The TLA Retox.

October 19, 2011

Retox the freak in me.

Retox the freak in me.

Retox the freak in me.

Retox the freak in me.

Fat Boy Slim (Taken from the song Retox)

Sometimes we get emotionally knackered. Sometimes friends or relatives have been visiting and as a result of all the catching up and great conversations we end up eating the most rubbish a human being can eat. We usually combine this with drinking the most a human being can drink. Sometimes we ate loads over the festive season and need to create a ying from the yang. Sometimes our sleep levels have floundered, we’ve been running around in a zombie state and our diets and energy levels have gone way off. Guess what? It’s time for  a retox.

Not a detox. A TLA retox.

The difference between a retox and a detox is huge. A detox uses weird combinations which make no sense, limits calories to ridiculous levels, lasts too long, often relies on a single nutritional source (Can you eat grapefruit for that many days in a row, I mean really) and puts you in a bad mood.

A retox on the other hand gives you the energy of a rabbit in heat, involves real food, makes you happy, revolves around pleasure, is extremely athletic and only lasts a week. It will also make you feel indescribably healthy.

First, the rules.

Before beginning this or any other program, take stock of your overall health. And don’t be an eejit. Never start a retox while pregnant: especially if you’re  a male.

When you start your retox make a commitment to self-observation (note: this does not mean looking at your self in the mirror longer). Keep in mind retox experiences differ. For instance, if you are weak minded like me and can resist everything except temptation mild emotional discomfort is normal, however feeling really ill is not. If you experience the latter, you should quit your retox right away. Final thoughts to bear in mind: The plan emphasizes well-being and athleticism and energy and happiness over weight loss. Yet, and I say yet with a loud ironic yet, if you control portions losing fat will become an added bonus of this retox. As you are on the retox slow down and give food your full attention: eliminate TV and other distractions that encourage mindless eating.

Next, the preparation.

A retox is particularly suited to a TLA recovery or introductory week. However, it can also be used when you feel like the freak in you needs calming down. Before starting, make some key purchases or taking items away is essential:

Buy epson salts for your evening baths.

Grab some almond milk. This will replace your dairy.

Real honey and expensive dark chocolate will take care of your sugar fixes.

Nuts (preferably unsalted) to take care of hunger pangs.

No alcohol. This is an absolute must as it is probably alcohol which created a need for the retox in the first place.

Quality tea. Part of the retox is to either eliminate or reduce caffeine completely during the week. (A great way to do this is with a high quality tea. There is great teas out there. Fantastic herbal teas and white teas. My personal favorite is Whisky Tea from David’s Tea. This way I can kill two birds with one stone)

Fish. This will be your main protein source for the week so stock up. The wilder, the better.

Hemp Protein powder. No dairy/soy after day 2 so whey & soy protein are out.Therefore, look for an alternative. Go for the ganja. Hemp protein it is.

A schedule which will allow 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

Sleeping is important during the retox.

Prepare a recovery program. My personal favorite is the five or six lower body micro stretches done in the evening with some music playing while my wife walks shamelessly about in high heels and lingerie.(one bit in this line is made up. Guess which one) Everyone is different. The point is to do something relaxing every night that will make you feel well and truly Dalai Lama’d.

Avoid & Replace

Avoid: Red meat
(beef, pork, and lamb) and all types of poultry unless it’s organic.
Why? They can contain added hormones and antibiotics. We don’t want that. Look what it did to Arnold Schwarzenegger: those foods make you fancy the nanny.
Instead choose: Fish such as halibut and salmon, which contain high levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Plus organic chicken.

Avoid: dairy products, eggs, soy products
Why? Aside from causing allergies in some people, dairy and eggs often contain antibiotics; dairy can cause mild-to-severe digestive distress.
Instead choose: Raw, unsalted and nut butters (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, and walnuts); raw, unsalted seeds (flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower); beans and peas (adzuki, chickpea, kidney, lentil, navy, and pinto); and sprouts /lentils

Avoid: Partially Hydrogenated Oils and Saturated Fats
Why? They pose health risks.
Choose: the healthy oils you get from places such as Italy. Look for organic olive and sesame oils.

Avoid: Carbonated Water (in the form of seltzer or in soda) & juices.
Why? It can cause bloating, unnecessarily stressing the body during retox. Juice has too much sugar. (see previous blog post)
Choose: Fresh, filtered water.

