Better than Meatloaf- Way Better

If you notice, I love comfort food.  I love making comfort food into healthy, easy recipes with lots of flavor.  So I found this recipe and it inspired me to remake meatloaf into something better than meatloaf.  The original is something I would definitely do if I was trying to make things “pretty” for a group or guests but for every day, I’ll stick to easy and delicious.  This one cooks a little longer than I usually spend on dinner but it takes just minutes to put together.   So this is how I used another recipe to make meatloaf into something a little more delicious.

Better than meatloaf aip/paleo recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tbs of fresh rosemary, chopped ( I used a little extra but I really like fresh herbs)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries.  If you cannot find fresh cranberries, you can replace it with chopped apples or pears.
fresh rosemary is a key part of this recipe

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the ingredients together in a bowl with your hand.  The fruit will not mix so easily but just do your best.
  • Get out a sheet of tin foil and an equal size sheet parchment paper.  Place the parchment paper on top of the tin foil and place the meat mixture onto the parchment paper.  You may have to place it on the paper in layers to evenly spread the fruit throughout the loaf.
  • Wrap the paper and foil around the loaf, using the foil to form the loaf into a roll shape.
  • Use the foil to form the shape of your meatloaf, but be sure to line the inside with parchment!
  • Close the foil tightly around the top and sides.
  • Poke some holes in the bottom through the foil and parchment for the fat to leak out and place the loaf into a baking dish.  You can line the baking dish if you wish to catch the fat for easy clean up.
  • Bake for 1 hour and slice to serve.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves 4 small servings.  I suggest serving with sautéed spinach, acorn squash and steamed asparagus.  Also, check out my gut healing gravy gravy makeover recipe.  Adding some sage and onions to this gravy makeover would go fabulous with this dish.

Hope you enjoy it, try it with different fruit to find the winner for your family and make it with your favorite vegetables to truly make it your own.  If you like this content, make sure to join my email list so you don’t miss out on recipes, articles and offers.  If you would like to give feedback, then fill out the comment form below: I love hearing from ya’l!!

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Chicken Cacciatore

gut healing chicken cacciatore. will heal you of anything!
The Italian Grandmother’s Chicken Soup- Chicken Cacciatore

Funny story: I’m the youngest offspring of a Sicilian and Irish family.  My grandfather was an immigrant from Sicily but we know little about our family history or heritage and all the elders slightly disagree on the details.  I learned just a few recipes  from my father and I am sure that each generation put their own spin on these recipes. When he taught me how to make this one, he told me that cacciatore meant “stew” in Italian.  He was kinda wrong. It actually means “hunter” but maybe he meant “hunter’s stew” and I’m the silly goose. Either way, he makes a delicious chicken cacciatore.  And now, like every generation before me, I’ve modified his recipe to make it my own version of this family tradition.  It is, in my opinion, an even better  than grandma’s soup: it’s the Italian grandma’s chicken soup.  And as we all know, everything is better when it’s Italian, right? To make this truly paleo and allergy friendly, you will need to make sure your products are allergen free (Most contain corn or dairy or other preservatives or additives).   Or you will have to make your sauce from scratch… which really isn’t that hard but that is another cooking lesson:) locate the best quality ingredients, when applicable.  If you need a recommendation, I have included affiliate links for your convenience.  For my full disclosure policy click here.

For this Italian hunter’s stew, feel free to use what ever vegetables you have on hand.

For my AIP followers who have not introduced tomatoes, I would sub the tomato sauce with Nomato Sauce.  A recommendation was given to me for the recipe here.  I would make a large batch and freeze or can my own for future uses.  Marinara is so versatile, it is definitely something to make in a large batch!

You will need

  • A large stock pot
  • One half of a whole chicken, cut into parts.
  • 1 quart bone broth
  • 2 quarts tomato sauce.  I used store bought spaghetti sauce with no added sugar, corn, gluten, dairy or preservatives (this is one) but you can also use canned tomato sauce with no added ingredients. (this one is free of additives).  Of course, for the elimination phase of AIP, use the Nomato Marinara Sauce mentioned above with link provided.
  • 1/2 to 1  tbs. dried oregano (or to taste).
  • 1/2 to 1 tbs. dried basil (or to taste)
    • the lesser amount is for mild and the greater amount is for more zesty
    • If using Nomato Sauce, then it is probably already seasoned but if you want to add more to taste, use your best judgement.  This goes for both of the herbs above as well as the onions and garlic.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (unless your bone broth is already salted)
  • 5 large cloves fresh chopped garlic
  • 8 cups vegetables.  I used the measurements that follow: but any combination of the vegetables that you like are good.
    • 2 cups onions or leeks
    • 4 cups zucchini- can be chopped or made into zucchini noodles that are added approximately 10 to 20 minutes before eating time.
    • 2 cups broccoli
    • Note: I added more vegetables the next day to the second half (another four cups with only half the “sauce” in the pot) and 8 more ounces of chicken- they wouldn’t fit until the first round of vegetables shrunk as a result of cooking.
Italian flavors make this chicken stew extra comforting

Directions

This is one of the easiest things you will ever cook.  You will literally just put everything in a stock pot and bring to a medium simmer with slight bubbling then turn to low and put a lid on.  You will let it simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Alternatively, You could cook this in a crockpot on low for 4 to 6 hours.  As with most recipes based on tomatoes, it is always even better the second time you eat it, so make plenty and eat on it (or freeze it) for a second meal.  Top with some sautéed spinach, kale or collard greens and you have a complete bowl of healing, comforting nutrition.

Chicken Cacciatore is even better the nnext day
My bowl of cacciatore the next day.. yum!

I hope you enjoy this (I know you will ) and I guarantee it will be a family crowd pleaser! So grab a bowl, snuggle up with your family and enjoy this warm bowl of comfort food.

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Down with EBV-taking on the chronic active epstein barr virus (and kicking it’s butt!)

For many POTS and autoimmune patients there is an underlying viral contributing factor or trigger such as Epstein Barr.  There is even allegations that autoimmune is actually a response to the Virus running around in your body. Maybe you have Cytomegalovirus or another viral trigger but since my experience thus far has been with Chronic Active Epstein Barr Virus, or CAEBV, I will only speak to what I know.

Sometimes the virus becomes stronger than our often suppressed yet erratic immune system and wreaks havoc on our ability to control the immune system or what it decides to attack and how it makes us feel.  Let me first say this: you are not alone and you have options. Yes, being sick sucks but we are not helpless. Treating it is not inexpensive, in my opinion, but the alternative is a far worse choice and I believe you are worth the investment.

