Unless you live in a bubble, it’s pretty challenging to be toxin free. On a daily basis we experience stress from a number of sources including our busy lifestyles, environmental pollution, cell phone radiation and unhealthy foods. While our bodies have an amazing capacity to cleanse and regenerate, it’s always a good idea to detoxify before you get pregnant.
How do you know when you need a “detox”? Ask yourself the following questions: Do I feel sluggish after eating? Am I craving sweets to keep me going? Am I gaining weight when I seem to be eating less? Is my skin breaking out? A gentle “detox” can improve your digestion, regulate hormone function, boost your metabolism and combat cravings, facilitating the absorption and distribution of nutrients necessary to support a healthy pregnancy.
A “detox” program can actually be quite pleasurable and does not have to involve an overly restricted diet. Set aside five to seven days where you will eat all organic foods including: fruit, steamed vegetables, brown rice and lean protein (beans, legumes, grilled chicken and fish). Use protein as a “condiment” instead of a main course (picture your plate mostly filled with steamed veggies, ½ a cup of brown rice and a hand sized portion of protein). Add olive oil and avocado for essential fatty acids that contribute to proper hormone function and also most importantly flavor.
With all of the additional fiber you’ll be consuming, it is essential to increase your water intake (aim for half your body weight in ounces plus an additional 8 ounces for every hour of activity). Exercise each day to keep endorphins high and digestive function flowing–breaking a sweat is also a great way to release toxins through the pores. Plan on getting extra rest during your “detox” as you will likely feel more tired. Remember to pamper yourself with relaxing baths, massage or a relaxing yoga class. The more fun you can make it, the more likely you are to stick with it. In fact, you may enjoy the end result so much that it becomes part of your seasonal routine after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Note: If you would like to try a “detox” but don’t feel ready for whole foods regimen listed above, consider trying the 5 day RESET program, scientifically formulated with low-glycemic bars and shakes to re-establish healthy eating patterns.