The 12-Step No-tox

by Holly on February 8, 2010

in breakfast,dinner,lunch,seriousness

Let’s face it.

If a 30-day juice fast, daily diet pill or extreme detox was healthy, maintainable and actually worked, we’d all be doing it. But it doesn’t work. In the real world, we need to be more, well…realistic.  After a weekend of one too many spoonfuls of blue cheese, no workouts and paltry amount of fruits + veggies, there is no need to feel guilty and force yourself to detoxify in crazy, unhealthy ways (which I used to do, with NO success…ever).

Instead, try…

“The Healthy Everythingtarian’s 12-Step No-tox!

No gimmicks, no crazy pills, no fasting.  When I feel like things have gotten a lil’ out of balance, here are the 12 steps I live by to even things out and get back on track…

  • Sleep. Last night, I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 6:30am feeling refreshed.  It may seem like a lot to many people, but nine hours of sleep is perfection to me.

  • Eat a balanced breakfast. Peanut butter + banana on sprouted Ezekiel bread works everytime for me – it is such a good combo of carbs, fats and proteins that is sure to last me at least 3-4 hours.

  • Drink an extra cup of coffee (or two). Contrary to popular belief, I am a firm believer in caffeine.  When I am getting back in the saddle after drinking too much wine falling off the horse, an additional cuppa joe (or tea, for that matter) gives me the extra boost I need to make it to step 12.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Preferably, with water.  H2O is a great cleanser for the body.  If you are feeling a little off or ishy, shoot for at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water.  And…don’t argue with me about whether or not the eight glasses of water a day rule is fake.  Just do it.

  • Be a planner. When time is of the essence, I rely on organized to-do lists to make sure I get everything done I need to.  This includes meal planning, workout planning AND general life planning.  Somehow, once I have everything down on paper, I feel ready to attack the week!

  • Be a snack pack(er). Not the pudding kind (although delicious in its own right).  Eating every couple hours will help even out your blood sugar levels and hopefully keep you from dippin’ your hand in the candy bowl, chip bag, ice cream carton, doughnut box…you get the picture.  And, if you have a crazy imagination like me, have fun with your snack (see below)!

  • Make a big batch of a veggie-filled meal to enjoy all week. I took my recipe for Veggie Spaghetti, added a can of garbanzos and came out with five Tupperware containers filled with lunch (or dinner) for the week.  Bam – donezo!

  • Take 5-minute breaks every hour. Whether you work behind a desk, are busy studying in school or doing whatever it is you do, make sure to take small breaks every hour or so.  They can go a long way in restoring mental sanity and ensuring you won’t need bifocals before the age of 50.
  • Wear something cute (or cool, if you are a guy and cute isn’t your thang)! I am a firm believer in look good, feel good a la Stacy + Clinton from What Not To Wear.  It is amazing how much better you can feel after a bit of overindulgence if you put yourself together.  Today, I chose my fave Vans shoes, black skinnies and new red plaid shirt for a hipster yet work appropriate look…

  • Fatten up! Healthy fats go a long way in restoring skin elasticity, making your hair grow, brightening your mood and improving your overall complexion.  For. Reals.  Need some help in adding good fats to your diet?  Give Susan’s Fatty February Challenge a shot!

  • Work it out. Yes, as hard as it is to get back in the workout groove after missing days or weeks, you just gotta do it.  It is truly amazing how just ONE workout can significantly improve your mood and help get your body back on track.  To make it easier, pack your gym bag at night so you have no excuse not to go bright and early in the morning or right after school/work (which is what I did today – 60 minutes of sweat-tastic spin class)!

  • Don’t skip meals. Ever.  Not eating is NOT going to make you feel any better if you’ve been indulging.  In fact, it will probably make you feel worse because eventually you will binge, eat more than you wanted and feel far worse than you did in the first place.  Or maybe that’s just me.  Enjoy your post-workout glow with a spinach-filled green monster smoothie (mine = organic skim milk, banana, frozen strawberries + spinach) and load up on those veggies!

