Health & Fitness

How to: detox

Give your health a makeover with our expert tips and tricks for post-festive cleansing…

By Edwina Carr
How to detox

At the beginning of the festive season, we’re all about the delicious puddings, champagne, advent calendar chocolate and event canapés being handed our way. But when the season is wrapping up, we can barely look at a glass of fancy champers without feeling ill. Yep, it’s high time for a detox. So how exactly can you get your body back to good health without having to eat only the juice of a lemon (or some other impossible diet) for a week? We asked the experts to tell us how we can detox the right way...

“A small detox can be good for us, as it helps rest, cleanse and nourish the body from the inside out. Eat fibrous foods such as fruit, oat bran wholegrain cereals and legumes help to maintain regular bowel movements. Ensure you eliminate refined foods high in sugar, salt and saturated fats. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages should be replaced with water and herbal teas. Certain herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion and globe artichoke may help support liver function and the detoxification process.” - Jodie Langley, naturopath

“A detox need not be an attempt at starvation – you can detox the body by allowing your organs to rest, whilst still nourishing the body with healthy foods and nutrients. Some people may experience headaches, gas or diarrhoea and moodiness during the early stages of a detox. This is a sign that your body is cleansing! Not everyone will experience these effects, but these symptoms should abate in one or two days. Exercise is a wonderful aid to a detox. Get your body moving with jogging, power walking, cycling or boxing – whatever you enjoy to get a sweat up and in line with your current fitness levels. Aim for 45-60 minutes of sweat time each day during your detox." - Lucinda Zammit, nutritionist

“A small detox, such as a one to three day juice cleanse, or a week without any refined foods, will help you to separate yourself from the frivolities of the silly season. Stay away from coffee, alcohol, chocolate, dairy, white foods (like white pasta and white bread) and anything packaged. Choose fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, almond milk, cacao, goji berries, and high quality meat products (like grass-fed meat or free-range chicken). And you must drink plenty of water!” - Marla Bozic, nutrition and health coach

“It’s very important be aware of your stress levels when you’re detoxing. The body needs to be relaxed in order to 'let go' of toxins and stress hormones can sometimes interfere with the detoxifying process. Schedule in a detox after the holidays while you’re still relaxed.” - Amanda Daley, nutrition and lifestyle coach

“If a strict green-vegetable-only detox is too daunting for you, here is an example of an all organic good detox day plan to follow:

Before breakfast: Start your day with a hot lemon water

Breakfast: Organic poached eggs with avocado, baby spinach + coconut oil

Snack: Handful of cherries

Lunch: Pear and rocket salad + chicken + Dijon mustard/olive oil/apple cider vinegar

Snack: Hummus, carrot sticks or fresh coconut juice and flesh

Dinner: Quinoa salad with pomegranate, walnuts amd lots of fresh mint. Drink two litres of filtered water throughout the day (and/or herbal teas)." - Yves Calmette, nutritionist

Are you due for a detox?

Photography credit: Nick Scott/