Detox, Demons & Drink!

This is the detox I carry out in February (so much nicer than in January) when I am in Australia, or Spring when I am in the UK.  It's a great detox for losing a few pounds, healthily, to get into better shape for that bikini as well as re-training yourself out of bad habits! Spring and Autumn are great times to have a d.i.y detox for optimum health and I, personally, find January one of the worst months of the whole year to do one.  How depressing is that month anyway!

Emphasis for this version is on attempting to lose some of my midriff fat as well as maximum health benefits. You can see how I suffered over the 4 weeks and the end result at the bottom of the post - the pics say it all - it works! You can do a detox for less time of course. Anything from 5 days to 3 weeks is great for your body, just pick the bits you like for an easier life!

No it’s not going to be just rabbit food,  although I am  going ‘ raw’ as much as possible at the moment because it’s easy in the heat and has such a dramatic effect when it comes to detoxing, weight loss and health.  But maybe not so easy if the weather's cool and wintery. So leave it till Spring if you're too internally chilly or have a look at the 5:2 diet as that might be easier. 

This detox can be done any time, anywhere.  It’s tough for the first 2 weeks only – one meal and 3 smoothies a day – but pretty manageable for weeks 3 and 4 and even easier for weeks 5 & 6.

So let’s start with what I am living without, for 2 WEEKS ONLY!

WEEKS 1 & 2

NO COFFEE (that’s the hardest one for me!) Green tea, or matcha, here we come.  There are many other alternatives. UPDATE: I've really found giving up coffee much easier since I discovered Matcha tea......higher in antioxidants, even healthier, less bitter and gives a nice buzz!

NO MEDICATION (unless prescription and essential for your health)  Maybe start ‘no caffeine’ a few days before the detox plan so you can run to the ibuprofen/paracetamol for that raging head!

NO ALCOHOL  We all manage at least a month of no booze each year,  some choose January,  I chose Sober October.  2 Weeks?  That’s a doddle!

NO CARBS   I eat the Paleo way so that’s an easy one for me.  For just 2-4 weeks try it: no starchy carbs, including root veg and all grains, and, of course, wheat.   Your energy levels and midriff will thank me big time!

NO DAIRY: I usually recommend products made from sheep or goats milk but as it's only 2 weeks try and skip the lot.

NO SUGAR at all in any form.  That includes fruit, (apart from a few berries or an occasional apple), alcohol, the lot!

It’s only 2 weeks!

SO WHAT CAN I EAT?

The basis of this quick detox/weight loss programme is that you have only one meal a day and 2-3 Green Smoothies a day.  You can eat your main meal whenever you like and it can be anything you like as long as it’s:

Fish, chicken & eggs,  cooked any way but fried, with as many veg as possible, especially the greens and some sprouted alfalfa, rocket or similar. No starchy carbs. Just loads of greens and raw grated roots such as beetroot, cauliflower & carrot are also ok as long as they're not cooked (produces to much "sugar"). You can also have a few berries or an apple occasionally.

You can pretty much eat as much as you like when it comes to protein such as chicken, without the skin, and salmon . Or omelettes if you’re vegetarian.  Or tofu if you're a vegan.  I don’t personally think red meat plays any part of a detox but it's often used to aid weight loss, so go for it if you can’t live without it, but think meat and nine veg, instead of meat and two veg.  And no potatoes!

However, for maximum health, we should strictly speaking be eating just the veggies and sprouts, such as alfalfa, with seeds and unsalted nuts and avocado.  Keeping it raw.   But,  as you have probably read everywhere, for maximum tummy fat burning, especially over 50, animal protein is a bit of a must!  Personally, I am doing a bit of both.  Your call!

MEAL REPLACEMENTS

2-3 SMOOTHIES A DAY:  I like mine for breakfast, lunch and, if really necessary, tea time. They're very filling with the added coconut oil.  And have my main meal early evening. But you can work it to suit your own rhythm and fit into your lifestyle.

This is what I put in mine for maximum weight loss, or, if you prefer,  do my Breakfast on the Run smoothie, which contains all the best veg. for beauty, skin & weight loss, according to latest research.

GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

6 ozs water or coconut water or a mix of both.

A handful of chopped veg: kale, spinach, rocket, cucumber, sprouted alfalfa, celery etc.  Or a green powder if that works better for you. Because I only had a basic blender in my holiday rental, which can’t break down the veg, I have bought an organic powder of Super Greens containing:  spirulina, chlorella, barley grass & wheat grass.  And I always add sprouted alfalfa.

A vey small chunk of fresh turmeric (small fingernail size)  You know how good it is for you! Add a pinch of black pepper to make the turmeric more bio-available - up to 2000 times more - so it really does its stuff.

1 dessert spoon of raw, virgin coconut oil.  (It’s NOT fattening.  Coconut is a one of the Superstar fats  that support a healthy immune system & gut, stabilise blood sugar levels and burn fat)

2 tablespoons of Coconut milk or cream  (ditto as above and it fills you up)

2 scoops of raw protein powder: Sun Warrior raw protein powder (available in Australia and the UK) or Amazonia raw protein powder (available in Australia)  are my favourites.  The vanilla, or chocolate versions help disguise the taste of the green veg in the smoothie so go for a flavoured one if you go this route.

