This one-month programme emphasises abundance and vitality from a natural whole food diet and held you ‘unburden’ your liver.
It’s the job of your liver and kidneys to remove impurities from your body. They do this pretty darn well.
Some people argue that detoxing is a myth because toxins are an inevitable part of life and the human body has the natural mechanism to detoxify itself. However, it is sometimes helpful to give the system a helping hand, especially because we are living in an environment with an increased presence of toxins and carcinogens. We are exposed daily to toxins through pollution from industrial waste and industrial chemicals, pesticides, electromagnetic radiation and also food additives. Poor diet, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, episodes of stress, anxiety, depression illness, disease, fatigue can all impede the natural functionality of your liver and kidneys.
The body stores toxins and foreign substances in our fatty deposits. The accumulation of toxins in the body affects our ability to absorb nutrients from food which in turn, adversely affects our liver’s ability to break down further toxins which impacts our hormonal balance!
Any of the below ailments may suggest an accumulation of toxins:
- Always feeling tired
- Low energy
- Digestive disorders
- Excess Weight
- Excess Mucus
- Brittle Nails
- Bad breath
- Joint Pains
- Skin Problems
- Poor Memory
- Low sex drive
- Poor immune function; i.e. frequent colds/flu/coldsores,
- Candida a.k.a thrush
- Thinning hair
- Acne or Eczema
So why not provide your liver and kidneys some support?
Therefore, having a bit of a break from consuming processed foods etc can help unburden the liver and kidneys so that they can do their job better, which in turn, helps purify the blood and strengthen the immune system. This can lead to better nutrient absorption, hormonal balance and health benefits.
This month plan offers suggestions on proper nutrition, activity, relaxation and rest.
On a deeper level, setting yourself the goal to implement a life changing eating plan for one month requires dedication, preparation and investment. The results are more than physical. It may demand of you adaptation, change and restraint, which will help reveal to you deeper aspects of your conditioning and habit patterns. In doing so you will find that this one-month challenge provides:
- A chance to clean out and de-clutter your life.
- Get perspective and reflect upon your needs are and what is holding you back.
- A chance to shift out any mental or emotional toxins.
- Release negative habits, attitudes, thoughts and behaviour patterns.
- Create the space in your life for more of what you need and love.
Benefits of avoiding the baddies and eating the goodies:
- Abundance of more sustained energy throughout the day
- Better Sleep
- Easier waking up
- More cheerful mood
- Clearer head
- Clearer Skin
- Higher sex drive
- Lighter feeling in the gut
- Faster Digestion
- Weight loss
- Increased willpower
- Deeper understanding of your relationship with your body, food and hunger
- Increased sense of taste
- Stronger immune system
- Faster metabolism
- Less sugar cravings
- Reduced appetite
It is very important that you ensure you do get all of the nutrients that you need daily
- Low to none animal products
- Avoiding processed foods
- Eat an abundance of wholefoods
- Daily dry skin brushing
- Regular Epsom Salt Baths
- Daily Exercise
- Keeping a journal
What you may need:
- A blender
- A Juicer
- Skin brush
- Epsom Bath Salts
- Home Enema Kit
- Glass bottled mineral water
- Water Filter
The Avoid List
- Fish & Seafood
- Dairy or Eggs
- Caffeine (inc green tea!)
- Drugs of any kind
- Sugars (some fructose is OK)
- Fried Foods
- Saturated Fats
- Preservatives and Additives such as MSG
- Chilli or too much Garlic
- Soya derived processed products such as soya milk, soya margarine, Quorn, Linda Macarthy Sausages etc (the traditional eastern style is fine i.e tofu) see www.whatissoya.com you’ll see what i mean!
