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30 Day Detox

Get the hell out of me Lyme disease!

I've been struggling with the dreaded and prevalent monster called Lyme disease for almost 10 years now. In the last decade, the number of people reported contracting Lyme has grown to greater than 300,000 in a year. Many, many cases go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. For some people (like me), Lyme disease can be a chronic, long term or life long challenge. 3 years ago the Lyme was "inactive" in me for the first time in 7 years of fighting the good fight. Some symptoms did remain, but to a lesser extent. Then, unfortunately last December my blood tests showed that the parasites had become active again. Since then I have been on a heavy dose of antibiotics, many supplements, herbs, and trying to eat reasonably well.

The other day I was reflecting on how I've been feeling in the last 6 months and had to be honest with myself - I don't really feel any better. I decided then that I clearly needed to be doing more to better my health. Keeping in tune with the coming of spring, which is traditionally a time of year when detoxing herbs are abound and spring cleaning is done, I embarked on a 30 day detox.

My goals are to:

  • flush out toxins (including dead Lyme bacteria) through the liver, kindeys, urinary tract, bowls, and lymphatic system
  • improve immune function
  • soothe inflammation
  • improve digestion and therefore absorption of nutrients
  • find a healthier diet that feels satisfying and sustainable

I decided, to the best of my effort, to eliminate dairy and red meat because they are acidic and inflammatory, as well as highly acidic and inflammatory plants (like tomato, potato, squash, peppers, etc.) and sugar. I've been taking it easy on the wheat and have shifted to including at least twice as much produce, most of which contain detoxing properties in one way or another.

I aim to maintain a diverse balance of nutrient dense, anti-inflammtory, and cleansing foods. Protein has mainly been plant sourced from beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, tempeh, and vegetables. Animal proteins I've included are chicken, fish, and eggs. Fats come from oils (such as olive and coconut), eggs, and nuts.

But how do you live like that??

I know a change in diet can be really challenging for some people. I think having a serious chronic illness makes you willing to do almost anything to get well. But in the past I have had a really hard time with "elimination diets". I'm some what of a foodie and really enjoy eating a wide array of things. Taste is a great way to explore life. I found myself feeling angry and depressed on elimination diets that kept me from eating things I loved, so I wanted to make a point to keep enough foods that I enjoy so I can be happy with what I eat. I didn't want this to be a binge diet either, where I am absolutely strict and limited for 30 days and then stop eating that way. I need this to work for me and my life. I need to get more creative with food and think outside the box. I need to create a healthier "normal."
This is an example of breakfast: 2 eggs over 1 piece of rye toast with pea sprouts and strawberries plus a smoothie. I found a non-dairy creamer made from pea protein that I like for my coffee and have used soy-free Earth Balance occasionally for a plant based butter.
These are the kinds of things I put in my smoothies: a variety of fruits, vegetables, greens or herbs with aloe juice, straight cranberry juice, and/or almond milk. When I have it available I sometimes include kombucha. Smoothies are a good opportunity to include powdered herbs or supplements for added nutrients. One I've been using is maca, which is a great foundation builder in our vitality, energy, mineral intake, and hormonal balance.
Here are some examples of lunch or dinner:
My very wise therapist told me to "make trades not sacrifises". In the top photo I've got: rice, red beans, and cashews (complete protein) with kale and cabbage cooked in vinegar (cleansing plants, nutrient dense). Bottom photo I have: a small portion of egg noodles with pesto and chick peas (protein, fiber) with watermelon and radish (cleansing plants) and hummus (protein).

No dessert?? Oh hell no!

I love chocolate. It's so wonderful. I love chocolate covered fruit, nuts, with sea salt or chilies or in cakes or brownies or mousse. I like rich, dark chocolate, the kind that gives you a little kick when you eat it. The truth is simple: I would not be happy in life without chocolate. So I got myself a couple nice bars of very dark chocolate with cherries and chilies and made this. It's amazing!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup cacao pwd (you can also add maca here, too!)
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
  • maple syrup to taste.

Put it all in a blender to combine, adding maple syrup and tasting along the way until you achieve the sweetness you like. Alternatively, you can use stevia. I've chosen to continue eating natural sugars from fruit and sugars with a low glycemic index, such as honey or maple syrup in moderation.

And when you're tired and done your day, it's great to sit on the couch and get cozy while soaking in a detoxing foot bath. We have loads of pours on the bottoms of our feet and for that reason, they are a very effective outlet for toxins, while also absorbing the beneficial nutrients. Out with the bad, in with the good! Here I'm using my Herbal Bath Salts which contain detoxifying salts and minerals combined with anti-inflammatory herbs like mustard, which helps get the blood flowing to move out stagnation.

It's been 2 weeks. I have noticed a marked improvement in digestion, with a huge decrease in bloating. My libido is better. My throat hurts less. I feel more vibrant. I feel the pissed off spirochete bacteria inside me fighting back, so I know I'm on the right path. I'm not perfect. I cheated the other night and had frozen yogurt topped with oreos and cookie dough. It's okay to slip up, or give yourself treats! Just remember to regain your composer. I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I'm going to appreciate the moment, enjoy it, and then go home and eat well. I remind myself that I'm doing this for me, because I deserve to be well and have the ability to take care of myself, if I so chose. If we can learn to appreciate and enjoy the plethora of healthy foods available to us, we will look forward to those moments too. Food is medicine and it's also yummy.
Happy Eating!
<3, Brit

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