Dear Dr. Terri K: A friend has been talking about doing a fast and I may do one as well. How do I get started? How do I choose what kind to do? What do you recommend? Thank you – Pam
Pam: First, congratulations for committing to your health! Here are some simple guidelines to get started:
Be clear on your intention. Most detoxification diets are designed to reduce your daily toxin intake and work with the body’s own defense mechanisms to enhance the natural detoxification process. However, detoxification is a personal experience. Understanding your motivation will help you succeed. Do you want to heal? Do you want to increase energy? Do you want to jump-start your weight loss? Write down your primary motivation.
Choose what works with your lifestyle. Set an attainable goal. Fasts and detox diets allow you to give the body a rest so it can heal itself. Some are more accessible than others. For example, if you don’t think you can live on just lemonade for a few days then “Master Cleanse” fast may not be for you. You may need a detox approach which allows for more substance such as the Seven-Day PWR® Detox. On the other hand, if you have some days to rest, you may focus on a liquid-only fast.
Check with your doctor. Although a detox diet may offer great benefits, consult your doctor if you are suffering from a chronic disorder or have any hesitation about your ability to undergo a fast. Also note that each person responds differently as the body detoxifies.
Take time to prepare. You may have all of the best intentions in the world, but if you don’t have the tools readily accessible and a very specific game plan then you are likely to be disappointed. You must set yourself up for success. For example, clear the kitchen of temptations, set expectations for those around you, clean your juicer (or locate a nearby juice bar) and shop for what you need for the fast.
Keep a journal. Since a critical aspect of the process is building self-awareness, it is important to log your progress every day during the program. This will help you self-correct. Journaling is a good way to record the experience and identify any patterns in your thoughts, choices or actions.
Ease out of the fast. Break the fast with healthy soups. Then, focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. If you are not following a vegetarian diet, then you can begin to gradually introduce lean meat, poultry and fish into your diet. Take advantage of your heightened senses. Add foods back one at a time and notice how you feel. Incorporate the learning into your daily routine.
Use the Power of Choice and achieve Purpose With Results!
Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.
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