Detox literally changed my life and help me become a better version of myself. It is a subject that I do lots of research about, I read about it everyday, and it is my daily job to teach people about detox and guide them through it at Sianji Well Being Resort. Nothing compares to it doing detox in a great destination where you can clear your mind and focus on yourself. However not most people can afford going to a detox retreat, as it can be quite expensive, so I wanted write this piece as you can find so many great tips and recipes from. I greatly believe that all diseases begin with the accumulation of toxins and the impact of negative emotional and imbalanced physical energy. Throughout history, many exemplary individuals in the field such as Arnold Ehret, have used fasting/detoxing as a way to accelerate their health and understanding. Dr. Brian Clement, the director of Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, where I received my Health Educator certification from, said that fasting only even once a week can add 20 years to your life. I cannot forget that day and I remember I decided to do it. I got so many benefits from it;
- increased energy, vitality and stamina
- increased immunity, resistance to illnesses and infections
- increased metabolism
- weight loss
- improved digestive system functions such as absorption and elimination
- reduction in fluid retention and uric acid
- improved circulation
- improved sleep patterns
- mental clarity, focus, concentration and memory
- stable moods, emotional balance and well-being, a greater sense of peace and calm
During the days of detox, we do not concern ourselves with the traditional ‘nutritional values’ of food (calories, protein, carbs, fats..). What is important is the positive life-force energy in the freshly squeezed juices or raw smoothies: enzymes, alkaline minerals and electrolytes. You can do one day, or as you will read below, you can do it for 5 days; you need to prepare your body for it if your lifestyle choices are considered unhealthy. You also need to be careful what to eat after detox because it really does matter what you eat after detox as your body will be cleansed.
Before starting this program, limit your animal protein intake (10% of your daily calories maximum) or eliminate it completely and eat plant-based. You should also cut off all caffeinated and alcoholic beverages a week before you start your detox, that way you will ensure to have a more comfortable detox week, otherwise you may experience headaches/migraines. If you drink a lot of alcohol/tea/coffee/acidic drinks, try to limit yourself and clear it out of your diet the last 3 days. Drink lots of lemon or bi-carbonated water and herbal teas, and eat lots of fruit and plant-based foods. This is a good preparation for an easy detox week.
3 or 5 days Detox
This is a very effective detox program to energize your body, eliminate toxins (especially in colon and liver), and increase the overall pH of the body.
Start your day with dry skin brushing; use it on dry skin in the mornings only (doing it before bed is not a good idea, you may not sleep well), it is a good routine to remove dead skin and open up the clogged pores, increases the circulation to the skin therefore encourages your body to discharge metabolic waste. It also stimulates the lymphatic system which helps to eliminate toxins from the body. Begin by brushing the outermost parts of your body (hands and feet) towards the center of your body, you should move to brush towards your heart. Do it maximum for 5 minutes.
Start your day with lukewarm lemon water with added cayenne pepper (1 liter water, juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper). This alkaline water will flush out the toxins, wakes up your digestive system and increase the pH overall.
If you have wheatgrass in hand, you can juice and drink it as a shot too. It is truly one of the most detoxifying juices on planet due to the high chlorophyll content.
Then, consume these drinks with 1-2 hour breaks in between;
Prepare it on a ‘slow juicer’, as it does not use metal parts which causes oxidization.
- 1 big bunch of preferred greens (arugula, parsley, collard greens, spinach, kale, purslane, parsley, fresh herbs such as basil…)
- celery sticks
- 1 or two lemon (peeled)
- half-thumb size ginger
- 1 green apple or pear (you can also use other fruits but try not to use more than 2 fruits at a time)
Prepare it in a high speed blender such as Vitamix.
- 1 mango or 1 banana
- 1 + 1/2 peach
- 1 + 1/2 cup homemade oat/almond/hemp milk depending on your choice
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds /freshly grated flax meal
Prepare it with a slow juicer.
- 1/4 beetroot
- 1 green apple or pear
- celery stick
Cut all the vegetables in big chunks and steam them. Blend them in a high speed blender with warm water.
- 2-3 zucchini
- 1-2 leek
- half thumb size ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
Season as you wish, turmeric, cinnamon and sumac are really recommended. You can also add 1/2 a teaspoon Himalayan salt if you want.
Other recommended drinks and supplements
- Minimum 2 liters of alkaline water (lemon or bi-carbonated water)
- Herbal teas (cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, linden, corn silk, cherry stem, camomile, St. John’s Wort, ginger, holy basil…) If you suffer from sore throat or runny rose first days (a detox symptom), drink ginger-lemon and freshly grounded pepper combination in hot water.
- If you are going to do daily enemas, add your drinks 1-2 teaspoons of bentonite clay and psyllium husks. It will help clean the walls of your colon.
- Wheatgrass is truly an amazing drink that helps your body to detoxify itself, try to grow it before you start this program and juice it during your detox week.
- Spirulina or chlorella are great supplements, these algaes have 20% more chlorophyll than wheatgrass and comes with an impressive nutritional package (they contain Omega 3-6-9 in a balanced ratio, are ‘complete’ protein sources and include a long list of vitamins& minerals). They are especially great for cleansing your body from toxins and radiation. You can find them in a tablet or powder form.
- Probiotics are especially important during and after detox to strengthen your immune system and assist your digestive system. To not have any constipation and diarrhea problems, you should definitely continue taking them after detox, at least for a month.
