Vegan Detox 11/30/2010
 
I don't know about you, but after the Thanksgiving feast of feasts, I feel like I ate enough to keep me going for the next week.  I'd love to fit in a detox program into my diet right now, but it's just not in the cards for me with Chanukah around the corner (not that I'm planning on eating any of the fried foods I'll be serving!) but still...I need to close my mouth and yet still have enough energy to get through incredibly long days at work.  I googled Vegan detox diets and while I didn't find what I was looking for, I did come across this article that I thought was great for all of my non-vegan readers who might just want to try it and see what all the buzz is about.  If you give this a try, tell me how it goes!

Vegan Detox Diets by Autumn Jones, eHow Contributor

In the summer of 2008, Oprah Winfrey went vegan for 21 days. Going temporarily vegan wasn't a crazy fad; the purpose of this diet was to detoxify her system, give her body a break from chemicals and other nasty additives, and maybe lose a few pounds in the process. Unlike juice fasts or the dreaded Master Cleanse (nothing but lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper), a vegan detox diet is gentle to your system and won't send you into shock. You're still eating, digesting, and expelling food--the only difference is that it's all good for you.
Premise
Detox diets aren't a method of weight loss; in fact, detoxing to lose weight can be dangerous. The premise behind detoxing is that your body accumulates toxins, chemicals and other poisonous compounds over the course of your life, especially if you're an unhealthy eater. Detoxing, or eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet, gives your body a chance to cleanse itself, get rid of toxins, and refresh its systems.

Eating Vegan
Going vegan, even for a week, is one of the least radical forms of detoxing. You simply cut out all animal products from your diet: meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and honey. You'll be eating lots of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Some vegan detox diets may require only organic food, and some are "raw," which means that you don't eat anything that's been cooked. For the best detoxification, you'll want to eliminate sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and drugs from your diet.

Benefits
With all this healthy food coursing through your system, your body will get a break from processing dangerous, hard-to-pronounce chemicals. This gives it a chance to eliminate toxins from your internal systems. Since you'll be eating so many fruits and vegetables, your antioxidant intake will increase, which helps your body fight off harmful free radicals. And the fiber in fruits and veggies aids digestion and cleans out your colon. You may lose a few pounds (although that's not the point) and experience increased energy.

Warning
Withdrawal is implied in the concept of detoxing, so stick it out, even if the first few days are terrible. Your body is going to crave high-fat, processed foods, sugar and caffeine, because that's what it's used to. Make sure you're getting enough nutrients by taking a multivitamin, since it's easy to overlook certain vitamins and minerals on a vegan diet.

Water
One of the most important parts of any detox diet is water. You should be drinking eight to 10 glasses a day to flush out toxins in your system and keep you hydrated. Since you'll probably be eating more fiber than usual (thanks to all those extra fruits and vegetables), it's important to keep the water flowing to avoid constipation. Try squeezing a lemon or lime into your water to give it an extra kick (and vitamin C boost).
 

Veg and the City