Detox Diaries: My 12 Day Cleanse

I have tried several cleanses within the past 5 years.  Most of the detox systems I used in the past lasted approximately 3-7 days; often leaving me feeling tired, discouraged, irritable and hungry.  My body was getting rid of all the toxins and I was not replacing the toxins with the nutrients needed for energy and peace of mind.  This process taught me the importance of drinking plenty of water, getting lots of rest and fueling my body with the proper nutrients.  There are various detox programs on the market such as, but not limited to carb-lovers cleanse, juicing cleanses and vitamin kits.  There are so many options out there that it is common to get overwhelmed and questioning which is more effective and more importantly; which is the best option for me?

What if I told you there is a more “natural approach” to cleansing?!?  The focus is on eating fresh, natural, non-processed foods and drinking plenty of water.   You may be questioning: what do I need to get started and successfully complete this cleanse?

Tools needed for the 12 day cleanse:

Mindset: The first few days will be tough.  Your body is going through a detox, and your mind will trick you into believing you need those toxins (bad foods) for fuel.  Blocking and fighting these cravings will take mental strength and discipline.  Do you want to live with the short term pain of discipline or the long term pain of regret?  Keep your end in mind!

Accountability Partner (s):  When I did the cleanse, my health coach created a group chat.  This strategy allowed us to share our meals with the group, offer ideas, encouragement and support.  Some of us may prefer to do this independently.  Even if you choose this option, I highly recommend you seek out an accountability partner.  Choose a partner who will hold you accountable and tell you what you need to hear in order to achieve your goals.  An accountability partner is similar to a mentor who helps to push you beyond the limits of your potential.  We cannot achieve great things by remaining what we are.

Always have food available: Most people do not successfully complete cleansing programs because they fail to plan.  Because you are cleansing your body you will naturally feel hungrier and in the first couple of days you may feel tired as your body gets used to the process.  I cannot stress this enough, it is imperative to have healthy foods available.  Some prefer to plan for the week; others prefer to plan for the day.  I plan for about 3 days because that works for me.  Choose the option that works best for you and your schedule.  The last thing you want to experience is having a long, stressful day and not having healthy food available when you are hungry.  We must plan in order to experience success with this process.  Planning brings the future into the present so we can do something about it now.

Healthy Outlet: Cleansing our bodies should not be stressful.  However, it does require being mindful of every ingredient we are putting into our bodies; which can be a lot of work.  For those who are new to eating clean, it will require a lot more work and some lifestyle changes.  Change can create stress, so I encourage you to find a healthy outlet.  Some examples may include: leaning on your support group, using your accountability partner, prayer/meditation, reading a book, taking yoga class, exercise, watch your favorite movie.  Find a HEALTHY outlet to put your mind at ease and relax during this process.

What’s next?

There has been literature stating it takes 21-28 days to change a habit.  If this is true, you are very close to completely reversing bad eating habits upon completion of this detox program.  You have successfully completed close to 2 consecutive weeks of 100% clean eating and you should be proud.  Let’s not stop here.  Imagine the results you can achieve if you made a full commitment to a healthier lifestyle.  As a health coach, I have various options available to help you reach your health and wellness goals or to maintain you healthy lifestyle.  View options here or contact me at to get started with the cleansing program.

Clean eating is an investment in your health.  Invest now or pay later with your health.  Let’s do this together!!!!

For those who have completed a cleansing program and/or practice healthy eating habits, please share how this has impacted your life.

