Going Dormant: Giving the Ol’ Organs a Rest

Each year after the holidays I tell my friends I’m going to make like a plant and go dormant. In my world of introversion, winter is the time for rest, introspection, and cleansing. So, I clear my calendar and then I clear my digestive system.

As I mentioned in The Year of Food, I rest my body by fasting, which I have to do on a weekend, so I choose one when I have no plans. (You really can’t do much when you fast for two days so it’s wise to lie low and stay home.) For a whole week prior to the fast, I follow a specific antioxidant-rich diet and avoid certain foods. Then I do a two-day juice fast, followed by another week of antioxidants similar to the fast preparation diet.

The purpose of this ritual–and I wish I could dedicate more time to it the rest of the year–is to get all the crud out of my organs, especially after over-indulging during the holidays on things like sparkling wine, tapas, and cookies. And removing the sulfites that I ingest with my favorite wine. And taking a break from dairy foods, sweets, caffeine, and any processed food that crosses my path.

So, if you’re interested in how I do it, I decided to post this year’s diet on my blog. I’ll share with you the list of foods I’m eating, including any recipes I make, beginning with Day 1 and through Day 5. Then I’ll share my fasting recipes with you on the weekend.

This ritual is something I compiled last year after reading through many sources on detoxification and juice fasting and tailoring the process to my needs and tastes. This weekend I’ll spend some time reading health articles so if I come across any references I’ll add them to my blog then.

The main goal is to avoid these foods and products: alcohol, caffeine, over-the-counter drugs, fats, processed food, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, gluten, and baked goods.

Which antioxidant foods do I eat each day? Here’s my list:

1 apple, carrot, or pear

1 cup of berries

2-3 T. ground flaxseed

1-2 tsp. psyillium husks in 8 oz. water (or take as capsule w/water)

½ cup broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower

½ cup chard, greens, or kale

1 orange or juice of lemon or lime

2 eggs, 1 clove of garlic, or ½ cup cooked onions

½ cup cooked asparagus or 2 stalks of celery

2 servings of protein or 2 T. algae (or capsules)

1-2 T. flaxseed oil or olive oil

Detox Menu – Day 1

Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (soy milk only; no dairy); orange juice; decaf English breakfast tea (black)

Second Breakfast: 2 hard-cooked happy eggs

Lunch: Quinoa Tabouli with organic red clover sprouts; Sami’s Bakery Plain Millet & Flax Chips

Snack: 2 stalks of celery and 1 large carrot, cut into sticks

Dinner: Lemon Chicken Smothered in Onions and steamed broccoli

Snack: Raspberries with ground flax seed and almond milk; chamomile tea


4 responses to “Going Dormant: Giving the Ol’ Organs a Rest

  1. Hi Marcia,

    This sounds very intriguing! What does it feel like to go through the detox process, pre, during, and after?

    • Hi Szu Ann,

      It definitely takes determination! The first week I find myself feeling deprived, like when I smell coffee brewing and know I can’t have any. (Actually, I could have decaf coffee but I really only like it with milk, which is off the list). But because I know the end result is feeling energized (in addition to losing a few pounds), I’m willing to stay the course. The hardest thing is the mental energy of making sure I eat all the foods on the list each day. So this year I made up a menu for the week ahead of time to ease the burden of planning during the week.

      The two-day fast this weekend will also be trying but the key is to make sure I don’t have obligations during that time. It’s not too bad knowing that I can lie around all weekend, reading, writing, and doing low-energy activities such as yoga.

      The follow-up is sort of a relief after the fast…back to real food. I usually start having milk in my coffee again within a couple days but try to avoid processed foods as long as possible. It’s like when I get my teeth cleaned at the dentist…I like to keep them that way but in the end I’ve gotta eat!

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Have you experienced any after-effects on your metabolism? I know that fasting for even a period of 3-4 days will slow a person’s metabolism (and possibly result in weight gain), but I haven’t tried a restricted/fast/restricted program, which I suspect is easier on one’s metabolism and overall well-being.

    Also wondering about cooking the items on your list. Obviously eggs and meat protein are a must, but the vegetables- do you cook these or try to eat them raw?

    Thanks for the post! I like the look of your program, and while I will probably tweak a bit for my specific needs, I hope to follow it closely starting in about 10 days!

    • I haven’t experienced any effects on my metabolism that are negative, if that’s what you mean. Feeling energetic is the best part of doing this detox and juice fast. But I think incorporating actual food into the juice fast part is what keeps me more balanced than doing a straight fast, so that’s probably why I feel good when I’m done.

      As for the vegetables, some are cooked and some are raw. For example, to get my quota of either asparagus or celery, I usually choose celery since asparagus isn’t in season in Michigan this time of year. And my favorite way to eat celery is raw. But I’ve steamed broccoli as a side dish because that’s how I prefer it. So there’s not really a rule about raw versus cooked….it just depends on the vegetable and what you’re eating it with. Some people are really into raw diets but that’s not what this is about. It’s more about ingesting antioxidants that are in a variety of vegetables. It’s not so critical how they are prepared.

      Thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck with your detox program!

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