Avoid: Common Allergenic Grains
(corn, wheat, and white flour and derived products such as breads, cereals, and crackers)
Why? They’re overprocessed. Potential reactions from these foods include headache, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome.(something which I’m not particularly fond of)
Instead choose: Unrefined, fiber-rich, nonallergenic grains (amaranth, buckwheat, oats, quinoa, brown and wild rice) in whole form rather than in breads and pastas.

Avoid: Citrus Fruits
(grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, and lime)
Why? Have you ever eaten a lime. It’s rubbish.
Instead choose: All other fruits in natural, whole, preferably organic form (rather than juiced or dried)

Avoid: Nightshade Vegetables. (eggplants, white/yellow potatoes)
Why? They’re potentially allergenic for some people, difficult to cut, and they have a silly name. Eating a nightshade vegetable is not sexy. You never see A.Jolie or B.Pitt eating nightshade vegetables.
Instead choose: Antioxidant-rich leafy greens (for instance my favorite bok choy, collard greens, dandelion, kale, mustard greens, romaine, or popeyes favorite spinach). Also, other colorful vegetables that will brighten up a plate.

Avoid: Condiments. Condiments are to carbohydrates what condoms are to the erotic world: Necessary evils. In the TLA retox however, this is a necessary evil we are going to cut out. (bouillon, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce, HP sauce,and tamari)
Why? They’re highly processed; many contain refined sugars and additives, and the worst part , they taste delicious: a great sign it’s not a complimentary TLA retox item.
Choose: Flavorful herbs that enhance digestion, such as basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, garlic, ginger, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and sage. If your lost for ideas watch some Jamie Oliver cooking shows for inspiration.

Avoid: Refined and Artificial Sugar and Corn Syrup
(found in sodas, alcohol, desserts, and sugar-free diet drinks)
Why? Because they taste brilliant. Again, during this retox we want you somewhat happy but not completely happy.
Choose: Unrefined sugars (honey, maple syrup,expensive dark chocolate) but only in modest quantities.


Five-seven-Day Retox Plan

Day 1: Clean Up
Before you embark on this retox plan, read the general guidelines to identify any contraindications that may apply. You’ll also learn how best to approach the plan so you maximize its benefits. On Day 1, you’ll begin swapping nutritionally problematic foods for healthier ones. See above for an overview. Don’t be surprised if you feel moody or headachy as a result, especially if you normally drink lots of caffeine and you are cutting down.
-Start drinking eight+ glasses of filtered water and in addition to your TLA workout walking for at least 20 minutes daily.
-Eliminate alcoholic drinks. Reduce
-Reduce caffeinated drinks. Either 2 cups of tea a day or 1 cup of coffee.
-Eliminate soda and all other carbonated beverages.
-Get protein from wild salmon, halibut, organic chicken,nuts (raw and unsalted), beans, and peas, as well as sprouts like lentil.
-Eliminate meat.
-Starting day 3 eliminate dairy.
-Replace refined sugars and artificial sweeteners with sparing doses of honey, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup.
-Eliminate all processed foods made with white flour.
-If it makes things easier start a food journal. Track mealtimes, the foods you consume, and how you feel.
-Have an epson salt bath &/or do some sort of daily recovery stretch. Evening is best.

Day 2: Boost Nutrients
Now that you’ve eliminated the main nutritional offenders, it’s time to fine-tune your diet. Today you’ll choose those vegetables that lend extra nutrient support as you retox.Drink more water and add small servings of nuts to keep your energy up.

-Vary your vegetables. Eat plenty of colorful veggies, including dark leafy greens.
-Enjoy fruit, but avoid all types of citrus and dried fruit.
-Eat as many fresh foods as possible.
-Avoid condiments. Season your meals with flavorful herbs and spices instead.                                                                           -Feeling rich. Go 100% Organic.

Day 3: Ditch Dairy
Since dairy products and soy-can cause allergies, eliminating them will give your body a break.
-Remove all dairy.
-Eliminate eggs.
-Eliminate soy. Replace soy milk with almond or rice milk.
-Practice healthy snacking, which will benefit you nutritionally and emotionally, as you make your way through the plan. Try apple slices with a dollop of almond nut butter;or carrot sticks and frozen grapes. Blueberries and almonds are also good.
-Add seeds (such as sunflower or pumpkin) to your diet. As with nuts, opt for raw and unsalted as your go to choices.

