Monday, July 5, 2010

Detox Redux

Since it's technically still a holiday, most people probably spent today doing something recreational and leisurely. I spent the day cleaning. After returning from a weekend camping trip I was ready to get my life back in order and sat down to go through papers, books, bags and piles, discarding the unnecessary items that fill my space and serve little purpose. I was nearly done when the time came to go to Whole Foods and once again lead a grocery tour for a detox group. The four people on my tour were interested in learning creative ways to eliminate the "bad" foods, incorporate the "good" ones and basically overhaul their entire approach to eating. I spent about an hour and a half discussing ways to prepare chard and kale and quinoa and tempeh and beets and hope they found some of the information useful. Together we read labels to understand why some items were not detox-friendly, and one of the participants asked if, at this rate, grocery shopping usually took me six hours. I explained that if you spend one or two times really looking at what you're purchasing, you can shop on autopilot from then on. Isn't that what most of us do anyway? We have our default go-to foods, and for that matter we have our go-to people, stores, websites, even driving routes that make our lives convenient and predictable. If we spend some time trying something new every so often - a new way home, a new store, a new food - we might be able to make room in our very busy lives for something different. And that's what "detox" is all about - breaking patterns, flushing out the toxins, the things that are cluttering our systems and not working for us, and trying something new and better.

Summer is a great time to detox and as everyone is Seattle knows, summer starts today, so here are some approaches you might want to try:

1. Diet: add in more fruits and vegetables (especially greens!) and eliminate coffee, alcohol, refined grains and sugars to start

2. Curb tv and computer usage (right now I'm on a Facebook detox myself)

3. Urban detox: hit the trails. Turns out nature is good for you.

A summer detox is a great excuse to start doing the things you've been meaning to do. Like eating more kale.

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