I just finished Dr Mark Hymans 10 day detox, and as I write this, I’m wearing a pair of jeans that didn’t fit a month ago and I’d been afraid to put them on since. I bet you know the feeling.
So being a nutritionist, you wouldn’t think I need Mark Hyman to tell me how to eat. Mostly, I don’t. But I too could eat a little better and I certainly could exercise more.
Gone are the food-nazi days of eating perfect, so small things can add up and they have. I wouldn’t mind losing 5-8#. At the time of this writing, I’m 47 and feeling that pinch of slower metabolism, a little menopause/cortisol stress belly………but let’s be honest. The muffin top is just too many nibbles and not enough walks and lunges. Stress and age don’t help but obviously cutting out a few “treats” helped so I’m not perfect.
So Mark has a 10 day detox plan to help me lose the muffin top and I’m game for some structure and success!
What did I, as a whole foods nutritionist, have to change to do the 10 day detox?
- I don’t eat much dairy but I went without. If you know Mark Hyman, he’s very anti-dairy and I get it. I was 100% dairy free for probably 15 years. As my health has improved over the years, I now indulge a little here and there. Yes, it probably contributes to some of the inflammation that is now gone.
- I’m already gluten free and have been grain free for about 3 or 4 years now…and Mark’s plan didn’t allow for biscuits from almond flour. Not a big deal short term, but we all love something bread-like now and then right?
- No nibbles of chocolate. I don’t love chocolate, but we can’t keep potato chips around here – my favorite snack – so I keep some organic dark chocolate now and then. I really don’t love chocolate, but some days I want a little comfort food too. It’s easy to keep around because I really don’t love it and so I don’t eat much. Nonetheless, I went without.
- I tried the multi-vitamin packs Mark recommended which comprised of a multi, fish oil, lipoic acid and meta-glycemx. It was more lipoic than I usually take (600 mg compared to 100 or 200 mg) and I’ve not tried the MetaGlycemX before. I don’t have any of the risk factors for insulin resistance or pre-diabetes so I just haven’t needed it. My vitamin D is in the 80’s so I didn’t need that. I already take fish oil and I take my own custom multi but again, I’m up for a change in routine. I’m the last person to think I have ALL the answers!
Here’s what I did that wasn’t in the book:
- I still did probiotics every day. Saccharomyces Boulardii and a multi-strain blend of probiotics in my smoothie and I still drank Kombucha a few days which has a small amount of fruit juice. Like 14 grams and I sip on it all day so it’s not like a sugar binge or high. And I drink it for the health benefits because really Kombucha is a little tart – like weak vinegar maybe. But being a digestive-oriented dietitian, I understand the need for optimal microflora.
- I ate beets most every day. They are technically a starchy vegetable and so disallowed but I depend on beets to help me make bile. Which helps me with regularity if ya know what I mean. Bile also is important for helping us remove toxins that our liver has processed. I have my own set of knowing what’s good for me and I know I need to keep doing what it takes to make bile. I want my toxins to leave, not stick around!
- I also did not exercise like I was supposed to.
- And I didn’t once journal. I’ll address these below.
So, I did it for 10+ days and am still trying to carry some of the principles through still. I’m back in some jeans but there’s still room for improvement if you know what I mean!
Here’s what I loved about the 10 day detox – for me and for you.
- Mark clearly laid out in chapter one that food is an addiction. He cited a study in which researchers gave volunteers two milkshakes. Exact same protein, fat and carbs. Exact same taste and texture. But one was MUCH higher in sugar and the glycemic index. Their nucleas accumbens – the pleasure center in our brain – lit up like a Christmas tree with the high sugar shake. Sugar is 8 x more addictive than heroin or cocaine. Let’s make sure you get that if you struggle with sugar addition. 8 times more addictive than heroin or cocaine and there’s plenty of research to back it up. How’s that for rock solid information you can use. Yes, it’s hard to get off sugar. He also details the issues with artificial sweeteners for those of you justifying your diet soda. But understanding the physiology CAN help you walk away and win the battle. Don’t let the food scientists and big business win. They are NOT looking out for your best interest so it’s up to you.
- Easy recipes. Plain and simple. There were a variety in there and honestly, I’ve got this part down. I did add the fat to my smoothie per Mark’s suggestion. I typically do about 1-2 ounces of Pom Juice because I know the benefits for my Phase 2 liver enzymes. I do about 1 cup of organic berries and some greens – whatever is around. Mark suggested pumpkin seeds, coconut cream concentrate, and nut butter so I did those too. Mark maybe wouldn’t like the Pom juice but I am just talking a swish and I am oriented toward doing daily things to detox and this is one of them. I think he’d get it were we to sit down and chat about it.
- Food is information. He clearly laid out how 700 calories of broccoli does not have the same effect as 700 calories from cheesecake. How so? Our gut bacteria handle them differently. There is more and more research coming out about our microbiome and how our gut bacteria influence our weight. Think you are overweight because it’s hereditary? It might not be your genes but instead be the microflora you inherited from your mom at birth and during nursing.
So, my 2 cents – or nickels worth – with inflation?
If you are at all struggling with a few or more pounds, hungry even though you’ve eaten, been told you have pre-diabetes, or feel addicted to sugar…..this book and program may be for you.
I do not think there is a one size fits all approach to eating – after all – what I do on a weekly basis is help people find THEIR unique food triggers to decrease or eliminate joint pain, gut issues, migraines and such. And when we minimize inflammation, people lose weight, sleep better, think better, etc.
But I think it’s worth trying. If you struggle with food, you’ve probably done crazier things than eat whole foods, journaled, and exercised. And Mark lays out the cold hard facts about food addiction – which helps motivate you.
Know this. It still takes time. HEALTH TAKES TIME. It takes time to shop, especially if whole foods is new to you. It takes time to cook and do dishes. It takes time to pack a lunch. It takes time to exercise and journal. TRUE WELLNESS TAKES SOME EFFORT. It always has and always will. Don’t let the commercials fool you that there is an easy answer. In all of this, I wish I had actually scheduled time out of the office so that I too could have done a better job with my own exercise and maybe journaling. The moral for us all is to INVEST IN OURSELVES. I keep typing in caps because with 70% of society overweight and more processed junk food on the market now than ever, it’s time to meet the girls for a walk instead of lunch or drinks.
If you are sick – or have ever been sick- you know that that too takes time. And is sooo costly words can hardly describe it. $100+ for a 10 minute office consult. Prescriptions and co pays. Lab tests. So how do you want to spend your time? Shopping and cooking or sitting at the doctor’s office.
Perhaps you would enjoy this article on 3 easy, simple, free ways to improve your health.
And when it’s too windy or cold to exercise outside, you might want to rebound, which exercises all your core muscles, can be done indoors or outdoors, and improves lymphatic health. Learn more about rebounding here.