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Taking Pleasure Seriously

Detoxification : How I Survived A 21- Day Detox

I did a 21-day detox and survived to tell.

I know I sound a bit dramatic, but think of it like this – 21 days, 3 whole weeks {!}, in which I refrained from processed sugars, gluten, alcohol, dairy products, and red meat. If you think about it for a moment, it means that I couldn’t eat something like 97% of the ready-made food products, simply because they were processed and full of sugars and things I don’t even know what they mean…

Does this sound impossible to you? I admit, it isn’t easy, but it’s completely possible and the final outcome totally justifies the effort. And honestly, I'm sure you already understand that most of the good things in life aren’t served to us on a silver platter, right?

When I decided to do a detox many people raised an eyebrow. After all, detoxes have become very trendy in recent years mainly because they’re great for weight loss, and I was very pleased with my weight before I even began. So why did I decide to make this huge change in my life for 3 weeks? Simply because I wanted to ‘restart’ my body. Although I’m very careful to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle, among all my travels abroad, which are always full of culinary experiences, and my love for restaurants in general, I felt like I had to ‘pause’ the body. I wanted to “cleanse” the body from the less healthy foods on my menu and nourish the body with foods that would do good.

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

One thing was clear to me – I wasn’t really interested in a detox which allows eating only one or two kinds of food for a certain period of time. Like the whole-grain rice and mung beans detox which I had tried before and failed because of the endless yawns caused from the menu. Even if we assume that this kind of detox is efficient and healthy, it’s on the verge of impossible to keep.

So how did I do it? I downloaded an app to my iPhone called 21-day Detox {which costs less than 10$} and joined the closed Facebook group, where Hagar Shefer {this detox plan inventor, a naturopathic and a dietitian expert} accompanies it in a responsible and close manner {This is a Hebrew speaking group, but I'm sure that an English speaking one is just around the corner}.

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

 

It's important to emphasize that I'm not a nutritionist or an expert on detoxification and all I share in this post is based on my personal experience and information about the plan from the application only.

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE 21-DAY DETOX?

 

As I’ve already said, the 21-day detox program was developed by the Naturopathic Hagar Shefer to enable anyone to keep a healthy, balanced diet independently with an easy-to-use application that can be downloaded to any mobile device {by the way, it comes in 7 languages and offers different menus for carnivores, vegetarians and vegans!}. Anyone interested in additional support, apart from the application, can join the program’s closed group or even join several sessions at Hagar's clinic in Israel (each of these options is for an additional fee).

Unlike many other detox programs, this cleaning program is extended over a relatively long period of time in which the body undergoes a gentle, deep and effective cleaning process. The detox is based on a varied and rich menu, consisting of 5 meals a day that combine different types of food. Apart from the various recipes you can find in the app, you can also find tips about dishes to order at restaurants during the process. This long detox process has three main goals : preventing inflammation, cleaning the digestive system and burning fat.

As with other detoxes, one of the major advantages of this process is a rapid weight loss (1-2 kilos per week, depending on the initial weight and level of adherence to the program), fat percentage and minimizing inches. But apart from all these, the detox provides a solution to those who want to make a nutritional change and give the body the ability to function efficiently and in a healthy way. This health change should improve energy levels, improve metabolic rate, regulate bowel movements, radiate and vitality skin, relieve headaches and migraines, balance body sugar levels and reduce the need for sweets in general.

For those who wish to maintain the positive results of the process over time, Hagar recommends continuing to a healthy and orderly nutrition program, thus making the results real and lasting for years.

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

 

 

WHAT'S FORBIDDEN AND WHAT'S PERMITTED TO EAT AND DRINK DURING THE DETOX PERIOD?

 

During the 21-day detox program, some foods are removed from the diet : grains – mainly white flour, gluten, processed sugar, alcohol, artificial sweeteners, diet substances, dairy products and yeast. 

At first glance, you might think, “Wait, so what can you eat?”… The good news is that in the app you can find a variety of ideas for recipes that combine a lot of foods to ensure you won't stay hungry. For example, chicken and turkey breast, eggs, fish, tofu, a large variety of vegetables and fruits, nuts, almonds, coconut milk, tahini and even organic maple! And what about coffee, you ask? Technically, it's best to avoid it, but if you're an addict, you can drink one or two cups of coffee with a little soy milk / almond milk.

The daily menu, which consists of 5 meals, includes delicious smoothies, healthy snacks, hot dishes, salads and even sweet things {like this amazing mocha shake I wrote about here}. During the detox it's important to drink plenty of water and be sure to drink herbal tea and green tea.

You can also order from Hagar 100% organic tea, consisting of three types of tea, a combination which is supposed to improve the detox and reduce the cravings for sweets and carbohydrates. I tried the tea all along the detox and most of the time I really felt full and hardly had any crazy cravings {except during the last few days}, but honestly, I don't know if it was psychological, as a result of the balanced menu, or really because of the tea. Either way, something here works well.

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

 

MY EXPERIENCES FROM THE PROCESS :

Start by convincing Daniel to cooperate and do the detox with me! #WIN

The condition was that I would make all the food, and that was a sacrifice I was willing to make! (Because I had to cook for myself anyway 😉 }

 

This has two advantages :

1. It's comforting suffering together – it's much nicer to do a detox along with someone. Plan together what to eat, share experiences, get excited about new dishes, and of course – complain during difficult times to someone who knows exactly what you're going through at the moment. It's quite similar to a gym partner – it gives motivation to continue, even when you really feel like eating pizza… 😉

2. Adding healthy habits to a life together – I've written once in the blog that since Daniel and I moved in together, I managed to get him to adopt a healthier diet, while he managed to make me lose mine a bit {hello pizza deliveries}. Thanks to this detox, we learned where it's possible and worthwhile to reduce calorie consumption without taking away from the taste. Daniel, who is in charge in the kitchen for preparing homemade dressings and stir-fried dishes, knows now that one tablespoon of olive oil is enough to prepare tasty food {which means I won't have to spy on him to see that he isn't exaggerating with the quantities of oil anymore …}.

