The end of February is looming and you are still on a bit of a food and alcohol bender. Each week you check in and remind yourself that you must get your act together and start to eat clean and perhaps consider a detox.
I can happily say a detox is not what it use to be. I remember going on a retreat and being offered vegetable juice only for four days followed by light baby food for the next three! How things have changed for those of us considering a detox today. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming and having road tested many detox regimes, I have pulled together my top tips for your summer cleanse.
My first tip is to EASE yourself into a detox.
The week before your detox begins, consciously cut right down on alcohol, sugar, (the worst thing for inflammation), coffee, tea and all other stimulants and if you smoke, its an obvious no brainer – stop! Eat all evening meals early.
Begin to drink a WARM WATER AND LEMON JUICE before bed and on rising every day. Make this a part of your daily regime FOREVER. Make sure the lemon is ORGANIC. This is a great way to alkalize the body.
Set a date in your diary/phone and COMMIT to your detox. Tell a close friend of your plans and get your buddy to help support you or better still do the cleanse with someone.
If you are carrying a lot of excess weight, do go to your GP and tell him of your plans. This detox is from my experience only and as we are all individuals, what works for me, may not work for you but this offers a basic guide and some suggestions.
If you have any allergies to certain foods, supplement any food mentioned with something you can tolerate.
The day you begin your detox completely CUT OUT ALL: alcohol, gluten, caffeine, sugar, (including high sugar fruits and all dried fruit), vegetable oils, butter, margarine and most dairy.
Do a COMPREHENSIVE SHOP to buy all the items you will need for the detox and freeze what needs to be frozen and store everything else in pantry or fridge. FALL IN LOVEWITH HERBS as they are just so super important for your cleanse.
Buy ORGANIC all the way. If you can’t afford this or can’t find everything required buy non organic only if you can peel it or if something has a skin – ie avocado.
This is a personal preference but some people feel better on a detox EATING 5 SMALL MEALS per day. This really helps ease any sugar spikes and keeps you super consistent throughout the day. If this is just gag material for you, (you just couldn’t stomach eating so often), then stick to three slightly larger meals per day and if you feel really hungry on any particular day incorporate a snack mid morning or mid afternoon.
MAKE YOUR LAST MEAL OF THE DAY NO LATER THAN 6pm and two nights during the sevenday detox eat your last meal at 5pm and don’t eat your breakfast the following morning before 9am. This allows the digestive system to have a really well earned break and is considered a MINI FAST. There is mounting proof that fasting a couple of days per week offers wonderful health benefits.
Keep up your exercise regime or begin one! I am a firm believer in grabbing 30. 30 MINUTES OF EXERCISE EVERY DAY. This is absolutely complimentary to your detox and will really help you achieve the results you desire. I do a HIIT program for approximately 30 minutes, three times per week. This is a high intensity workout. Alternate days I do a weights program and a couple of days per week I do a brisk beach walk for an hour. Again it’s all about what works for you and what your exercise of preference is. My Mum is 84 and as fit as a fiddle. When I quizzed her about her level of fitness at her age (apart from obvious genetics and a good diet), she believes it is all about keeping active and moving. She doesn’t sit still for long and is a constant gardener. Her one tip is to have a 15 to 20 minute nap each afternoon with your legs elevated!
Braggs apple cider vinegar (organic), this is a brilliant way to alkalize your body. Mix this with warm water, just a teaspoon at night on going to bed.
Bi Carbonate soda, (non aluminium), - Bicarb soda is known for its many health benefits but has lately been touted as a cancer prevention remedy. Half a teaspoon in water with organic maple syrup can also assist to keep your PH levels in check.
Magnesium, either in liquid or tablet form, has been hailed as a great stress buster and sleep enhancer. Magnesium can also assist in decreasing heart disease, blood pressure, kidney stones, etc… I take Magnesium every day and my magnesium of choice is: Ancient Lakes Concentrated Ionic Magnesium.
Bone Broth – if you are ever feeling hungry, drink this broth in a tall glass of warm water. It is so nourishing and an excellent source of protein, calcium and B Vitamins. My favourite brand is Nutra Organics, The Wholefood Pantry, Beef Bone Broth, Organic and Grass Fed with Tumeric. www.nutraorganics.com.au
For the week of your detox be quite regimented with your meal times.