CAEBV can be debilitating

We are told that if you have your health, you have everything. Well I don’t know about you, but I want everything. And I am determined to both have everything and to help you get it as well.  I have beaten this multiple times (explained below) so I know it is possible.  I encourage you to explore your options and find one that works for you and your body.  As there are several strains of the virus, no one treatment works for every strain. (1)  It is alleged that there are many more strains than have been discovered. (2)

CAEBV, for short, is part of the herpes simplex group of viruses that include cold sores, genital herpes, shingles, chicken pox and mononucleosis. Like a cold sore virus, EBV doesn’t actually die and leave you with immunity for life as chicken pox would. It stays in the body, hiding until it either does or does not see an opportunity to come out and do its damage.  75% to 90% of the population carry the virus but only a small percentage have it manifest as Chronic Active Epstein Barr or CAEBV.  For this small percentage it becomes a serious and debilitating problem.  At the advice of my own team of doctors and my own research to explore my options, I have been led to believe that the best course of action is to boost the immune system until it is strong enough to force the virus to go dormant.  If you are on immune suppressants, then I am not sure if this is possible.  However, I am no expert on pharmaceutical medications and their limitations. There are also treatments like UV IV therapy.  I interviewed an individual that tried oxygen therapy and she did not have luck with that method.

I had the virus for 2 to 4 years years and it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with my 2nd autoimmune and had 2 more on the way before anyone thought to look for the virus. As my doctor put it, my antibodies were “through the roof” at that time.  Treating it changed my life.  In fact, it gave me my life back. But after I was feeling very good it was triggered again and this time, I discovered that I was allergic to the previously used cure.   Depending on this as a long-term could damage my brain.  It was also likely to drain my wallet and half a day from my schedule each time I utilized this treatment.  I had to find alternatives.  This last bout was worse than before, and I was forced to quit my job because I couldn’t hide how sick I felt nor do my job.

First let me tell you what the first “cure” was.  My integrative doctor put me on Vitamin C IV for 6 weeks. It was very effective but took a while and was between 150 and 180 dollars each treatment.  And it only worked until the virus became active again.  If this is an option, I do suggest it as a support treatment.  Pros: it works and is very high dose. Cons: it can be costly to some, takes half a day, has to be done weekly when the virus is active, and you will need maintenance doses or have to re-treat when you relapse.

Vitamin C IV was my first treatment that worked but it was time consuming and not sustainable.

My next treatment was developed by myself as a result of reading a controversial new book and mixing this author’s theories with my functional medicine background  and education on related syndromes/diseases, and background in AIP/Paleo healing.  I must warn you that this author seemed to me radical, crazy, a little kooky (and that says a lot coming from me) but he was the only one that had ANY answers. They were the only things I hadn’t already tried or ruled out as an option.  The following account details how I took back my body from CAEBV.  For your convenience, I have included affiliate links if you would also like to try them.  For my full disclosure policy click here

The short version (aka nutshell version)

  1. I supported my adrenals because having the virus is very hard on the adrenals.  Adrenal fatigue causes immune suppression and chronic fatigue. This creates a vicious cycle.
  2. I supported my immune function with anti-virals and supportive supplements and targeted foods.  I used this book as my primary source of which foods to focus on, excluding any food that I knew was not compatible with my body as a result of my AIP background.  I can also suggest this book, which is from the same author but was not released until after I began my protocol.
  3. I detoxified as if my life depended on it. I did this because the body will see virus bodies (as they die off and replicate they leave their dead viral bodies in your system which can then go to organs and cause havoc) as toxins and also because some things like metals can actually feed the virus. Detoxification became a bigger priority than ever.
  4. I opened myself up to the fact that I may have to tweak or troubleshoot this AIP/Wahl’s Paleo diet that had helped me so much.  I had been AIP/Wahl’s Paleo for years and while it had gotten me a very long way and healed me to a great degree, it wasn’t keeping me from having CAEBV.  My body just needed more. So I had to examine some parts of it against what this radical, controversial author was saying. So taking into account that he may be a kook and was not a doctor, I decided what the hell.

I then had to decide the logistics of how I was going accomplish these things.

  1. I determined what I needed and broke it down into the first 3 steps above.
  2. I made a list of the supplements I was going to need and then narrowed the list down even further.  I first picked the supplements that would treat more than one issue. Next I included some that, according to the author, were “the first ones to get”.
  3. After that I was onto tackling the food differences. After exploring other ideas, comparing them to what made sense to me and my own bioindividuality, I adopted the parts I was willing to add  and identified what I felt would not work for my body.
    1.   I had already learned valuable things about my bioindividuality, such as what foods made me feel good or bad (if you haven’t done this I suggest starting with a strict AIP or Wahl’s Paleo.  These are great starting points and can be tweaked after you identify foods that you do well with and ones you do not). I felt so bad at this point that I had nothing to lose and everything to gain
    2. After some experimentation, I decided on doing Wahl’s level two but with less animal fat, only small portions of animal protein and added fruits. Wahl’s doesn’t limit food or dictate how much meat to eat although it does encourage organ meat and high quality choices.  This was my baseline protocol  and it allowed many of the foods suggested in this “new” protocol.  The juicing got added later as I discovered whether or not it was beneficial to my journey.
specific foods for specific needs: via the medical medium
I got over my fear of fruit and became choosy of my fats

My Actual Protocol: (the detailed version)

As a result I ended up being a hybrid of the Anthony Williams’ protocol and Wahl’s Paleo (I had already re-introduced the foods that Dr. Wahl’s allows in her protocol but Sarah Ballantyne omits from her elimination phase).

