When evaluating any diet, like Dr. Mark Hyman’s just published The 10-Day Detox Diet, you have to ask yourself: can I adhere to the regimen? Can I stop eating certain foods? Am I willing to make the switch to the new foods? In this diet, it is only for 10 days, a relatively short time. But the question remains: Can you still do it? People do not know the answer to that question until they gain an understanding of what they will not be able to eat, and what they will be allowed to eat. So, this blog aims to give you sufficient material to answer that question. That may help you decide whether to buy, or not buy, his book.
What will you not be allowed to eat for 10 days? All sugar products, all liquid sugars (sodas, bottled teas, fruit juices, sports drinks), any artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes, dairy products, processed foods, gluten, grains, beans or legumes, all refined and processed vegetable oils, alcohol, caffeine, and another stimulants. Now, if you find yourself wincing at this list, give some thought to this fact. Dr. Hyman is eliminating these food items because he believes that each of these food items is contributing to your current toxicity, inflammation, and poor health. So, if you are consuming any or all of the above items, maybe there is reason for a cleanse?
We have already discussed my suggestion to decrease your meat and dairy intake (note – reduce, not eliminate). Let’s discuss gluten for a moment. Gluten is found in wheat, barely, rye, spelt, and oaks. As previously mentioned, the content of gluten in wheat has increased forty fold in the last 50 years. And the result? Our current improved wheat now triggers a much higher increase in your blood sugar level. Today, if you eat two slices of bread, you can raise your blood sugar by an amount equivalent to consuming two tablespoons of sugar. So, for those with diabetes, you can see the hidden impact of eating any wheat.
For other people, gluten is part of a contingent of increasing food allergies or at least increasing food sensitivities. So, when you eat gluten, you may be creating a sub-clinical allergic reaction. Or a sub-clinical sensitivity. What happens to you? You show subsequent inflammation. In your intestines, that may lead to a “leaky gut” where certain food particles, which are meant to be fully digested in the intestines, reach you blood stream. That creates problems – problems far removed from your intestines. Fatigue, headaches, sinus problems, joint pain, skin diseases (acne and eczema), and depression. Do you have any of these symptoms? Do you want to see if you can eliminate them? Then how much are you willing to sacrifice?
What foods will you be allowed to eat? Let me give you a hint. You will be eating foods that reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar, improve gut function, and increase detoxification pathways. That translates to a whole-food, high fiber, and low sugar diet. But before you bolt from this diet, it does include chicken and turkey. You will also be encouraged to eat salmon. For other items, think tofu, tempeh, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts. Also picture broccoli, brussel spouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, onion, and a variety of sea vegetables. But don’t panic. There are recipes and clear directions; and the food actually tastes good. It just tastes different from what you have been used to eating. But sometimes different can be good, yes? Sometimes, the computer needs to be turned off and rebooted, right? Then it runs better. Well, the same may apply to you. Before I describe more of the diet, let me state that exercise and supplements will also play a daily role. The supplements are specifically named, easy to purchase.
Do you want some more details of the diet? For breakfast, there are specific detox shakes. For lunch, there is the recommendation of a variety of salads. For dinner, there are recipes for chicken breast with ratatouille and steamed broccoli, grilled salmon with salad, Asian-flavored chicken skewers with wilted leafy greens, tofu vegetable kebabs, stir-fry vegetables with almonds, chicken breasts with roasted garlic, roast fish casserole with fennel and leaks, almond-flax crusted chicken, beef with bok choy, grilled pepper steak, grilled tofu with cilantro pesto, and chicken encrusted with red chili pesto. So, what do you think? Can you handle those recipes? Can you lose weight and learn some new dinners?
Do you have to starve? No. There are multiple snacks. One recommendation is to eat a small handful of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, and macadamias. Another recommendation is to nibble on raw veggies, like carrots, cucumbers, peppers, or celery with a spread or dip from his own recipe section. You are also encouraged to consume plenty of water (ideally clean, fresh water filtered by your own carbon filter (like Brita) and stored in stainless steel or a glass container. Does it sound a little complex? Chill a bit. Dr. Hyman encourages a detox bath every night with Epsom salts, baking soda, and lavender oil. You relax as the toxins are drawn out of your body? Surely, that eases any 10-day adjustment?
Now, to close, let me be honest. I have read the diet book (something I rarely do, as I hate any and all diets), but I have not tried the diet. Will I? I have tried the nekter fasts (1-3 days), but that’s easy. You can do it by yourself by just picking up the bottles. But for this diet? Any man knows the answer. The real decision-making rests in the hands of the wife. Although I support the husband helping the wife with the cooking! We live in a society where the art (and joy) of cooking has been lost. All of us, including myself, need to learn that art. Nevertheless, to answer the question, Dr. Hyman’s diet book was just given to my wife. I will await her answer. Any guesses on her response?