WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY | Before the Detox

Health is essential. What I fuel my body with is vital to how I perform in the studio and on stage. I never really understood that until I moved to Austin. I never questioned what I ate and how that would affect me. I was not conscious of what I put into my body. After watching the show Chef's Table on Netflix, I saw that food is more than fuel- it is sacred. 

I also began to see that if I want to succeed as a professional dancer, I need to take care of my whole body. I began to research and look at what kind of diet is safe, environment-friendly, and energizing for me as an athlete. I found that a plant-based diet fits my mold for my body. Plant-based does not mean vegan- it means that a majority of my diet will consist of plants and nuts, while animal products are scarce. I like to call it VeganISH.

Through changing my diet, I have seen a tremendous increase in energy levels and performance as an athlete. Do not get me wrong, I love my Chick-fil-A and my sweets but in moderation. I want to lead a life that pursues whole foods and natural remedies. 

Other aspects of health include strengthening, conditioning, and mobility. Yes, ballet is strenuous and very hard physically, but it only trains part of my body. To keep my body prepared and at a high level of performance, cross-training is vital.

I will be sharing a journal of my health- eating and training. I want to be open about my physical body to show that anyone can do this. You do not have to be rich or like sports to be in good physical shape. You have to be WILLING.

WHO: ME

WHAT: I will be doing a detox, and I will be drastically changing my diet. On top of detoxing via my food intake, I will be working out and conditioning my body.

The Rules of the Detox

1. CUT OUT FROM MY DIET

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Peanuts and Peanut Butter
  • Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Coffee (Pray for me)
  • Alcohol (I will have a Topo Chico with you if I go out to the bar)
  • All fruit EXCEPT lemon, lime, green apples, and berries
  • Pork
  • Farm-raised fish
  • Non Cage-Free eggs
  • Non-Free-range chicken
  • All beef other than grass fed
  • White Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Nitrates
  • MSG
  • Vinegar

2. Exercise for at least one hour a day

  • Full body strengthening
  • Increase cardio and muscle endurance
  • Increase range of motion through stretching

WHEN: June 19, 2017 - July 17, 2017 = 28 days

WHERE: Right here in Austin. In the Texas heat. 

WHY:

  1. I struggle with acne. This food detox will help identify if my body reacts poorly to certain foods. Am I allergic to something? How can I prevent acne just from my diet? Certain foods and beverages are highly acidic which can affect our body's pH levels. The detox will help reset my body to a more alkaline pH which could help my skin.
  2. Stress. Your boy can get stressed out so easily. I struggle with eating sweets under pressure and stress. I can binge sweets without blinking an eye. I believe that this detox will support stress relief by energizing my body with clean energy.
  3. Clean up.  As much as I try to eat clean on the daily, I can put some nasty things into my body. I love my sweets as I said before and sometimes those processed foods just taste so good. After a time, it can clog the insides. I want to clean my digestive track.
  4. It is spiritual. If I say that I believe health is important to be a disciple of Christ, then I should live that out- "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." James 2:17. Food and beverage play an integral part within the Bible, yet most preachers are not preaching about food and drink. Usually, the only time they teach about the subject is when they talk about drunkenness. Proverbs 25:27 (NLT) says, "It’s not good to eat too much honey, and it’s not good to seek honors for yourself." Notice the pairing- within a proverb either the writer gives two contrasting elements to show a difference or two elements, one obvious and one subtle, to demonstrate the equality. I think everyone agrees, being a selfish person is draining. Knowing a selfish person is even draining and not fun to be around. In some ways, we police that behavior. No one is policing how many cookies we eat or that extra brownie. The writer here is showing that there is beauty within the restraint of food and pleasure from food. How we eat can show part of our character. Do I have self-control (one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit James 5:22-23) I am not saying sweets are sinful, but I know for myself, how I can view food or do not see food is not helpful. This detox will be a spiritual test from some of the pleasures I find in certain foods. 

I am by no means an expert at any of this- I just want to share an average guy's journey for good health. I hope that you will join me in pursuit of good eating and good exercise. You do not have to start with an intense detox- progress at your speed, but I cannot encourage you enough to start. Go. Get out. Live a full life that God has allowed us to live. 

Photos by Lindsay Thomas


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