‘Is it really good for you’ or ‘it sounds good I couldn’t do that’ are the two most common responses I get when I say I’m doing a detox.
So why would you do a detox? It’s basically a complete spring clean of the entire digestion system, a system that works hard every single time you have a meal (therefore never gets a break!). Over time the digestive ‘pipes’ can get clogged up meaning the digestive system doesn’t breakdown and absorb nutrients as efficiently which can lead to symptoms like bloating, low energy, weight gain and more. A detox involves eating foods that are easy for your system to break down, and therefore allowing it to have a rest and repair. This is often accompanied by supplements that aid to move all the matter out of your intestines and remove toxins.
I picked Brett Elliot’s program, he is a Kiwi medical herbalist that has designed a detox you can choose to do over 7, 14, 30 or 60 days. The shorter the program you do, the quicker your body is detoxing so often the more tired you will be. Also the more you have to detox, the more effort it takes for your body and the longer programs are probably more suitable. My diet is already 99% refined sugar free and I eat grains and dairy occasionally, I chose the 14 day program plus one extra day of prep beforehand and convinced my hubbie to do it with me! (definitely recommended to do it with someone).
The 7 & 14 day detox is vegetarian
This includes most fruit and vegetables (except potato and banana), herbs and spices and a few fats like unsweetened yoghurt, coconut products, chia seeds and cream. The 30 and 60 day programs also include some gluten free grains and cheese.
Friday was prep day (you may want to do this for more than one day if it is a radical change to your diet), we had fruit and unsweetened organic yoghurt for breakfast, leftover green salad for lunch, then Kumara Sagwala with cauliflower rice & raita for dinner. He suggests taking a few days to slowly cut out different foods in your diet as well as caffeine- before you start taking the supplements.
On Saturday morning we begun the supplements, 20 capsules of a variety of herbs in the morning for the first four days, then 20 capsules twice a day for the remaining 10 days. My husband taught me how to do 5 at once or this does become a bit of an arduous task. You can open the capsules and mix with water if preferred.
I think the key to success with a detox is planning and preparation.
We picked a two week period that didn’t have a lot of commitments, then made a menu for all of our meals including social occasions and how we would deal with them. I made breakfast often for multiple days at a time, and dinner leftovers were usually lunch. Snacks were fruit, dried fruit or vegetable sticks with guacamole or salsa. One hot afternoon I was out I had an organic sparkling apple juice with friends. There were times that I wanted to reach for a snack and the discipline it took to stop myself gave me a mental boost.
I was nervous about being hungry but was amazed that it wasn’t really an issue, when you put your mind to something and want to succeed it isn’t actually that hard. I realised how often I reach for something to eat because I am bored or tired. Be prepared that you do have a lot of bowel movements, the only discomfort I got was minor stomach cramps 2 or 3 times. As the days went on I felt lighter (I lost 3.5kg and Tim lost 5kg) however the unexpected and greater benefit was the clarity of mind, energy and control I felt in all areas of my life just by taking back control of my eating. It is amazing the change you can achieve in such a short period.
Who should Detox?
I would recommend this program to almost everyone who wants to improve their health, digestion, lose weight, reduce inflammation and joint pain or take control of their life. From seeing Tim and I do it, we have already had friends and family choose to give it a go too. Check out his website for heaps of resources and frequently asked questions including a free e-book, and have a look at some of our favourite meals below, with links included for most of the recipes.
The detox supplements retail for $199, we offer it to our practice members at $112 (wholesale + 5%). Feel free to chat to me or email me email@example.com if you have any particular questions or queries about the program.
Breakfast (click on most meals below to get a link to the recipe)
- Chia Pudding (Chia seeds, coconut cream and coconut water, raisins, cinnamon)
- Apple, coconut, cinnamon, dates (food processed into a muesli looking consistency) with yoghurt on top
Lunch & Dinner
- Kumara Sagwala with Raita (replace chicken in recipe with kumara) on cauliflower rice
- Roasted Eggplant stuffed with tomato ratatouille (without parmesan!)
- Curry Corn mixed with cabbage
- Zuchinni and Cauliflower Curry
- Mushroom Stroganoff
- Zoodles (Zuchinni noodles) with avocado, basil and tomato
- Sweet and Sour Chinese Vegetables
- Avocado, Brocolli and Cucumber salad
- Roast Vegetables (Kumara, Beetroot, Onion, Carrot, Garlic, Mushroom, Parsnip)
- Stir-fry Veges with soy and garlic on cauliflower rice
NB. If you have a medical condition, read the material and/or check with your GP to ensure this program is suitable for you.