I am so excited to share Dr Mark Hyman's upcoming book, The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet with you over the next couple of weeks. I've made many of the recipes over the last couple of weeks proving that this is definitely not a diet of deprivation. The diet is not strictly plant based. There are recipes containing lean animal protein. But, there are plenty of recipes for vegetarians and vegans. So, there is something for everybody.
Dr Hyman and his team invited me and two readers to participate in a beta test group to follow his 10-Day Detox Diet program with other bloggers and patients. I posted on my facebook page asking for volunteers and was overwhelmed with people wanting to change their lives with this program. Everybody was a worthy and deserving candidate, and I was so overwhelmed wanting to give a spot to everybody that I had Dr Hyman's team choose Melissa Giammarco Longmire and Rachel Joy Cole to take part.
Currently, we are in Day 5 of the program and I feel absolutely fantastic. Prior to starting this week, we were all sent a copy of the book, pre-detox instructions, all required supplements, and a motivating conference call. Every day we begin with a daily phone call with Dr Hyman and his staff, as well as emails and a private facebook group that replicates the kind of support you can expect with the online program.
What I love about this book and progam is that it truly a holistic approach to detoxing. It is a complete reset of your body chemistry and emotional reality. Yes, the book contains an entire menu plan (core plan or adventure plan) with breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that have been carefully developed to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and deliver nutrient density as well as fabulous flavor. But, in addition to this, you exercise (brisk walking is recommended), meditate, practice deep breathing exercises, record your body measurements, how much sleep you get the night before (and the quality of that sleep), and journal.
Each day has an intention. For example: Day 1: Satisfy, Day 2: Detox, Day 3: Empty, Day 4: Move, and Day 5: Listen. There are specific questions and your record how you feel and what emotions come up as you set your intentions.
Journaling is really powerful, and engaging in an honest dialogue with yourself is confronting but illuminating. Listening.....I should do it more often. A lot of fear has been coming up for me. As I head into one of the biggest years of my life, I am confronting my fear that I will disappoint myself and my family and colleagues, and the fear that nobody will like my book and want to hear anything I have to say. Basically fear that I won't be enough. Yeah...that old chestnut.
Cleansing is an emotional journey, and each cleanse is different depending on how you enter the experience. I've been eating a clean, gluten free, alkaline plant based diet for many years, and already abstain from gluten, white refined foods, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and eat every little starchy vegetables, grains, and natural sweeteners that can all lead to sugar spikes and weight gain. I also engage in oil pulling, dry skin brushing, detox baths, walk, hike, practice yoga, stretch, and meditate.
This "detox" has been a process of emotional cleansing for me - letting go of what doesn't serve me and clearing out the toxic thoughts that are preventing me from standing in my own power, maintaining an attitude of gratitude, and being open to all possibilties. Basically, allowing life to unfold knowing I have the tools in my toolbox to move forward no matter what comes my way. And having fun with it all and enjoying the journey instead of worrying. However, my emotional state directly affects my food choices.
My overwhelming take away so far? "You can always be healthier" and emotional health and physical health are inextricably connected.
I have realized that my "sugar addiction" is grains. Yes, whole grains and akaline grains - quinoa, millet, and amaranth. But, still complex carbohydrates that convert to sugar. When I'm feeling deflated, down, scared, or upset, I crave grains.
I've also realized that I've been taking my health for granted and haven't been growing and expanding on my health journey.
I've been under an enormous amount of stress for the last year with Scott's cancer diagnosis, writing my book, and maintaining my recording and work schedule. As a result, I just haven't been able to turn my mind off, and have been suffering from bouts of insomnia and surviving on about 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night.
Since starting the program I have been sleeping better than I have in years. After soaking in the recommended nightly detox bath with epsom salts, baking soda, and lavender oil, I have felt so relaxed and decompressed and have been sleeping 8 hours a night. I feel like a new person! Our blood sugar levels and internal chemistry really affects our sleep patterns and ability to rest, recharge, and regenerate.
Health is a daily practice of mindfulness and self love - an evolving journey that involves listening to your body, attending to your thoughts and emotions, and setting an intention for wellness. Dr Hyman's program is not just a collection of recipes, supplements, and exercise guidelines. It's a template for mindful living. I highly recommend this book and program. It's a game changer. Get a sneak preview of the book here.
I love that Dr Hyman begins every day and each day of the program with a nutrient dense smoothie full of protein, vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and oils, and antioxidants. This recipe is Dr Hyman's signature smoothie containing low sugar berries and alkaline nuts and seeds. This is delicious and will keep you feeling sustained all morning long.
There is also a yummy kiwi and chia seed smoothie, ginger and cucumber smoothie, spiced almond smoothie, and almond and strawberry smoothie in the book. I have been rotating them so far for diversity. Yum!
I will share more of Dr Hyman's recipes and my experience next week.
Watch my interview with Dr Hyman here.
*Probiotic Powder - I add 1/2 teaspoon of probiotic powder to all smoothies to replenish stores of healthy bacteria for immunity, digestion, detox, and to balance the acidic effects of high-sugar fruits and other sweeteners. The really potent probiotics require refrigeration. If you have capsules, break the shell and release the powder. Unsweetened probiotic-rich liquids like kefirs (water, coconut water, milk varieties) or kombucha make wonderful health-promoting additions to shakes, too.
*Celtic Sea Salt - I add a pinch (or more) of this alkalizing, mineral-rich salt to all smoothies to boost the natural flavor of fruits and veggies; temper the acidity of sweet fruits and sweeteners; stimulate the lymphatic system; replenish electrolytes; aid digestion; and help the body access energy. I do not recommend adding common table salt which is generally heated to extreme temperatures, iodized, bleached, processed, and refined. This salt does not have the same benefits. If you have a health condition that requires you to limit your sodium intake consult your doctor before adding salt to your smoothies.