Day 4: Good Grains
You’re now ready to make the final dietary shift, eliminating potentially allergenic grains. With your nutritional changes complete, focus on visualizing the cleansing process that’s under way.
-Eliminate any potentially allergenic grain, including all wheat-derived products, such as bread and crackers. Instead try amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, oats, and wild rice.
-Cut out corn and its derivatives (such as tortilla chips and corn breads). Instead of corn oil, cook with olive oil and use sesame and flax oils for flavor.

Day 5: Slow Down
Now is the time to emphasize good self-care. For those who are on the five day retox it’s done today. Hurrah! When you retox, your energy levels may wane and your brain will not believe how long five-seven days really is. Take this day as an opportunity to focus inward. Day 5 is a great day to rent the Star Wars box set and pay special attention to the words of Yoda.
-Counter any symptoms of comfort-food withdrawal with creative snacks. Try “baklava oatmeal,” made with rolled oats, honey, and pistachios.
-Practice non-food ways to satisfy yourself, such as yoga, tai chi or my second favorite micro stretching. (my favorite is to adult for this blog) Avoid fast-paced aerobic activity.

Day 6: Pamper Yourself. My favorite pampering place is a place called Sparkling Hill in Vernon where the winner of the next TLA Challenge will be headed. (awesome) However, if you don’t have the resources to travel to one of the worlds best spa’s such as Sparkling Hill take matters into your own hands and indulge yourself:
-Get a massage or go for a sauna.

Day 7: Take Stock

If you/ve gone the full seven days take stock how do you feel? Note the mind/body boost as well as the new habits you’ve developed

To practice what I preach I did the retox and noticed the following.

1. It was harder than expected. Especially breakfast. By day 6 I was also getting fed up by the sight of a fish.
2. I really missed dairy and carbs. If I had a weight issue, this is the area I would look to change the most. Though I hated the sight of fish the ease of breakfast set up was simple. Salmon made the evening before,served with raw nuts, apple slices w/almond butter, & cup of tea.Ready in minutes and you feel smashing all morning.
3. Going for a couple of twenty minute walks was essential each day.
4. You realize how often, whether good or bad, you succumb to habits. For instance, at night I love a scotch or cup of tea w/ chocolate. With no alcohol and dairy this made the above pleasure impossible. I had to think of new,healthy & far more boring vices.
5.When you reduce caffeine to one cup a day you nurse that single cup with the affection of a new lover.
6.Preparation is key. Buy everything you need in advance. This included snacks,tea,protein foods,vegetables,almond milk. A few times I was running up to the grocer to get items which I didn’t think I would run out of. Like fish.
7.You cannot do the retox stressed. Therefore, a relaxing evening ritual is important. The daily seven or eight hours of sleep is vital. Micro stretching helps. So too, does an epson bath.
8.Temptations are more commonplace than we think. Also, when you go out you realize most choices have alcohol or dodgy carbs and we cave to these options.I was with a friend in a cafe and as he drank his cappucino & ate a sandwich I had to endure a decaf americano and some fruit. Another evening I got tickets to see a concert. My pal had pints, my wee lad ate pizza and a chocolate chip cookie. Earlier, I had to make do with more fish and a salad. In both instances I felt like a right tosser. And I smelled like fish.
9.Energy levels were extremely high. Toward the last couple of days it was nice looking forward to a massage as a treat.
10.On the eve of the last day it was utter joy. When I was at the cashier with my eggs, chocolate, kicking horse coffee beans, and bread I was as happy as I have ever been. Only the birth of my two lads has given me greater happiness, and even that’s a close call.

However, I did the retox in full, felt energetically alive, recognized where I was over indulging & (though I wasn’t after this) did lose b/f. Post retox the changes I would make is definitely with breakfast where my repertoire expanded beyond eggs, and I grew an new appreciation for herbal teas (instead of coffee or black tea) more frequently. These became new pleasures. Everyone will come out with a different perspective. Anyway, give it a bash. After all, it’s only five to seven days.

Easy Peasy.

Credit for the TLA retox must go to the influence from Sea Change. A complimentary Holistic company in in NY. Check out their web page for more ideas.



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