  1. While keeping the recommended number of vegetable servings of AIP/Wahl’s Paleo, I focused on specific fruits and vegetables recommended by Anthony Williams, this radical and controversial author of The Medical Medium.
    1. I ate 9 cups of vegetable divided into the 3 groups recommended by Dr. Wahls and focused on the specific fruits and vegetables recommended by Anthony Williams.
    2. The apples and bananas he recommended were in addition to the 9 cups, as Dr. Terry Wahls recommended they be for her protocol.  The combination ended up being about 14 cups of fruits and vegetables per day total.
    3. This made a difference in my energy very quickly.  I could feel a major difference in my adrenals and thyroid. My sjogren’s symptoms started fading.  My mouth wasn’t so dry and my sex drive came back. I could enjoy sex for the first time in 2 years. These improvements were huge!  I was getting somewhere.
  2. I added in more fruit than was recommended by the AIP protocol.  I admit I had a fear of excess fruit.  But I learned to balance the fruit with potassium and sodium instead of protein. I basically ate fruit for desserts and snacks in addition to my meals. These fruit based snacks improved my nutrition by incorporating more high potassium foods like coconut water and foods like apples. I noticed a difference. With a history of hypoglycemia I had never been able to eat an apple without feeling “wonky”.   I love apples now. And coconut water. They both make me feel so good.
  3. I learned to listen to my body and I indulged in foods that I craved and were recommended.  If bananas tasted good, I ate as many as I wanted.  Another week it was asparagus and another it was kale. If I craved chocolate, I knew I was low on magnesium (a pattern for me) and ate magnesium rich foods.  (Cocoa is a reintroduction for AIP, allowed on Wahl’s and discouraged for Medical Medium.  Use your best judgement for your own body)
  4. I started to detox more aggressively. One day a week, I did a juice cleanse.
    1.   Anthony recommended a few different ways to cleanse, including a 28 day protocol (it had no meat and almost no fat included. I made it 3 days even with cooked foods added. I had meat about 2ce a week for 2 weeks and then was craving meat so bad I decided I wasn’t going any further).  luckily, he also mentions juice fasting.
    2. When I tried juice fasting, I couldn’t make it past dark so I just did it more often. I settled on once a week, juicing until dark and then having a regular Paleo meal with extra veggies, a small portion of meat and fruit and nuts (an AIP reintroduction) for dessert.
    3. Because of bioindividuality, I suggest that others experiment with different forms of detox protocols.  Find one that feels right to you and that makes you feel good.
  5. I reduced my meat and animal fat intake.
    1.  I didn’t become a vegetarian. I have so many food restrictions and food allergies that eating beans, seeds and grains were not a good idea for my body.  I also know they challenge my hypoglycemia.
    2. According to this book, my body needs 85 grams of protein and I find that if I don’t get that much, then I am unsatisfied and crave protein.  It contains a formula if you are interested in calculating your needs.  My vegetables gave me about 1/2 of my requirement and allowed for a small portion at dinner (half of what I used to eat at 4 ounces) and a few ounces eaten as a condiment at lunch (about 2 to 3 ounces).
    3. I chose leaner cuts and left the excess fat on my plate.
    4. I love being paleo and know how good this change to paleo made me feel versus eating a grain based diet. I also know that vegetables are much more nutrient dense than grains.  Even David Wolfe, a vegan, even refers to meat as a “superfood”.  I also know my body needs things like liver, beef and wild caught fish. And bacon is delicious.
    5. I still ate avocados, nuts and coconut oil but switched out my full fat canned coconut milk for coconut water and started reducing my animal fats. I by no means am “low fat” but I am also no longer frying in bacon grease or eating fat bombs.  I switched to turkey bacon on weekdays and cut back on fried foods.  I tracked my fat and it was at about 30% of my calories where before it was much more.
  6. I added in celery juice for gut health since I am always fighting low stomach acid. (and it helped other things too).  Every morning on an empty stomach. It was basically my coffee.
    1. Anthony has an entirely different theory about “leaky gut” and how to fix it. So I combined both theories, thinking I’d do everything I could.  Which meant  drinking fresh celery juice every morning. I also got serious about daily bone broth or collagen. I started rotating my probiotics and exploring fruits that helped gastrointestinal health. If nothing else, the added minerals from this daily juice are giving me some great energy and nutrition. I’m still waiting on having great hcl but I feel better when I drink the celery juice than when I do not.
    2. The probiotics that I rotated were DaVinci Labs Probiotics, Douglas Labs muti-probiotic 40 billionand Garden of Life Once Daily Ultra 90 billion Probiotics.  I particularly like the first two because they do not have to be refrigerated but decided to also include the third because of it’s great quality and strength.
  7. I started juicing in addition to my vegetable servings.  When I started the juicing days, I wasn’t sure about this. But I noticed I started to feel better from the extra nutrition and my digestion started to improve some. I wanted to see what more would do. My hair and nails started to get a little strong and thicker and I had less breakage in both. I was getting healthier.
  8. I started some supplements he recommended that treated multiple conditions.  To get them all was unrealistic and there were many to choose from. So I narrowed it down and chose the ones that were mentioned for more than one of my 3 categories of focus: immune system, detox and adrenal support. After that, I chose the ones that were listed at the tops of the lists, as that was recommended. I did what I could afford and what I thought would make the biggest impact with my limited budget.

The Supplements that I take.

These are the supplements that I take.  They contain no allergens or non-AIP ingredients and are very effective.  They are also free of any tapioca (with the exception of the Ascerola Cherry Powder) and of any yeast, fungi, or ferments.  There are no grain derived ingredients of any kind.  No soy or gluten.I love the way they make me feel.  So much that I went to my doctor so he would “prescribe” them and my flexspend account would help pay for them.  He did that for me and I am thankful.  You will notice some repetition because these supplements serve multiple purposes, as noted previously.  For a gallery version of these supplements, click the photo beneath each category.

Adrenal Supplements

  • LICORICE. I particularly like this because liquids are more absorbable and this is very potent.  This supplement is not recommended for those with high blood pressure.  But if yours lowers, you may want to add it at that time and see how your body reacts.  This formula is free of alchohol (which is usually grain derived and fermented) and other restricted ingredients.
  • VITAMIN C.  Most forms of vitamin C are synthetic and made from corn.  My corn reaction restricted the use of vitamin c and when I found whole food supplements, the dosage was much lower than recommended to treat a disease.  After much research I found 3 good sources that fit my needs to be AIP/Allergen free and to also get the job done.  It was a bonus that they were whole food and therefore would be better for me in the long term.
    • I used this ascerola cherry powder  for high doses but then found it contained tapioca (which is a gluten cross reactive but you may not be sensitive to this)
    • I then found this brand of ascerola cherry powder which is without additives but it was not as economical.
    • I landed on Garden Of Life Vitamin C for a maintenance dose.  My dosages are explained below.  You will see this in every category for good reasons but it helps support the adrenals and heal them also.
  • ADREN-PLUS.  This is a blend of herbs sold at doctor’s offices and is pharmaceutical strength.  It is also standardized to be consistent.
  • ENERGY AND VITALITY BLEND .  This blend by Gaia Herbs gives you energy throughout the day without the crash. It is made with adaptogens so unlike coffee or energy shots, it won’t cause you to be even more tired later.  I was concerned about the small amount of caffeine because I tend to get tired if I have too much caffeine (due to its stress on my adrenals) but I have taken this for an extended period of time with no such negative experiences. Nor have I built a “tolerance” to it, whereas even the lowest dose of caffeinated drinks only helps me for a week before it is no longer helpful.
  • Eating for my adrenals and the right supplements gave me energy that I had never had before.

Detoxifying Supplements

  • B-12.  This vegan friendly formula is also paleo friendly.  I don’t remember what the company told me it was derived from but I remember being pleasantly surprised it was not derived from a grass, seed, grain or coal-tar.  It also had no allergenic ingredients or those derived from them. This helps with methylation.
  • SPIRULINA.  The author recommended this brand because it was Hawaiian and apparently that is better.  I don’t remember why but I’m guessing it has to do with contaminants.
  • VITAMIN C.  See the supplements listed above.  Vitamin C is a chelator and can help get rid of metals.  For that reason, at high doses (which are great for the immune system) it can also chelate necessary minerals.  For that reason, I added lemon and sea salt to my vitamin c water both for taste and to replace minerals while I temporarily did higher doses. It seemed to help.
healing a cold without drugs
Doing regular detoxes and taking supportive supplements prevent buildup of food for the virus, like metals.

