It's the celebrity fit word that is often synonymous with fad dieting, online weight loss scams and plenty of judgmental rolled eyes- BUT- a nutritional detox could be exactly what your body is longing for!
What is a detox?
A 'detox' -short for detoxification- is the process of ridding the body of unhealthy toxins that interfere with the optimal functioning of bodily organs. It involves eliminating foods and beverages that contain chemicals and additives that burden the liver, kidneys and bowel.
In essence, a detox is a three part process. It primarily involves:
* Eliminating ingestion of chemicals by eating raw, organic, natural products in their unrefined state
* Maximising intake of nutrient dense foods that are rich in detoxifying vitamins and antioxidants
* Increasing intake of water and foods that are high in fibre, to flush out toxins
Why do I need to detox?
Well.... Technically you don't... BUT the benefits associated with healthy detox plans definitely suggest youshould.
Our daily lifestyles expose us to a myriad of chemicals that we ingest or inhale through things such as air pollution, pesticides on food, cigarette smoke, food additives, household cleaners, food packaging and drugs (both legal and illegal). As such our bodies become burdened with an overload of chemicals that need to be processed, which can lead to illness, body imbalance and deficiencies.
Detox diets take the burden off the organs that process waste in the body, allowing them the opportunity to flush out toxins and get the body back to a neutral, alkalised state.
The additional rewarding results of committing to a healthy detox plan include:
* Clear skin
* Increased energy levels
* Improved digestion
* Improved bowel function
* Increased alertness and concentration
* Strengthened immune system
* Assists weight loss
* Improved breath (goodbye morning breath!)
* Healthier hair
* Anti-ageing benefits
* ... and an overall improved sense of wellbeing!
How do I detox in a HEALTHY way?
So now that I've hooked you, I have to try and convince you to give a detox a go! It is important to recognise that all bodies have different nutritional needs and if your diet is currently high in processed foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol or nicotine then it is fair to say this is going to hurt.
Foods that are to be eliminated during a detox period include:
* Sugar, honey, syrups, artificial sweeteners
* Fast Food
* Refined and processed foods (chips, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate etc)
* Grains (rice, bread, pasta etc)
* Dried fruit
Foods that should be significantly limited include:
* Meat (only choose lean and limit to 2 servings a week)
* High fructose fruit (such as apples, bananas, oranges)
* Dairy (dairy free alternatives such as almond milk or coconut yoghurt are perfect replacements!)
Organic foods that you should enjoy freely include:
* Low fructose vegetables; especially anything green!
* Nuts and seeds
* Lemon water
* Healthy oils (olive, coconut, macadamia, almond, advocado)
* Decaffeinated and herbal teas
* Water, water and more water; aim for three litres a day
If you want to test out a short detox program without over-committing then definitely give this simple 2 day detox a whirl from one of my favourite health experts, Sarah Wilson, of the I Quit Sugar empire. The recipes are delicious, the servings are plentiful and you will hardly notice you are on a detox!!
For those detoxers who spend the first few days of their cleanse in a darkened, locked room, a longer commitment period can be beneficial for fully embracing healthy living. This 8 week detoxifying diet plan created by Emma Sutherland for Lifestyle You fans includes an 8 week meal schedule and all recipes needed to get you on track to a healthy and clean body.
Personally, I'm not a huge fan of liquid detoxes, they make me a little too regular and as a school teacher that is not a desirable attribute. Full bladders aside, juice cleanses are an optimal way to pack in nutrients to your daily meal plan and get those toxins flowing straight out of the body. If you are interested in testing out a juice cleanse then I have to recommend this one by Lola Berry; she is Australia's sweetheart nutritionist and offers some fabulously tasty juice recipes that you can whip up at home (a much cheaper and fresher option than purchasing juice cleanse packs).
I'd love to hear feedback from anyone daring to give any of these a try! Be sure to share your recipes online and tag #thedivineritual. I am up and running on Instagram now and would love for you all to jump on and give the account a follow. The more wellness inspiration we can spread around the better!