Detox before you re-tox, this Christmas
However much you love Christmas, it is often an energy-sapping marathon. A gentle detox now will help you feel and look as sparkling as the decorations. Daniel and Cornelius O’Shaughnessy, the bespoke detox experts who run Bodhimaya, the retreat that transformed Rebecca Adlington before her wedding, have devised a three-stage detox plan, which you can do inexpensively at home. Toxins from food, drink, pollution and synthetic chemicals in cosmetics can unbalance our bodies and potentially cause disease. ‘A good detox lifts the toxic load and helps our liver, gut, lymph, circulation and perspiration systems work effectively to return our body to a state of balance where we feel full of energy, with natural sleep patterns and clear skin,’ they explain.
Here are the principles of the Bodhimaya at Home Detox:
STAGE 1: 7-DAY CLEAN-UP
This prepares your body and brain for Stage 2: Cleanse.
• Three meals and two snacks daily (e.g. an apple/pear and six almonds) to help stabilise blood sugar.
• Fresh simple food with a small amount of protein at each meal (white meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, nuts, seeds).
• Five to seven vegetables in rainbow colours (no potatoes or parsnips), 2 helpings of fruit (apples, pears, berries; no bananas - despite our picture above!)
• Some fat with each meal: 1 tsp olive oil, coconut oil or a small portion of butter.
• Lots of still fresh water, and herbal or green teas.
• Processed foods, sugar, alcohol and caffeinated drinks, which can overwork the liver and cause a build-up of toxins, leading to fatigue, headaches, gas, constipation, acne, bad breath and PMS. A detox can relieve these symptoms by lightening the load on the liver.
• Gluten-containing grains, milk or soy-based products. Gluten may cause intestinal permeability (leaky gut), leading to food sensitivity. Choose gluten-free bread and coconut or almond milk.
STAGE 2: 2/3-DAY CLEANSE
Ideally, organise this as a home spa weekend. Clear your diary and relax. (Find all recipes on today’shealth page at www.you.co.uk.)
• On rising, drink two tablespoons ground flax seeds soaked overnight in half a cup of organic prune juice to help eliminate waste from the colon.
• Drink three cold-pressed juices or smoothies and one protein shake each day, around 8 a.m., noon, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Or swap your third juice for a green veggie soup. Finish by 8pm so your body has 12 hours to rejuvenate.
• For your protein shake use Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein Vanilla powder (£35.25, www.amazon.co.uk), or blend a handful of soaked almonds in a green juice.
• Drink lots of water and/or herbal tea.
STAGE 3: MAINTENANCE
How you break(your)fast is vital.
• Choose easy-to–digest fruit (e.g. melon) with coconut yoghurt, and thicker vegetable soup for lunch.
• Return to the Stage 1 Clean-up diet for a week, longer if you can.
NB Children and pregnant/ breastfeeding women should not detox. Please consult your doctor first if you have a medical condition or take any prescription medication.
• Bodhimaya at Home, a 3- or 5-day tailored cleanse delivered to your door, launches today. It includes all supplements, juices, food, a Skype consultation and a personal post-detox plan. £495 for three days, £645 for five days, www.bodhimaya.com.
Dry skin brush - Before you shower. This helps the lymph and circulation systems to get toxins out and nutrients into your body. Liz Earle offers a good Natural Bristle Body Brush, £8, www.uk.lizearle.com.
Use natural beauty products - The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible by Jo Fairley and me (Kyle Books, £19.99*) lists the top products rated by our testers.