Anti-viral supplements

  • VITAMIN C. I’m sure you see that this is a no brainer for immune support and have already read the options above.  For the dosing, see below.
  • LYSINE. This amino acid is routinely used in the treatment of Epstein barr and related viruses.  I knew a doctor that recommended taking 1000 mg of this to treat mono so I started there.  I would not recommend exceeding the directions on the bottle unless directed by a medical professional.
  • RED ALGAE.  This is a potent anti-viral. The link will take you to several brands, but I can only attest for Solaray and Pure Planet brands but wanted to give you choices in quality. This herb will also potentially effect thyroid so use responsibly.  My thyroid likes it, for what that is worth.
supplements can be beneficial to keep a “bug” frpm replicating and thriving in your body

For the above supplements, I took what was recommended on the bottle (except for the vitamin C).  For the Vitamin C, I took 5000 mg daily until I felt great and then reduced to 1000 to 2000 mg per day per the recommendation from Dr. Susan Blum in her Immune System Recovery Book.  For daily support I felt confident taking only 500 mg but increase it if I start to feel run down or need extra support.  As for the high dosing, there is a lot of research on high dosing vitamin c but the original research was not done using synthetic vitamin c and this could effect the affects on the body and side effects and effectiveness (phew, that was a lot of “effect”!).  I do recommend taking a whole food supplement whenever possible.  I also do not recommend high dosing unless under the recommendation of a medical professional.  It could lead to mineral deficiencies, as I mentioned below.

The parts that made the biggest difference for me. (coming from AIP/Wahl’s Paleo- which had already improved my health dramatically)

  1. Adding fruits to my diet gave me a nutritional and energetic burst.
  2. High dosing vitamin c made the biggest difference in my not feeling sick all the time.
    1. Vitamin C, if you notice from my supplements above, works on al 3 categories (immune, detox and adrenals).  It also heals the gut.  Too much vitamin C can cause a loss of minerals (because it is a chelator).
    2. When I was taking higher doses, I became more thirsty ( a sign of a loss of minerals/electrolytes) so I added lemon and sea salt to my ascerola cherry powder to replace minerals.  It seemed to keep me from being so thirsty.
  3. Juicing.
    1. After detox/ juice fast days, I sometimes would get energy the next day.  I noticed better digestion on these days.  I noticed detox symptoms on these days (indicating that I had something to detox). I had changes in my skin after a while.
    2. Doing a juice for breakfast and mid morning snack increased my nutrient intake and improved my hair and nails.
    3. By using “cooling” or “warming” foods in my juices I could influence my body temperature.  This gave me control over my hot flashes (we think they are from thyroid or POTs, no one can tell me for sure) and temperature control as a result of my hashimotos.
  4. Pacing myself.  I got stronger as time went on but I will always have to listen to my body to keep it strong so it can win the fight over and over again. Taking a break when I need increases my productivity and the duration of how long I can go.  (The mental clarity ain’t so bad either)

The Results

  1. I have enough energy to work full time, workout (I’m working my way up and am gaining strength again), clean my house and get dressed (with makeup and hair!) and have time for my family. Before I was lucky if I brushed my teeth and ate in the same day.
  2. I have more moisture in my body. 
  3. I can enjoy sex again and an improvement in my sex drive
  4. My hair is thicker and my nails are stronger
  5. I am able to workout more, harder and have increased both my strength and the time of my workouts, modestly. I heal quicker from my workouts.
  6. I no longer feel sick and tired ALL THE TIME.
  7. After 20 years (or more) of chronic adrenal fatigue, I no longer suffer from the chronic fight for energy and productivity in the morning. I can get up!
  8. My blood pressure has improved.
  9. My heart rate has improved.
  10. My joy in life has improved

The Take Away

If there is one thing that my research and training has taught me is that each body is bioindividual.  Some do better with more meat and some do better with less.  Some are effected by low nutrients more than others.  One person’s cure is another’s poison. What worked for me may not be your exact protocol and for some, a more strict one or one with less fruit but more starchy vegetables may be the answer.  But what works for another may be a good starting point. 

If Paleo/AIP did not work well for you, then I encourage you to try Anthony’s protocol as a starting point.  Maybe the vegan version of this will be good to your body.

But if Paleo/AIP worked well for you but you need a little more to get to where you feel great (I DO FEEL GREAT!) then my protocol may be a good starting point instead. However, which foods you need to focus on may be different for your individual situation.  What nutrients your body needs may be slightly different. What methods you use to detox may be different.  What you need to detox from may differ also.  But I encourage you to start here and explore your body’s differences:  Modify this to your body by reading the resources and being methodical about trying new things and examining how your body reacts to them.  Question everything and explore alternative theories, no matter how wild they seem to be.  Trust your instincts to guide you and your body to tell you what it needs.   And good luck on your own crazy journey.  If you have any questions or comments, or want to shoot a comment back to tell me how you modified this to make it work for your body, feel free to comment below in the box provided.  I’d love to hear from you.

Recommended Resources.

The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne

The Wahls’ Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls

The Medical Medium by Anthony Willams

Life Changing Foods by Anthony Williams.

footnotes

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2776035/
  2. Medical Medium by Anthony Williams

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10 Stupid-Easy Ways to Reduce Your Daily Toxic Exposure

10 stupid easy ways to reduce your daily toxin exposure

The first signs of toxic buildup in your body is fatigue and inflammation.  Sound familiar? Toxins are all around us, in our furniture, the paint on our walls, in the air from cars and fumes from building materials and even inside us as a byproduct of our own metabolisms.  We are introduced to much more daily toxins than we were originally designed to be filtering and as a result, they build up and are stored, causing a variety of havoc.

toxins can make you sick, here are ten ways to reduce your exposure
toxins can cause fatigue and more

Toxins are literally inescapable. But reducing our toxic load is something we CAN do in the face of this daunting knowledge and should do to make our bodies their best. Reducing this toxic load where we can improves our immune system, cancer risks, inflammation and even reduce the risk of debilitating brain deterioration. A detox or a cleanse allows our body to catch up on all the “dirty laundry” and reducing our toxic load allows us to store less.  Aside from eating the right foods, enjoying habits like massages and detox baths, breaking a sweat and avoiding chemically laden food “products”, we can also reduce our exposures in the things with which we choose to clean our houses, laundry and selves. There are several alternatives to things like ammonia, bleach, and other lesser known toxins hiding in our cabinets and mixing in with our bath water.

