Detox Day 8: We're Almost There!

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Woo hoo! Happy Detox Day 8, we've made it to the Reintroduction Phase! We are in the final stretch of our detox and hopefully, you are feeling a little "cleaner" than you did a week ago!

Things only get easier from here on out, and as we enter Step 3 of the Clear Change Program, we get to treat ourselves to the following food categories:

Katie and Brittany smile and shake up their afternoon nutritional support on Day 8!

Katie and Brittany smile and shake up their afternoon nutritional support on Day 8!

  • Fruits and Vegetables (everything in the Recommended Foods List)
  • White rice (If you prefer brown rice, it is okay to substitute, in our opinion.)
  • Protein source: continue with only 1 category—Legumes OR Fish
  • Spices/Condiments
  • Oils/Fats
  • Beverages

Today, we also reduce the nutritional support to 2 scoops of the recommended UltraClear® product and 2 AdvaClear® capsules, 3 times each today (plus any other recommended nutritional supplements).

We are loving your comments! We've noticed both staff and patients are reporting that they have stopped craving sugar and junk food during the last few days. Did you know that some research has compared the addictive properties of sugar to those of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin? It might be strange to think you broke an addiction this week, but it is likely true. After our 10-Day detox is behind us and we begin allowing (occasional) treats in our diets, remind yourself that when you crave junk food,  your body is confused.  Just as you may have experienced this week, when you primarily feed your body the proper nutrition and fuel to function properly, it will stop asking you for the crappy stuff you might usually crave.

Keeping tabs on our sugar intake is one important aspect of going back to life post-detox, but you may also be starting to think about how to prevent toxic build up in your system now that you've worked so hard to give it a good flush. We consulted Metagenics, and here were their tips!

Helpful Hints From Metagenics

Here are some ways you can "keep it clean" after your program to help your body support its natural metabolic detoxification processes:

  • Avoid using pesticides/herbicides in your home and garden.
  • Consider organic whenever possible—especially with meat, dairy, and the following fruits and veggies: peaches, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, cantaloupe, celery, apples, apricots, green beans, grapes, and cucumbers.
  • Drink at least 6-8 glasses of purified water each day.
  • Reduce your exposure to plastics. Buy juices and water in glass containers when possible. Do not microwave in plastic containers, and minimize washing plastic containers in the dishwasher under high heat. Limit use of plastic food wraps.
  • Eat fewer canned foods and more frozen or fresh foods.
  • Use natural or organic toiletry items, such as shampoo, soap, and fragrances. 

more Bonus Recipes!

Yum, veggie chili. We opted to add celery and substitute rutabaga for carrots in this batch. It was sooooo good!

Yum, veggie chili. We opted to add celery and substitute rutabaga for carrots in this batch. It was sooooo good!

If you did not try the Vegetarian Chili earlier in the week, we HIGHLY recommend it. Many of us agree that this recipe is going to become a staple at home this winter.  Find the recipe on page 16 of your Guide Book.

Tomato Basil Fish (2 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 10-12 oz. fish fillets
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Combine lemon juice, rosemary, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium dish and add fish. Coat on all sides; cover and refrigerate for ½ to 1 hour. Drain marinade and discard. Preheat grill and brush some olive oil on the grill rack. Grill fish 4" from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. (Or bake or saute' fish.) Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until heated through. Serve with fish.

Black Bean Salad (4 servings)

  • 2 cups low sodium, organic black beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup red or yellow pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and chill before serving.

 

Don't forget to leave your comments below! Cheers and see you tomorrow!

Make It a Sweet '16, Without the Sweets!

If you've been to our office, then maybe you've noticed a few questions about sugar cravings when filling out symptom surveys. Do you have them? Are they mild, moderate, severe? Here's the thing about sugar... it's ADDICTIVE and cravings can be indicative of bigger problems at hand. Your relationship with sugar can tell your health practitioner a lot. That's why you'll see these questions on our hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, and candida questionnaire. We will also be sure to ask what your diet consists of during your first office visit.  

Believe us, we know breaking a sugar addiction can be difficult. Some research has compared the addictive properties of sugar to those of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. So, in order to help you break up with sugar for good, let's look at some of the baggage sugar brings to your relationship. 

