Having been bombarded with ‘detox’ headlines at every turn, I decided that I could do with cleaning up my act post-Christmas. Just like everyone, I need a bit of encouragement and inspiration to get started.
Every ‘expert’ has a different way of putting things. Fortunately, I think a lot of what I am reading at the moment, is pretty good and doable. As a qualified nutritional therapist with a science based approach toward nutrition, I am perhaps naturally discerning about such information.
Then I wondered; but how does the gal on street decide what’s nutritional madness and what is really beneficial?
So, here are a few pointers to identify whether the detox programme you have in mind is worthy of the time and effort.
Does the programme:
- Involve eating nature-made foods? This may sound daft but often the focus is on (expensive) pills and potions.
- Recommend giving up sugar/caffeine/alcohol? If it doesn’t then it’s kidding you! Nothing much is going to happen without doing so – unfortunately.
- Ask you to increase your vegetable intake? You can’t detox without doing so.
- Include eating protein (any sort)? Your liver needs protein to do its job.
- Advise giving up processed man made foods during the detox period?
- Stress the importance of drinking water? Boring but essential.
A detox programme can be as difficult or as simple as you like. Whatever you choose to do, it would be good to give your body a rest from time to time. So just to recap, for a minimal detox try the following:
- Increase your vegetable intake at meal times and via juices. Go for 12 portions a day.
- Hold off on the caffeinated, alcoholic and sweetened drinks for a week or two.
- Increase your water intake to around 2 litres, sipped throughout a day, not gulped in one go.
- Cut out all processed foods including sweets (and chocolate) for the period; rely on fresh stuff.
- Have a good source of protein every day, such as; fish, lean meat, mixed beans and pulses or organic seed protein powders.
I think these are the basics of a good programme. This is not a full on detox, however this gives you an idea whether you are a candidate for one! Plus if the list above seems an impossible ask, then sorry, you probably need to rethink your eating strategy, generally.
If you decide to go for the full Monty, it best to do it under supervision. This is essential if you have an existing health condition or you are on medication.
Remember; putting your diet under the microscope from time to time is a good thing. It helps you realise how far you may have wandered from the healthy eating highway.
Following a few basic detox steps, will help you get right back on track.