Today my hubby and I are starting a 4 week detox which has been met with
“Why do you need to detox when you eat healthy all of the time?”
“Isn’t that a little extreme”
“You don’t need to lose weight, why are you doing a detox?”
“Is that really necessary?”
As well as a lot of interest from people wanting to know more about how to do one themselves, what it involves and what you eat while you are on a detox. So I thought I would explain
Why I am doing a detox
I like to do a detox every year and truth be told it has been about 2 years since I have done one (Geez, time flies!). I recommend detox programs to many of my Naturopathic clients and I think it is important for me to walk my talk and not expect my clients to do something I am not willing to do!
It is the perfect time of the year for a detox and I have been feeling like I could do with a bit of a spring cleanse. Over winter my alcohol and caffeine consumption has increased and gotten too high for my liking! I have gotten into the habit of starting my day with a coffee and opening a bottle of wine every Friday night. My grain intake has been creeping up, with sourdough bread, oats and pasta making an appearance in my diet too often and I have been looking for something sweet in the afternoon and evening – Hellooo bliss balls and dark chocolate!
If you have read my story you will know I am all about balance and there is nothing wrong with any of these things but I feel like I need to pull back the reins and take control of my diet again and a detox is one of the best ways to do this. Health wise I have been feeling a little more sluggish, experiencing some bloating, headaches and moodiness premenstrually (just ask my hubby!). I have also put on a couple of kilos which has gone straight to my tummy. A detox will address all of these symptoms, which I see as my bodies way of telling me things are getting out of balance.
Benefits you can expect by doing a detox
There are so many benefits you experience by doing a detox, here are a few of the main ones
- Enhanced energy levels
- Kickstart to weight loss
- Elimination of digestive symptoms such as bloating, constipation, irritable bowel symptoms, reflux and more
- More balanced hormones, reducing PMS, heavy periods and painful periods.
- Clearer and more radiant skin.
- Improved sleep quality.
- Enhanced mental health, better mood and a calmer attitude.
- Plus many more
How to Detox
There are hundreds of different detox programs on the market ranging from just a few days to months long. As a general rule 4 weeks is an ideal amount of time – it is achievable while being long enough to make a real difference to your health. There are three main focuses in a detox program
- Reduce the toxic load on the body by eliminating toxins in our diet such as caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
- Support our organs of detoxification and elimination so we can eliminate stored toxins in our body.
- Heal and balance our gut function.
I am not a fan of juice fast style detox programs because they lack the amino acids (found in protein foods) which are needed by the liver to support detoxification. During a detox our liver chelates and eliminates toxins that are stored in our bodies and amino acids are needed for this process to occur. If our amino acid intake is lacking, proper detoxification cannot occur.
Here is the detox diet that I recommend to my clients and I will be following for the next 4 weeks
So what are some meal and snack ideas while detoxing
Fruit, coconut yogurt and raw nuts
Nut and seeds blitzed together to make a ‘muesli’ with almond milk
Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and spinach
Buckwheat pancakes with fresh fruit
Mixed salad with chicken or tinned mackeral
Roast vegetable frittata with greens
Lentil and vegetable soup
Rice crackers with avocado, sardines, tomato and greens
Roast chicken and Vegetables
Grilled fish, quinoa and salad
Kangaroo kebabs with veg or salad
Fried rice with tamari, ginger, vegetables and egg
Curries made with coconut milk with rice
Omlettes with goats feta and sauteed vegetables
Smoothies made with fresh fruit, greens and almond or coconut milk
Veggie sticks with homemade dips – hummus or guacamole
Nut and seed mix
Supplements to support detoxification
As well as eating a certain way while detoxing it is important to take some nutrients and herbs to support our organs of detoxification and elimination. Supplements should be indiviualised so are beyond the scope of a blog post. If you would like some advice in this area you can get in contact and I can put something together for you.
Be aware you may feel worse before you feel better
Some people can experience withdrawl symptoms when coming off of things such as caffeine and sugar which can lead to headaches, fatigue, nausea and moodiness. Be aware that it is normal to experience these symptoms for a few days when starting a detox but you should start to feel better after 2 or 3 days. Some people do not experience any of these symptoms.
If you are keen to do a detox yourself, you can simply follow along by using the detox diet recommendations above or get in contact if you would like to get the best results out of your detox by taking supportive, practitioner only supplements. I will be sharing my own detox journey on Facebook and Instagram so you can follow along with me there.