Many people want to detox, but are not sure where to begin. In this article we show you how to do this, using a basic cleansing diet. Just keep in mind that it's better to do it over a weekend or during a holiday, as the diet, although very good for you, can make you feel a bit faint or tired, says dietician Dr Ingrid van Heerden.
This cleansing diet should also not be followed for more than two to three days and those on it should never take any laxatives or herbal products that could interfere with their bowel or kidney function, she says.
A basic cleansing diet should make you feel a lot better and give your body a chance to rest from overindulging.
Rule 1: Rest
If you are going to clean out your system, take a day or two off and rest, because the cleansing diet can make you feel tired and could interfere with certain activities such as driving. Spend the day relaxing and listening to soothing music, reading and sleeping in order to recharge your batteries. Meditation and doing relaxation exercises are also excellent ways of restoring harmony to both body and soul. Remember to switch off all telephones, fax machines and the TV and to block out irritating stimuli which could detract from your relaxation.
Try arranging an aromatherapy or reflexology session as a special treat, or indulge in a facial. If you can persuade the therapist to treat you in your own home, you will derive the greatest benefit from this and also avoid having to drive.
Rule 2: Liquid
Drink as much liquid as possible. Clean water, spring water, diluted fruit juices, fresh fruit and vegetable juices whipped up in a food processor, and iced rooibos tea with lemon and honey, are all excellent liquids which will detoxify the body. A high liquid intake helps to flush out the liver, the kidneys and the bowel.
Wash and cut up any combination of the following fruits:
Sweet melon (spanspek)
Remember to remove all pips and to use seedless grapes. Process the fruit together with one to two tablespoons of honey. Drink immediately. Add ice cubes or crushed ice. Do not store for long periods, not even in the fridge, as vitamin C is easily destroyed by exposure to light and air.
Add carrot or beetroot to boost beta-carotene and bioflavonoid content.
Rule 3: Dietary fibre
If you feel that you need more than liquids to sustain you during the cleansing period, concentrate on eating foods rich in dietary fibre to clean out the bowel. The following foods are the best sources of dietary fibre: fresh, raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, wholewheat bread, high-bran cereal, oats, brown rice, wholewheat crackers and snack breads.
Soak dried fruit in boiling water overnight and then boil in the same liquid until soft. Add one to two tablespoons of honey to this. Add fruit and liquid to oatmeal porridge for a delicious, breakfast rich in fibre.
Rule 4: Vitamin and mineral supplements
When you take time out for a day or two to allow your body to heal itself, remember to continue with your vitamin and mineral supplements.
Rule 5: Important considerations
The basic cleansing diet should not be used for longer than two days. Do not use this diet if you suffer from any illness, or have problems such as heart disease, diabetes, low blood sugar, kidney problems, or any other serious condition. Do not exert yourself while using the diet, so all strenuous activities, such as exercise and working are taboo. Avoid all stimulants such as alcohol, Ceylon tea, coffee, cola drinks, carbonated cold drinks, chocolate, cacao and cigarettes.
Avoid all stressful situations and contact with the busy outside world. Concentrate on regenerating your batteries and purifying your system.
You can use this basic cleansing diet whenever you feel that the excesses of eating, drinking and partying are damaging your health, but never exceed the two day limit. - (Dr I.V. van Heerden, DietDoc)