Thinking of doing a detox? Here’s how to do it safely with a simple and effective 9 Day cleanse, using ordinary food and juices. Includes shopping list and easy to follow instructions.
Cleansing gives your body the chance to rest and regenerate
Cleansing helps your digestive tract to work more efficiently. Your liver, kidneys and skin all benefit too. The foods used in a cleanse; like vegetables and fruit and their juices, sweep out toxins and make the body more alkaline, and help to strengthen the immune system. In contrast, caffeine, meat and dairy are all hard to process and make the body acidic, which scientists now know causes inflammation.
Cleansing has been used for thousands of years, in many cultures around the world. A detox does make sense: if you eat too much rich food, eating simply, or cleansing lets your body recuperate. People say they feel better after a cleanse and have more energy, and it’s also a good way to lose extra pounds after Christmas or a holiday. Many people do cleanses with the change in season as a regular wellness boost. This detox can be used with different seasonal vegetables whenever you feel a detox is necessary.
Choose a time when you won’t be too busy, so you’ll have time to enjoy your detox. It’s best to use natural food and ingredients, rather than a detox ‘kit’. Preparing for, easing into and out of your cleanse is as important as the cleanse itself, because your body doesn’t like sudden changes. You don’t need to do a detox for a long time, or repeat it too often for it to be effective.
You should never detox by fasting or drinking litres of of water at a time (see ‘Water Tips’ below). Medicinal herbs, colonics, bodywork and hydrotherapy should always be taken with the approval of your GP or a qualified medical professional. Also check with your doctor If you have any medical condition, or take prescribed drugs.
The 9 Day Detox
First 3 Days : Reduce your normal diet to prepare for your cleanse.
Middle 3 days: Eat only the detox diet.
Last 3 days: Ease yourself back to your normal diet.
Food and drinks to avoid during your Cleanse
All kinds of meat and fish.
Processed food including bread, pastry, crisps, cake and biscuits.
All dairy food, cheese, etc. except live yoghurt .
Black tea and coffee.
Carbonated sodas and drinks e.g. coke, pepsi, and energy drinks.
A Body brush with natural bristles.
A Juice or blender to make your own jiuces and smoothies. If you don’t have one, buy fresh pressed organic juices instead.
Spirulina: highly nutritious and high in protein. Read more about Spirulina.
Organic vegetable stock or bouillon for soups and stews.
Fresh herbs for flavouring: include garlic: nature’s powerful antibiotic, and ginger: great for the liver, digestion and circulation.
Salad: include spring onions to decongest, beetroot to cleanse the liver and blood, and avocados for skin.
Vegetables: a selection for eating raw and cooking. Buy lots of different colours to get as many different nutrients as possible.
Fruit: choose what you like! Apples, pears, lemons, oranges. Try bananas, raspberries, blueberries for smoothies.
Organic juices: include cleansing apple, betroot and carrot.
Pulses and grains for protein: lentils, split peas, beans (not baked beans!), brown rice, hummus.
Live natural yoghurt: lovely with honey and raw fruit.
Soya milk and soya desserts are permitted.
Herb and fruit teas: look out for specific detox teas. Also nettle, dandelion, fennel, mint and green teas.
Unsalted nuts, e.g. cashews, walnuts, pecans. A good protein food.
Bottled water is not necessary unless you prefer it: plain filtered tap water is fine.
1 week before your Detox: Start taking Spirulina at a low dose, and increase your water consumption (See ‘Water Tips’ below). Begin dry brushing your body. Brush gently, 6 brush strokes per area, always towards the heart. Start at the soles your feet and work up your legs. Brush your abdomen in a circle 15 times: up the right side, across the top of the ribs and down the left side. Bush up fronts and backs of arms,and brush your back, don’t forget the sides of the body. Brush gently down the back of the neck and shoulders. Don’t brush delicate areas e.g. breasts or face, cuts , rashes or broken veins.
Part One: Increase the Spirulina to the recommended higher dose on the product, and carry on body brushing. Cut down meat and dairy food to half your usual amount and replace with nuts, pulses and grains. Also increase raw fruit and vegetables, have salads too . Cut tea, coffee, fizzy drinks to half and replace with herb teas and fruit juice. Fruit juices can count as part of your water total, for the day but not all. Try making your own juices: blitz an orange with apple juice, use banana with berries. Apple and carrot juices go with everything!
Part Two: Keep up with the Spirulina and body brushing. Cut out meat and dairy completely and replace with nuts, pulses and lentils: veggie soups and stews are great. Try raw veggies with hummus. If you miss meat, mushrooms make a good alternative, both raw and cooked. Snack on nuts, seeds, raw fruit and vegetables. Chew your food slowly and thoroughly, especially if the diet is a big change from your ordinary one. Cut out tea, coffee and fizzy drinks and increase herb teas and freshly made juices and smoothies.
Part Three: Keep up with the Spirulina and body brushing. Introduce small amounts of meat and dairy. Your body will still be releasing toxins for a few days so make sure you keep hydrated to flush everything out of your system. As you reach the end of the cleanse, gradually add more of your usual diet . Be careful with caffeinated drinks and alcohol as you will be more sensitive to their effects.
When you finish your detox, you should have more energy, feel better, ‘lighter’ both physically and emotionally and be ready to take on whatever comes! Add more fresh fruit and vegetables to your normal diet to keep your immune system strong, and your skin bright and healthy.
It’s important to drink enough water during your cleanse, but not too much. Here’s how to work out the right amount for your body. Excess water can be as dangerous as too little, don’t drink litres of water at a time.
Divide your weight in pounds by three.
The result is the amount of fluid ounces of water you should drink per day e.g. a person weighing 120Ibs divided by three= 40 fl.ozs, or two and a half pints.
This is in addition to any fruit juices and smoothies you have.
Don’t drink 20 minutes before, or 30 minutes after meals. Water dilutes digestive juices and can cause indigestion.
Symptoms such as headaches and tiredness are caused by toxins being released. If you usually drink a lot of caffeine, headaches are a common withdrawal symptom. Sip water or detox tea to help you through. Bowel movements can change with both the change in diet and the release of toxins your body has been holding onto. Treat yourself gently and be sensible. Sometimes a cleanse is easy, other times symptoms can be unpleasant and if you feel very ill, stop the cleanse and try again another time.
Cleansing can affect emotions too, and it is common to experience sudden bursts of anger or a bout tears for no apparent reason. Don’t worry if these or other negative emotions surface during or after your detox, just allow them to come up and work their way out. Cleansing affects everyone differently, and one cleanse can be totally different to the next.
Treat yourself during a Cleanse
Now is the time to book that treatment you’ve been promising yourself! Some Reiki, a massage, reflexology, get a facial or your hair done. Take some time for yourself. Use your favourite relaxation methods: a hot bath, a walk, time spent quietly. Breathe so that air gets right to the bottom of your lungs: most of us never breathe ‘out’, just ‘up’. Give your lungs some exercise too and it will stimulate all your digestive system as well as relax you. Remind yourself how unique and wonderful you are as soon as you wake up in the morning. Because you are!
Enjoy your detox!
Elaine Bartlett ASK Kinesiologist, Dip. ITEC, Nut. Cert.