In recent years there has been an increase in demand for the so-called detox diets and cleanses. Many products claim that they cab help you to lose weight, get fitter, feel more alert and improve your concentration and mood, all just by “detoxing” your body and cleansing yourself of all those harmful things that seem the plague the modern human digestive system.
Well, first off, lets deimyth the de-tox. Our bodies, or to be more precise our liver, has the constant task of removing toxins from the food and drink we consume to cleanse the body, to keep us healthy.
A person with a healthy diet who partakes in regular exercise will generally have a perfectly healthy digestive system. Colonic irrigations, enemas and cleanses are really not required if you are already healthy, and mostly a waste of time and money if you do not plan to make permanent changes to your diet and lifestyle.
A few years ago I read a newspaper column by a woman who had colonic irrigation cleanse with a friend. Her friend was a healthy eater and took exercise often. After the cleanse the nurse advised her friend that there was nothing to clean, her bowels were already clean due to the fact that she followed a healthy and well balanced diet.
So if you eat healthy and exercise you really do not need to “detox”. And even if you have been eating junk food for years, within a week or two of eating healthy you body will be cleaner. Eating foods which contain roughage (insoluble fiber) provides you with nutrients, vitamins and also helps to keep your insides clean.
However, if you are convinced that you need a detoxifying concoction, then try one of these drinks that will perk you up and give you a refreshing little boost.
Lemon Detox Drink
With a detox diet it is good to start the day with a warm lemon drink. Just squeeze fresh lemons into warm water. This drink will go straight to the gut to help keep you regular. Drinking cold drinks first thing in the morning can cause the bowels to tighten up, leading to bloating problems.
Linseed / Flax seed Infusion
About half an hour after your lemon water drink a linseed / flax seed brew. There are two ways to make a linseed brew. Either use 2 heaped teaspoons to infuse a glass of water (the quick method) or soak 3 teaspoons of linseeds in a glass of boiled water the night before, then drink when cool in the morning. In both cases do not drink the linseed, the flavor and nutrients have already been extracted into the water.
On a detox day breakfast is the third meal of the day! For breakfast you should eat just fruit served at room temperature. Best not to eat oranges due to their acidity. Grapes are good but should be eaten on their own. Best fruit options are: apples, cherries, papayas, pears, pineapple, plums, apricots or berries.
An alternative breakfast option is a vegetable soup made with cucumber, ginger, alfalfa and carrot. A warm healthy soup to start the day in not as strange as it may first appear!
Tea and Juice Breaks
Throughout the detox day you can drink teas and juices – remember that you are detoxing yourself not starving yourself. Camomile and nettle teas work well. The juices should be seasonal and drunk at room temperature. In the winter it is OK to add some warm water to help control the temperature.
The detox lunch is a simple affair. A raw salad served with sprouts is a popular option for lunch. Light cucumber and celery soups are also good. Homemade ones ensure that you eat healthy ingredients.
As a detox is by its nature very low in calories, it is important to have plenty of healthy snacks available to pick at during the day. The best options are sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
You should also drink smoothies in the afternoon to fill the gap. Take a look at our selection of smoothies.
Dinner should be similar to lunch, i.e. a raw salad with raw sprouts.
No doubt about an hour after dinner you will be feeling hungry again. Now is the time to eat the vegetable soup that you started earlier! The vege soup is very simple. Just wash and peel the following vegetables: carrots, red beets, potatoes, celery, parsley and turnips. Add them all to a pot of water, add some cayenne for added flavor. Simmer on a very low temperature for about 2 hours before serving. Once again, preparation is essential!
Finished the Detox Day With Another Warm Lemon
You should finish your day with another warm lemon drink, just like the one you had first thing.
If you get hungry in the evening / late at night then it is OK to eat some celery. Ideally you should be in bed early and aim to get at least 10 hours sleep.