After discovering my body was reacting to diary and gluten I decided that I wanted to go on some kind of cleanse / detox. I don’t believe there is a need to go on a strict juice cleanse unless you are extremely overweight, instead it’s far more sustainable to take small steps to reducing your toxic load and at the same time increasing natural, whole and organic foods that are gentle and full of nutrients, fluids and fibre. This will help clean out your system, particularly by including fibre! While juices are full of nutrients they aren’t high in fibre at all and can risk blood sugar spikes and overloading the liver with nutrients that it isn’t used to handling. It can actually make you feel sick and isn’t necessarily good for you. My suggestion would be to make soups, salads and smoothies that retain their fibre content to keep you feeling full, hydrated and well let’s face it…pretty normal!
I have done some reading on detoxification and have a recipe to share with you too! It’s really delicious and my boyfriend loves having a bowl of it, particularly with a hangover.
Detoxification, is the ongoing process of neutralising or eliminating toxins from the body. Toxins are waste products which can potentially harm the body’s tissue and can come from normal cell activity such as ammonia, or lactic acid produced within the body. They can also come from human-made toxins from the surrounding environment.
The organs that are detoxified are the liver, kidneys, intestines, skin, lungs, blood and lymphatic system. They work together to transform toxins into less harmful substances and are excreted from the body, however with the number of toxins in today’s environment these organs have to work extra hard. Going on a detox diet supports this process and helps them to work more efficiently.
Toxins can be found in food, water and the air as well as pesticides, antibiotics and hormones. You’ll also find them in packaging, cleaners and detergents, additives, pollution, heavy metals and cigarette smoke.
Unfortunately, if our bodies lack nutrients this will impair the detoxification process and toxins will build up in our tissues. The body will also store them in fat deposits to protect them from damaging the body. This cumulative load is linked to illnesses, hormonal imbalance, impaired immune function, nutritional deficiency, inefficient metabolism, indigestion, poor concentration, sluggishness, headaches, bad breath, fatigue, poor skin and muscle pain.
The three main things you can do is to; eat organic food to reduce intake of toxins, increase vitamin and mineral intake and consume plenty of fibre and fluids to flush out the system.
1. Drink warm water & lemon every morning 30 mins before you eat anything
2. Drink Green and Nettle tea and a hot drink before each meal
3. Stop drinking caffeine as this depletes vitamin B12 used to burn abdominal fat
4. Don’t drink alcohol – this enables the kidenys to fully focus on removing toxins
5. Drink water throughout the day – every 2 hours
6. Eat 1 grapefruit everyday, the vitamin C and flavanoids cleanse the body and fights bacteria
7. Switch potatoes with sweet potatoes – full of nutrients, less calories and more fibre, so more effective in detoxing
8. Avoid aspartame – a dangerous chemical that prevents the body from functioning properly and can also freeze fat cells (avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks).
9. Reduce bad fat intake – breaking down this fat takes a lot of energy, which could be used in the detoxification process instead. High fat/sugar processed foods also contain toxins, so this will help reduce levels too.
10. Try to eat organic – this will mean your food is free from pesticides and other chemicals. Organic fruit is much more nutrient dense and makes the detoxification process much easier.
11. No food from cans – the aluminium when consumed slows the metabolism.
12. Sit for 20-40 minutes with your feet up – this helps reduce water retention, when the feet are aligned with the heart. It cleanses the body from excess water and strengthens the detoxification organs by using water more efficiently.
Now for the soup!
2-3 sticks celery
Handful of green beans
Large bunch of parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs Ghee butter
1 chicken stock cube (for taste)
Cayenne pepper and lemon juice to taste
Gently heat the ghee butter in a saucepan. Add the chopped courgettes, celery, green beans, garlic and parsley and soften for 5 minutes. Add the stock cube and add boiling water that comfortably covers the vegetables (it depends how thick you like your soup).
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1o – 15 mins, letting all of the flavours combine. Add the lemon juice and cayenne pepper for flavouring.
Take a hand blender and gently blend the ingredients to make a thick, smooth texture.
Serve and enjoy! x