Why Detox?

Milk is made from seeds at Kamalya in Koh SamuiThe word Detox has taken such a battering by the media over the past few years that there is more negative connotation and myth associated with it, than the wonderful vitality and rejuvenation it can bring to your health. A good detox program can literally be the start of a new lease on life and the essential first step down the path of long-term wellbeing.

Put simply, to detox means to give your blood a good clean, which has a profound and positive effect on your liver, kidneys, and every other organ of your body. Our blood accumulates toxins (more than it can filter out) from both external and endogenous (internal) sources. External toxins come into your body through poor diet, drinking too much alcohol, coffee and tea, stress, poor sleep, exposure to environmental toxins (pollution) and taking drugs… among other things. Endogenous sources are usually a result of hormonal or chemical imbalances, and by-products of the bacteria in our digestive system. Often excess endogenous toxins are a result of exposure to too many external toxins.

When your blood contains too many toxins it compromises every cell in the body. As a result your health pays a price… and ultimately your hip-pocket does too.

I remember the very first Detox program I did, and that intense feeling of being 100% healthy at the end. I had spent a week at The Farm at San Benito, Batangas in the Philippines (www.thefarm.com.ph). At the end of the program I had crystal-clear eyes, my skin was glowing and my energy levels were at an all-time high. My usual Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms were no more, and I had never felt so vibrant and healthy in my entire life. I remember thinking everyone should experience this feeling. Nirvana!

And yes, I confess that a medically supervised Detox program in a beautiful Spa environment, with food and juices prepared for you is a great way to Detox. However, I also believe that with enough motivation, commitment and advance preparation you can complete a very effective Detox program in the comfort of your own home.

So, taking the best bits from some of the wonderful Spas around the globe, expert advice from a number of highly regarded naturopaths and nutritionists, combined with my experience, I have created the Get Clean Get Lean program.

Before you embark, think about why you are doing this program. Is it to re-energise? Lose weight? Undo some of the damage done over the holidays? Or to kick-start a new, healthy lifestyle? Whatever your reason is, write it down. When temptation rears its ugly head, come back to the why you are doing this. I’m sure the reason why is much more meaningful to you than any temptation that may be put before you.

Also think about your end goal. Write that down too. How will it feel to achieve that goal? And what is your reward? Come on, we all need a deal sweetner! A little motivation to keep us on track. What will you reward yourself with (other than health and vitality) at the end of this program? Make it good… you deserve it!

My Get Clean | Get Lean program

My Top 10 Weight-loss Tips

What you eat and drink will have a massive impact on your health. If you want to lose weight, and keep it off, you need to include a nutritious and varied diet for life. There are a lot of mixed messages and conflicting information regarding nutrtiton however, there are a few golden rules that always ring true.

Look and feel great!

1. Drink 8 glasses of water each day – Even more if you exercise and/or drink tea, coffee, alcohol or soft-drinks. (And if you do drink soft drinks… why? They are nasty!)

2. Eat a healthy breakfast with protein – such as:

- Muesli or porridge with nuts, seeds and fruit

- Eggs (not fried or drowned in Hollandaise) with low GI bread such as sourdough or spelt.

- Fruit, nuts and yoghurt.

3. Cut out refined sugars on 5 of the 7 days. Refined sugars are lollies, cordial, soft drink, cakes, bsicuits… you know the crap I’m talking about. Also, eat less processed foods. The more Human Intervention (HI) gone into a food (i.e. the more processed it is) the less likely it is to be good for us.  Fresh is best. Eat low HI.

4. Reduce alcohol to no more than 2 standard drinks per day. And try to have a few alcohol-free days in a week too.

5. Eat 5 serves of veges everyday, and at least 3 of the serves should be raw. Preferably, seasonal, local, organic and whole fruit and vegetables.

6. Try and have a FRESH vege juice 5 out of 7 days a week. If you’re feeling devilish add some greens (spinach, parsley, wheatgrass or lettuce).

7. Don’t skip a meal – you’ll get hungry, crave something bad for you, and then binge.

8. Eat low GI where possible:

- Swap white bread for wholegrain or sourdough

- Eat raw, unprocessed cereal over packet if possible

- Eat basmati or brown rice over white

9. Include Protein at every meal (lean meat, fish, nuts, lentils, eggs, white cheese).

10. Snack wisely – Fruit, cheese and crackers, hummus and crudites, nuts, salad, good bread and olive oil, vege or fruit juices are all good snacks… Snacking is where you can consume loads of additional calories you don’t need. Manage your calorie intake based on how active you are. If you’re active you burn more calories, so exercise certainly helps with weight loss.