From juice cleanses to mono-diets, from colonics to alkaline fasts, is there anyone these days who isn’t detoxing? But is it really necessary? Don’t we already have a perfectly good detox system in our bodies? Well, yes, our bodies are designed to handle toxins but maybe not the quantity and variety to which we’re exposed these days.
“We all have in our body between 300 and 500 synthetic industrial chemicals that would not have been there 50 years ago, because they did not exist,” warns Dr, Michel Odent, natural childbirth pioneer and director of the Primal Health Research Centre in London.
Here at Tazeka we don’t believe in harsh detoxes, and we certainly don’t believe in depriving our bodies when the weather is cold and harsh. We wince when we read all those ‘New Year, New You’ features asking us to starve our bodies at precisely the time when we need to nourish them. However, now spring is here, we’re in firm favor of a gentle cleanse. It’s certainly not draconian and you may be surprised to find we advocate plenty of protein. Why? Well, you simply can’t detox properly on a low-protein diet. The liver actually needs the amino acids in protein.
Here’s how to cleanse your body gently – yet effectively.
Spring Clean Your Body – The Gentle Detox Plan
Aim to follow this plan for at least a week (more is even better – it’s really a blueprint for general healthy eating). It is safe, sensible and supports all the main detox systems of the body.
- Cut the following from your diet entirely: alcohol; caffeine (tea, coffee, sodas); dairy produce; wheat; all convenience, processed, “junk” and “fast” foods (including ready-meals); salt and sugar. Don’t panic – it sounds draconian but really does leave you with a large choice of good food.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Make warm comforting soups, stews and casseroles. If you are a fan of juices – then go for it (but make sure you’re mainly using vegetables, with a little fruit added for flavour). Choose organic produce wherever possible (less pesticides and other chemicals).
- Get enough protein (three servings a day): deep water fish, organic chicken, pulses and legumes, nuts and seeds. Grill or poach fish or chicken – or incorporate any of the above in stews. Have regular servings of Brazil nuts, peanuts and sunflower seeds which contain vital detox amino acids.
- Instead of standard tea or coffee, try drinking green tea (rich in antioxidants) and dandelion coffee (liver-supporting). Explore the rich range of herbal teas available too.
- Drink two liters of still water a day (more if you are exercising) to help your kidneys and digestive system. This should also help any caffeine withdrawal headaches. Our Headache Helper blend can also help.
- Skin brush daily. Use a natural bristle brush and use on dry skin before bathing or showering. Brush firmly but gently, always moving towards the heart. This stimulates the lymphatic system.
- Incorporate exercise into your life. Walking and swimming help the lymphatic system. Even better, invest in a rebounder (a small trampoline, available from sports shops) and bounce for ten minutes a day. See our blog post on helping your lymph.
- Remember that you probably need to detox your mind too – Nonstop Thoughts can help that whirligig of thoughts that often arise as our body lets go of deep-seated toxins. Incorporate meditation or mindfulness into your daily life too – our Meditation Guru blend is a huge help here. Balance is another blend that comes into its own while you’re cleansing.
Spring Detox Recipe
- 1 tablespoon filtered White Kaolin clay (Mountain Rose Herbs)
- 8 ounces of drinking water
- Add the clay to a glass of water and stir well with a glass rod.
- Place overnight in the refrigerator
- Remove next morning from the refrigerator. Do not stir - drink the water part only (not the clay sediment).
- Do for seven days.
Source: Mountain Rose Herbs
When Not to Detox
Detoxing is generally very safe (if you follow a sensible program). If you have any doubts consult your doctor or a well-qualified nutritional therapist or naturopath. However there are times when it isn’t advisable to detox:
- If you’re feeling unwell or are getting over an illness.
- If you have any blood glucose problems (see a professional who can tailor a program for you).
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding – your body has other priorities.
- If you have an eating disorder.
- If you have any health problems or are on medication check with a healthcare professional before undertaking a detox program.