healthier habits: the detox diet

I've never been a fan of "detoxes" - whenever I hear of people doing a lemon juice, herbal tea, or nothing-but-juices diet, I cringe. I wonder what traumatising your body like that actually does, and most of these detoxes are highly acidic, leaving me to wonder what it is they do to your insides! I've been reading a lot about "resetting" diets though, detoxes that involve a sensible amount of protein and small amounts ofย complex carbohydrates, that don't leave you with gnawing hunger and ridiculously low energy levels. Being more healthy is something I've been trying to strive towards lately, with searching for my "perfect" fitness regime and adding supplements to my daily routine. These sound good, reasonable, and for heavens sake, healthier eating is an attractive mindset to have!

Note that dancers often, ironically, have woeful diets. With odd training times (I don't usually eat dinner till 10.45pm), a body that craves constant fuel, and crazy travel schedules, it's difficult to maintain 100% positive track records for healthful eating. When in full training mode, my need for carbs and milk rise dramatically, as well as rich foods, otherwise I lose too much weight.

So ANYWAY, this week, S and I have embarked on a detox diet. It's not the BEST week for it, since I have several birthday celebrations coming up, but we wanted to get started on it and not procrastinate. This was more S' idea - he wants to get fitter as he's had a punishing work schedule lately and been unable to live as healthily as he likes. We've used the guidance of 2 books - by Susie Burrell and Michelle Bridges respectively.

Whilst both books are called "Losing the last 5kg", they both advocate sensible eating, as well as good exercise regimes. As a dance professional, I love this advice and embrace this mindset. They are both also extremely easy reads, with conversational tones and simple to follow schedules. The best part? The recipes all look delicious and easy.

Our goals:

  • S' goal is to lose the few kilos he's put on recently, and get into a habit of healthy eating.
  • My goal is to incorporate a lot more fibre and vegetables into my diet, and not rely on comfort/processed foods so much.
  • S is also going to cut caffeine so he'll stop being reliant on it. I don't imbibe a whole lot of caffeine so I'm comfortable with where I am.

Whilst we both will never become completely anal about our diets, it's nice to consider it and feel great about the choices we're making.

We've started this week with Susie's detox soup plan - and then will move onto Michelle's month long recommendation. The detox soup is surprisingly yummy considering having zero salt added, and is very hearty.

Susie Burrell's Detox Soup

Detox Soup Basics (from Susie's blog)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients 2 tsp olive oil 1 leek, thinly sliced 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cups salt reduced vegetable stock + 3 cups water 420g can chopped tomatoes 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes 500g pumpkin, cut into 1 cm cubes ยฝ celery chopped 1 broccoli head steamed 

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil with onion in a large saucepan. Add the leek and gently cook over a low heat until soft, then add the stock, tomatoes, carrot and pumpkin.
  2. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Top with steamed broccoli

 

Typical daily feed:

  • Breakfast: Fruit salad or a 1/3 cup portion of oats
  • Lunch & Dinner: Detox soup, small cup brown rice, 100g salmon, egg or chicken breast
  • Snacks: small handfuls of walnuts or carrot/cucumber slices or more detox soup

 

S is doing this more seriously than me, so he's also cut out dairy, caffeine and any other snacks this week. I am still having my morning coffee and nightly cuppa Earl Grey, and having my own (not nut) snacks as I need them - I'm too susceptible to losing WAY too much weight as evidenced when I tried a raw diet a few years ago, and losing weight is not my goal.

My super duper rice cooker (thanks mummy!) cooks brown rice surprisingly well and I'm pretty shocked at how yummy it is. Having salmon lots feels like a luxury, and the soup is pretty warming and great for winter. All in all, I think this'll be pretty easy to follow and I'm happy about the huge injection of vegetables this has put into my daily diet. We'll check in again in a week and report how we feel!

Have you ever done a detox? What are some of your methods and secrets?