Starting a detox isn't easy, especially not first thing after holiday celebrations. That's why we've got two bonus days of Action Plan prep built into the calendar: Over the weekend (the two days before you officially begin your plan on Monday), use these tips to prepare for your 28-day plan.
On Saturday before your plan begins, start your day with hot water and fresh lemon juice. This can aid in the detoxification process you'll be following in the coming week. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. If you're a coffee drinker, start to wean off; swap one cup out for green or white tea.
What foods can you share, give away, or toss that aren't part of the plan? (Hint: Most processed foods fall into this category.) What foods will tempt you and make it hard for you to stick to the plan (read: candy, cookies, soda)?
How fresh are your cooking oils and spices? If you don't remember when you purchased them, now's a good time to upgrade to fresher, healthier options. Remember, these changes aren't just for the next four weeks, but will hopefully become healthy habits for life.
Block out at least an hour (you don't want to be rushed) today to go to the grocery store with your Action Plan shopping list and purchase the things you'll want to have on hand, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and organic, lean proteins. Because you'll be emphasizing fresh foods, you only need to shop for a few days at a time.
In the coming weeks, you'll be challenging yourself with new strength training and cardiovascular exercises. Our routines are perfect for beginners and don't require any technical equipment, but you should have clothing you feel comfortable moving around in, and a decent pair of sneakers.
Unless you plan on sticking to the treadmill all month, a few outfits you can wear on chilly winter walks and jogs will come in handy, as well. A pair of three- to five-pound hand weights is used for some Action Plan moves, or you can use full water bottles.
Size up your home and select a quiet space that feels ideal for practicing meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other stress-reducing techniques.
If you can't give up an entire room to a stress-relief practice, try making one corner more peaceful by setting up cushions, candles, and other objects that bring you comfort and calm.
On Sunday -- the second and final day of detox prep -- go a little further and swap out another cup of coffee for herbal or green tea. Take notice of (and start to avoid) other sources of caffeine in your diet, such as soda and chocolate. Trust us, this will help transition you into the no-caffeine zone ahead!
When it comes to doing the Whole Living Action Plan, a little prep goes a long way. Don't let yourself get caught with no detox-friendly foods on hand and ready to eat.
Cook up some brown rice to keep in the fridge for meals, wash and ready fruits and veggies, and keep some nuts on hand for when you get hungry.
How public you are with the fact that you're doing this plan is up to you. Some people choose to keep it quiet, while others want to shout it from the rooftops. Decide who you will tell (sister, husband, colleague) and ask yourself why: Is it to enlist support and invite others to join you? To ask their approval? Remember, the decision to change your life is yours, but having the loving support of those you trust will help. And if you want to share it with even more people, blog about your experience with us!
Do some thinking and writing about what you want most out of this plan: Is it to lose weight? Reduce stress? Whether you're looking to pick up some healthy habits or overhaul mind and body, it's a good idea to know what your intention is -- it'll make you that much more likely to achieve it.