Forget « DETOX », try a 5-DAYTOX Challenge
Stop Dieting instead Question your Relation to Food and Eating.
What does the 5-DAYTOX Challenge mean?
The 5-DAYTOX Challenge is not a Detox or Cleanse program. It is a simple and easy experiment to learn about your relation with food. In your journey to Whole Food Plant-Based by eliminating certain foods, you get to learn about you and your relation with food. It is also NOT about losing weight, but moving to a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet.
During this 5-day experiment, you will simply question: WHEN (daytime eating) and WHAT you eat (plant-based).
- WHEN? you try to eat during daytime (between sunrise and sunset), looking for an eating window of 12 to 10 hours. It is a simplified version of T. R. E. « Time Restricted Eating » in which the idea is not to eat when its dark to re-sync with natural daylight and to give a break to your organism and digestive system to rest, recover and regenerate. You can read a detailed article on T. R. E. « What did I learn from 2 years of practicing Time Restricted Eating ? ».
- RELAX, REST & SLEEP: Plan wisely your experiment. Like on holidays or in a zero stress environment, when it feel easier to commit. A stress free environment or the right moment in your life can greatly help to conduct the experiment and also after to reflect on it. Sleep is key to your wellbeing. Especially during that type of experiments, make sure you get your 7 or 8 hours of good night sleep.
- KEEP MOVING: this experiment is not a fast or a detox… so nothing should stop you from being physically active and moving especially outside. Walk, ride a bicycle, swim, run… whatever makes you happy.
- HYDRATE WELL: 2 liters of water minimum during your day… can be infusions or soups… Also fruits and veggies contain 70 to 90% of naturally filtered water, so they are good options to start your day well hydrated.
- WHAT NOT to eat: The 5-DAYTOX Challenge is transition from vegetarian or vegan diet to a WholeFood Plant-Based diet and up to S.O.S free (no added salt, no added refined sugar or no refined oil).
100% plant-based includes: everything edible from plants: fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, leafy greens, leaves, herbs, spices, flowers, micro-greens, sprouts, mushrooms… prepared with any cooking technique: marinated, dehydrated, stir-fry, cooked, baked, steamed…
The goal is to realize where you would like to stabilize your diet around plant-based eating. Do the experiment by removing one element each day. When completed, you have to « comeback » progressively (adding one element per day). After that you can decide what to keep or not in your stabilized diet.
You are unique, what works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you. When people talk about a plant-based diet, it includes a wide range of very different diets from eating mostly out of convenience junk/fast processed foods or mock foods to more conscious eating like whole food plant-based, SOS free, raw, fruitarian… My approach is not to judge any or think that one is better than others based on a personal belief.
When it comes to Nutrition, I prefer to keep it simple: Whole-Food Plant Based. Preferably Fresh, Local and in Season. I am looking for nutrient density and getting a wide diversity of micro-nutrients while making sure to keep my micro-biome well (thank you plant fibers and good bacterias). I am not a nutritionist, certainly not a diet guru nor a doctor. I prefer open questions, evidence based facts and a scientific approach based on replicable experimentations. So I follow the work of a limited number of trusted sources like Sachin Panda, from the Salk Institute, on Time Restricted Eating and like Dr Michael Greger (Nutrition Facts & « Daily Dozen » ) for Evidence Based Nutrition.
My small piece of advise: try to find out what works well for you! If you feel great, energized and motivated, you are most probably going in the right direction.
How to do the 5-DAYTOX Challenge?
- WHEN to EAT? From sunrise to sunset.
- WHAT to EAT: a transition to Whole Food Plant-based.
DAY-2: eat 100% plant-based diet (or vegetarian). Avoid stimulant substances like caffeine (so no coffee, tea, coke, energy drinks, alcohol…), that can interfere with your sensations, appetite and addiction effects. For example, I am addicted to caffeine. If I stop it, I have about 24 hours of headaches. If I would remove everything at once, I won’t be able to know where my head pain is actually coming from.
DAY-1: eat 100% plant-based. Avoid legumes (chickpea, pulse, lentil, peanut, bean…), which may ease your digestion.
DAY 0: Congrats!! you are now eating Whole Food 100% plant-based! (WFPB) so no refined foods, no highly processed foods with additives and preservatives… so colorful sweet potatoes, whole pasta, black whole rice instead of white rice. You eating window is stabilized around 10 hours.
DAY+1: eat 100% WFPB but avoid grains (wheat, rice, oat, pasta, noodle, bread, maize, millet, barley…). Good luck and don’t attack a Bakery Shop! (well I decline any responsibilities from now on).
DAY+2: eat 100% WFPB and S. O. S. free … Before calling the police, it simply means added Salt, added Oil or added Sugar. Knowing that Oil is actually refined, taste damn good for sure but has barely no nutritional benefits.
Congrats! You made it. Now as you go back to your new « normal », the idea is to move backward by adding one element day by day and stabilizing when you feel well and happy ;-)
What I appreciate with the 5-DAYTOX CHALLENGE:
- Ok, I like experiments.
- This challenge is the answer to « What should I eat?», the most frequent question I get for the past 15 years as vegan after « Where do you get your proteins?. Simple answer, you have to figure out it by yourself.
- It helps realize that you are unique. Copying is not always your best option, you need to try our for yourself what works.
- Habits are highly dependent of convenience and social acceptance… Have fun, go easy on yourself and start by playing.
- I do believe that T. R. E. plays a big role here… so it’s embedded ;-)
- A temporary struggle can be good for you. Especially if it reveals certain food that you have difficulties with or certain aspects of your relation with food.
For more listen the Blue Lotus Café PODCAST on the 5-DAYTOX Challenge. Find all my articles on plant-based lifestyle and eating.