diary of a detox

detoxing is a concept that gets mixed reactions from nutritionists and food lovers.

some people think that the human body is infinitely and amazingly adaptable and will respond to, and deal with, whatever we throw at it (within reason!). they think it is quite capable of getting rid of things it doesn’t want/ need and holding onto those it does. it does this on a daily basis perfectly adequately and therefore the concept of detox is irrelevant and unnecessary.

for others, detoxing is a way to give the body a break from the pressures that it can sometimes be under. processed food, junk food, use of additives (including salt), alcohol, smoking and pollution are all modern phenomena that our bodies have to deal with. given humans didn’t evolve with these things around us, surely it makes sense to pause, if not entirely cease, some of these indulgences? equally, many people eat unbalanced diets – too much saturated fat and protein (with meat as the focus of most meals) and not enough fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and water.

my view is closer to the latter.

detoxing is something i do regularly, with varying degrees of strictness. the simplest approach, for me, is to cut out alcohol, junk (sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks, processed food – not that i eat much, if any) and caffeine. i don’t smoke so that’s one less thing to worry about.

the detox i’ve just finished involved cutting these things out as well as meat, wheat and dairy products (cow’s milk only, i’ve continued eating sheep and goat’s cheeses as our bodies don’t find them as difficult to digest). wheat and dairy are common causes of intolerance and meat is more difficult for our bodies to digest than fish and vegetable forms of protein.

i ate brown rice most days (excellent source of fibre) plus raw fruit and vegetables (more fibre plus the array of vitamins and minerals they contain) as well as cooked vegetables as part of my meals. oily fish was a common feature as were nuts and seeds. plenty of water too.

in the past i’ve done more extreme detoxes that involve cutting out acid-forming foods (acidity is harmful to the liver, which is the main organ involved in detoxing/processing toxins), nightshade vegetables (incl. potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and courgettes, all of which people can be intolerant to), pulses (too gassy) and other such things, although the exclusion of some of these has seemed dangerously close to quackery. this time i wanted a simpler approach given my life is busy enough already.

it’s been a 4 week journey away from feeling tired and sluggish and towards having more energy and feeling healthier. over the next week i will share with you how i got on, including what i ate and drank along the way. maybe you’ll feel inspired to give your body a break too.

if you have any questions, please ask and i’ll try to answer them.