Eat to Lose: Tips for Slimming your waistline and maintaining a Healthier Lifestyle

How many of you have counted calories in an attempt to lose weight?  How many cleanses or diets have you tried to reach your weight loss goals?  If you’re like me, you probably have tried countless strategies to reach your goals with little to no success.  Over the past 5 years, I was a pretty consistent “gym rat;” exercising at least 4 times per week and even including “2-a-days.”  When I got bored with my exercise regime, or didn’t notice any changes in my body, I would change my routine.  However, I was neglecting the most important part in obtaining my goal; which was nutrition. Like many others, I fell victim to attempting to “out-exercise” my bad eating habits.  I was a “yo-yo dieter,” eating healthy for a couple months and then reverting back to bad eating habits.  I also was not fully aware of the ingredients contained in the food I consumed.   When attempting to reach a weight loss and/or fitness goal; it can be pretty discouraging when your results do not reflect the time and effort you put into the gym.  I did not realize I was sabotaging my work outs with bad foods.  I believed that I would make up for a few days or a weekend of bad eating by punishing myself at the gym.  It has been almost one year since I fully absorbed and applied the 80/20 rule to my life; 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.  Notice I used nutrition in place of diet.  Nutrition is a lifestyle, dieting is a trend.

I also learned most people struggle to make clean eating a lifestyle for a few reasons.

  1. They don’t know what to eat or when to eat it.
  2. Clean eating has a bad rap for being boring or bland.
  3. Clean Eating is expensive

The following tips can serve as a guide on your journey to beginning and/or maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Do not skip breakfast! I often hear people say “I’m not hungry in the mornings.” Or, “I don’t have time for breakfast in the mornings.” When you skip breakfast in the morning, your blood sugar drops even lower, resulting in increased hunger and less energy. This can also set you up to snack on foods high in fat and sugar throughout the day. Studies have shown people who lose weight and keep it off eat a well-balanced breakfast (high in fiber and protein, low in fat and sugar). Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. By eating breakfast, you are “breaking the fast” since we usually haven’t eaten since the previous dinner. It is the fuel that kick starts our bodies and gives us energy for the day ahead of us.
  2. Eat Eat Eat! There seems to be a misconception that depriving ourselves of food will result in weight loss. Again, our bodies are vehicles and they need fuel. Food is the fuel that speeds up our metabolism. When we go long periods without eating, our body goes in to starvation and stores energy for fat as reserves rather than burning. For example, if you eat one meal per day, such as dinner, your body is in starvation/fat storage mode for approximately 16 hours per day (6-8 hours while you sleep at night and at least another 8 hours during the day before dinner), This sounds like a long time to go without food. The longer you wait to eat between meals, the hungrier you get and the more likely you are to overeat.  Research has shown that our blood sugars begin to fall after about 3 hours. Healthy snacking in between meals are great ways to keep our bodies fueled.
  3. Drink Water! Sometimes it is difficult for the body to tell the difference between hunger and thirst. Before snacking and even before meals, drink a full 8 ounce glass of water. Research has also shown that drinking a full glass of water right before a meal helps us to feel fuller, eat less and aids in digestion. How much water does our body need? Most of us are used to the formula of 64 ounces of water per day. However, research reveals it depends on your size, weight, activity level and where you live. We should drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound we weigh every day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink between 70 ounces and 140 ounces of water per day. This amount will increase if you exercise or live in warmer climates.
  4. Snooze to lose! Oftentimes we can get so occupied in meal planning and exercise that we miss another key ingredient in this process; rest! Recent research has shown that sleep plays an important role in weight management. People who sleep enough (6-8 hours per night) have lower body mass indexes (BMI) than people who don’t. Sleep affects the levels of several hormones in our bodies; including those that regulate hunger and growth. Lack of sleep can cause us to feel hungrier and give into our “late night cravings.” While we sleep, our body also produces more growth hormones than when we are wake. Listen to your bodies, rest is an integral part of living a healthier lifestyle.
  5. Plan: When we fail to plan, we plan to fail. In order to be successful in beginning and maintaining a healthier lifestyle, we need a plan. What are your goals? What days will you shop? What is your monthly budget? When will you cook? Will you meal plan for the week or the day? Planning our meals for the week or even the day is imperative as it helps to ensure we don’t skip meals and fall victim to impulsive snacking on bad foods. Meal planning (and snack planning) ensures we always have food available to us.

