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Rebecca's Detox Part II - Halfway Through!

Tomorrow is Day 10 of my detox, which I just wrote about here. Inspired by another member of the Loving Earth team, I’m attempting to remove caffeine, sugar, alcohol, dairy, red meat and wheat from my diet for four weeks, just to give my system a rest and see how I feel. So I called into the ringing phones and busy chatter of Customer Service to see how Rebecca’s detox was going…


So! What changes have you noticed since we last spoke on Day 3?


Well, no more headaches, the cravings have decreased right down and I was fine with green tea and the cleaner flavour rather than needing the comfort of English Breakfast Tea. Saffron [one of our Customer Service Account Managers] said my skin was glowing [laughter]! I actually forgot to tell you that I’d been taking liver herbs, which I always do, so the mixture I was on is a retail product in liquid form, a really good dose of milk thistle, globe artichoke, dandelion root, and gentian which helps with digestion. It’s a good mix, gets the whole digestion system flowing really well…moving along so to speak!


I actually started using a coffee substitute myself, dandelion coffee, so I was wondering whether particular coffee substitutes were supposed to be good or bad, or better or worse?


So, dandelion has traditionally known to be really good for the liver, but a lot of dandelion that’s on the market as a coffee substitute is actually roasted, so a lot of the constituents are cancelled out by the roasting, but drinking the dandelion will still be better than drinking coffee, depending on your point of view. As we were talking about before, the jury is out on caffeine and whether it’s good, bad or indifferent for you. I personally feel that caffeine heavily affects my nervous system, so I wanted to cut that out for a while. If you want dandelion to be more effective for your liver you actually get an unroasted variety, but it is really bitter, so most people don’t go for it. You can get it in healthfood stores.


One thing I noticed in various online articles about detoxing and so on is a lot of talk around alkalizing and acid-forming foods?


I do buy into that a bit, but the majority of my diet is fairly alkalizing as I eat a lot of veggies anyway. Just to note, things like caffeine and alcohol are acid-producing, stress is acid-producing, and you do need both, your body works on a balance, but I think that the majority of people could do with a more alkalizing diet.


So the detox plan you’re on is sort of an aggregate of many different common plans, but the most common “next level” kind of things I saw were people who would cut out things like soy, white rice and so-called “nightshade vegetables”, things like potatoes and tomatoes, which I found a bit confusing?


Well they’re quite acid-forming as well. Certain disease-states, things like arthritis are inflammatory and there are theories that the nightshade family are also inflammatory and slightly toxic to people who are sensitive, so you want to actually decrease them in the diet if you have those kind of issues. Because I don’t suffer from any of those I don’t actually decrease them. I think I forgot to say that I pretty much avoid anything that’s white, so white rice is out, white pasta, and I’m not eating meat so none of that.


Also in your everyday non-detox life?  


No, not in my everyday life, but generally I’d prefer wholegrains, it’s naturally how my diet has evolved since I went vegetarian and since my husband is vegetarian that’s just the way I prefer it. I do eat pasta, for example, but I cut out all wheat when I’m doing a detox, so that goes out the door anyway.


Sugar – what about that? Is it because it’s a stimulant?


Well, it’s a bit of a stimulant, but it also triggers the insulin response in the body, so by eating more of a wholegrain, low GI diet you’re  easing the load on the pancreas, which is the organ that produces insulin, so you’re just taking the load off all of the organs as much as possible. There’s various evidence to do with sugars depressing the way your immune system works, in terms of white blood cell reaction in the body to refined sugars. Generally a lot of the products that have refined sugars in them are pretty empty nutritionally anyway; it’s great eating things like cake, for example, every now and then, but…keep it for every now and then!


Is that related to inflammation as well?


Yeah, it can be, yep.


What about soy products, did you ever have a strong opinion to them? It’s something that seems to come up a lot.


Yeah, I prefer wholegrain soy products, particularly ones that are fermented like tempeh and miso, which are more traditional foods in places like Japan, as opposed to soy milk or soy products which are used as “filler” in a lot of processed foods, for example soy protein isolate as part of bulking out packaged foods. That kind of thing is okay for a treat every now and again but if it’s going to be a part of your diet continually then I would be wary of it. I eat tofu, I eat tempeh, I occasionally have soy milk, but not masses, and I tend to rotate the milks that I have.


Finally then, is it normal to be REALLY irritable?!


Particularly in the first week, is that what you found?! [yes!!] For me it’s the caffeine! When you’re not getting the buzz off the caffeine, it forces your body to draw on reserves that you don’t really have, so you get perked up by caffeine particularly in that mid-afternoon slump. If you naturally weren’t on it, once you’ve detoxed, you would naturally get a little bit of a lull at that time anyway and just acknowledge it and say “I need a little bit of a break, a time out”, but instead we push ourselves through. Then because you don’t have that there and your body’s withdrawing from it, you can get cranky. You get the headaches, a bit grumpy, a bit “aargh, what’s wrong with me!” because you don’t have those things to perk you up. It’s nice to just notice that and it’s interesting to notice what it does to you when you come back on to it as well, how you over-react. When I have a coffee I’ll be off the wall!


Well we’ll talk to you about that part next week! Thanks Rebecca! 


Read More: An Easy Way To Self-Diagnose Dietary Issues

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