We have come to crunch time. The founding members have completed their first month of detox maintenance lifestyle, four weeks with no coffee, no sugar, no dairy, no meat and no alcohol - four weeks eating vegetables, fruit, legumes, legumes, nuts and fish. The first 30 days were designed to re-educate the mind and the taste-buds, and to make lifestyle changes.
I have to report that everyone is looking good. There has been a tremendous weight loss, on average around 12 pounds in four weeks, but the major benefit has been an amazing improvement in overall health. People have brighter eyes, clearer skin, are looking good, and are noticeably slimmer. But the most important thing is that everyone agrees that they are all now much more conscious of what they eat, and how diet is crucial to health and well-being.
To list the principal health benefits:
1. no more swollen ankles or fingers
2. much improved joints with more flexibility
3. much reduced hot flushes
4. improved memory (this was an unexpected bonus)
5. no more acid reflux
6. stable blood pressure
7. more energy
8. better sleeping pattern
One member reported that she has become very excited by the recipes in the Detox Maintenance Recipe Collection. Having been a professional cook, she has suddenly reacquired her taste for cooking and experimenting with new tastes and flavours, and has been inspired by the recipes in the book. Another member also commented that she has been truly inspired and motivated by the variety of recipes in the detox collection, and that every one she has made so far has been delicious.
Several people commented that they no longer miss eating meat, and are not considering integrating it back into their daily diet.
Positive affirmations and self-talk has also proved to be very helpful. Before choosing a meal, whether at home, or when eating out, ask yourself "will this be good for me - is this nutritious?" Visualise the body you would like to have. If you don't have the image in your mind, how can you achieve it?
The support group has been a tremendous help and motivation. It is exciting to hear about an individual's weight loss, or a particular health improvement, and to feel inspired by someone's exercise achievements. And we all contribute our advice on how to handle difficult situations - like social events. Parties, and eating with friends, are still the most vexing problems. We all lead busy lives, and socialising is essential for emotional health. However, practically all social events are associated with eating and drinking.
So for the next 30 days, each one of us has to decide how strictly we are going to adhere to the detox maintenance lifestyle. Having made major changes to our eating habits, and to our approach to food and diet, each of us now has to find our best solution for maintaining our motivation, how to handle social situations without feeling deprived, travelling, family life, and how to integrate more exercise into our daily life.
We know that we feel more healthy now, and our bodies are thanking us for taking care of them. Imagine how much better we will all feel by the end of next month - how much more comfortable we will feel, not carrying around that extra weight. Let's visualise our new selves wearing some glamorous, figure-hugging outfit, or being able to take more strenuous exercise. Never lose sight of our goal. We have made big changes with big improvements - let's continue and not fall back into old habits.