If you have read my article ‘Detoxing-diets-do-they-work?’, you are now ‘detox smart’ and aware how dangerous some of these diets can be. Lacking in proteins, essential fats and minerals, you could be facing brittle bones, hair loss, flaky skin or lethargy, to name just a few side effects if continued long term.
What inspires you?
With summer just around the corner, weddings, birthdays or special occasions may be demanding attention to your diet. But before you rush out to try a detox, think about why dietitians have never advocated any of the available diets on the market today.
How can I detox the safe way?
The truth is fruit and vegetables are key to any detox. But one fruit isn’t necessarily better than the other.
Each fruit or veg has it’s own unique distribution
of vitamins and minerals.
Choose different colours of fruit and veg to get a variety of the different vitamins, minerals and fibre that will ultimately lower your risk of chronic diseases (cardiovascular and cancers).
If you want to find out how to detox the safe way, check out the purple diet.
I’ve grown up with mum and aunts promoting fruit, vegetables, whole grains and wholesome home cooked meals, weeks before special events. They key is to start at least a month before your special event, so that you glow from your healthy hair & skin (from vitamin A), experience lower blood pressure (from potassium), increased healing power for cuts & wounds as well as improved immunity (from vitamin C).
Recipe – ‘Mango & Blueberry Smoothie’
1 mango, sliced OR 3 tablespoons mango puree
1 medium banana
Blueberries, large handful
3 heaped tablespoons low fat yoghurt, plain or fruit flavoured
Blend all ingredients together and enjoy! Delicious on it’s own for breakfast or as a post work out snack. If you don’t fancy a smoothie, then add the mango, banana and blueberries to a small bowl of oats and milk as a fruity cereal for breakfast.
Tip – try a different smoothie every day.
Bowl of vegetable soup OR large salads (think baby spinach, avocado, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, cucumber) to eat with whole grain bread. Thin scraping of spread if you are watching your weight.
Drink plenty of water or tea for dewy, hydrated skin. But consider avoiding coffee. The good news is that a study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that tea was not any different to water in maintaining hydration. Coffee and coke should be avoided for the purpose of the detox, due to caffeine being associated with migraines and tension type headaches.
Snacks – choose a delicious fruit salad (see recipe suggestion below). Alternatively, try a tablespoon of unroasted nuts and seeds. This provides, protein, minerals and essential fats. Combine with dried fruit for added fibre, but enjoy this no more than 3 times a week, as it is abundant in calories.
Eat your usual dinner but ensure that that this is full of colour. Think purple, why not try red onions and egg plants (aubergine)? Aim to have at least 3 different vegetables in your evening meal. Limit recipes that call for saturated fats from whole milk, cheese or butter. Instead use small amounts of olive or rapeseed oil in cooking to improve your cholesterol profile.
Aim to eat fish at least twice a week to reap the benefits from omega fatty acids. Try mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, tuna and salmon to help control poor circulation, mood swings or depression, poor memory and dry skin.
Dessert – yes you guessed it, fruit salad! Not only is it pleasing to the eye, the fibre in fruit when matched with fluids such as a cup of green tea, expand to give you the sensation of being full for longer.
Tip, make your fruit salads in advance and enough to last you at least a couple of days.
Below is a recipe that I have selected for you from a French cookbook by Marabout Chef.
Salade de fruits a la menthe (fruit salad with mint)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 star anise (optional)
1 tablespoon juice of lime
½ pineapple (450g) cubed
½ honey dew or other melon (650g) cubed
200g fresh lychees, stoned (use tinned if you can’t find fresh)
100g red seedless grapes
1 large handful of shredded fresh mint
Dissolve the sugar in 180 ml of water with star anise. Let the liquid simmer for 10 minutes, before adding the lime juice. Let it infuse in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Pass the syrup through a sieve before transferring to a bowl. Then add the mint and fruit, mix gently. Serve immediately.
Enjoy, and remember, a variety of fruit and vegetables is key. Aim for up to 8 or 9 servings of fruit and veg daily.