- Tinned produce
Essential Vitamins & Minerals from non-animal Sources
The below list below is not exhaustive but is indicative of where to start to find what you need:
|Zinc||Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, green leafy vegetables, pulses|
|Trace minerals||green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, dried fruit|
|Vitamin B (choline & inositol)||Wholegrains, sunflower seeds, raisins|
|Vitamin B1 (thiamine)||Brown rice, soybeans, sunflower seeds, Whole grains, pulses, potatoes|
|Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)||Mushrooms, whole grains, soybeans, peas, green leafy vegetables, pulses, avocado|
|Vitamin B3 (niacin)||Brown rice, almonds, mushrooms, wholegrains, peanuts|
|Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)||All plant tissue|
|Vitamin B6: (pyridoxine)||Soybeans, bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, peanuts|
|Vitamin A||Dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, prunes, carrots, peppers|
|Vitamin C||All raw fruit and vegetables, particularly green peppers, strawberries, goji berries, rosehips, sprouted seeds and rocket|
|Vitamin D||15 mins Sunshine! Otherwise No vegan source but Vegetarian source from Solgar supplement in liquid form|
|Vitamin E||Soya Oil, peanuts, kale, parsley, peas, lettuce, wholegrains|
|Calcium||Parsley, carrots, green leafy vegetables, soybeans, nuts and seeds, pulses, chia seeds|
|Iron||Cacao, wholegrains, Dark green leafy vegetables, prunes, dates, parsley, beetroot|
|Omega Oils 3, 6, 9||Flaxseeds, Hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are also good sources of ALA. Brazil nuts, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, soybean oil, grape seeds, pistachios, olive oil, chestnut oil and olives, macadamia, almonds, sesame, cashew, pecan and hazelnuts.|
|Magnesium||Asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds|
|Potassium||Bananas, coconut, coconut water, sweet potatoes, oranges, beetroot|
We all know it but we still don’t do it! You have to drink loads of it all day long. Especially when detoxing as the toxins become dislodged out your system, you need the hydration to shift them right out. Also, more often than not, we think we are hungry, but actually we are just plain thirsty. Try reaching for the water rather than a snack!
Choose your water source
There is much debate over where to best source your fresh drinking water from. Personally, I avoid tap water but you read around and make up your own mind!
Water around meal times
Best to drink a glass of water 30mins (no sooner)before meals. Try not to drink during nor after meals, because it dilutes your digestive enzymes and reduces the effectiveness of digestion and leads to bloating. After meals slowly sipping herbal teas like peppermint, liquorice and ginger can help aid digestion.
It is best to avoid cooking with vegetable oils including olive oil because their composition is less stable at higher temperatures. This means that the heat changes these oils molecular structure which makes the oil really unhealthy, potentially carcinogenic even. Best is to cook with coconut oil and drizzle the olive oil raw on salads etc.
3. EAT SLOWLY
The Yogic and Ayurvedic Principle on eating is that “You are what you digest” . Efficient digestion is essential for optimal health.
At dinner time, as a kid, my mum always used to say this Chinese Proverb: “Drink your food and Eat your Drink” . It means chew the food so well that it becomes liquefied in your mouth before you swallow and drink so slowly that you really taste it. Consuming slowly & mindfully, preferably in silence and definitely not whilst multi-tasking will allow the message ‘i am eating’ to get from the senses to the digestive system so that your digestive enzymes are released and available to digest the food.
Oh, and also, avoid eating when distressed or emotionally upset, again because it effects your digestion.
4. FOOD COMBINATIONS
Different enzymes are required for breaking down carbs as they are for proteins therefore it is best to eat carbs and veggies or proteins and veggies but not proteins and carbs together in a meal.
5. BE PREPARED
Get into a Routine with it. For example, Soak your nuts or legumes the night before. Make a packed lunch. Prep your shopping list. Make sure you always have a healthy snack option available so that you don’t get hunger attacks that jeopordize your detox. Also Rotate Foods so that you get as much variety as possible, lots of nutrients and you don’t get bored!
6. MEAL TIMINGS
Start the day with water. Warm water with lemon is cleansing for the liver. Then, the biggest, most calorific meal of the day should be breakfast, followed by lunch. Best to east very little or just soups/ broth for the evening meal.
Make sure your evening meal is not too late, give yourself at least 3 hours digestion time between your last meal and bedtime.
7. FRUIT SUGARS
Its good to snack on fruit. But fruit is a source of sugar, fructose so just be mindful how much you intake in a day.
Always eat fruit 30mins BEFORE other types of food because it digests the quickest and if you eat fruit after other food it will get held up in your intestines and start to ferment, which can wreak havoc with your digestive system!
8. SOAKING, SPROUTING, JUICING
Now may be a great opportunity to explore healthy and cheap food preparation options to your life. Its a really good idea to soak nuts overnight because the impurities can be removed and they begin to sprout and the enzymes become active so they become even healthier and also easier to digest when soaked.
I invested in an Oscar 900 Vital Max Juicer £219 wow! pricey but for life! Makes really amazing juices, even juices wheatgrass, and a whole manner of green veggies. For me, it’s main benefit is that it maintains all of the food enzymes and goodness and is quick and easy to clean too.
9. CHOOSE RAW
Eat at least 51% raw veggies as part of any meal because the live enzymes that we get in the food are killed off when cooked. Too much cooked food weakens our immune system because the body cannot recognise the composition of cooked food as good for us and so the white blood cells attack it, which puts the body under stress. Crazy huh?
10. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
When I tried this month programme, I found that by week 2 my appetite reduced as I was getting plenty of the nutrients that I needed and by week 3 any cravings that did arise were pointing me in the direction of what I needed. I found I would crave tofu or nuts after a 2 hour yoga session and that was a good sign as certainly protein is what is needed after a hard workout. Start to really listen to the body’s intelligence and go with it. Of course don’t be fooled by cravings and old habit patterns that perhaps tell you you ‘need’ a coffee or a white wine!
11. KEEP A JOURNAL
Going through a detox can be quite a transformative learning experience as toxins are shifted out. I find that keeping notes of your process can be very insightful. Perhaps keep note of what you eat, what you crave, your moods, energies, and sleep and digestion pattens or if anything emotional arises
12. GET LOTS OF SLEEP, EARLY TO BED
As you shift toxins out and you break bad habits, you may find yourself particularly exhausted initially. But worry not, its worse before if gets better and by week 2 or 3 you will definitely fell your energies increase and you sleep more deeply and wake more easily.
13. RELAX, MEDITATE, DO YOGA
Doing so keeps you connected to your body and supports the cleansing process.
14. SOCIALISING & EATING OUT
I found that socialising & going to restaurants was definetly challenging. Your willpower is really tested when surrounded by other people enjoying lots of the delicious contraband foods. Personally I found it easier to just stay in a lot during my liver-boost progam. Actually it was really nice preparing yummy colourful fresh food and besides, I’d already spent lots of money on all the quality ingredients! Some socialising can’t be avoided and rather than put yourself at the scrutiny of well meaning mates who may tease or persuade you to break your program, I’ve always found it easier not to make a big deal out of it and just discreetly choose non-alcoholic drinks and non-animal product options on the menu. Finding yourself in these situations with peer pressure is a really good test of discipline and strength of character, even as an adult.
15. AND IF YOU CHEAT? ….well, if you do end up cheating and uncontrollably scoffing a muffin, nevermind, don’t beat yourself up about it afterwards. Accept it happened but do get back on the wagon! All is not lost!
OTHER THINGS TO TRY OUT IN THE MONTH:
Pilates and swimming are also great low impact, good for the core and the joints, mindful toning and strengthening without losing flexibility.
Minimum of anything that gets your heart rate up at least 30 minutes each day.
Enema: You can buy a home enema kit for about £10 from amazon. Not as daunting, uncomfortable or messy as you may think. Pretty straight forward procedure that helps you really shift toxins out from the large intestines.
Daily Dry Body Brushing – Brush your whole body when skin is dry, maybe before having a shower. Brush lightly in upward strokes towards the heart to help with circulation and lymphatic drainage and firm and tone up your muscles and condition your skin. I found the results very good.
Weekly Epsom Baths Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulphate. It is readily available in chemists. Put about 1kg in a not-to-hot bath and the soak helps draw out impurities from your body and helps reduce water retention to help with circulation, lymphatic drainage helps you firm and tone up.
Visits to a Sauna – Great to sweat out impurities
Lymphatic Drainage Massage- Treat yourself!
Superfoods are Powerful nutrient dense foods which your liver will love.
Choose any from the below list; they have the best combination of easily digestible nutrients and fat burning compounds, digestive enzymes and aid with optimal digestion.
I have been trying out a super green powder called ‘Lean Greens’ and it contains many of the below, its quick to prep, tastes great and gives you a definite and immediate energy boost.
|Wild blue/green Algae||
Other lush superfoods that I love and think are worth adding to the mix:
- Chia Seeds – Amazingly packed with minerals and great source of Omega 3, 6 & 9
- Goji berries – full of antioxidants and all -round goodness
- Pure Cacao – Good for the neurotransmitters in the brain – increases serotonin, the happy hormone!
- Maca – balances hormones and energy and libido booster
Supplements that I found supported the detoxification process
|Milk Thistle||Liver cleansing|
|Echinacea||Immune system booster|
|Liquid Vitamin D3||Essential for bone health. Needed for calcium absorption and for maintaining adequate calcium and phosphate levels in the blood|
|Floradix Liquid/ Tablets||Source of Iron and B vitamins|
|Aloe Vera Juice||Colon Cleansing|
|Digestive Enzyme Capsules||Facilitates with digestion and nutrient absorption|
|Probiotics||Healthy bacteria for the gut. Keeps intestinal flora healthy|