To make this easy, I have included 10 things that you can replace in your home to start your reduction of toxins that you are exposed to on a regular basis. I’ve chosen the ones that I find fairly affordable as for some reason it is seen as a “luxury” to use products that are non-toxic and environmentally more friendly. For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links.  For more information on my affiliate policy please click here.

replace your laundry detergent to a non toxic brand
Doing laundry shouldn’t be a toxic chore
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10 things you can replace in your home to reduce your toxic load

  • Replace bleach with Hydrogen Peroxide.

    • This natural whitener will get blood out of something snow white, can be diluted and is also good for cleaning mold.
  • Replace your bathroom scouring powder or “soft-scrub” by combining Castile Soap and Baking Soda. 

    • This will clean ANYTHING. I’ve even used it as an oven cleaner!I like to use the tea tree variety of castile soap because itea tree is antifungal (good for bathroom mold prevention), anti-biotic, anti-microbial and anti-viral.  This ingredient gives the soap an extra boost in the cleaning department.
  • Replace your dishwasher Detergent with an environmentally friendly version. 

    Here is one that I use and works well

  • Replace your dishsoap with a non-toxic option.

  • Replace your all purpose sprays (all of them) and your mopping liquid with this all purpose cleaner.

    • The yummy, non perfume-y scents are a major bonus. This cab be used in kitchen or bathroom or on floors.
  • Body Wash.

    • This one should be fairly easy as there are several mainstream non-toxic brands out there and they are easily accessible.  Here is the one that I use (it is ph balanced and allergen free) and here is an honorable mention
  • Toothpaste.

  • Shampoo and Conditioner.

  • Laundry detergent.

  • Hand Wash.

  • I  can confidently recommend this brand and also this one.

These are things we buy all the time and it is just as easy to buy these (maybe easier since we can order then from our couch) as it is more toxic brands.  And every little bit counts, right? and considering these are things we come in contact with multiple times a day, these reductions can really add up for our bodies (and the earth).

ten things you can do to reduce toxins
Choosing non-toxic cleansers is an easy way to reduce toxin exposure

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Gravy Makeover- From Guilty Pleasure to Healthy Family Go-To.

I want to talk to you about GRAVY. A friend of mine and I were talking not too long ago and somehow we got to talking about how delicious this simple food is to our families.  Her toddler will eat Brussel sprouts (which is amazing by itself) but she made this happen because she serves them with gravy.

Gravy that counts as a vegetable, heals the gut and has no flour. (and tastes amazing!)

Wait.. what?! I tried it and yes, it is rather yummy.  However, some of us do not eat gravy and would not feel good using gravy at every meal just to get our kid to eat his vegetables.. because it would take EVERY MEAL to get any nutrition into our child (not all of us have toddlers who love Brussel sprouts).  Some of us have cut it out of the menu because it is filled with flour, carbs, “bad fats” and causes havoc in our bodies.. but what if I could tell you that you can have as much delicious gravy as you want with no “bad” ingredients, no flour, and yet have TONS of flavor! And what if that same delicious gravy also counted as a vegetable and was gut healing and detoxifying? (What?! YES! it is true!) When I discovered this secret way to (re)make gravy, I decided I was never going to use any type of flour in my gravy EVER AGAIN because my house actually prefers the delicious sauce of the gods to be this “new” way. Get your sea salt ready, ladies!

yes, its possilbe to make healthy, no flour gravy that is good for you.
Turkey with gravy, carrots and collards

Ingredients:

  • Bone or Vegetable Broth

    •  Vegetable broth could be subbed by I have not tried this myself. If you are going to do a vegetarian version, then I would use both mushrooms and onions in my gravy.
  • Cauliflower

  • Sea Salt

  • Black Pepper- optional

  • Onions or Leeks- optional

  • Meat of your choice- also optional

    • If you are not using meat then I would use lots of onions and mushrooms to get a good flavor
    • I often use ground beef patties and make Salisbury Steak but you could just as easily use chicken or pork.
comfort food makeover- gravy made healthy
comfort food veggies

Directions:

  • Take whatever meat you are eating and brown it in a pan on medium or a bit higher temperature.

  • Do not cook it all the way. Just brown the outside of the meat. If you do not eat meat, then your flavor will come from the onions instead.
  • Remove the meat  as soon as it is browned but before it is cooked in the middle.

    • It should still be raw, essentially. (cooking it in the gravy will improve the taste of the gravy, but first you have to make the gravy)
    • I have made this gravy without cooking meat in the same pan first and it was still delicious.  So if you want to cook the meat separately or have a meatless meal, this step can be skipped with no major effect on the flavor.
  • Add the bone broth- the more you add, the more gravy it will make. I used a pint of broth for 2 people.

  • add the cauliflower and simmer until the cauliflower is tender.

  • blend.

    • If the liquid is deep enough, you can use a hand-stick blender but since mine was only enough for two people, I poured mine into a blender and liquefied it.  The next time I made it, I made sure to put it into a sauce pan so I could use a hand stick blender without making double the amount we needed (it was only enough for 2 people).
    • note: If using the blender, remember that hot liquids added to a blender expand so make sure that the ingredients have room to expand.  I left space for hot air to escape and started on low and then gradually increased the speed to the “liquefy” setting to prevent a liquid explosion (experience talking:)
  • Add the mixture back to the cast iron pan.

  • add sea salt to taste and pepper if you are using black pepper.

  • Add the meat back to the pan to finish cooking in the gravy.

  • Slice onions into thin rings and fill up the pan with as many onions as you like.

    • I love onions so I added approximately a cup and a half.  I have also added chopped celery and fresh herbs.
  • Cover and simmer until the meat is done.

    • The amount of time will vary depending on the meat.  I was using ground beef patties so mine took approximately 20 minutes on medium low. The second time I made this, we were just thawing out some leftover turkey that was pre-cooked and warming in the toaster over (quick meal!) so we were able to skip this altogether.
bone broth gravy with no flour, low carb and gut healing
My meatless gravy blended with a hand stick blender, before added onions and herbs

The benefits of this gravy is that it counts as a vegetable, it is gut healing, and detoxifying! Now that is a recipe that I can feel great about indulging in regularly. Maybe I’ll have gravy on my Brussel sprouts too!?

comfort food makeover- gravy made healthy- no flour
My complete comfort meal. Tureky and gravy with onions with carrots and collard greens.

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Foods That Detox FOR YOU

 

foods that detoxYou will hear the argument against doing a “detox”.  The argument will say that you cannot detox your body or that your body is already detoxing.  It is true, our bodies SHOULD be detoxing everyday.  But whether or not they do it well, efficiently, or can keep up with the amounts of toxins that we introduce into our bodies on a daily basis is questionable.  Our bodies require certain nutrients in order to do this very important job.  Major organs and every cell are involved in this process and modern diseases are proof that our bodies are not able to do the job completely when we have poor nutrition and a high toxic load.  Studies show that infants are born with over 200 toxins in their system.  Standard American diets that lack vegetable intake and are high in chemicals do not give us the fuel and building blocks for getting rid of the constant intake both endotoxins and exotoxins and so we are left overloaded and under supported.  Even with an impeccable diet, modern life has burdened our system with more toxins than we were originally designed to filter using perfectly designed machines we call a body.  So what is a person to do?

