Spring clean your insides

Well_fed_rabbitI’ve got a challenge for you – and before you decide to ignore me and go read some other intellectually stimulating blog, just give me a chance…

I dare you to try a detox.

You may think I’m crazy and wonder why I would suggest that you do such a body-depriving thing. But I say, why not?!

You may be rolling your eyes at me, shaking your head in disgust. But listen carefully, I actually have logic behind it, and you may just learn something.

I’m not into dieting – it’s a dirty word! Looking back at my 29 years of existence I can think of just one time when I got sucked in to the evil world “dieting”. I was 17, living in California and not quite ready to embrace my adolescent curves and booty. I remember trying to work out how many calories were in a banana and whether half a bagel would be ok for lunch. I even got sucked into one of those “cabbage soup diets” – have you ever tried cabbage soup? Don’t! When I look back I cringe… a lot… argh yuck!

Fast-forward 12 years and I have a love-hate relationship with food. The issue is I love food, but food doesn’t always love me! I am one of those people who is truly intolerant to some food groups (but that’s a story for another day).

So once in a while I (the boyfriend) decide it’s time for a spring clean. Clear out the insides. Treat my body as a temple. Blah blah blah all that hoo-ha!

And when I say “once in a while”, I mean this is the second time I’ve done a proper detox, which I think is pretty dam good. Twice more than most people I know!

CoffeeThe first time I did a full-on 10 day (eat rabbit food) detox I gave up coffee… after 10 years of drinking it. It was awful. I wanted to cry. I felt like punching someone. My head pounded and all I could think was how much I missed it. I cursed the idiot who ever decided coffee was bad for you. The upside was I came off the detox not needing coffee and feeling a damn site better for it.

However, as with many good things in life, it didn’t last. A few months down the track I caved, and I loved it.

So, roll around detox number two and coffee did not come off my menu. I refused to give it up. Boyfriend said I was cheating. I didn’t care. I could give up the booze, chocolate, sushi, meat, processed food, fizzy drinks. But coffee? No way in hell. And the “instructions” said I could have one serving a day if the withdrawal symptoms got too bad (I just pre-empted the symptoms by not giving up in the first place).

So 13 days of fruit, vegetables and protein shakes (and one coffee a day), along with a concoction of magical pills, and I feel like a million dollars. My afternoon sleepy-slump has disappeared, my skin is looking fabulous and tummy feels great

Could I keep doing it? Yes. Do I want to keep doing? No!

I want peanut butter. Oily fatty delicious peanut butter! And dark chocolate. And steak. And a large glass of red wine.

Purists will say I’m undoing all my good work; I’ll tell them to sod off. For me a detox is not a life style, it’s not sustainable. I’m active and workout like a mad woman – I need meat, I need carbs and I need treats.

Instead, I see a detox as an opportunity to clean out your insides, start fresh. If you drink too much wine, it will give your liver a break. If you eat a cow each week, it will allow your digestive system some time to relax and stop working overtime to digest red meat. If you’re addicted to processed food, it will open your eyes to a new world of eating fresh unrefined food. Your tummy, your skin and your mind will thank you for it.

It will also allow you to get in touch with your body and actually listen to what it needs. I love sushi; I’d often go a week eating it every day for lunch. But after two weeks of salads I’ve discovered that sushi appears to contribute to my afternoon slumps. I’m not going to give up sushi, but maybe I’ll moderate the amount I have.

Is as detox hard? Yes! It is worth it? Hell yes!

But that’s what makes a challenge worth doing. It will test you in ways you never knew you could be tested, but ultimately it will leave you feeling amazing.

Now I know I cheated and I kept drinking coffee, but that was my personal choice, and in all honesty if you really want to feel the benefits, like I did the first time round, I would give it up. I was just too stubborn the second time.

So, my recommendation to you is to make the commitment to give a detox a go. It doesn’t have to be long – 13 days is bloody hard. Start off small and build from there.  Just make a promise to yourself that you won’t give up. And find someone to do it with. Watching your partner eat pizza while you munch on a pile of vegetables is not enjoyable…

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3 Comments

  1. Just for the sake of balance: http://www.skepdic.com/detox.html

  2. I did a detox once (don’t laugh), and while I don’t know the science of it, it at least made me feel better. At the end. The duration was hell on Earth. So anecdotally…yes. Detox: choice.

    • I have to agree with Bexxgirl here – detox is totally unneccessary.

      I am all for taking some time to listen to your body and treat it right, but i’d hazard a guess that if you spent a couple of weeks not drinking or smoking as well as drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, doing some gentle exercise, and cutting down on processed food, you’d get a very similar result, without starving or taking wierd pills. None of that is about detox, it is just about being kind to yourself.

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