Are you or a loved one struggling with not knowing what to eat and when to eat it?  Or, maybe you are feeling bored or discouraged in your attempts to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  Don’t wait another second!  Let me help you with your transformation!!!  Contact me today at

to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation

A Holistic Approach to Mental Health Wellness: Examining 4 components to maintain a balanced lifestyle

We live best when we are in balance!  Oftentimes life can come at us fast; resulting in most of us losing our center in search of balance.  Most of us seek work-life balance and when one facet dominates our lives we can become imbalanced. This article will discuss strategies for finding balance from a holistic approach in a fast paced society.

As a mental health professional, I have learned that treating patients from a holistic approach is imperative to get to the core of the problem and assist them in developing or enhancing the tools to manage life’s complexities.  There are many components that factor into treating the whole person. In this article, I will highlight the physical, emotional, mental/ psychological and spiritual domains.

Physical Wellness: This may be the most important area to obtaining mental health wellness.  Before we can address the other components, we must he aware of any physical symptoms that may be affecting an individual’s ability to function.  Assessing the physical symptoms before the mental health symptoms is essential.  Most patients present with physical symptoms that mirror mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression (problems sleeping, loss of appetite, panic attacks, and shortness of breath).  When this occurs, patients should be referred to their primary medical doctor to rule out any medical conditions before continuing mental health treatment.  Some questions to consider:

How much sleep are you getting at night?

Do you exercise regularly?

Are you getting proper nutrition?

Do you see your doctor regularly?

Emotional Wellness: People in good emotional health are not exempt from adversity.  However, they are resilient, having the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune.  Emotional wellness is the groundwork for what is necessary for identifying and nurturing your feelings, your intellect and your conscious inner-being.  Some strategies for enhancing our emotional wellness include Positive affirmations, practicing self-love, find a hobby, don’t be afraid to say no, and don’t be afraid to say yes, practice forgiveness.

Emotional health also involves the people around you.  Conduct an inventory of the people you spend the most time around.

Are they supportive?

Do they challenge you?

Are they draining or discouraging?

Mental/Psychological Wellness: Individuals who have good mental and psychological health are able to use their cognitive and emotional capabilities to function in society and meet the day to day demands of life. If an individual finds himself or herself suffering from symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, lack of appetite, feelings of hopelessness that persist for several days, irritability, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations (hearing voices), delusions seek medical attention immediately. Again, medical conditions should be ruled out before patients begin treatment with a mental health professional.  Most mental health disorders are a result of chemical imbalances and some are genetic.  When an individual has a chemical imbalance, he or she may have a mental health disorder.  Seeking mental health treatment is extremely important in assisting individuals in tapping into their strengths to enhance their coping skills in order to manage their conditions.  It is also important to take any medication prescribed by your doctor and report all side effects in counseling and to your doctor.  Do not stop taking medications without speaking to your doctor.  Other strategies for enhancing our mental and psychological wellness include joining a support group, journaling, reading a self-help book and practicing relaxation techniques.

Spiritual Wellness: The activity we engage in to find and nurture a sense of connection to a higher power and deeper meaning for our lives.  Spiritual wellness involves the values and beliefs that provide meaning and purpose in our lives.  A huge part of spiritual wellness is understanding “Who Am I?”  When the gap between whom we are versus whom we think we are narrows; we begin to have good spiritual health.  The process of spiritual wellness also includes what is real within our own experiences on our journeys to discover our truths.  Consider the following questions for developing spiritual wellness:

Do you make time for relaxation in your day?

Do you make time for meditation or prayer in your day?

Do your values align with your decisions and actions?

Do you accept the values and views of others?

When treating the whole person, the goal is to assist individuals in finding balance in each facet of their lives.  It may take time before one is ready to divulge the information needed to take the steps to achieve the desired results.  There are many different ways to assist individuals in achieving this goal, but the one variable that does not change is meeting individuals where they are!

More information on a holistic approach to mental health wellness can be found in Sharise Hemby’s book Vitamin C: The Healing Workbook for the Mind, Body and Soul, click here

For a consultation, contact Sharise Hemby at