Before the detox
January is a great time to embark on little clear out/cleanse/detox whatever you like to call it. I’m sure like most of us you probably over indulged over the Christmas holiday period. Lots of nights out, mince pies, Christmas cake and mulled wine not to mention tucking into the box of celebrations. Now you’re feeling a bit sluggish, have you put on a few extra pounds or maybe your skin broken out?
Why not join us for a 7 day detox to get you back on track.
We will be supporting you all week with ideas, recipes and encouragement to keep you on track.
For all you brave soul’s joining us for our 7 day Detox starting Monday here we go. First of all, you’ll need to do some preparation for the 7 day detox.
- Clear out your cupboards of any temptations, especially crisps, chocolate, biscuits etc. Check labels and follow and choose foods that are low in sugar – less than 10g/100g, have only a small amount of ingredients and as minimally processed as possible.
- Stock up on your 5 a day – lot’s of vegetables and 1-2 pieces of fruit per day. Choose good quality protein (meat, fish, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes), wholegrains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet), good fats (olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil).
- Ditch the breakfast cereals for healthy alternatives – oats, chia seeds, granola e.g. Lizi’s, muesli (remember low sugar less than 10g per 100g).
- Why not try some herbal tea instead of regular tea or barley cup instead of your coffee (I know it’s not the same as your cup of java, but hey it’s only for 7 days!).
- It you are worried about cravings especially sugar, try Patrick Holford’s cinnachrome Biocare’s Sucroguard or Viridians 7 Day Detox Kit.
- Vogels milk thistle is a great herbal complex to help support the body’s natural detoxification systems.
Planning ahead is critical to keep you on track for the detox, how you start you day is important to set you up for a healthy day and week ahead.
Why not start with some apple cider vinegar or the juice of ½ a lemon in warm water + ½ tsp MSM. Not only is this a refreshing way to start the day and rehydrate after a night’s sleep, it also helps stimulate the digestive juices and so is great before meals. MSM contains sulphur which is required for the detoxification pathways in the liver.
Freshly pressed juices are also great to hydrate and add easily absorbable vitamins and minerals to your diet. Juices can be too cooling for some people this time of year so add lot’s of warming spices including ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Try to use organic produce when juicing to minimise your exposure to any potential nasties.
Here’s one of my favourites:
1 green apple
1 lemon peeled
1 stick celery
Bunch of kale
1” knob of root ginger
How’s it going for you? How did you start your day, what did you have for breakfast?
What are you struggling with or is it a breeze so far?
I’ve already given some breakfast ideas, here’s one of my favourites, Chia porridge
¼ cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut/almond milk
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients (make sure they are well mixed) and soak overnight. Chia seeds go very thick so if it’s too thick you can add more milk. Warm gently or have cold. Top with in season berries. Yummy!
Your body is detoxing all the time through your liver, skin, lungs and kidneys. It is essential these detoxification organs are working optimally as eliminating these toxins from the body is important otherwise they will be reabsorbed and may contribute to poor health.
The liver is one of your detoxification organs and the herbs like milk thistle, dandelion and artichoke are known to help support liver functions and the body’s natural detoxification systems.
Regular bowel motions are important so that you are removing waste products from detoxification. If you are prone to constipation you need to look at increasing your water intake, and adding more soluble and insoluble fibre in the form of soaked flaxseeds/chia seeds, prunes and vegetables.
Consuming water is also important to hydrate the body including the skin and to help your kidneys flush out wastes products. If your urine is dark yellow, then you may be dehydrated and need more water.
If you are struggling with cravings especially sugar, try Patrick Holford’s cinnachrome, Biocare’s Sucroguard or Viridians 7 day sugar detox kit.
Exercise is also important to improve bowel motility and it also causes you to sweat, which is another great way to eliminate toxins.
As the skin is another elimination organ, dry skin brushing helps stimulate the lymphatic system to remove waste products.
Did you get seduced by unhealthy snacking?
Here are some great snack ideas to have between meals.
- Oat cakes with almond butter
- Carrot/celery sticks with hoummous
- Small handful berries with walnuts
- ½ avocado with oat cakes
Remember to keep fruit to a minimum especially high sugar fruit, instead choose more vegetables or lower sugar fruits including berries, pears and apples. Sugar, like highly processed food can put a strain on the body so it’s best keep it to a minimum. Also use this time as an opportunity to help decrease your desire for sweet foods.
If you are prone to the 3 O’Clock slump or something sweet after dinner, be prepared and have a healthy snack on hand. Remember protein and good fats help balance blood sugar and so in turn helps keep cravings at bay.
Here’s a nice smoothie to try.
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp flax oil
1 heaped tbsp plant based protein (hemp, pea, rice)
1 tbsp milled chia/flaxseed
1 tsp supergreens/spirulina/barley grass/ cholella
Blend until smooth. Great for breakfast or to take to work as a snack.
So how’s it going? You’ve got to day 5, have you fallen off the wagon or are you flying through?
If you are you may want to ditch the caffeine (tea, coffee, soft drinks) and alcohol for the remaining days if you haven’t already done so. Try switching to herbal tea, water (with mint, sliced lemon or cucumber if you don’t like plain water), kombucha (also a great source of good gut bacteria), coconut water or barley cup, a great coffee alternative.
My favourite herbal tea at the moment is pukka tea especially Rooibos & Honeybush and 3 Tulsi (or holy basil as it’s called in India). It’s a great tea to lift you up and is reported to support the adrenals glands, so a nice little stress soother.
Day 6 already! Have you found it hard giving up processed food or do you get cravings you can’t resist? If so why do you crave these unhealthy foods, are you an emotional eater or are you truly hungry.
How do you know if you’re hungry or trying to numb and emotion you don’t want to deal with.
Are you bored, anxious, sad, lonely, angry, nervous, are you eating to avoid these emotions?
If you are truly hungry you will be open to eating different foods and you can wait a while to eat. If it’s emotional hunger you need food now and it’s usually only one food you want and often if you eat it you are still not satisfied.
Keep a food and mood diary, if you feel it’s emotional hunger, have a glass of water, go for a walk, read a good book, if after 20 minutes you are still hungry choose a healthy snack instead.
You made it, not so hard was it. Of course, you can keep going if you like or now you can try re introducing the foods you removed one at a time, just don’t go back to lot’s of processed food after all your hard work.
Just remember to load up with lot’s of vegetables, good quality protein and healthy carbohydrates in the form of starchy vegetables or wholegrains and of course don’t forget the good fats. Keep highly processed food to a minimum and of course watch the sugar,
The sugar recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) is less than 10% total calories or:
- Less than 9 teaspoons (38 grams) per day for men
- Less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women
- Less than 3-6 teaspoons (12 – 25 grams) per day for children
When you are reading labels on food, 4g of sugar = 1 teaspoon.
To calculate how many teaspoons of sugar per serving, divide the grams of sugar per serve by 4 .
The average bar of chocolate can contain 6 teaspoons, so watch out!
If you’d like to do an all in one detox then we have some great options in store.
NHP D-Tox support is a fantastic cleanse designed by Dr Marilyn Glenville, and contains specific ingredients to help support the digestive tract, herbs for liver function and probiotics. Udo’s Choice Beyond Greens is another fantastic choice.
You can also look at detoxing from social media, leave electronics out of the bedroom to have a restful sleep and allow the body repair at night.
Well done folks, see you soon for the next group detox.