For these reasons, some of us who seek health take time out to do a “detox” or a “cleanse” or what may even be referred to as a “purification”.  Both during this time of doing a “detox” and during the rest of the year, our detoxing mechanisms can be supported to be more efficient by doing 2 things:

  1. Reducing your toxic load and
  2. Eating to support your body’s natural detoxification process.

Below I have listed some common foods to support your natural detoxification pathways.   These foods give your body what it needs to do this very important job.  By including them both on your grocery list and your plate, you can be supporting your body at every meal so it can, in turn, support your needs the rest of the day.  What a great relationship, huh? When applicable, I have included some affiliate links for your convenience.  For my full disclosure policy click here.

Common Foods that do the detoxing for you.

  1. Sulphurous Vegetables. These vegetables include things like onions and garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, asparagus, kale, arugula, turnips and turnip greens .  I commonly refer to this group as “all the things that are kind of smelly” because you can actually smell that they contain high levels of sulphourous compounds that give them that smell.  If you are new to adding in vegetables to your diet, start with the ones that are most friendly to you such as onions and experiment with different ways to prepare the others.  I had to do a lot of experimenting to like brussel sprouts but now I eat them for breakfast.  Sulphurous vegetables should be included in your diet daily.  Aim for 3 cups (or as close as you can get).  If that seems like a lot, start at one cup and build your way up, adding onions and garlic to your meals to boost your intake.
  2. Liver.  Your liver is one of the major organs involved in getting rid of toxins and by eating it, you support yours.  Including any type of liver support, including herbs, can help you get rid of toxins better.  If you are new to liver, I suggest grinding it into your ground beef.  It is a great way to hide the taste that may be new or unpleasant to some palates.  You can also find pills, believe it or not.  Including this organ meat in your weekly routine is a great idea for those seeking a nutrient dense diet.
  3. Apples
  4. Cucumbers
  5. Celery
  6. Cilantro
  7. Parsley
  8. Cranberries
  9. Pomegrantes
  10. Raspberry Leaf.  This can be found in teas such as this one here.
  11. Wild blueberries
  12. Dandelion greens or root.  Fresh or in a tea such as this one or this one  (they have 2 completely different tastes).  Fresh is always best.  If you decide to forage for these, make sure that they have not been sprayed by pesticides or weed killer!
  13. Potatoes. 
  14. Tomatoes.
  15. Beets.  Very powerful.
  16. Artichokes. 
  17. Lemons and Limes.
  18. Avocados.
  19. Basil.
  20. Cinnamon.
  21. Fennel.
  22. Ginger.
  23. Turmeric.
  24. Goji Berries.
  25. Grapefruit.
  26. Green Tea.
  27. Olive Oil. This is best eaten unheated.
  28. Pineapple.
  29. Leafy Greens.
  30. Seeds and Nuts.  These are best when soaked and sprouted to remove lectins and phytates.

So who is ready to eat?! While you load up on fruits and veges in your diet, also try to reduce your toxic load by choosing household and beauty products that are less toxic.  As with any changes, making them gradual will seem less overwhelming: start with the ones that are easy.  Every little bit helps! Keep working on it and I’ll see you next time here at My Crazy Journey.

If you like the content, stay tuned by signing up for my email list on more ways to stay healthy.  You can sign up below for more tips on how to support a detox lifestyle as well as recipes, articles and more.  Leave a comment below if you have any feedback or questions.

For more information about foods and detoxing, check out these 2 sources that go into more detail about specific foods and how and why they are good for our bodies.

The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls

Life Changing Foods by Anthony Williams

Additional Sources:

http://eatlocalgrown.com/article/12464-36-foods-that-help-detox-and-cleanse-your-entire-body.html

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Saving $$$ When Buying Healthy

 

while gardening can save you money on groceries, this isn’t what i had in mind!

So maybe you have started your healing journey and  you are realizing you are going through waaaay more veggies than you are used to consuming. And since vegetables are sadly more expensive than junk food, this can be a shock to our grocery budget.  While I want to congratulate you on eating more fruits and vegetables, I also want to help you out. I wanted to share some tips on …

How to save money when consuming more high quality fuels for your body.

  1. Buy the Fruits and Vegetables that give you the most bang for your bucks.  Some fruits and vegetables are very expensive per pound (like when one piece of fruit is 2$!) but others are very affordable.  Check out this list from the EWG on the top fruits and vegetables on a tight budget.  If that isn’t enough then treegugger.com lists 44 affordable fruits and veges to help you be healthy on a budget! What a great list!  My personal favorites are cabbage, seasonal greens, sweet potatoes, garlic, onions, mushrooms, carrots and seasonal fruits.  I shop at bulk stores and look for what is organic because if it is organic then it is also in season and at a bulk store like Costco, I can get a great price on a large quantity of organic apples (or berries, etc).
  2. Shop the Clean Fifteen and Save the Dirty Dozen for my “must be organic” list.  When I go to stores like Costco or Wal-Mart or other big box stores, I can find things like Avocado and Asparagus for about 1$ a piece.  An Avocado is very filling and has a ton of nutrients and healthy fats.. so it’s a great bargain! Especially when that same fruit is twice as much in a regular grocery store. I can also find a huge bag of frozen organic berries for the same prize as a tiny bag would cost at a regular grocery store.  For the 2 lists, click here.
  3. Shop the Sales- Meal plan around what you find or freeze for later use.  I rarely am in a regular grocery store but will occasionally find things like 2 large things of organic basil (one of my favorite herbs) for 5$.  These large containers are 4 times the size of a clamshell which are usually sold at the same price.  So when I see that they are on sale, then I make a dairy free pesto that week.  We use it over zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice one night and then I use it as a salad dressing the next few days- thinned out with some lemon or extra olive oil.  Sometimes I will find a “manager’s special” on some bagged broccoli and make a batch of broccoli soup, which I can eat on for a few days or freeze for an easy weeknight meal with some chicken.   Look for deals on organic meats that can then be frozen to prolong the shelf life or fresh vegetables that can be put up in your freezer so that they last longer. Peppers and Greens don’t need to be processed before freezing but others may need to be cooked or blanched first.
  4. Shop around– We visit 4 different grocery stores regularly. We go to Sprouts because they have the best selection and prices for most organic produce.  We visit a local store because they have the best grass-fed and organic meats and bones at the best price. We go to Trader Joe’s because they have the best prices on Organic Greens and specialty items.  We go to Costco because we can get things like dried fruit, fish, chicken. lamb, greens, avocados, garlic, asparagus, seasonal fruits, peppers, and tomatoes for the best price.  Each of these is either organic or on the “clean list” so we use these as our staples.
  5. Regrow or grow what you can.  If you have a yard, you can grow things that you use the most.  Greens, onions, and herbs are the easiest things
    growing food helps save money on groceries
    growing food in pots can be done almost anywhere.

    to grow followed by tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and squash.  If you don’t have a lot of room to grow things then look for container gardening items like sweet potatoes.  You can also grow celery, green onions or leeks, and salad from kitchen scraps. This also applies to meats as you can easily raise chickens or a cow on a few acres of land if you have it available to you.  If not, you can buy 1/4 or 1/2 or a whole cow from a local farmer and get a substantial discount.  Ask around at your local farmer’s market.