Meal 1 should be eaten around 7am.
Meal 2 or snack should be eaten around 10am.
Meal 3 should be eaten around 12 noon.
Meal 4 or snack should be eaten around 4pm
Meal 5 should be eaten around 6pm.
On rising every morning drink a large glass of warm water with fresh organic lemon juice. I always place some of the lemon skin in the water.
The idea is that at every meal you eat the right proportion of protein, good fat and carbohydrates. Depending on your weight and body type, this will vary for each person.
Get to know your body type. Are you an Ectomorph, endomorph or mesomorph? Each body type responds better to different types of protein and a slightly different diet. Work this out BEFORE you begin a detox.
Get to know your BLOOD TYPE. There has been a lot written on what you should eat for you blood type and for me it really rang true. I am A- and the best diet for me is basically meat free. I have always gravitated to just fish and chicken, which is what works best for me.
I can’t tolerate too much raw food in my diet, so it’s a matter of working out what works for you. Speaking with a dietician can be really helpful.
Breakfast option one: could consist of two poached eggs, wilted organic spinach, steamed or pan fried organic baby tomatoes, half a small avocado.
Breakfast option two: A Protein shake. Protein shake should consist of a good quality organic protein powder, (grass fed whey), with organic coconut water, frozen berries and a teaspoon of organic cacao powder and a teaspoon of organic coconut oil. Blend in nutri-bullet for 30 seconds.
Breakfast option three: Organic natural yoghurt, (definitely non sweetened preferably goats yoghurt), mixed berries, almonds, chia seeds, organic cinnamon.
Breakfast option four: Three egg whites whisked with added avocado, spinach, tomtoes, mushrooms all finely chopped. Place in frypan with coconut oil and cook till golden brown.
Snack option for mid morning or mid afternoon:
Half an avocado
Macadamia nuts – just a few and chew well
Beef Bone Broth – heaped teaspoon of bone broth organic powder mixed with hot water
*Organic Cocoa balls – one ball max per day
Lunch option one: grilled fish/chicken/red meat/sardines with large salad or vegetables. Olive oil 2-3 teaspoons.
Lunch Option two: Salad wrap. Organic wrap with half small avocado, salad, goats cheese. Or Organic wrap with chicken, avocado and salad.
Lunch option three: Broccoli sprouts, 100g free range turkey or chicken, green vegetables. Olive oil or coconut oil – 2-3 tspns.
Dinner option one: Grass fed organic beef or fish low in mercury, green vegies, starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes.
Dinner option two: Steak, vegetables and baked potato.
Dinner option three: Salmon, (organic free swimming not farmed), vegetables and sweet potato or salad and sweet potato.
Dinner option four: Chicken, mixed vegetables and brown rice.
Try to combine protein, complex carbs and good fats with every meal. By doing this you will really reduce cravings and blood sugar issues. This will also elevate your energy levels, so it’s a win, win all round.
With every meal add fresh herbs and natural salt flakes, (try Ancient Lakes magnesium infused salt or Himalayan Crystal salt), coriander is great with seafood, basil is great with eggs and in any salad, rosemary is great with meat and incorporate turmeric as much as you can. Organic cinnamon is great with yoghurt. Be creative but fresh picked herbs are so incredibly beneficial to your detox.
An effective cleanse or detox can be achieved in 5 or 7 days. If you want to detox for longer always consult a medical practitioner for support.
For a yummy snack, try my cacao balls…..
*Lisa’s Cacao Balls:
1 cup pitted medjool dates (organic)
Half cup organic cashews
Half cup organic dry roasted almonds
1/3 cup organic cacao powder
1/3 cup organic coconut oil
½ cup shredded coconut organic
1 tablespoon chia seeds – optional
Blend all ingredients in food processor
Mix the dates with a little warm water and blend first, then add other ingredients.
Roll the mixture into bite sized pieces
Roll the balls into either coconut or chia seeds
Place in fridge in air tight container.