Q: What’s the best way to transition from a junk food diet to a wholefood diet? Can I do my body any harm if I do it too quickly? ~ Anna, New Jersey, USA
A: Going into a rapid, quick-fix form of cleansing can send the body into shock and slow the body’s metabolism. The best way to transition from a Standard American Diet to a wholefood diet is gradually, without too much taxation and stress on the body and mind.
When we are under stress, blood flows away from the core, hampering the renewal and recovery of the organs, hormonal systems and body. The initial renewal process we go through with our BodyMind Nutrition clients is generally a 90 day process, allowing the body to safely adjust and adapt to new foods and an intuitive portion-controlled form of eating. We aim for three meals and three snacks per day in order to maintain even insulin levels within the body.
During the first 30 days, it is best to begin incorporating more raw fruits and vegetables. For those with a compromised digestive system, vegetables may be lightly cooked at a low temperature. Lightly cooked foods still allows the enzymes to remain intact while making the foods easier for the body to digest.
During the second phase, the body will have slowly begun a cleansing process and now we can introduce a 60-90% Raw Plan. This means even more fruits and vegetables, as well as being mindful of foods that are hard on the body, and foods that are nutrient-dense. The second phase will also bring the liver and kidneys into a more balanced state.
More Raw Foods
Along with the incorporation of more raw foods, we must also be mindful of our thoughts and emotions. It has been said that we become the thoughts that we think. The second phase of cleansing may bring forth a release of toxic emotions and thoughts.
In order for this to happen smoothly and naturally, it is best to avoid any negative triggers, and to be exposed to a more positive environment, friends and lifestyle. Instead of sitting in front of the tv in the evening and listening to the news or other negativity-producing information, we should begin to embrace other forms of entertainment, stillness and enjoy the outdoors. Taking the dog for a walk, or even going for a walk alone will have tremendous effects on the body and mind.
During the third phase, we can now go into a 100% raw plan for one to two days per week. A wonderful way to bring raw foods into the body is through juicing and making delicious shakes and smoothies. When we juice fruits and vegetables, they are able to reach the blood at a rapid rate. This will bring an incredible amount of energy into the body, as well as a greater sense of well-being.
Juicing also enables us to bring many more nutrients into the body in a condensed form. It may be a challenge to eat 5 to 6 different kinds of fruit and vegetables, however when we juice we can bring that into the body in a much smaller liquid quantity. During the third phase, we should get out there and try new fruits and vegetables. Are there any fruits and vegetables that you have wanted to try but never got around to? This is a great time to do so! Now that the body has been in a cleansing process, our taste buds begin to change and foods that may have been bland to taste before will now have a much more potent taste.
There are several simple shifts during this 90 day process that will bring the body into perhaps the most harmonious state it has ever experienced. As we cleanse the body of the toxins we have exposed it to, we also cleanse the mind. Weight loss will be a side-effect of this process, as the weight will come off easily and naturally. The body has 4 to 20 pounds of toxins within it. With cleansing, these toxins are simply excreted from the body. The end result of a healthy cleanse is a new way of looking at the lives we live and how powerful the body’s healing capacities are.
Each and every one of us are truly walking miracles!
Lars Gustafsson is founder of the BodyMind Institute. Born in east India to Canadian parents, Lars spent his childhood living an authentic mix of tribal and western life. This upbringing created a balance between the scientific passion of the west and the ancient wisdom of the Far East. He has spent 23 years exploring and developing nutrition, lifestyle, fitness, and personal development programs. Nutrition is so much more than just the food we eat. It is the total way in which we nourish our mind and body, he says. In 2002, Lars founded The BodyMind Nutrition Systemâ„¢ to create an information delivery company to bring people the principles of nutrition that connect the physical and mental, emotional, spiritual aspects of life.Â From his own experience he understands that you may focus on some or all of these aspects as you seek to achieve your goals in life.