Feeling like a spring clean? Why not try my 5 day cleanse.
A quick cleanse is a great for getting rid of bloating, resetting your metabolism and kick-starting the liver into action. I’ve outlined for you some simple, wholesome guidelines to a 5 day cleanse that will get you kick started for summer.
There are two basic rules to any cleansing program and a quick cleanse is no different.
Rule number 1: Reduce the toxic burden
During the cleanse you will want to omit or reduce all inflammatory foods and drinks, this includes: red meat, wheat and other gluten containing foods (Rye, oats, barely), dairy, coffee and alcohol. You may also want to reduce all grains (rice, quinoa and buckwheat). Many people are unable to digest grains well, especially when they aren’t properly prepared (soaked and fermented).
All fried foods are off the table, as are all processed and pre-packaged foods.
You can do this! It’s only for 5 days!
Limit your exposure to all chemicals including those in cleaning products, washing powder, moisturisers, shampoo, conditioner, soap and perfume. There are plenty of alternatives out there to replace the chemical laden stuff, just go in to your local health food shop and ask for natural sage alternatives. Reduce your exposure to plastics, such as food wrap, drink bottles and plastic food containers. Consider your air quality; are you in a high pollution environment? Are you inhaling second hand smoke? What can you do to limit your exposure? Open the windows to your house every day and allow plenty of fresh air in. Nicole Biljasma from Building Biology has some great advice for detoxing the home here
Stress is a big contributor to inflammation in the body and is a major cause of sleep disturbance. What can you do to reduce your stress load? Try breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques and meditation. Exercise is one of the most under-utilised tools for mental health. Get out in the fresh air and go for a walk! Being in nature can make a significant impact on your mental wellbeing, go to your local park and take your shoes off and ground yourself (watch out for dog poo!). If sleep disturbance is an issue try a calming herbal tea 1 hour before bed.
Limit screen time, electrical devices and screens emit toxic pollutants and electromagnetic fields from electronic devices are a known source of endocrine (hormonal) disrupters. They also impact immensely on your sleep quality. Try going back to the dark ages for at least one night during your detox, turn off all the lights and electrical appliances at the wall, use candles for light, go out and gaze at the stars.
Rule number 2: Assist the cleansing process
Starting the day with some freshly squeezed lemon juice in water is a fundamental beginning to any self-respecting detox. Lemon in water is alkalising for the body, improves secretion of digestive juices, is a good source of vitamin C, assists with liver function and assists with appetite control.
Filtered water is a must! Chemicals that are used to kill bacteria in your tap water also kill good bacteria in your gut! Water will assist your kidneys to flush out toxins. Drink plenty of filtered water throughout each day. No plastic bottles!
Drink 2-3 cups of green tea per day, green tea is a powerful antioxidant and will assist with burning off any unwanted fat. Ginger tea is a great digestive and powerful metabolic booster and Chamomile tea is great for those suffering from IBS type symptoms. You may freely drink any herbal tea of your choice.
Eat loads of vegetables, especially greens such as cooked broccoli, alfalfa sprouts, spinach, lettuce and rocket. These greens will assist the liver in hormonal balance, help alkalise your system and heal the gut. Coriander is particularly useful in a detox as it helps the body get rid of heavy metal toxicity.
Think whole foods, unprocessed foods and seasonal foods. Summer is a great time to be eating lots of fresh veg and antioxidant packed berries.
Breakfast: A green smoothie for breakfast is a fantastic way to get some greens in to the beginning of your day. A simple green smoothie recipe can be found on my website http://www.wholistichealthnutrition.com/blog. Or if you are on Instagram, you can find many clean breakfast ideas on my account @wholehealthnut.
Lunch: Lunch should consist of as many vegetables of your choice (limiting starchy veg like potato and concentrating on colourful vegetables), and a palm sized piece of protein (fish, chicken breast or vegetarian option) A good rule is to fill 80% of your plate with vegetables that grow above the ground, 15% with a lean protein, and 5% healthy fat.
Dinner: A light vegetable based soup for dinner is good for adding more water to your daily intake and is easily digestible. Home made chicken broth will assist any digestive symptoms that you may have. You don’t want to be eating a heavy meal at night that will sit in your tummy and disturb your sleep.
Fibre is as equally important for those suffering from constipation as those suffering the diarrhea (or a mixture of both). You will be getting amazing fibre from all of those vegetables that you are eating but you may like to take a supplement. A good fibre supplement that contains slippery elm assists in healing the bowel and removing any matter that is stuck to the bowel wall. Taken as a powder with water, slippery elm will help with reflux and heartburn as well as reducing inflammation (pain) in the bowel. Most people can tolerate slippery elm, however if it makes your bowels too loose, stop taking it.
Eat plenty of probiotic rich foods such as yogurt (non-dairy), kefir and sauerkraut. You can also take a probiotic supplement to enhance your digestive health, find out from your Naturopath which one will be best for you.
Sleep is our time to repair, absorb and reset, go to bed no later than 10pm and be up by 6.30am. Getting exposure to daylight assists to reset our circadian rhythm, so try and expose yourself to the morning light (and by that I don’t mean scaring the neighbours into thinking you’ve joined a nudist colony- just your eyes and clothed body will do!).
Go to your local health food store or ask your Naturopath about a liver cleansing tablet. They will be able to direct you to the most suitable one for your situation and advise you on a dosage. You might want to inquire about a good spirulina or microgreens powder and a quality vitamin C to assist your cleanse. You can continue to take these after the 5 day cleanse to assist your body to detox.
Within a couple of days you will be feeling more vibrant and lighter. You may even want to continue with some of the suggestions to keep you feeling your best.
If you are serious about detoxing why not join up to one of my detox programs. You can find all the information about how to join here
Melanie Turner, Naturopath, mother, gardener, lover of wholesome food