Our expert nutritionist, Lucy-Ann has put together an easy-to-follow 7 day detox diet plan together with some lifestyle tips that should leave you feeling even healthier, more vibrant, and maybe even a few pounds lighter! Try your best to follow this for 7 days to gain maximum benefit, but even a couple days of eating “supremely cleanly” each week, can boost health, rid the body of excess fluid, and empower you to make further consistent changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Do whatever you feel capable of doing. You may decide to begin on a weekend, or simply when you have more time to prepare. Having said that, there is no time like the present!
Drink a glass of plain filtered water for instant “rehydration”. Follow this with either hot/warm water with fresh lemon or a dandelion tea or nettle tea. Either will help to stimulate the bowels to move waste from the body!
30 minutes of light exercise – If you can exercise outside, do so! There is nothing like fresh air and oxygen to get the circulation going. Choose a brisk walk or hike, cycle ride, or a focused yoga session, concentrating on your breathing.
Body brush and then shower or bath – if you can, use a long-handled natural bristle “body brush” on dry skin before you get into the bath or shower. Body brushing is one of the best ways to stimulate blood and lymph flow, opening skin pores and speeding up any detoxifying processes. Use long strokes on the body in an upwards direction towards the heart.
Choose 3 or 4 fruits such as apples, pears, papaya (or paw paw), peaches, any fresh berries, or fresh pineapple, mango or melon. Wash, chop or slice onto a plate or into a bowl. Add a spoon or two of shelled hempseeds, and then squeeze over some fresh lemon juice or lime juice. You can add a little chopped or grated raw ginger for extra “cleansing power”, along with freshly chopped mint.
If you need something a little more substantial to start the day, try this delicious breakfast…
Coconut and Vanilla Muesli
For the muesli…
- 2 cups almond milk or any homemade nut milk
- 1 cup raw almonds, or pecans, roughly chopped
- ½ cup of organic unsweetened desiccated coconut or shredded fresh coconut flesh
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla pod, slit down the middle and the seeds scraped out (or use 1-2 drops of vanilla essence if need be)
For the topping…
- ¼ cup goji berries, raisins or dried mulberries
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- Freshly chopped mint
To make the muesli, simply mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl or in a food processor. Spoon equal amounts into serving bowls, and make the topping before scattering on top of the muesli. Serve with the option of adding a topping of fresh blueberries.
Lunch and supper meals:
Choose 6-7 of the following ingredients for each meal and combine together in a colourful creation:
Dark leafy greens such as watercress, green and red lettuce leaves, freshly chopped herbs, organic carrot, cucumber, courgette, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, fennel, celery, onion, beetroot (preferably organic freshly cooked or organic vacuum packed), alfalfa, puy lentils or green lentils, or any type of beans.
Chop, cut or grate and combine these as you wish on a plate, or into a bowl. I suggest you lightly steam vegetables such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower, although these can of course be eaten raw.
At either meal, you can add some plain organic tofu, and 150g cooked portion of wholegrain rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet, barley, or other wheat-free grain.
Flavour or season your meals with fresh garlic, ginger, herbs, and spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, and fennel.
N.B. All the above foods are examples of cleansing, easy-to-digest, healing and nourishing, and “hypo-allergenic” foods (i.e. those least likely to trigger any potential inflammatory or immune reaction in the gut or in the body). These are therefore perfect foods for a “general” cleansing and “detoxifying” diet.
If you need to, eat some fresh fruits and some raw nuts such as almonds or cashews to avoid your blood sugar levels dropping too low. You can drink freshly juiced vegetable juices, herb teas, and plenty of plain water.
Have a warm bath, and try and go to bed no later than 10pm if at all possible. If you do suffer with constipation or IBS symptoms, try giving yourself a gentle abdominal massage with warmed “cold pressed” organic sesame oil. Use large circular clockwise movements over the lower bowel, every evening after your bath. At the start of your 7-day cleanse, make an effort to clear and clean the bedroom and put clean sheets on the bed.
Some things to avoid:
Coffee, alcohol, sugar, salt, processed or pre-packaged food, and any fats you would normally use in cooking. Do however, have 1-2 teaspoons of cold flaxseed or hempseed oil on your lunch and dinner every day.
Potential side effects and points to be aware of…
It’s not unusual when beginning an effective intestinal cleanse to experience a few physical symptoms, and even an emotional “clear-out” at the same time. You may notice nothing at all, but if you do feel tired, heavy-headed, a bit low, have a persistent headache, or even break out in a few spots – that’s great! You are simply getting rid of necessary waste – both physical and emotional. It shouldn’t last more than a day or two.
Remember, drink plenty of plain water, rest, get to bed a little earlier, and begin each day with some warm water and fresh lemon. After a few days, you will begin to feel more energetic, sparkly-eyed and clear-headed again.
Here’s to a cleaner you – both inside and out!