  6. Buy things in season.  I find that things in season are cheaper.  Especially organic produce. Berries are much cheaper in berry season.  Apples are cheaper in apple season.  And in the winter, winter greens are the cheapest produce on the shelf.
  7. Ask for a bulk discount or buy bulk when you have a coupon.  My local store sends out coupons for 15% on the entire purchase that can be used about once a quarter.  I use this time to make a bulk meat order.  I buy inexpensive cuts and then save an extra 15% on them and buy enough to last a month or 2.  This will save me some money.  Before the coupons, they would allow me to do the same and just give me a “bulk discount”.  They will also give me a bulk discount on other items if I buy them by the case.  Most grocery stores will do this for packaged foods like coconut milk, seaweed, teas, etc.
  8. Barter.  If you know a farmer and have something to offer in return, trade services or products for produce. Win-Win.
  9. Make Broth from leftover scraps (or bones).  Save the ends of vegetables you would normally discard and freeze them until you are ready to
    broth is a great nutrient dense way to make an inexpensive meal.
    broth is great to add to purees for a quick soup

    make some broth.  You can do the same with leftover bones from roasted chicken or other cuts of meats.  If you are unfamiliar with making your own broth, here is a link to a bone broth lesson.  You can make just vegetable broth but bone broth has some unique nutrition.

Now if you are Juicing regularly I have some tips for you as well.

  1. Use produce that is about to go bad for a juice.  No need to waste a rubbery carrot as it will juice just fine.
  2. Use produce that gives you  more juice per $.  For example, Spinach doesn’t yield much juice so it is not cost-effective.  But a couple of stalks of celery or a cucumber gives lots of juice so it is much more effective.
  3. Use Kitchen scraps to juice the next day.  I use the ends of my organic produce to add to juice the next day for extra nutrients.  Carrots, zucchini, cabbage, asparagus squashes can all be mixed with things like apple, celery, lemon and more to make a healthy and yummy juice.
  4. Use the same tips as above.  It is apple season so I have been juicing a lot of apples.  I juice a lot of celery so I regrow as many of them as I can. I buy a lot of cucumbers for juicing because I can get them cheap at Costco versus the celery which costs me 2$ a day.

    Juicing vegetable scraps is a great way to get more nutrients for your dollar!
    Juicing vegetable scraps is a great way to get more nutrients for your dollar!

Important things to remember also- a little tough love.

  1. When you invest in your health by buying vegetables and healthy foods, you are saving money later on medical bills.  You can pay a farmer or you can pay a doctor.  Personally, I think the farmer and me both benefit more when I buy the vegetables.  The doctor will still be ok.
  2. You are worth the investment.  You are worth 2$ for a thing of celery even if you eat it all at one sitting.
  3. How much would you pay to heal? If you are sick, or on your way to being sick, or just can’t play with your kids the way you want or can’t live the life you want because of where you are health wise… then how much would you pay to be where you want to be? Put your money where your mouth is.  Literally.

So I hope these help you on your journey to health.  If there is anything you want me to cover, address or report on, just let me know by emailing me via the contact information at the top left-hand corner of the page.  For guidance on your healing journey, feel free to contact me for a free consultation to see if health coaching is the right next step for you. Also, stay tuned for more information on healing by following me on Instagram, Facebook and here on the blog.  If you are not signed up already, sign up for my newsletter and enjoy a free gift of a 7 day  healing meal plan when you do.    See you there!

 

The MCJ 30 Day Detox and Reset

_mcj30daydetox-3January is a time to start afresh— to rebalance, cleanse, start over, etc.  I’m not a fan of the idea of New Year’s resolutions: mainly because they seem like promises to ourselves to “finally” do all the things we really do not want to do.  Once a year we promise to do these things for the rest of our lives, to become new people (someone we aren’t) instead of just admitting to ourselves the truth: that we are going to do something temporarily in hopes that it changes our direction on our own crazy journey.    For the next 30 days “try on” various changes and ideas that you may or may not incorporate into your “real” life.  I encourage you to try something that sounds good to you (details below) and maybe try out a few other things during the course of the next month. I encourage you to set intentions, not resolutions.  I encourage you to refocus instead of make rules.  And if you decide to join us late, no sweat! The party begins when you say it begins. (No time like the present, eh?)   But before you decide to fast for the next month or something extreme (and that is fine if that is what you decide) let’s ask ourselves one question:  What if we gave ourselves permission to modify, adjust, make mistakes and then try something else until we found out what really worked for us? If we took this time to search and focus on that search and as a result found three or even one thing that really made us feel really good– wouldn’t  you want to keep doing that one or three things?

That is exactly what I am suggesting. I am saying that for 30 days I want you to TRY THINGS.  I am suggesting your focus be on detoxification, which is a very broad subject and try multiple things to see which work for you.  Maybe you do something challenging and you rock it out for 30 days. Or maybe you try something and it doesn’t work and so you modify it or even replace it so that it will work.  Just this simple act of not giving up might revolutionize your entire life: or at least your January. As for February, let’s not decide what we are going to do in February until it is almost February. Just don’t think about it.

Let’s just focus on January as a 30 Day Focus on detoxification, on rebalancing and resetting. So how do we do that? The good news is that we have many choices on how to set things back in balance. If our body is our temple then let’s do some house cleaning!

What you decide to try is up to you but if you are stumped for ideas then here are a few suggestions.

1. Think of some things you have been wanting to try.

A. If you are coming from a SAD (Standard American Diet) then I suggest you go slow.

It is possible and likely you will experience some detoxification symptoms if you do not regularly detoxify but these are temporary and just make you feel tired, possibly achy. Usually some detox baths and rest will ease these symptoms and they will pass in about 3 days.  If you want this to be easy, breezy then I would just focus on getting a ton of vegetables in, detox baths and other support habits and what you can do to reduce your toxic load. A good goal at this stage would be to cut out refined sugar and processed foods and focus on getting 3 cups of leafy greens daily (like Spinach, Romaine, or Arugula) , 3 cups of sulfurous vegetables (like onions, mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) and 3 cups of brightly colored fruits and vegetables for a grand total of 9 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.  If you can eat more, then do but if it is too much, then start with one cup from each category and build up until you can get to 9 cups a day or you don’t have any room for junk or sweets. Eat Clean proteins and choose organic foods whenever possible.  For a guide to the vegetables that contain the most and least amount of pesticide residue click here.  That way you can make an educated decision of which vegetables are most important to buy organic.

