THE DETOX & HABIT CHANGES: A Patient Journey

This is a blog series by Amber, a patient who is sharing her personal journey while receiving care from The Livewell Clinic. All thoughts are her own. Check out her first blog post to kick off her patient journey here and her second post on the blood panel here.

After my call with Dr. Zac to review my labs, I started doing some deeper research on the paleo diet. I started cutting back on things in my life that weren’t good for me. I assembled a shopping list ahead of my detox so that I was prepared when it came time to start.

I’ll be honest, I had a terrible addiction to Rockstars and cheese. I would drink up to four of the sugar free Rockstars a day and cheese covered most of my meals! My eating habits that I initially thought weren’t too bad turned out to be absolutely awful. I cleaned out my house and got rid of the junk food that I could so easily talk myself into devouring. I figured part of the battle was just going to be not having these “treats” staring me in the face when I got home at night.

I can remember hearing the word detox before I knew anything about holistic health and just picturing pure dread. It seemed that the reason people did these detox things was to drop a few pounds quickly, and as far as I knew, it usually consisted of the following:

  1. Some REALLY nasty drink that you have to choke down multiple times a day.
  2. A mountain of supplements.
  3. No food.
  4. Running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.
  5. Being cranky from starvation.
  6. Putting all of the weight back on shortly after it was over because nothing was changed long-term.
  7. Spend hours a day doing cardio.

So, do you think I was super excited when I heard that part of my journey was going to consist of a detox?! Nope, not at all. But, as I’ve stated in a previous blog, I’m in this, and I’m going to do whatever is suggested to the best of my ability.

Luckily, before I started this detox, I got to have a great conversation with the lovely, Melissa! (She is just incredible, right?!) We talked about what to expect during this detox, what changes I needed to make in my life to get the most out of this, and lastly, what my goals were. Getting some insight into hurdles others had to overcome during their detox proved invaluable, and I felt prepared.

My goals consisted mainly of three things;

  1. Lower my inflammation, leading to decreased pain in my joints.
  2. Feel better overall with more energy.
  3. Drop a few pounds.

One of the more important things I had to consider when starting this detox was whether or not to stop taking my immunosuppressant medications. I was told that this decision was up to me and after much contemplation, I decided to go ahead and stop taking them. I wanted a true sense of whether or not this was going to work on its own, and I didn’t want my results to be skewed by pharmaceuticals. 

So, I’ll be honest, the detox was pretty easy for me in many ways. I didn’t go through huge sugar cravings, and I had a slight headache from the Rockstar withdrawal but not too bad. The hardest thing for me during this detox was staying away from the kitchen that my CEO stocks full of breakfast cereal and sandwich fixings, and all of the sugary treats that my coworkers would bring in.

I tried a few different blends for the shakes, but I found my favorite to be cashew milk, frozen berries, and ice cubes all thrown together in the blender. (Please, please, please make sure you use some sort of blender, otherwise you’re going to end up with some gnarly lumps, and really, who wants that?!) The supplements were easy to handle and didn’t bother my stomach. I tried to get a little more activity into my routine, but I didn’t go crazy with working out.

Circling around to those goals that I initially had, I saw great success, and I definitely want to break those down for you.

  1. Inflammation – Holy smokes, what a difference some changes make! I’ll be honest, I was expecting more inflammation and irritation in my joints initially, but that was not at all what I found. I found that my hands had more mobility with far less pain than anytime in the last six years since being diagnosed. I couldn’t believe it!
  2. Feeling better overall – I felt fantastic. I had more energy than the days that I would down four rockstars. I think a big part of this was decreasing the inflammation pain that I lived with every day. When I wake up and it doesn’t hurt to bend my fingers, I feel better about what I have to do for the day. Having that kind of optimism led me straight into thinking better and feeling better overall.
  3. Drop a few pounds – The time span that this blog covers is about a month.  This includes the two weeks before my detox where I started changing my eating habits and the detox itself.  In that time I lost … (drumroll please) … 19 pounds!!! Holy smokes! I didn’t weigh at all during the month because I find that in the past I’ve always gotten discouraged when I see little progress being made on the scale, and I wanted to stay positive. You can imagine my surprise when I finally looked and saw where I was at. I had noticed that clothes fit a little looser, and I could get my wedding ring off and on easily. But never did I think that would be the number I achieved.

So far, I’m digging this holistic health journey, and my body is thanking me each day I get up and make better choices. I’m sure there are going to be struggles over the next few months, and I’ll make sure to share those with you when they happen. But as far as the detox goes, I’d say SUCCESS!

Everyone hang in there and know that I’m in your corner cheering you on. If you’ve made it to The Livewell Clinic, you’re so lucky!  My eyes have been opened, and I’m so excited to see what’s next for me in this journey. 

Until next time, be well everyone!

If you’ve been touched by this series and are considering changing your health and life through Functional Medicine, consider signing up for one of our free seminars offered here.