2 teaspoons of leucine (an amino acid body builders use to utilise protein and burn fat) in every smoothie. This is a biggie for fat loss.

A teaspoon of psyllium husks in one or two of the smoothies only: this will help your bowels regulate if they get sluggish and spring clean your colon to get toxicity out quickly.

I also add one small scoop of magnesium citrate powder to 2 of the shakes, morning and afternoon, because every woman over 40 (actually probably all women!) needs magnesium for bone and heart health and energy, big time!

Whizz up in a blender or a  NutriBullet and consume as soon as possible.

£55.00

 

WEEKS 3 & 4

3 meals a day:  as much meat, fish and eggs as you like, but still very few carbs or dairy, i.e.: no grains, no dairy, a little fruit, such as berries, but no starchy fruit such as bananas, Again, low carb vegetables, such as masses of greens & the other raw veg mentioned are fine, but not starchy carbs such as potatoes.

(I still have the smoothie as a meal replacement in the morning, because I always do)

1 measure of alcohol, twice a week…..love that one!

Coffee is allowed now……see how you feel.  I am astonished that I didn't fancy it at all after just a week. Just keep it for special occasions such as dinners out, weddings or parties etc.

Tomato, buffalo mozzarella, avocado & basil. Yum, health on a plate!

Tomato, buffalo mozzarella, avocado & basil. Yum, health on a plate!

 

WEEKS 5 & 6

Way hay!  You can now introduce small amounts of dairy such as cheese now: I would recommend goats, sheep or buffalo only. Not cow’s milk. Most people who are lactose-intolerant, and that includes me, are ok with the alternatives in small doses.

You can also add starchy vegetables and grains but keep the portions very small.  

And you can now drink alcohol, in moderation.  I.e:  a couple of glasses of wine, three or four times a week.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF THE 4 WEEKS

Update on Detox... A Week In.

 I have to say, doing a detox in hot Byron Bay has made detoxing much easier than at home in the UK, but the first week wasn’t all plain sailing!

The headaches from the lack of just two coffees a day were horrendous, even though I weaned myself off the coffee 3 days before starting the detox.  It still took a total of 5 days to stop running for the painkillers, so now I am adding weeks 3 and 4 to my no coffee regime, even though it’s allowed.

Weirdly, I now don’t fancy it at all and have become quite addicted to hot water and lemon in the morning, and the occasional green tea!  I may use coffee just as a treat in the future, who knows.

The rest has been very easy as Byron Bay is like a giant health spa:  juice bars on every corner, cheap Thai massage, loads of yoga classes, swimming, and cycling to do and sweating is free!

If I was at home in the UK I would find it much more difficult and would probably wait till the spring or summer.

I am looking forward to finishing the 2nd week very much, purely for social reasons, and am looking forward to that first glass of Prosecco!

3rd Week of Detox Done - It's Been Hell!

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The good news is that I have become a matcha tea addict and don’t fancy a cup of coffee at all!

The bad news is that I am fed up to the back teeth with meat, eggs and fish with veg.   I am craving cheese and even carbs, big time!  I fully admit to eating the croutons on my salad the other day, which I wouldn’t normally do, because they looked so good…..and I am not even a big bread eater. And I really miss yoghurt, goats cheese, buffalo mozzarella and all the delicious raw cakes and puddings they make in Byron Bay.

I had two glasses of sparkling wine last week, as allowed, but had them on the same night.  Boy did they affect me….. I could hardly move the next morning!  So that’s another intolerance I have developed with all this clean living.

On the plus side, there are only five days more to normality, it's only this last week that has got really boring, I look really well and have shiny eyes and the weight is truly coming off my middle.

Re-Tox & Re-Boot the end of the 4 weeks!

Well here I am having finished my 4-week de-tox.  And this 5th week has been a wonderful week of eating all the things I’ve missed, mostly goats cheese, a little gluten-free bread,  and the odd glass of Prosecco or two!  My body is feeling much happier than it was in week 4, when it all got to me a bit and I felt very bored and tired.

However, the good news is that my skin and eyes are shining with health, I have lost about 2 and 1/2 Kilos in weight, and now I am eating more normally, I am full of bounce and energy AND I still don’t want any coffee!

The before and after pictures above, embarrassing as they are, speak for themselves: certainly around the tummy and waist area.

As far as the future goes, now I have lost a lot of that tummy fat, I’ll continue on the Paleo programme (as well as exercising) with at least two “open meals” a week, when I can break the regime and have treats that aren’t normally considered Paleo (such as cheese, houmos, rice, wine etc.)  That’s the only way, in my opinion, to be Paleo and still have a life! Thank you for that top tip  Loren Cordain, the Father of the Paleo diet.

To keep the weight down and to gain the health benefits of Fasting I’ll also do one smoothie a day, plus one small meal, one or two days a week.  For those of  us who like the 5:2 diet, this is a version of it that will help us stay healthy and slim in old age!

Let me know if you follow this detox plan and if it works for you. I always love to hear from you.

Further reading: The Grain Brain,  The Paleo Diet & Lose Your Middle-Aged Middle, all written by medical professionals.