 

 

B. If you are already a clean eater, then I suggest you focus on specific foods that detoxify and crowding out foods that are less nutrient dense.

I suggest things like greens, lots of cruciferous vegetables, onions, mushrooms and maybe add in some juicing to get in extra nutrients and cleansing.  This may be a good time reduce your animal proteins and grains as most of us eat too much animal protein and grains aren’t as nutrient dense as vegetables and fruits.

 

C. If you are paleo or vegan and already do not eat processed sugar and foods and already have a nutrient dense diet

Then I suggest you adopt some extra detoxing for this month ( or longer ).  Try any of the above that you are not already doing and perhaps introduce things like intermittent fasting, juice fasting (for a day or a month or anywhere in between. Even one day a week is a great break for your body to free it up to get rid of toxins!) or a vegetable only diet for a limited time.  These can be done for a day or two per week or for up to 30 days at a time. You decide what works for you. Taking a break from or reducing meat and other proteins and grains  frees your body up from digesting and allows it to instead remove excess, stored toxins.  Even if you have an impeccable diet, there is always room for some extra detoxing.  None of us are completely free of toxins.  They are everywhere and bombarding us everyday and everywhere.

 

D. If you have Leaky Gut or have Autoimmune, type 2 diabetes, or any neurological disorder.

You may want to incorporate Bone Broth into your 30 Day Focus on Detox.  This not only has collagen to help heal leaky gut but also contains glycine: an important amino acid for detoxification.  Of course, anyone can include this in with their focus time.

E. No, seriously…. You decide your level..

If you are not excited about my suggestions, feel free to decide your own path.  Maybe you want to do a 30 day juice fast.  Maybe you want to only eat raw for 30 days. Maybe you want to only eat vegetables and fruits for 30 days.  Maybe you want to fast from sunup till sundown.. or maybe you want to try a little of all of the above or a combination of any of it.  You decide.  When I first started detoxing, I tried to do the all vegetables with mostly raw food except at nights.  I made it 3 days. I got back on the horse and did another 3 days. I followed this pattern for 2 weeks and was super proud!  Then I tried a juice fast.  I made it until sundown but saw an improvement so I decided to do it once a week during sunlight hours and this was the level that worked for me and helped me continue to see improvements.  But at the very beginning of my journey, I  started with just 9 cups of vegetables and a little protein and let myself have some rice or oatmeal on Sundays.  By eating all those vegetables, I then had no room for foods that were not nutrient dense.  Whatever you decide to do for your body, I support you. Let’s move forward together!

 

 

Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

2. Now that you have picked something to “try on”, know what you are getting into.

A. If you decide to do something that is extreme for you, then know that it will be hard.

 

So let it be hard. (ouch!) You may experience detox symptoms (tired, run down, maybe even achy joints) and need to take it easy for the first few days.  You may be hungrier than normal (A juice fast will do this for about 3 days) at first.  Or you may experience some strong emotions (For example, anger can be a sign of a detoxing liver) so make sure you are not surprised and take it easy until you know how your body will act.  Let yourself rest, take baths, self massage, and look for other ways to “self care”.

 

B.  If you pick something that is not for you, try something else.

There is no shame in trying something else.  For example, if you have diabetes, then juicing may not be the best idea for you.  If you are hypoglycemic, you may need to eat more often or need to have some protein at dinner.  Listen to your body and know the difference between “challenging” and “dangerous”.  Be smart about your choices and if you are not sure if you are doing something that is safe for you, then pick something else or enlist the guidance of a medical professional that is familiar with your medical history.

 

C. Modify as you go, as needed.

The good news is you can start with one intention and then modify it as you go.  You may decide 3 days in that you want to combine a few things or take the weekend off from one thing and do another level instead.  I used to do MCT Keto during the week but go back to the 9 cups when I traveled because it was easier but still aligned with my goals.  Give it some thought and only do this if it aligns with your goals.  Remember that there is a difference between modifying and getting off track.  Taking the night off to eat pizza is not a modification. Which brings me to my next point.

 

D. Getting back on track is as easy as your next meal.

If you get off track, make a mistake, or give into temptation then don’t beat yourself up, give up or quit.  You can be back on track as soon as your next meal, juice or snack.  Just get back on the horse.  Change is hard.  I call this a “challenge” for a reason.

Below are some various ways of eating that may also resonate with you.  Check them out to help you decide or make up your own way of eating that aligns with your goals.

 

  1. 21 day sugar detox – not very extreme, low sugar and reduced carbohydrates
  2. Whole 30 -not very extreme, easy to do
  3. Juice Fast (Anywhere from 1 to 30 days- or longer) more extreme but with huge health benefits- not for every body.
  4. Bone broth fast– particularly useful if you suffer from autoimmune, joint discomfort or leaky gut syndrome.
  5. The Daniel Fast– a vegetarian diet that is based on whole foods
  6. A fruit and vegetable cleanse (Usually done for 2 to 4 weeks) – a period of time where you only eat fruits and vegetables, mostly raw and none or some cooked vegetables.
  7. Traditional fasting – going without food for periods of time, usually a couple of days with water only or for a period of time from sun up to sun down.
  8. Eating Healthy- a lot of people just vow to eat healthy during this time and that is great! Doing this will be easier than a cleanse. It can be supported by focusing on cleansing and detoxifying fruits and vegetables and lifestyle habits that support detoxification.  This is something that is sustainable and can more easily be maintained for a long period of time. Aim for getting 9 cups of vegetables a day: doing this will “crowd out” the less desirable foods and make sure your body is getting what it needs to reduce cravings.

As always, don’t try any extreme diet without medical supervision, especially if you suffer from any health conditions.

As you can see, this 30 Day Reset can look like anything you make it.  The point is that you try and that you do your best.  It is ok to make mistakes, it is ok to modify and it is ok to make adjustments as needed.  Don’t be surprised if your body really likes it.  Detoxing helped clear my skin, made my friend lose weight and gain energy.  She called me and said she ate some junk and her body gave her a clear sign that it did not like junk food anymore (I guess it was getting spoiled by having some nutrition).

So I hope that you will join me in this 30 Day Focus on Detox and Reset, at whatever speed you decide to do this.  Look for my videos, articles and more for ways to support this 30 day Reset including information on detox baths, detoxing vegetables, and other ways we can support detoxification either during a 30 Day Reset or through the entire year.

Good luck and I look forward to hearing how good you feel after! Sign up below or beside to get more articles, recipes, offers and challenges to come.  Feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear  some feedback on how you are doing this month!

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