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The principle of a detox is to simply heal the body through cleansing. Our bodies are already quite clever at detoxification process. However, a detox aims to aid and enhance these natural processes by giving our bodies a rest and providing the digestive system with the well-deserved break is asking for.
Detoxing is a way to finding our starting point again, while you might be looking at shedding some weight, feeling lighter, getting rid of some bloating and to improve your digestion. A successful detox is one that helps you get rid of the physical toxin- overload our bodies are dealing with daily, but also a detox that helps you find a way to re-connect with your body and listen to what it is really asking you for.
So take this detoxing period as a “time out”. Time out from physiological toxins and time out from psychological toxins, by this I mean detoxifying our minds from thoughts that do not serve us, it is time for introspective, time for letting go, time for giving space to something your inner self is trying to tell you, time for change, time for self-growth, time for action, time to listen to self. The body wants you to feel empowered to be able to look after it and cherish it at whatever shape or form. See its uniqueness and fall in love with your body again. As you do this and reconnect with your body, the weight loss, vitality and sense of well-being will follow naturally.
Your body is a precious temple, it is the vehicle that carries your soul, and you are only given one in this life time.
Enjoy this time, be gentle to self, keep things simple and take time to journal your feelings, emotions and the new ideas that might emerge.
It is now, time for you, time to embrace your true self..!!
FOODS TO AVOID DURING DETOX:
- Processed refined foods : anything packaged
- Dairy products
- Meats, Poultry and Fish
- Salt and Sugar
DETOX SUPER FOODS:
FRUITS: Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruits, apples, pears, grapes, cherries, mangoes, papayas, melons, Pineapples.
VEGETABLES: carrots, beetroot, onions, broccoli, garlic, cabbage, tomatoes, spinach, fennel, celery, watercress, cucumbers, lettuces.
GRAINS: brown rice, barely, millet, couscous, oats, corn, buckwheat, and quinoa
SUPER FOODS: wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, aloe-vera, psyllium husks BEANS AND PULSES: organic lentils, soya beans, chick-peas. Most dried beans need to be soaked for at least 8 hours before cooking and then boiled hard for at least 10 minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer.
SEA VEGETABLES: packed with antioxidants, beta-carotene, certain B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, trace elements such zinc, selenium and iodine. Wide range to choose from Arame, Kombu, Lava; know to give a boost to the immune system and metabolism
NUTS & SEEDS: great alternatives to meant and cheese, packed with vitamins E, B vitamins, calcium, iron , magnesium, phosphorus, potassium essential fatty acids. They are high in fat so be sure to eat in moderation, best to use; walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, chestnuts. Use the raw, organic and unsalted types.
Seeds: pumpkin, sesame sunflower, linseeds also rich in antioxidants, fibre, Vitamin E, omega-6 fatty acids. Use them in salads, stir fries, stews, smoothies, on top of fruits.
HERBS: Use herbs for cooking: Basil, Coriander, Dill, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme. Other super herbs are Mike Thistle, Echinacea, Dandelion Leaf and Root
SPICES: Cleansing detox spices are Fenugreek, Nutmeg, Turmeric. Healing ones Cardamom calms indigestion, Cinnamon Detoxifier and Cleanser, Cloves Antiseptic and Anaesthetic, Anise seeds aid flatulence and digestion.
OILS AND VINEGARS: Extra Virgin and Virgin olive oils unrefined and cold pressed. Other oils, coconut, walnut, sesame, hazelnut are flavoursome can be added in small quantities to salads, smoothies, and stir-fried dishes. Generally avoid vinegars due to acetic acid which hinders food digestion and assimilation. Organic apple cider vinegar can be used in small quantities.
Try buy organic and from your local producer as fresh is best.
