Why start at A when I can start at C and D and kill 2 birds with one stone – so to speak, I mean, NOT literally. Cleanse and detox are similar concepts in nutrition terms and both are equally well able to polarise views.
The sceptics believe that detoxing is unnecessary (don’t you know your body is equipped with detox organs, like your liver, so that you can eat as many döner kebabs as you like and wash ’em down with copious amounts of alcohol!).
However, at the other end of the spectrum you’ll find me; advocate of a nutrient rich diet to support a healthy body and mind. And, I am totally in favour of the dietary equivalent of a good old spring clean!
Sadly detoxing gets some bad press, so for many it’s associated with either abstinence and boring food or complete stupidity, such as consuming nothing but lemon juice and syrup for weeks on end!
Although detoxing may seem like a recent health fad, the practice of dietary cleansing is thousands of years old. The ancient healthcare system of Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science) placed a strong emphasis on regular removal of accumulated toxins and many Ayurvedic detoxes are very similar to modern day nutritional cleanse programmes.
So what exactly is detoxing?
Detoxing should not be about scary abstinence, although certain things, such as coffee, alcohol and sugar, are normally “off-limits”. A balanced detox programme is aimed at helping our liver and kidneys to do their job more efficiently by providing nutrient rich foods, especially quality proteins, essential fats and an abundance of vegetables. Drinking plenty of caffeine-free liquid and eating soluble fibre also helps the body excrete wastes such as uric acid, old hormones and the accumulation of food waste in your intestines. Throughout a detox period it is normal to enhance the healing process by avoiding foods that place an increased burden on excretory organs and/or are commonly associated with food sensitivities (e.g.gluten, dairy, nightshade vegetables and eggs). In addition, avoiding environmental toxins is also an intrinsic part of detoxing. When I design detox programmes I always choose foods that I love to eat and certainly never starve myself as feeling miserable and hungry makes failure a certainty!
Initially it is common to experience headaches and a drop in energy but very quickly most people start to feel better. However, as detoxing often releases toxins stored in fat cells, and weight loss can be expected, detoxes should not by undertaken whilst pregnant or breast-feeding.
Want to try for yourself?
Starting on 1st June I will be running my most radical guided nutritional detox programme to date. “Slimdown and Supercharge” is a 30-day master cleanse programme designed to improve all aspects of digestive health and leave you slimmer and feeling brim-full with energy. Skin, hair and nails will also benefit so you start summer revitalised and looking fabulous! This programme aims to cleanse your digestive tract and speed up the elimination of toxins by supporting all detox organs including your skin, liver, kidneys and lymph system. Nutrient-rich foods, to enhance your body’s intrinsic ability to detox, are an integral part of this programme.