“Fabulously Free” – detox: how to do it and why you should

Ondine Barry has been living sugar, gluten and dairy free in 2014. In this Fabulously Free blog, she looks at the advantages of detoxing and juicing.

Healthy eating is on a serious upward trend now, and I’m more than delighted about it. But what is all of this talk about ‘detox’?

Basically, a detox in terms of your body is about cleansing yourself of toxins – ‘clearing the air’ so that you feel refreshed, energetic, generally healthier and more aware afterwards of how food and drink affects you (not to mention the weight-loss effects). Detoxing cleans out your gastro-intestinal system, boosting your immune system and turbo-charging your nutrients. It can increase your energy, brain function and it makes your skin glow. Detoxing is powerful mojo.

There is a whole range of how one can detox. Some people simply cut out alcohol and coffee for a few days, whereas others fast completely, having only water for a week (not recommended!).

While I don’t have the courage to commit to a 7-day fast, I do firmly believe in a raw-foods detox every now and then to clean out your system and recharge your body. I love detox salads and raw veggie pastas, but my preference for overall cleansing is a juice detox. Fiber is essential for your good health, but it also slows down your digestion and provides a slower release of nutrients. Juice on the other hand provides instant nutrients.

Juicing is easy and not expensive – good juicers cost as little as £60 and will last years. To get started, simply stock up on loads of fruits and vegetables and bring out your juicer from the back of your cupboard and take a deep breath as you’re committing to living on fresh juice and water for 2-3 days, drinking 4-6 pint glasses of juice (and 4-6 glasses of water) every day.

If you live on fry-ups and buckets of coffee, don’t attempt to detox cold turkey – a week before you begin, start reducing certain foods (like beef and bread) and beverages (like beer and coffee) before cutting them out altogether to make it a little easier!

If you’re interested in trying out a delicious and straight-forward juice detox, this is what I suggest you start with (note: always buy fresh not dried):

Veggies & roots:
ginger root
garlic
spinach and/or kale
beet root
carrot
celery
cucumber
sweet potato

Herbs:
basil
coriander
parsley
mint

Fruits:

apple
mango
blueberries
orange
kiwi
avocado
lime and/or lemon

Fruit by ondine

When I’m detoxing, I like to start out each morning with a warm glass of water with the juice of a whole lemon. Yes, it’ll taste sour and make your face scrunch up, but the effects of all that goodness as soon as you wake up will have your heart pumping and brain whizzing almost immediately. A great and energizing start to the day!

Here are a few of my favourite juices:

For breakfast, my favourite juice is a colourful combo of 1 apple, 1-inch chunk of ginger, 1 beetroot and 3 carrots. Easy and delicious. It’ll knock your socks off (if you’re wearing socks yet).

For lunch, use more vegetables to pack in the vitamins and minerals: 1 cucumber, 2 stalks of celery, 1 apple, 3 handfuls of spinach or shredded kale (about 5 leaves), 1/2 an avocado and 1/2 a lemon.

For dinner: juice 1 orange, 2 carrots, 2 kiwis, 1 sweet potato, several springs of coriander and half a lime. For some protein, try adding a handful of almonds (if you aren’t allergic to nuts) – simply blend the juice with some pre-soaked (skin-on) almonds and voila! A mega meal.

The best thing about juicing, to me, is that you get so many nutrients in one glass. And have fun with it! Be creative with your ingredients. Try different combinations and see what you like best. And remember to drink a full pint glass of water after every juice – this helps boost the cleanse and flush out the toxins.

Follow me on Twitter @ondinebarry

Note: Juicing and detox diets are brilliant for most everyone with the exception of people who are pregnant, nursing, under the age of 18 or have severe medical conditions. Almost anyone on a detoxing cleanse will feel some headaches – that’s usually the effects of cutting out sugar and caffeine! But if you are under any doubt about whether or not you should detox, consult with your GP.

Ondine Barry
The author:

Ondine is a passionate fan of gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free eating and writes our Fabulously Free blog