and cheese. I ate a handful of pumpkin seeds, stuffed my mouth with celery and carrot sticks, and created a new mantra: ‘I am light and lovely … I hate mac and cheese … I AM light and lovely … I REALLY hate mac and cheese …’”
The Gaiam Athlete
“I crave exercise every day. Whether it’s hiking, biking, running, rock climbing or playing sports, I love being active. It was difficult during the detox because my energy was low, and I didn’t feel the motivation I usually felt to be active. But I still wanted to move without pushing too hard. So I enjoyed a mellow run, an hour-long session of yoga and — my favorite type of ‘workout’ — an 80-minute hot rock massage.”
The Gaiam Vegetarian
“I know a raw fruit and veggie diet may sound super-easy for a vegetarian. But I tend to fill up on carbs, veggie proteins and dairy, so the diet was actually quite the challenge — especially when I went to the movie theater. As everyone around me snacked on buttery popcorn and cheesy nachos, I pulled out a jumbo bag of organic carrots from my purse and began crunching away. By the end of the third day of the detox, I’d had my fill of crunchy plants. I couldn’t wait until I could once again enjoy fresh bread, creamy cheeses and dark chocolate desserts.”
Relishing the rewards
The cleanse wasn’t always easy, but having the friendship and support (sharing a lot of laughter and cravings) made our three-day detox a success! And we all agree the benefits were well worth it.
So how do we feel after the detox? We feel lighter, cleaner and healthier. We are more mindful of our food choices and portions — eating more fresh fruits and veggies, avoiding toxic foods like hydrogenated and trans fats, and paying attention to when we’re full. We appreciate our meals more, savoring and truly enjoying the flavor of each bite. We feel energized, focused and empowered. And we may make detoxing a regular practice — perhaps before every season. (Read about more benefits of detoxing in our new Detox Guide.)
If you’re considering doing a detox, we want to let you in on some detox secrets (some we learned the hard way!)
5 detoxing secrets revealed
These five tips will help you feel your best during the cleanse and motivate you from start to finish.
1. Drink plenty of water. This will help you avoid headaches, keep your energy levels up and flush out the toxins from your body.
3. Be creative with your food choices during the detox. It will make mealtime more enjoyable. If you’re trying a raw fruit and veggie diet, here are three of our favorite recipes we tried during ours:
- Zucchini boats: hollowed zucchini halves filled with tomato, basil and garlic
- Mango guacamole: avocado, mango, red onion, garlic, cilantro and lime
- Tropical fruit salad: strawberries, pineapples, grapes, bananas and blueberries
*Note: Make sure to balance your fruit intake with veggies to help prevent digestive problems.
5. Don’t overindulge post-detox. It can leave you with digestive problems and feeling sick. Instead, slowly ease your way back into a normal diet with these post-detox tips.