There you go. Twelve easy steps to getting back on track without sacrificing your health, sanity or hunger.  I plan on following these rules all week, and by Friday, I am sure I am going to feel 100% again.

Screw the crazy diet fads and just live.  Life calls for indulgence, so don’t be afraid if you overdue it now and again.  Your body is amazingly resilient, and with just a bit of work, you can bounce right back.  And quite frankly, I wouldn’t have as many hilarious stories if I didn’t go off the deep end every now and again :).

What is one thing you do to get back on track after too much indulging?


shannon (the dailybalance) February 9, 2010 at 6:05 pm

love this post! sucha great reminder of what we should REALLY be focusing on!

Alison February 9, 2010 at 6:31 pm

What a great post :) I’ve been doing weight watchers for 2 years and just decided today that I’m done with it. So your post is really inspiring as I learn to eat my “new normal”. I went from counting points to “core” and have developed some restrict/binge behavior that I’ve been working on. I’m so over telling myself “I can’t have this or that”. It’s time to put all of the healthy eating that I’ve been doing the past few years into practice and trust that it will be OK when I go out to eat or to a friend’s house for a meal :)

Sorry we didn’t meet last night. Hopefully soon!! I’m still up for a whole foods meetup. I’ve never eaten from their hot bar b/c I didn’t know the calories and I’m SOOOO over that :D

Gracie @ Girl Meets Health February 9, 2010 at 6:40 pm

My favorites were: take 5-minute breaks every hour (LOVE this…never would have thought of it) and FATTEN UP. I am a *huge* believer in fat, fat, and more fat; saturated, poly, mono, I don’t discriminate.

Long story short, this post was PERFECTION, in every sense of the word.

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) February 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

just a quickie to say love the post and love the cloth bag you’re sporting. soo green & eco friendly and i love it!

Adrien February 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

The one thing I do is make sure I’m getting my workouts in- I don’t mind overindulging and getting a little cushion for the pushin if I’m still getting my fitness in.. I’m a firm believer that the winter is a time when you’re supposed to add an extra layer- it’s cold- doughnuts, chocolate and booze tend to warm you up!

Said like a true health professional.

Jenny February 9, 2010 at 7:56 pm

HELLZ TO THE YAHHH! go write a book. now. k?

Sara @ effortless health February 9, 2010 at 8:31 pm

While I disagree in many of the aspects of your no-tox plan, and I think some will infact make you feel worse and encourage worse behavior in the future, I DO agree that sometimes we are a little too intense with “trying” to restore balance and oftentimes it offsets the pendulum even more than before.
I like that you share your stance with everyone but I feel that this “plan” is really only suited for you, and all the more power to you because it works for you!
I find when Ive over-indulged or fell off the wagon eating clean whole foods, sleeping and some long walks really restore me back to where I need to be. Eating clean foods in proper combinations means that my body will not have to work hard on digestion and can focus on anything else that ails me (like a hangover!) and moving the body is always a good idea to get blood flowing!

sophia February 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Hm, after too much indulging…I just take it easy for the next few meals. And then back to normal eats I go! :-)
This is why I like you, Holly. You never turn to extreme methods. You’re so well-balanced all around!

Jenna February 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Love the detox!!

Susan February 10, 2010 at 9:45 am

“Make a big batch of a veggie-filled meal to enjoy all week”

Of all your amazing tips in this post, I’d say this is one I live by when it comes to getting back on track after a big indulgence. I feel soooo much better when I eat “clean” foods jam packed with fruits and veggies – and making a big batch of somethin’ makes it even easier to do throughout the week.

Number two is the sweat-tastic spin class though. LOVE those! And you! xoxo

rachael February 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

I love your steps! putting the pictures with them actually makes them seen do-able (and fun!)!

Heather February 12, 2010 at 10:38 am

and agree with everything.

most of my “get back on tracking” looks like this, actually – although I ALWAYS try to make myself a little personal journal entry of WHY i want to get back on track. Usually it ends up with a list of WHAT I LOVE about being healthy and why I want to reach new fitness goals etc. and every single entry i have a new mantra of sorts. Its def. habit to do this when i feel like im not doing my best/slacking/making excuses.

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