By Kate Johnstone
I have a confession to make. I have never finished a detox or a diet. Starting them seems to be a speciality of mine – finishing them, not so much.
It starts with a flurry of enthusiasm and daydreams of how glowing my skin will be. I dream that after two short weeks of misting my face with lemon water, taking apple cider vinegar shots and eating green apples I will radiate health and vitality. On Day One of detox I am the paragon of grim determination. By Day Two I am starting to look like a starved hyena in the African wild and by Day Three I have liberally prescribed myself a much needed ‘rest day’ with two muffins, a large latte and pasta for lunch.
I do this with exercise as well. I decide that I am going to get my ‘jogging mojo’ back. So, to start off my new regime I commit to a 10K run. The thing is that I haven’t run 10K in over three years so by 800m my body is screaming ‘MAYDAY!’ and I decide to be lenient and let myself walk home.
This year I knew that if I had any chance of successfully detoxing my body, then I couldn’t repeat the past. Perhaps I needed a detox regime that was more manageable for a novice with the resolve of jelly?
I asked around the clinic for ideas on more simple, easy detox plans that I might be able to stick to. True to form, the team here had some pearls of wisdom to share with me.
5 tips towards becoming a devoted detoxer
Listen to your body – Your body will detox itself given the right environment. This was a bit of an ‘Aha!’ moment for me when the students shared this. Whenever I decided to detox I had the assumption that by swallowing strange tasting detox shakes and starving myself of all of life’s necessities, like refined carbohydrates, that I was enforcing a state of detox on my body. The thing is to relax and let your bodies naturally free themselves of toxins and junk. Given the right tools, it will automatically start clearing house. So the trick is to force a little less and give a little more.
Eat don’t starve! Pack in as much fresh fruit, vegetables and protein meals that you want. Ideally a ratio of 60% protein and vegetables and 40% fruit and grains is a good starting point. The protein part is particularly important. Our livers need protein to help it bind toxins ready to flush out of our systems. Protein doesn’t have to come from animal sources either. Vegetable protein is also ideal e.g. tofu, quinoa, legumes and beans.
Water that is!! It is probably one of the most crucial parts of a healthy body yet with so many temptations (think Caramel Mocha Double Iced Latte) that water sometimes is the poor cousin on my drink menu. To help make water more sexy in my drink regime, I splurged and got a lovely new water bottle – the perfect accessory for any devoted detoxer!
And Substitute – When my nutrition student practitioners tentatively suggested I should try giving up tea, they shrank back in terror as I morphed into something from Nightmare on Elm St. After reassuring them that my tea consumption was off limits they suggested that be adventurous and get some variety. Armed with their recommendations from the Endeavour Bookstore shop I popped down and got a few new options. My favourite has been the Love Chai Caffeine Free Chai which with a little honey and a dash of milk quenches my caffeine and sugar crave. I loved the range so much that I have now expanded to another two as regular options and will be trying my first Dandelion Caramel Nut this week.If you are like me and have a few little pleasures that you don’t want to give up, then perhaps try swapping them for something better for you. It has been fun trying new teas which has contributed to my detox devotion as I don’t feel like I am sacrificing my god given right to drink tea.
5. TAKE IT EASY
If substitution and adventure aren’t your style then the next best thing is detoxing incrementally. The key is building up your confidence for success and making the new changes barely noticeable. So pick the vice that you know you need to reduce in order to give your body the break it needs and start cutting it back slowly and in doses you can manage. I used to have two teaspoons of sugar in my tea. So I began with two level teaspoons. Then after a week I dropped to one teaspoon and a month later was happily slurping a tea with only ½ a teaspoon of sugar. I have tried dropping that last half. Ain’t gonna happen!
If you think you might need help and support to get your new year lifestyle changes in gear then invest $15 and book in with a Wellnation Clinic nutritional medicine or naturopathy student practitioner.This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice. All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant. Please see your Practitioner for health treatments and advice.