It's time to do a detox when you start noticing: you're finding it harder to get out of bed each morning, you suffer with several colds a year, your waistline has expanded, you find an increased need for antihistamines, "I feel bloated" is becoming your mantra, your libido is flagging, you can't survive without that coffee and sugar hit, PMS is turning you into a walking time bomb, you're overwhelmed by the demands on your time, and / or that face looking back at you in the mirror has lost its sparkle.
The funny thing was that I started that first detox right at the beginning of working on a chocolate cookbook. I lost weight during that time while many of my workmates gained weight. It was hugely challenging because chocolate was and still is a major delight for me. However, the change in my health was remarkable and the results were really worth the effort. My energy improved and all the annoying health problems disappeared. It was this experience that turned my health around and convinced me to study naturopathic nutrition which sent my career in a new exciting direction.
Since that time I enjoy at least one 4 to 5-week yearly detox and often a shorter "top up" later in the year. Generally I choose to detox in January or February and this helps to nip festive habits in the bud and get back onto a healthy track for the year.
A detox takes only a little organising, and you may feel a little sluggish in the first week or so. However, once you're past the initial few days, you won't look back. This is when your friends and work mates start asking you what you're doing to look so healthy and glowing.
A clinical detox is not a fast or starvation diet and you are certainly not required to eliminate important food groups. The aim is to eat healthy balanced meals and avoid specific foods and drinks that add to the toxic load. I also prescribe nutritional and herbal supplements to support your body and enhance the detox process. For best results aim to follow my detox program for about four weeks.
I recommend you come in for a consultation before embarking on a detox program, however, here's some easy steps to get you started. You'll find these in my Detox Cookbook which you can purchase from me directly or through Remede Wellness, the practice where I work, or in eBook format here.
In conjunction with eating terrific meals you will benefit greatly from daily exercise and perhaps a little mind "detox". Here's a link to a fun little video on beginners meditation to get you started.
Foods to Eat
Avoid any foods that you know you react to if they are listed here. Anything not listed is most likely not detox friendly. My Detox Cookbook has the full lists on pages10 to 11.
- Fresh vegetables - 4 to 6 cups per day, preferably organic.
- Fresh fruit - 2 to 3 pieces per day, preferably organic. No grapes, melons or oranges. Limit dried fruit to maximum 2 teaspoons per day.
- Legumes - if you tolerate legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and beans.
- Free-range or organic poultry.
- Organic beef, lamb and venison - 1 to 2 serves of red meat per week only.
- Fish - only fresh King Salmon, fresh or canned sardines, canned wild caught salmon, whiting, garfish. Avoid larger fish due to their mercury content.
- Free range or organic eggs - up to 8 per week.
- Nuts and seeds - excluding peanuts due to a mould peanuts contain.
- Tofu, tempeh, unsweetened soy milk.
- Unsweetened almond milk.
- Basmati Rice, wild rice, rice noodles, rice cakes.
- Cornmeal or polenta, corn crispbread.
- Millet, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth.
- Gluten free sour dough bread. Avoid bread that contains bakers yeast.
- Mung bean thread noodles, konjac noodles or pasta.
- Gluten free pasta.
- Freshly made vegetable juices and green smoothies.
- Fresh herbs and dried spices. Avoid spice pastes.
- Dried fish, seaweed and bonito flakes.
- Gluten free tamari sauce.
- Extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed macadamia oil, sesame oil, coconut oil.
- Vinegar - use apple cider vinegar.
- Lemon juice, lime juice.
- Mustard - can be used in small quantities.
- Shellfish - make these an occasional treat only.
- Fresh tomatoes, tomato passata sauce in glass jars. Avoid canned tomatoes as these usually have plastic lining in the cans. Avoid other tomato pasta sauces due to additives.
- Honey, maple syrup, rice syrup - minimise to 1 teaspoon per day.
- Stevia can be used as a sweetener.
- Green tea, herbal tea, roasted dandelion beverage.
- Soda water and natural sparkling mineral water (unflavoured).