Helpful things to do daily during detox
- Therapies to encourage sweating such as Infrared sauna, steam bath or hammam are really important during detox. Skin is our largest organ, we lose most of the toxins by sweating. Try not to use any chemicals on your skin (especially deodorants and toothpaste, try to switch to natural alternatives). Perfumes are also very toxic so try not to use them during your detox week.
- Exercise has huge importance during detox; yoga, pilates, stretching, brisk walking, jumping on a trampoline, stretching, qi gong are great exercises to help remove toxins from your body without overworking your muscles.
- Enemas/colonics are also a big part of the detox. If you can, try to arrange a colonics (Hydro Colon Therapy) with a professional therapist on your last day of detox, which will greatly increase the cleansing effect. Ask for implants made with wheatgrass, spirulina or other chlorophyll source and probiotics make ensure you get back your lost good bacteria during the session. You can also prefer enemas, but it won’t be as effective as an Hydro Colon Therapy.
- Having lymphatic massages will increase the detoxifying effect.
photo courtesy of Ömer Doğan
Detoxification Crisis/Healing Crisis and precautions
First of all, please consult a health professional/M.D. before starting any detox program, especially if you have any health problems. If you are using any medications regularly, you should definitely continue using it during detox. In the first three days, you may experience symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, headache, nausea, dizziness, not being able to sleep, low or high blood pressure, pains in different areas of the body, gas and bloating, heart pumping in a high rate, acne-oily-spotted skin, sore throat & runny rose, feeling cold & shivering, bad breath or sweat odor, forgetfulness and emotional symptoms. These symptoms are normal, they are indicating the detox program is actually working for you and you are eliminating toxins. Try to be patient and do not loose your motivation in the first three days. After three days, you will start feeling great and much more energized. If you have headaches and migraine during the first three days, try not to use pain-killers, have a head massage with essential mint oil and rest in a dark place. Drink more alkaline water and try to listen to your body. If you have pains in different areas in the body, you should rest. If you have sleeping problems, try to do diaphragm breathing exercise for 15 minute before you sleep, this will help to slow down your brain waves and prepare you to sleep. Prepare lavender tea and spray some lavender oil mixed with water in your pillow cases. You can also try to take a warm detox bath which helps to relax your muscles and prepare you to sleep. It is also very detoxifying to due its ingredients; Add 1 cup of Epsom or Himalayan salt, 1/3 cup bentonite clay, 1/2 cup bicarbonate and 10 drops of lavender oil. Stay in this bath for min. 20 minutes to make sure your skin absorbed all the minerals in the bath. Remember, all the symptoms are temporary and depending on your body, you will experience different symptoms. Try to stay away from stress and especially social media to help clearing your mind as well. Try to write a diary everyday so keep track of your feelings and thoughts and listen your inner voice.
2 to 4 days of Alkaline Diet after Detox
Your body is now in a purified state, so you have to treat it gently and wake your digestive system slowly. To not gain weight and have digestive problems, what you eat after detox has almost the same importance as what you did during detox. Try to have nutritionally highest quality food in the first two days. Below there is a list of the foods you can eat; you definitely need to increase the amount of alkaline foods you eat and limit the acidic foods. The most alkaline foods are greens, vegetables and fruits, the most acidic ones are processed foods, caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages and animal/dairy products. Always have a dominantly plant based diet while you are on alkaline diet.
- Red Bell Peppers/Green Peppers
- Olives (max. 10 pieces)
- Green Juices
- 1 or 2 organik eggs (not recommended first 2 days after detox)
- 1 slice sourdough rye/ whole wheat bread or gluten-free bread // Ezekiel bread is the best option if you can find
- 1 cup overnight oats made with oat milk or almond milk
- 10-15 raw sprouted almonds (soaked for 8-12 hours) or walnuts (soaked for 4 hours)
- Dried fruit
- Fresh fruit
- Cucumber or carrot sticks
- Low-fat big salad made with alkaline greens
- Brown rice
- Vegetable or Legume dish
- Steamed vegetables (do not overcook! the food should not loose its color and crunchiness)
- Grilled or steamed fish (preferably wild salmon)
- Low-fat big salad
- Veggie soup
- Steamed vegetables
- Fermented foods made with a little bit Himalayan salt (sauerkraut, kimchi…)
- Do not combine acidic fruits (oranges, tomatoes, pineapple, kiwi) with sweet ones (dried fruits, dates, bananas, mangos, persimmons) and always eat them on a empty stomach. Fruit is best eaten alone. It is also not recommended to eat fruit after 4 pm as it may cause fluctuation in your sleeping pattern.
- Try to cook your food low-fat. Olive oil, grape seed oil and all other plant based, extra virgin and cold-pressed oils are really not suitable for cooking. (The only oil you can cook with is cold-pressed coconut oil as its chemical structure is stable even at very high temperatures.) Try to cook your meals without fat and add preferred oils after you cook. Avocado is one of the best alkaline fat sources. Try to use avocado instead of using oil in your salads.
- Try to use natural salts such as Himalayan, sea or rock salt. Do not use it while cooking as it may damage some minerals. Use it after you cook.
- Try to eat your dinner as early as you can.
- Do not drink water while you eat. Water dilutes the digestive enzymes, therefore delays digestion and causes gas & bloating problems. Stop drinking water 15 minutes before a meal and start 1.5 hour after your meal.
- If you are constipated after detox, it means you don’t get enough fiber and are not hydrated enough. Increase the fiber in your diet; consume more plants, greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes. You should drink 2 liters of alkaline water aswell. You can also try grinding fresh flax seed and mix 2-3 table spoons of flax meal with water during the day. Psyllium husks also works great.