 

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

Learn how to lose weight & get healthy in only 21 day - this 21 day detox is your ticket to clean eating life.. you can loose up to 6 kilos in this process!

 

My personal experiences from the detox program can be divided according to the three weeks :

FIRST WEEK

After completely filling up the refrigerator with our first shopping list from the app, we were ready to start the process. On the first day I felt it was going to be super easy for me – after the morning smoothie, the vegetable snacks at 10am, the perfect lunch {a Mexican-style stir-fry I had already adopted to my daily menu} and the fruit during the afternoon, I felt great. Not great – amazing! I wasn't hungry for a second and everything was so delicious!

And then came the evening…. {Imagine scary music in the background}

Suddenly, out of nowhere, my body cried out for help – I was hungry, weak, and my head started aching. It was the beginning of what's called a “healing crisis.” The body decides to behave like a “junkie” and demands the amount of sugar it's used to getting. The same healing crisis continued until noon on the fourth day of the detox and was accompanied by a feeling that really resembled the flu – fatigue, headaches, muscle weakness and irregular sleep. Luckily, I read all the app guides before I started the process and I knew I might feel this way during the first few days. It wasn't pleasant at all, but at least I knew what to expect.

After these four days, which I call “the terrible days of the detox”, there was a huge change for the better. Something in  my body calmed down. Suddenly my headaches completely disappeared {and the migraines I suffer from occasionally disappeared}, I didn't feel bloated at all {even after meals} and I started to sleep much much better.

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND WEEK

The second week was the best week of the detox for me. A third of the Detox was already behind me, I felt light, I enjoyed the food, and I really didn't have any cravings! Even pizza, ice cream and cocktails didn't effect me… I even wrote in the newsletter I sent to my website's subscribers, I wrote that this week flew by for me!

 

 

 

 

 

THIRD WEEK

The good feeling in the body stayed even in the third week, but something changed… The end felt so close, and the thought that “Hey! In a second I can indulge in super tasty food!” flashed through both Daniel and me and made both of us fantasize about our favorite guilty pleasure – Daniel dreamed of a hamburger with all the extras and I couldn't  stop thinking about pizza. We had already planned dates in restaurants for the second the detox was over to get this “craving” our of our systems and then return to a healthy and balanced lifestyle – based on the 80/20 rule.

In spite of all the cravings that attacked us, we knew there was no reason to give up on the detox – after all, two weeks of it were already behind us! We continued with all our strength and made sure to stick to the balanced menu, without being tempted by forbidden things. So yes, in the last week I ate more fruit than it says on the app, but I never said I was more holy than the Pope 😉

All in all, I'm very happy with the process and you can say that we did it heroically!

 

 

 

 

 

As I said at first, my goal wasn't to lose weight. My initial weight was low and I knew that even if I lose weight, it wouldn't be significant… Just because there wasn't much to lose. At the end of the process, I lost a kilo and a half {and I reached the weight I don't remember seeing in the past few years on the screen}. But in terms of appearance, there's no doubt that there was a decrease in fat percentage and in inches, and I got too skinny in my opinion. In terms of feeling, there's no doubt that the detox completely eliminated the annoying feeling of bloating that we all know too well, as well as the migraines I've suffered from recently.

My facial skin was in really good shape even before the process (thanks to my daily routine), so there was no change in that aspect. I have no doubt that in order to maintain this good feeling, a healthy lifestyle must be maintained even after the detox, and I've already adopted some new recipes and habits for life {like drinking a smoothie every morning with only one fruit, who knew it was so delicious and filling!}.

By the way, in case you were wondering – Daniel lost 5 kilos and actually lost a few inches!

 

SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE THE DETOX SAFELY 🙂

>> It's not recommended to start the detox during a stressful period at work. As I said, there's a chance that you'll experience a “healing crisis” at the beginning of the process and you really don't want it to fall on some important presentation or urgent deadline.

>> Although it's possible to go to events and celebrations even during the detox,  if there's an event that's especially close to your heart, I think it would be better to postpone the detox a little. The same applies to holidays and trips.

>> The recipes of the program are very “clean”, and their flavors are much more subtle than the food we are used to eating everyday. Daniel and I love more spices in our food and allowed ourselves to play with spices {they are allowed in the detox without a limit} to “spice things up” 😉

>> Before you start the process, you should take into account that it involves preparations that are highly recommended to do in advance, like cooking the dishes, cutting vegetables for the snacks and freezing fruit for smoothies. Most of the recipes don't take much time, and the same goes for the preparation of the vegetables and fruits for the snacks, but it's recommended to set a predefined time for the preparation activities so that you'll always be equipped and won't get tempted to eat whatever is easy and close.

>> Shakes and smoothies are going to be a significant part of your detox menu {and who knows, maybe even after…}, so I recommend buying a good blender that can also crush ice without a problem, like the Ninja {You can buy it on Amazon!}.

 

Have you ever done a detox? If so, what kind? And what do you think of the 21-Day detox? Tell me in the comments!
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8 Responses

  1. What a great roundup of thoughts on this trendy topic. I love seeing the different points of view of our fellow dietitians. Thank you for your post.

  2. What a beautiful and well put BLOG …People think detoxing is only for those who want to loose weight but no it’s just a way of living a healthier lifestyle. I enjoyed reading your article.
    Health is wealth.

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