Sugar and Candidiasis

Candida albicans is the lesser known name for the yeasty fungus that naturally lives throughout the body. When in balance with the other microbes and bacteria in the system, candida does not cause health concerns. However, a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates is a surefire way to end up with candidiasis or candida overgrowth.  When candida overgrowth occurs, patients find themselves battling a slew of symptoms that can go ignored or misdiagnosed for years.

These include:

  • weight gain
  • foggy thinking
  • aches and pains
  • chronic fatigue
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal discomfort, gas or bloating
  • skin conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, hives, unidentifiable rashes or just itchy skin with no rash at all
  • repeat vaginal infections, urinary tract infections or rectal itching

Sugar and Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas gland.  The purpose of insulin is to open channels in the cells all over the body and let glucose (sugar) get into the cell.  It’s like a key that opens the doors to a cell and when the doors are open, the sugar goes inside.  At this point, the sugar can be used to create energy and drive various processes in the cell.  When this doesn't happen, the sugar or glucose collects outside the cells in the blood stream and creates the condition of insulin resistance and later, diabetes.  The reason this mechanism fails can be the result of years of eating a diet too high in sugars or starches like bread, pasta, and potatoes (even if they are healthy). Over time, the cells will require more and more insulin until the pancreas cannot keep up with the demand.  This is when diabetes occurs and medication is needed to work in conjunction with or in place of the body's insulin to get the sugar into the cells.

Sugar and Hormone Imbalance

Hormones are very important chemical messengers produced by one part of the body to tell other organs what to do and how to respond under certain conditions. Some of the most commonly discussed hormones include thyroid, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. While often times we address these hormones individually, the truth is, they are greatly impacted by the balance or imbalance of each other. For example, one who consumes too much sugar will see their body begin to store this extra "energy" in fat cells.  Fat cells have an enzymes known to  convert testosterone into estrogen. Therefore, obesity can contribute to high estrogen, low testosterone, and even too low thyroid hormones.

When blood sugar fluctuates a lot, like after eating a donut, bagel, or having a soda, insulin and cortisol fight to keep things in balance. Like we discussed earlier, insulin has the job to lower blood sugar by moving it into cells to be used for energy or stored for later. Cortisol moves sugar in the opposite direction. It takes sugar stored in the liver (glycogen) and puts it into the blood stream. To simplify, insulin lowers blood sugar and cortisol raises blood sugar.

Too much insulin will lower blood sugar too much which is called hypoglycemia. So to prevent this, when insulin goes up, cortisol goes up a little also. This is not to raise blood sugar, but to make sure the blood sugar stays in balance. Unhealthy, high-carb, high-sugar diets will cause lots of highs and lows in insulin and blood sugar throughout the day which can manipulate cortisol into an imbalance. In this type of situation, high cortisol levels decrease your thyroid hormones as well. Before long, all of those little messengers lose their ability to work together sending the needed information, at the right time, to keep the body properly functioning. 

Quick Tips to Fight the Sugar Seduction

Remove temptation. Even if you have the best self-control, a cupboard full of cookies calling your name can be torture. If you are gearing up to leave sugar behind, purge your kitchen of anything that might tempt you to feed the addiction. Also, double check your grocery list and avoid the cookie/candy isles all together. 

Start with soda. If you've fallen into the trap of indulging in daily sugary sodas or beverages, you are not alone. The FDA says about 47% of our added-sugar intake comes from beverages, not including milk or 100% fruit juice. Simply cutting out beverages with added sugar can make a huge impact. 

De-stress. Unfortunately, there is something sweeter about sweets when you're feeling stressed. When a sugar craving hits, first recognize it may be because you're feeling wound up. Focus on your breathing and consciously decide you are in control. Take a quick walk, turn on your favorite music, watch a funny video, or chew a piece of gum. All of these are relaxing and better-for-you options that you can feel good about. 

Eat regularly to keep a balanced blood sugar. Having a small meal or healthy snack every couple of hours can drastically reduce the urge to reach for something sweet. 

Find a better alternative to the junk. After weaning off of processed sugar, junk food and sweets, many patients report a change in their taste buds. Suddenly, a banana is much sweeter and apples powdered in cinnamon have become a delicious dessert. The goal of breaking a sugar addiction isn't to NEVER have sugar again. It is simply a step you can take to ensure that you have more control over your well-being and quality of life. That being said, a square of organic dark chocolate can really hit the spot once you've reminded your brain and tongue what "sweet" really is!