I just got back from 3 days at FNCE, the huge nutrition conference that took place in Nashville this year. It was so much fun to meet colleagues who I’ve never met in person but know from social media, see friends who I’ve spent time on media tours with, and enjoy the local cuisine. I also spent a lot of time at Tootsies, which is a crazy fun honky tonk. Being from Toronto, I had never been to a honky tonk, and I loved it.

Anyhow, you know how I feel about detox diets and I haven’t changed my stance on them; detoxing happens with your liver and kidneys. You all (or should I say y’all) know though that it’s really easy to overdo things diet-wise when you’re out and having fun and wanting to immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine, some of which may not be the healthiest thing on earth (*cough cough* Southern cooking, I’m talking about you). Nashville has a great culinary scene, and this was my last event of the year, so I went out with a bang! Here are some of the things I ate over the past 3 days:

Deep fried pig’s ear, meaty pork ribs, tons of cornbread with sweetened butter, sweet tea, blue cheese wedge salads, fried green tomatoes, devilled eggs, pulled pork, the richest, fattiest macaroni and cheese, deep fried peach pie, homemade thick cut potato chips, hot chicken (it’s a Nashville thing), moonshine lemonade (otherwise known as the reason I had a headache the entire next day), pork belly sliders, fish tacos, pimento cheese, lemon Oreos (I know, random), smoked green beans (don’t get excited – they had pork in them) and assorted cocktails while I was a-honky tonkin’.

Cornbread in a skillet with butter whipped with cane syrup
Ribs in Nashville
Ribs at Peg Leg Porker, with a side of mac and cheese and smoked green beans
Pork Belly Sliders
Sliders – these are made with pork belly marinated in cheer wine, which is essentially cherry soda

I ate totally reasonable portions of everything, but it was still a whole lot of food that I really don’t ever eat, especially for three days running. While I usually tend to eat a lot healthier on trips, this was a complete blowout. Now that I’m back in Toronto, I really need to reel it in, or in other words, detox myself from all the grease and low-nutrition food I’ve assaulted my body with in Nashville. I figure it’s going to take about a week or two to do it right. I might have a piece of pumpkin pie this weekend on Thanksgiving, but I’m still going to watch my choices extra-carefully. Luckily, I’m not a huge stuffing-and-mashed-potatoes girl so I should be ok. My plan is simple, and anyone can do this. Basically, I’m going to completely revert back to what I usually eat every day – a mostly plant-based, low-added sugar diet with minimal deprivation and a lot of whole, fresh foods. Keeping it simple, keeping it easy, keeping it sustainable for the long-term. Like I said, I’ll be extra careful not to choose a lot of ‘extras’ and I’ll be active, too – which is my usual way of being anyhow. The detox diet goes something like this:

  • Little to no refined sugar – if I want something sweet, Medjool dates are what I choose. If I’m dying for a sugary treat, it’s once a day and small.
  • A huge salad (and I mean 6-10 cups of vegetables) at least once a day
  • Lean proteins – fish, eggs, tofu, beans, Greek yogurt, a bit of chicken – at each meal – 4-6oz worth
  • 2-3 servings of fruit a day, whole (not juice)
  • Limiting starches to two meals a day
  • Healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, cheese, and raw vegetables with hummus among others
  • No meals out – I make everything I eat. Sometimes I go for dinner with my husband or friends, but not often, and in the next few weeks I’m not planning anything. I normally always bring my lunch to work
  • As usual, only water to drink, and my morning coffee with milk – because I’m a pretty horrible person when I don’t have my coffee!
  • A snack at around 2pm, and scheduled meals

Just simply eating large portions of vegetables and rational portions of everything else will get me back to where I started. No need to starve myself, go on a crazy idiotic diet, or feel bad or guilty about what I ate when I was away. Because those ribs and that mac and cheese were crazy good and totally worth it.

The secret to correcting food overindulgence is first to stop, because having an all-or-nothing attitude that extends your poor choices by months is no good. Then, you need to pick up where you left off and realize that in no time, you’ll be back to normal. Starving, dieting, being guilty all work AGAINST you by making you more hungry and frustrated than ever. It’s like overcorrecting. Simply correcting the overindulgent behavior is going to work just fine. It’s a detox diet that actually makes sense, because it’s not associated with deprivation or hooey science! Imagine that.

Are any of you going to join me on my detox diet? Let me know!