Time to Detox!
I've taken a bit of a hiatus from paddling and training in SUP and surf since November. Most of my time has been well-spent, however. I've been traveling around South India, helping teach SUP and surf, and also teaching school field trips about marine science.
Unfortunately, my diet and healthy lifestyle may have also fallen to the wayside... along with my will to not drink alcohol. It's hard when you're on the road. Sometimes you just have to eat whatever you can, you can't be picky when your options are severely limited.
Let's face it. I could feel it. I could see it. Honestly, I seemed to put on the most weight after the week I took the de-worming pills... I don't want to imagine what that insinuates. Although, if the little buggers were keeping me sexy, I'm sad I killed them off. Regardless, even though it is good to take a break in your training or have some sort of off-season in which your muscles take a break and recuperate, it is hard to get back into the groove. I kept active during my "off season" with light paddles, jogs, and lots of yoga! My flexibility has increased 10-fold, and I feel much stronger when performing even every day activities. The yoga was what kept me going, but I still felt more sluggish than I did back when I was more active. I decided that before I started back in on some intense exercise, I should do a detox! I should cleanse my colon, liver, and bodily cells.
Let's go over the plan to get back on the paddle wagon! I guess I'll leave the paddle baskets for another day...
First, I did a colon detox. Wow.
Method: Warm water, sea salt, lemon wedge, and cayenne pepper (I used red peper flakes instead). Drink as tea in the morning. I had only about 2 cups.
This supposedly cleans the path for all to follo
w. This worked better than the original one I tried from a yogic text which just included warm salt & lemon water. After drinking in the morning, you're supposed to do a few sun salutations (pause in Cobra and add some twists) with a few additional trunk twister poses at the end. It works. Path was clean within 2 hours.
Second, after the coast was clear, I started on my liver detox.
Method: I picked up this sweet kit from Alchemist for a 5 day detox (their website sucks, but I grabbed the kit from this cute little organic health shop), but I paired it with 2 days of juice fast (soups and protein shakes included) followed by introducing whole fruits and salads for the remaining 3 days.
A little before I had started the all out liver detox, I bought some Neem. Neem is supposed to cleanse the blood, clean the liver, and improve skin health. After starting my daily neem intake, I started getting a few zits. As it cleanses your blood, some of it will come out of your skin in the form of zits. Right before my detox and during the first days, I had the worst breakout of my life. I must have had a lot of nasties in my blood. After cleansing my colon, I suppose all of the toxins and crap had another way out so the breakouts started to slow down. After the 5 day detox was done, I wasn't getting any new zits, but I had to wait on the old ones to clear out.
After the zits had hit with full force, the gas started. I'm not talking a little bit of gas, or like cute girly-farts. Full-out-detox-gas... Gross, I know. This was exacerbated when I started re-introducing raw vegetables into my diet after the purely juice diet. This lasted throughout the remaining days of the detox, and let's say that between my zits and gas, Corey was less than entertained!
Third, do plenty of yoga, including Hot Bikram Yoga to sweat.
Method: Mid-detox start hitting the yoga studio and gym for some long, sweaty, cardio workouts. Again, I apologize to all innocent bystanders in the gym and studio while I was there. Sweat removes toxins too, and I have never smelled so badly during a workout in my life. Between my armpits, detox-farts, and crater face I was relieved of any and all annoying Indian guys hitting on me!
Alright, this all sounds just awful. Why would anyone ever want to do such a thing? At first I was questioning it. I smelled bad and looked awful. But somewhere inside, I felt amazing.
Two days in, I started looking less bloated and my spare tire area started shrinking. I still felt great. As the old zits started healing on the 4th day, my skin in between had a great glow to it.
Now, a week after I completed the entire detox "course," I've dropped 5 pounds, my skin is clear, and I feel excellent. I have a TON of energy in the gym and at yoga and I'm happy :-)
This seems on par with other reports and blogs I've read of detoxing. People don't like certain things at first, and then they either quit, or push through the unpleasant part. All those I've read about that stick with it love the end results. I can see why detox plans aren't popular overall in the US, though. It has some unpleasant side effects at first, and for me this was terrible. I had never done a detox in my life. I can't imagine what my body would have done if I had tried to do a detox 2 years ago when I was at an all-time low in terms of diet and exercise. Moreover, everything we consume in the US is so laden with preservatives and toxins, many people feel sick when starting a detox. Luckily, I had started eating, exercising, and gradually easing into this lifestyle; which probably made this detox much easier. Most people would start a detox and feel terrible and think the detox is what is causing all the bad side effects when in actuality it is the years of compounded toxins in the body being released, resuspended in the blood, and eventually removed. I would absolutely recommend a quick week-long detox to any athlete after an "off-season" especially if that person already has a healthy "system" in place. If not, I still recommend a detox, but one that builds up gradually before doing an intense week.