Detoxification program – Preparing Your Life: Schedule and Home
In some ways doing the Detox program at home is more convenient than retreating to a fasting center or spa for a cleanse, but it has its challenges. Changes of habit are hard for everyone to accomplish, no matter what level of diet and lifestyle they’re starting from, and changes in eating and drinking are some of the hardest. When we attempt to break free of them, we get moody and irritable or start craving the things we are trying to quit. Even though the Clean program addresses these issues nutritionally and biochemically, you have to be your own main support team. If you set up a schedule and system in advance, you will maximize your chances of success.
Put Clean on Your Schedule
Like anything worth investing effort and energy in, you have to make time for Clean. Plenty of busy people, from parents to business executives, from students to entertainers, have finished the program. They’ll all agree that getting three weeks free of obligations or social events is a fantasy, so don’t wait for months to start. Waiting for the perfect window of quiet time probably means you’ll never do it. What you can do, however, is plan the program for a period with minimal travel and start on a weekend if the week tends to involve business and social events. This will give you time to get used to the new menu and go through the first few days of adjustment outside of the workplace. Also note that too many changes at the same time can be hard to sustain, so try to start your program at a time when you are not moving, changing jobs, divorcing, or going through other major changes. (But some people do best during times of total change—you may be one of them.)
When you have decided on a start date, put it in your calendar just as you would any other commitment, such as a trip or work project. Note the dates you will start the Elimination Diet preparation phase and mark out Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. Weekly planner charts are provided for you in the next section of the book, but it helps to put some of the optional activities, from exercise to massage, right onto whatever calendar you look at daily. You will also need to make some time for shopping for all the ingredients you plan to use each week. Block out times for this each week; finding your fridge empty halfway through the week is an unnecessary obstacle.
Once you are in the swing of the program, it’s fairly easy to follow your normal lifestyle. Make the choice to do things differently and stay away from the cocktail hour and meals with friends and family for a few days. You might even take your dinnertime liquid-meal jar to a friend’s house.
Setting Up Your Kitchen
Getting a system set up for Clean that is both functional and supportive is very important. The anchor of this system is the kitchen. Millions of people today rarely cook—they eat out for most of their meals. Their challenge will be to use the kitchen and to find the time to organize and prepare foods daily. For others, the kitchen is the hub of a busy home. Their challenge may come from the tempting foods it is stocked with for other members of the family. If you are the household chef, determine how far you can go in disrupting the status quo. A personal commitment to your own goals might be the only thing that helps you get through preparing other peoples’ meals as you sip your vegetable juice. Know that after the first week this will get easier. But also remember that anything you do for yourself will help the whole family. It’s not too much to ask others to adapt slightly to accommodate you from time to time.
Take a few minutes to look in all your kitchen drawers and cabinets. See how many packaged products you have. What food do you have in boxes, jars, bags, tubes, and cans? Read the ingredients, familiarize yourself with what you were eating before, and then throw away or give away whatever is counter to the way you want to eat now. This should include anything that is going to tempt you to stray from your Clean meals and snacks.
You will need three basic essentials to complete the program that will all be important for maintaining the benefits over the long term. Although the best versions of them can be expensive, you can find affordable ones that will work fine. Since they’ll help you long after Clean is finished, they should be seen as an investment in your well-being.
- A blender. Smoothies and soups are a very important part of the Clean program. I recommend a high-speed blender such as Vitamix, but any good blender with a powerful motor will do. Some recipes also call for a food processor for solid ingredients.
- A juicer. There are lots of good juicers on the market today. My favorite brand is Breville, which makes powerful and easy-to-clean products.
- A source of pure water. Anyone on the path to being Clean needs to use pure water. Tap water today carries too many chemicals to support you as you actively detoxify. Though it’s possible to buy bottled water during the program or use a bottled-water delivery system, these options are expensive over time and damaging to the environment. Jug filters will take chlorine out of the water, but leave many of the harmful substances. Your Clean program is a good time to invest in a water filtration system for your kitchen sink. A reverse osmosis filtration system lets you wash foods in clean water, drink clean water, and use it for your Clean program soups and smoothies. These are available starting for around $300 and increase in price as they get more effective. Whatever you decide on, try to use the purest water possible during the program.
Prepare a few clean jars and food-grade plastic containers so you are equipped to take your liquid meals and your daily lunches with you to work and elsewhere.
After familiarizing yourself with the ingredients needed for the meals and smoothies, juices, and soups, investigate where you can buy the healthiest ingredients possible, like a local farmers’ market, health-food store, or a supermarket with a good organic selection. In addition to buying what you need for Detoxification, remember to buy the foods that will help you when you feel cravings, such as raw nuts and herbal teas.