Hydration is important during a detox, get creative, and carry a 2 litre bottle of water infused with a piece of lemon, lime or mint leaves. Or add small amount GOOD MORNING BOOST tea leaves to your drinking bottle.</>
During meals breaks drink plenty of water and coffee alternatives such herbal teas of preference
BODY AND MIND DETOX:
An effective elimination of toxins via our diet is complimented by giving our minds and bodies the care, the rest and the movement they need. Consider gentle exercise to keep body tone while energizing both your body and mind. This will also help stimulate the lymphatic system. 20 to 30 minutes a day of brisk walking, swimming, yoga, Pilates, dancing, T’ai Chi. Also treat yourself to some natural therapies such as massage, reflexology, and shiatsu.
Mind Detox, relaxation, de-stressing and clearing of mind clutter are equally important to diet and exercise during a detox. Body and mind work synergistically, stress and negativity can increase cortisol levels and reduce body’s ability to eliminate toxins. Some tips to keep balance your stress during a detox and help you relax:
- Practice meditation 5 minutes a day can help reduce tension. Put on some calming music
- Go to bed before 12pm, and turn off all electronic devices at least 1 hour before going to bed. Start dimming lights and reducing TV noises 2 hours before bed
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep
- Practice breathing awareness, deep breathing technique, such as breath out slowly and deeply from your stomach. Centre your awareness on breathing out = “letting all go”, breathing in = breathing in self-love, energy, health and vitality.
- Have a facial, manicure or pedicure, this is a time when we are focusing on SELF, self-care, and self-love.
- Use complementary therapies such as; Hydrotherapy, Aromatherapy, Epsom salts bath, saunas, stem baths, skin brushing. Note: if you suffer from heart problems avoid this baths. If suffering from eczema or high blood pressure avoid Epsom salt baths.
DETOX VEGETABLE STOCK:
This stock can be used to add extra flavour to stews and soups during your detox, make a batch and can keep up to 4 days in refrigerator.
- Heat 1 tbsp virgin olive oil in a large saucepan Add 1 chopped potato, 1 chopped carrot , 1 chopped onion ,1 chopped celery stick Cook covered for 10 minutes or until soft Stir in 2 peeled garlic cloves, 1 sprig of thyme, 1 bay leaf, and a few stalks of parsley Pour 2 ½ cups of water into the pan and bring to boil Simmer partially covered for 40 minutes. Strain, season with freshly ground black pepper and use as required.
STARTING YOUR DETOX:
Before embarking on a detox it is essential that you are prepared, there is no right or wrong time of the year to detox. For a successful detox is important to be prepared and take time out to relax, to get enough sleep and rest. Follow this detox for no longer than 2 weeks.
2 DAY BEFORE THE DETOX:
A day or 2 before starting your detox, start to prepare yourself mentally and physically for your programme. This will help you ease on to your day 1 without much shock to the body.
Start eating simple, fresh foods, cutting down on meat, dairy, alcohol, wheat, sugary foods, coffee, junk food and cigarettes. This will help your body and mind ease into the detox.
1 DAY BEFORE THE DETOX:
Have a light evening meal and try going to bed early.
SIDE EFFECTS OF A DETOX
It is important to be ready for some side effects typical of a detox programme. These are usually known as the cleansing crisis from the body trying to cope with the influx of toxins that have been released into the system for elimination.
These will depend on person to person, you might not experience any of these however is important to be aware of them; tiredness, headaches, nausea, feeling of cold, irritability, constipation. Side effects can be a positive sign that your body is eliminating toxins, they will not last long so drink plenty of water and herbal teas to help you with your energy levels, take a rest, weight loss might also take place as a side effect, however it is important to note this is not the underlying purpose of a detox.
WHEN NOT TO DETOX
If you have any concerns about the impact of a detox on your health, is strongly recommended you seek your doctor’s advice before starting any detox or restrictive eating program. Do not start a detox programme if:
- You have recently suffered a bout of flu, a cold, or food poising
- If you are under a lot of pressure at work, just moved house or are feeling emotionally vulnerable.
- If you are taking any prescription drugs, have serious or diagnosed health condition, have liver disease or have suffered kindly failure.
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or diabetic
- If you are recovering from alcohol or drug addiction.